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Clarification and Meeting this morning on Women’s Reproductive Rights

The comment thread from the last post evolved into a discussion on whether the Democrats are going to try to ram another historic candidate down our throats in 2016 and whether her iconic status is sufficient reason to vote for her. The answer to that is yes and maybe.  I have a couple of things to say about this, assuming that you’re interested.

1.) You should only vote for the best candidate.  That candidate, in my humble opinion, should possess a combination of characteristics based on experience, knowledge, ability to convey his or her message and another quality that Winston Churchill was said to possess.  That is, a “built in gyroscope”, or a worldview that orients the bearer regardless of circumstances.  One might call it morality or ethics or scientific method or a mix of all of these things.  This quality may have something to do with the internal vs instrumental motivations that were described in a recent NYTimes Op/Ed.  In other words, ambition and desire for external rewards make a bad president if they are not balanced by an internal drive to shape the country to one’s worldview.  You can draw your own conclusions about what that says about our current resident of the oval office.

2.) I absolutely do believe that the country needs to elect a female as president.  That is because a woman will have a worldview that is distinct from her 40 something predecessors and this worldview is going to be important to the majority of the population of this country who also happen to be women. I think women have a right to demand this. However, we have seen from the present president that that might not mean diddly-squat without those internal motivations mentioned above.  It isn’t enough to want to be number one.  You need to have a plan for doing stuff once you get there.  So, once again, being a woman, though extremely desirable to about a zillion of us, is not the most important thing ever.  She has to want to be there for a very specific reason.

Now, I realize that there are people out there who could give a flying fig about the concerns of women and find it all a big yawn.  You know who you are.  And you don’t want to get pressured to vote for a woman like you were pressured to vote for Obama.  I completely understand the desire to not get pressured.  It’s like being forced to vote for homecoming queen because a certain clique of people have decided that they are going to pick the winner for you and they have some teachable, schlocky, sentimental rationale for doing it when really it all comes down to who their friends are or money or both.  I get that.  And Obama has not really improved the lives of African Americans so you have to wonder why he gets so much support from them and why he was sold as such a great civil rights leader and cherry on the top of the civil rights movement.  Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof and, in my opinion, it wasn’t there.  What was there was a billion dollar Charlotte’s Web campaign.  Terrific pig, maybe, but not a terrific Martin Luther King Jr. whole hog.  Let’s not kid ourselves.

But your boredom with women candidates and their urgent concerns coupled with your insistence that a certain female candidate jump even higher bars than any other male candidate on earth has ever had to do just plain pisses me off.  And, frankly, I’m tired of hearing your lame excuses as to why you won’t vote for “that woman”.  Come to think of it, I might not vote for “that woman” either if she doesn’t turn her fricking gyroscope on soon and start making her worldview known, whether the masters of the universe like it or not.  But that’s not the point.  If it turns out that “that woman” is the absolute best candidate we have, I expect you to get behind her. Not because she is a woman but because you may not find anyone better, male or female, that is able to get close enough to the top to command the kind of money to actually, you know, run.

If you’re going to hold her to a particular vote, hold all of the candidates accountable for the same votes.  If you’re going to whine about campaign fund raising, do the same for all of the candidates.  If you’re going to expect certain levels and types of experience from her, expect it from all of the other candidates.  |female candidates| = |male candidates| Don’t single women politicians out for special expectations because that just comes off looking sexist and neanderthal and ornery and not worth any of my time to read about.  In short, stop being a jerk.

Ok, I’m done.  You get my point.  Don’t do it again.

***************************************

The Senate is holding a hearing on:

S.1696, The Women’s Health Protection Act

It starts in about 10 minutes.  Probably on C-Span.  I’ll link to it when I find it.  Could be interesting.

Update: Well, here’s the link.   Not sure when this is going to air.

7 Responses

  1. The thing that gets me is that there are people in positions of power that clearly ‘get it’ — they’ve made speeches that make it clear that they understand the dire economic situation facing (possibly) most Americans.

    I believe that Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders fall into this category.

    But recently they’ve both been almost completely silent about how they think things could be changed for the better fixed.

    Speeches, past votes, former jobs — I don’t care (much) about any of that. Make me believe you understand what’s wrong & can fix it, then I might vote for you.

    Getting back to Hillary & Bernie — their silence on this stuff is almost disgusting. I’m held back only by my hope that they’ll let go of whatever is holding them back and start speaking up. For real.

    • I’m withholding judgement for the moment. I don’t know how long this moment will last. But I think a lot of politicians are fighting an uphill battle because they can’t control the message. We have to acknowledge that human beings are largely herd animals. Even the left can be persuaded to vote against its best interests depending on the social psychology techniques used on them.
      Now, successful politicians have been able to overcome this but it’s only through a set of specific circumstances and personal qualities. I’m thinking of Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill and FDR. It’s not going to be easy.
      And yes, I think the practice of appeasement that the Obama administration has been doing with the financial system has been devastating to this country and is going to be extremely hard to overcome. He should never have said that he was the only thing standing between the bankers and the pitchforks. He should have told them he was going to open the doors and stand back. They never took him seriously and he never held them accountable. He’s done that with every issue. It’s been a disaster. You MUST hold people accountable or there’s no point to being an executive.

      • “withholding judgement” … me too. For all I know the person (whoever she/he is) is finishing up their plan right now. But, I can’t say I feel very positive about the future.

        • Tell me about it. Derek Lowe put up another post on the lack of jobs in the STEM professions. It’s looking pretty bad for newly minted PhDs as well. It reaffirms the assessment of the job market from a former colleague: the reason why so many employers can’t find good help anymore is because they want to hire new graduates with 25 years of experience.
          Cheap or good. Pick one or stop whining.

  2. “But your boredom with women candidates and their urgent concerns coupled with your insistence that a certain female candidate jump even higher bars than any other male candidate on earth has ever had to do just plain pisses me off.”

    Yes. Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. ENOUGH already.

  3. SOS Clinton will get my vote– unless someone can show me someone more intelligent and better prepared. I think making big pronouncements about your world view would be akin to Obama visiting the border– you are damned not matter what you do. Best to keep some cards face down.

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