Sep 30, 2018

A moment of decency in Swedish and American politics

The relief I felt when it stood clear the Sweden Democrats (SD) was blocked out from  Speaker’s seats. And the “Yes!” I yelled out when Jeff Flake asked for postponing the vote and required a FBI investigation.

I nearly cried. It gave me hope. This time is not, after all, the end of human compassion.

It’s been an intense week politically in both Sweden and the US.

Last Sunday Sweden was in the wait for electing the Speaker of the future Parliament on Monday. The Social Democrats (as they are the largest party and that’s been the tradition) and the right bloc (since they don’t accept that as a reason for holding the Speaker seat) were both submitting proposals for the Speaker. SD announced they would back the right bloc candidate. The Left party had nominated a candidate of their own as 2nd Vice Speaker, a seat until now taken by SD.

The outcome of the vote came as a surprise. Not so much that the Speaker came to be a Moderate (member of the Right party) nominated by the right bloc and supported by SD, and the Vice Speaker subsequently a Social Democrat.

No, the big surprise was the choice of the 2nd Vice Speaker. After the Social Democrats voting for the Left Party nominee and the right bloc abstaining their votes, the 2nd Vice Speaker came to be the Left Party nominee. And the Sweden Democrats were left in the cold. In spite of them supporting the right bloc nominee. 

Although most parties have taken on a lot of the nationalistic and xenophobic SD’s proposals and opinions, when it came to the Speaker seats they all stood tall and denied them that kind of power and influence. 

At that point, human compassion was the winner. Thank you! The fight for humanity is still not lost after all.

Thursday evening the US Supreme Court nominee's hearing kept me up. I just couldn’t  make myself go to bed. 

Christine Blasey Ford’s restrained and subdued yet detailed testimony against Brett Kavanaugh. She, a professor coming out of anonymity having nothing to win except self respect on telling the American people about how Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her in their high school days. Her testimony powerful and compelling in it’s humble and low key appearance.

He, an United States Circuit Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals and a nominee for the Supreme Court, proposed by president Trump. In the hearing a screaming and crying aggressor, repeating his CV as the impeccability proving his innocence. And blaming the Democrats and the Clintons and you name it for conspiring against him. It was a circus spectacle. In short, the Republican senators believed him, the Democrats her. 

Friday was the vote regarding Kavanaugh’s seat in the Supreme Court. Democrats presumably casting nay and Republicans yay. At 1.30 PM.

Minutes before, during the closing arguments, the Republican senator Jeff Flake and his friend the Democrats senator Chris Coons left the room. There was confusion and puzzlement. What was going on? Jeff Flake had earlier in the day announced his yes for judge Kavanaugh.

To be watching this live and momentarily was intriguing. During the closing arguments several of the Democrats senators were arguing for postponing the vote, wanting a FBI investigation of Kavanaugh. Out of respect for Christine Blasey Ford and the office the Supreme Court. The chairman didn’t listen. A few Democrats left the room as a protest and in frustration. There was drama in the air.

The speculations continued when Jeff Blake and Chris Coons re-entered the room. Blake asked for the word:

Mr Chairman, he said, after talking to colleagues on both side of the isle, I want to propose a postponing of the vote and a FBI investigation of the allegations against judge Kavanaugh, taking not more than a week.

Something along those lines.

That’s when I all by myself on my couch raised my arms in a YES! Thank you!

What made senator Blake alter his mind? Maybe the compelling arguments from Democrat senators. Maybe his friend Chris Coons. Or was it the two women in despair approaching and confronting him in an elevator the same day? He seemed cornered and humble, quietly looking down on his shoes as the women begged him to stand up for them and their daughters. For the women of the country.

The political situations in Sweden and the US are up in the air, to say the least. They are troubling. I am deeply concerned. But this week, both countries chose decency. And human compassion.

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