The Greeks had a word for it. In the early 1500s the English borrowed the term from earlier Latin, which had borrowed it from earlier Greeks. The word is dilemma, these days often misused to mean any problem. Correctly used, the word dilemma describes a situation when one faces a difficult choice between two undesirable alternatives.
Take the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, whose Republican members confront a dilemma. If, after their brief charade of a hearing, they whisk Brett Kavanaugh onto the U.S. Supreme Court, they face potential retaliation at the polls by outraged Americans, particularly women, both for themselves and for their colleagues bearing the GOP logo. If, however, they take seriously the recent charges against Kavanaugh and vote to derail his nomination, they face potential retaliation at the polls from another group — supporters of President Trump and his vision for America.
As the white men of the Senate squirm over their political futures, the rest of us, all Americans, worry about ours with another Trump-appointed justice sitting on the Supreme Court.
This is serious, folks. Supreme Court justices serve for life. In 53 year-old Kavanaugh’s case, that could mean several decades of politically lopsided decisions about our laws and how we live our lives. What could be more important? No wonder the Republicans are in a rush to rubber stamp this nomination.
As this drama unfolds, pay very close attention to what is said, how and by whom, and take that with you into the voting booth come November.