The current president has all of the undesirable male characteristics known to man and then some. Let’s try something else.
“The next president should not be a man,” was the headline for a May 8 opinion piece by New York Times columnist Farhad Manjoo.
My sentiments, exactly.
Manjoo argues that a “dispiriting dynamic” has taken hold in the Democratic presidential primary and that voters are perceiving female candidates as “unelectable.” And, in recent days, there have been studies and polls cited and published suggesting that: female candidates still face bias in 2020; sexism is going strong; and about one in eight Americans think men are better suited emotionally for office.
Yet, Nate Silvers’ FiveThirtyEight column concludes, as I do, that research has documented that gender has no effect on election results.
For some in the #METOO movement, this piece may seem like just more mansplaining. But my observations and conclusions are based on my life’s experiences (89 years) and my work over 65 years as an elected official, assistant in the Michigan Office of the Speaker and Office of the Governor, university professor, campaign consultant, and Director of the NC Institute of Political Leadership. Thousands of students, candidates and officeholders have crossed my path, including Democrats, Republicans and Libertarians. They have led me to several observations and conclusions about women in politics and government.
Women are more spiritual than men. Note that I did not say more religious (although I could argue that, as well.) Women are more concerned about the spirit of life, that is, living. After all, women carry, birth, care for, teach, guide their own children, grandchildren and often those of others — with a family life orientation.
Women have more respect for life when in public office and do more to protect our society, whether it is gun control or military action. Wouldn’t you feel better about a Congress controlled by women rather than by old, white men when it comes to declaring war? I would.
Today, we have had 45 men as president in a country that now has more female than male voters. Indeed, the current president has all of the undesirable male characteristics known to man and then some. So, let’s try something else, as many of us believe that a woman in the White House will bring uniqueness, class, morality, competence and empathy for American children and families
If the 2018 Congressional elections proved nothing else, it was that women candidates can win, especially with a strong female vote.
The declared female presidential candidates are: Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. Marriane Williamson is also a contender. With the exception of Williamson (and Rep. Gabbard, who represents part of Hawaii), all have run statewide campaigns and won in large, competitive, target-rich states (New York, California, Minnesota and Massachusetts). They know how to campaign and have already proven they can win.
From my point of view, any one of the four female senators is qualified to be president. So, of course, are several of the male Democratic candidates, but not the male, graybeards, Sanders and Biden.
Now, a final caveat. Don’t we already know that a woman can win and serve in the White House?
Yes, we do.
Hillary Clinton won the support of a majority of 21st century American voters, only to have Donald Trump selected by an 18th century Electoral College representing a minority of American voters.
Electing a woman to the White House is in a sense a fait accompli. So the arguments that women are disadvantaged because of their gender (remember when it was said Catholic and black candidates could not win?) has lost its resonance and power.
Let’s put a woman in the White House.
Wilmington resident and longtime political consultant Walt de Vries is author of “Checked and Balanced: How Ticket-Splitters are Shaping the New Balance of Power in American Politics.”
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