Don’t Vote for Hillary Clinton Because She’s A Woman
Recently, I had a friendly disagreement with Celena over a list of women she believes to be trailblazers, empowering a brave new generation of women. As I pointed out, she was short a few lionesses.
What particularly concerns me is an attitude that seems to be sweeping over many people, particularly women of all ages today, which is that a historical moment is approaching in which they must act in total unthinking unity. This moment is the approaching presidential election in which Hillary Clinton will almost certainly be the Democratic candidate.
Last year, many people were thinking Clinton would be unstoppable, but her path to the White House has proven to be over muddy potholes and rickety bridges. Beginning with the revelation that—in defiance of federal regulations—she kept her personal and State Dept. emails on a home-brewed and unsecured server in her own house, Clinton is suffering a series of embarrassments and scandals that call into question her character and competence. But what is truly called into question is the idea of identity and what I might call “destiny” politics. Many of Hillary Clinton’s supporters say that it is “time” to elect a woman president, as if chiefs of state should be selected according to arbitrary schedules. And it has to be Hillary Clinton because…
There will be a day when a woman will take the Presidential Oath, but we should not settle for a candidate just because she happens to be there or have a famous name attached. Vote for somebody based on what they say, their records in a governor’s office or Congressional seat, by the people they will appoint, the ideals they follow, or the services they’ve rendered to the country.
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is the President of Liberia, the first woman to be elected head of state of an African nation. She was minister of finance during the 70s, fled the country during the Doe regime, civil wars, and returned to serve her country. Since 2005, Sirleaf has tirelessly worked to rebuild her war-plagued country and is succeeding, winning reelection in 2011. Liberians voted for the best candidate—who simply happened to be a woman.
In 1979, when Margaret Thatcher became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, her country was in trouble. The nation’s economy was static, labor unions virtually held the government hostage, and national morale was fading. Thatcher guided Britain through a war and back to national stability, keeping the British a force to be reckoned with and reinvigorating the Special Relationship. When they voted for her, the British people were voting for somebody who knew what needed to be done—not only a woman.
When we think of a female president for the United States, don’t think of her gender or grievances or empowerment. The United States is bigger than that, the nation’s needs more important. Vote for the person who will see to that.