Posted by: minnow | April 28, 2019

A Record Number

A record number of women are running for president and any one of them, including Marianne Williamson, would be better than the person currently holding the office. But just being better than 45 is not where we should set the bar. So, I won’t suggest we consider Williamson. As for the rest of the women in the pack, we ought to take a closer look.

With the integrity, intelligence, experience, and proven successes of these women we honestly have no reason not to vote for one of them. Four have proven themselves as senators and before that, as lawyers. One was a state Attorney General, another a law school professor, and yet another a military veteran before becoming a state Representative. Yet, I keep hearing things like–“But is the country ready for a female president?” followed by the wringing of hands and the ridiculous suggesting that to learn from what happened to Hillary we should not push so hard for “a woman”.

Really!?!

I get “being a woman” can’t be the next president’s only qualification for the job but let’s face facts–Hillary Clinton was the most qualified person to run for the presidency in my life time, possibly in forever. And still, the media covered her like being a woman was her greatest, sometimes her only, accomplishment. Not every slight, women in this race face, qualifies as sexism. However, we must insist the media does its job and considers the qualifications and policy proposals these women put forth.

As for a few of the male contenders…Like much of the country, I’m surprised by the rise of Pete Buttigieg to the level of serious candidate. And while he might attract younger voters, the Mayor is weak on substance. So, if he wants to be a serious contender for the top spot he’s going to have to up his game. Progressives love Bernie, no question. I voted for him in the primaries and was sickened by how the DNC treated him in 2016. But this is not 2016. We should thank Sanders for giving progressive issues a platform, but age and gender hurt him and frankly, we still need his presence in the Senate. Beto couldn’t beat Cruz. Enough said. Former Vice President Biden was the left–15 years ago. He deserves our thanks for his years of unselfish service but if this election turns into a fight for the middle–Democrats will lose. THERE IS NO MIDDLE. Senator Cory Booker is the last male candidate I want mention. He’s a phenomenal fund raiser, especially via PAC money and Big Pharm, which could be a red flag for some progressives. He’s been a strong voice on the issue of income inequality, and like Kamala Harris, was a fierce presence during the Kavanaugh hearings. Yet once again, what he brings to the table is not unique and his presence is needed in the Senate.

Did you know Senator Kristen Gillibrand can speak Mandarin? I’m guessing if you do, it’s because you saw the same FB meme I did and not because the mainstream media has seen fit to think her language skills are much of a story, despite their fawning over Buttigieg’s. In her launch for the presidency Gillibrand asks: Will Brave win? She pits her optimism for the country against 45’s fear mongering and has a record worth promoting. She’s a passionate advocate for the #MeToo movement, voted against the Wall Street bailout, and rejected corporate and individual PAC money. Gillibrand’s views have become more progressive with her move from the House to the Senate as she’s co-sponsored a Medicare for All bill back in 2017 and has voiced strong support for the Green New Deal.

Representative Tulsi Gabbard from Hawaii and Senator Amy Klobuchar from Minnesota are the underdogs in this group of strong female voices. In her announcement, Gabbard, the youngest woman running and an Army National Guard veteran, made her military stance clear, stating, “We must stand up… against powerful politicians from both parties who sit in ivory towers thinking up new wars to wage [and] new places for people to die.” The statement was met with cheers. Klobuchar sees herself and a strong supporter of unions and the working class. She’s tired of the divisiveness in politics and wants to turn our obstacles into opportunities.

The biggest criticism against Senator Kamala Harris is that she’s cautious–plays it safe and close to the vest. Like Booker, much of Harris’ campaign money comes from law firms and lawyers, securities and investments, and real estate. She has carefully built her political capital–for this moment–and seems to be swinging for the fence. On the trail, Harris is for reparations, legalizing pot, reasonable gun laws, and the Green New Deal–despite voting “present” when it actually came up for a vote. She is eloquent, poised, and pointed–a strong contender.

Elizabeth Warren is my personal favorite, for several reasons. She makes the economy, racism, and campaign finance reform issues worth talking about. She’s not afraid to offer up policy specifics, like easing the burden of school loan debt and affordable healthcare. And finally, Warren knows how Washington works. She has not been sucked in to the power for the most willing puppet exchange, and thus far has managed to avoid being eaten alive. Given the vindictive natures of the current occupant of the White House and the Senate Majority Leader Warren’s survival in politics is no small feat.

All the ladies running for president of the United States have impressive resumes. Some of them are already proposing legitimate policy changes and a workable progressive direction for the country. Even so, they still poll in the single digits, if their campaigns have registers at all. SO YES, we need to talk about THE WOMEN running for president. We can’t let gender become their only message. We must make sure these women are seen, their voices heard, and their ideas given a platform. MADAM President–should only be the icing on the cake.

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