Brett Kavanaugh has an agenda

Comment: For the US, hope is feminine

2018 was a difficult year for supporters of social and liberal politics in the USA: environmental protection laws were relaxed, state health insurance undermined, immigration law tightened. US President Donald Trump's Twitter finger caused crises big and small, and that his supporters now see the media as "enemies of the state".

But there is also positive news, and it is mainly thanks to strong women.

Emma Gonzalez

19-year-old Emma Gonzalez is one of them. She is among the students who survived the rampage at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. 17 people were murdered there on Valentine's Day, including 14 teenagers. Emma Gonzalez and her classmates then had enough of the hypocritical statements of concern with which politicians in the USA reflexively react to the terrifyingly frequent massacres by gunmen. The youth took on the powerful US gun lobby, the NRA.

With their Twitter storms and one of the largest mass demonstrations in Washington, D.C. history, They achieved, among other things, that many large companies such as hotel chains, car rental companies and insurance companies publicly opposed the NRA. Their power is beginning to crack. Gun laws have been tightened in Florida. There is still a long way to go towards sensible regulation across the country, but Emma Gonzalez and her associates have shown that the fight is worth it.

Christine Blasey Ford

Psychology professor Christine Blasey Ford also decided to fight this year. When President Trump nominated Conservative Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, Blasey Ford went public in September. At a hearing in the US Senate, she patiently and resolutely repeated her allegation that Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted her while they were in high school. It was her "civic duty" to testify, says Blasey Ford, and thus encourages women not to keep silent about sexual assaults in the future.

DW editor Christina Bergmann

Brett Kavanaugh, who denies the allegations, was confirmed for office - but only very narrowly. After this debate, he may be more cautious in making decisions that involve the health and rights of women. In a case involving the Planned Parenthood health service, which is hated by conservatives and offers abortions in addition to cancer screening and contraception, he surprisingly sided with the liberal judges of the Supreme Court.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

The strong women of 2018 also include a politician: 29-year-old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. She is the youngest woman ever to be elected to Congress. Together with more than 100 colleagues, she will start her work in the House of Representatives on January 3, 2019 - a record number.

Ocasio-Cortez was born into a working-class family in the Bronx, her ancestors come from Puerto Rico. She financed her election campaign with a grassroots campaign because she does not want to be dependent on rich donors. And she is a member of the "Democratic Socialists of America". So she represents the exact opposite of Donald Trump and is still - or perhaps because of it - successful. The trick of dethroning a long-established Democratic incumbent in New York in the primary elections and then winning the elections with 78 percent of the vote, she succeeded in the first attempt. What its success also shows, however, is that the Democratic Party has to break new ground if it is to achieve electoral success and to counter the social cuts of the Republicans.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, like Emma Gonzalez and Christine Blasey Ford, made history in 2018. These women campaigned for social justice, sensible gun laws, and women's rights. Your influence will extend well beyond the past year. A ray of hope in the otherwise rather gloomy world of news. And he's female.