What’s It Going To Take?

Posted by

I’m a 58-year-old white male, and I think it’s time we had a woman president. There, I said it. On Thursday, amid Senator Elizabeth Warren suspending her campaign, I watched a panel on MSNBC discussing the Senator’s exit from the race. Democratic strategist Zerlina Maxwell was the lone woman at the table.

She said something to host Craig Melvin and AP Reporter Jonathan Lemire, the two males at the table, that resonated with me. “I think it’s way past time that we started to hear from men. We need to listen to them say, ‘It’s time for a woman president.’ Men need to step up to the plate and speak out.” I may be paraphrasing a bit here, but I heard her proclamation loud and clear.

What’s it going to take, folks? In 2016 we had one of the most qualified individuals, in Hillary Clinton, to have ever run for president. We know what happened. Ok, she won the popular vote by nearly three million over Donald Trump. Yes, Trump had help from Russia, but the bottom line is that she lost.

And this year, we had several women running for the Democratic nomination. One by one, they all disappeared. With Warren’s departure on Thursday, we’re down to three septuagenarian white men, one of whom will be elected president on November 3, 2020. It’s another sad day for American politics. We had a chance, a real possibility, to make a statement to the rest of the world; that America was ready—ready for a woman president. Sorry, not this year. Will we ever?

I’m beginning to wonder if it will happen in my lifetime. In Warren, we had the smartest person on the debate stage, a two-term Senator, former law professor, founder of a federal agency dedicated to helping consumers, and a long-time housing advocate for working-class people.

It wasn’t enough.

My best friend and I had a text thread soon after the news broke about Warren dropping out. My pal is a moderate Republican who will NOT vote for Trump under any circumstances. His take was that she was too far to the left—not that she was a woman. He asked if I thought it was an anti-feminist thing. I told him I thought that was part of it, but there was another reason as well—this election, more than anything else, is about who is best prepared to defeat Donald Trump. The people on Super Tuesday spoke resoundingly on who they think that is: Joe Biden.

I can’t say I disagree with that reasoning. Indeed, Trump himself feels that way, given his unprecedented attempt to have a foreign government help him out and get impeached for doing it. He knows Biden has the name recognition, as well as being a loyal soldier to Barrack Obama. Those are the facts.

But there’s no way in hell we can discount the fact that Warren’s gender played a role. And, there’s another inconvenient truth: it’s not just men who aren’t ready for a woman president. A sizable number of women themselves aren’t ready either.

In my small sampling size, a good friend of ours, who’s a solid Democrat and will vote ‘blue no matter who’ made a comment about Warren that struck me in the simplistic, yet somewhat shocking critique: “There’s something about her I just don’t like. It’s her whining voice. It bothers me.”

I wonder how many other women feel that way about Warren. I bet it’s more substantial than we might think. Of course, Warren inspired millions of women all over the country. But the double standard that exists for women candidates as opposed to the men cannot be understated.

It frustrates me beyond belief. Our Democratic friend, unfortunately, echoes much of what I see on social media—Twitter specifically. I realize Twitter does NOT represent the rest of America. But what it does represent is a community of people who are active and care about politics. Some of the attacks on Warren were outright disgusting and reprehensible. It reminded me so much of what happened to Hillary in 2016.

So, what’s it going to take? What kind of woman will it take for America to elect her president of the United States? I’ve been contemplating that ever since Warren dropped out. Please bear with me here.

Will she have to be attractive? How old is the proper age? What about her wardrobe? Can she wear skirts above the knee–or below? Pantsuits didn’t quite do it for Hillary. Maybe the first woman president will have to have a fashion designer figure it all out.

How about her body? Must she be a curvy woman, or is skinny ok? Is makeup alright, or does she have to be au natural? Oh, and of course she’s got to have the right kind of voice. It can’t be too high and whiny. Perhaps raspy and sexy?

She can’t get angry—can she? She must never shout above a man’s voice, for that’s rude and inconsiderate. When Warren forcefully went after Mayor Michael Bloomberg for his past sexist comments toward women at his company, Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin (again, another woman) tweeted: That’s not a good look Senator Warren.

Sigh. It is what it is, I suppose. I’ll never forget when Sarah Palin burst onto the scene as John McCain’s running-mate in 2008. Some of the conservatives who fawned over her were downright embarrassing. I heard a few of them say how hot she was, especially the picture that showed her with a gun, out hunting moose. Aha, maybe that’s the ideal woman president. Men will need to be attracted to the first female president, and indeed, Mrs. Palin fits that bill.

But then we learned something about her: she wasn’t very smart. I’m not mean—I’m truthful. Somewhat of an empty vessel, was Mrs. Palin. While it was McCain who ran for president and lost, most of America agreed that Palin was not qualified as his running-mate.

And here’s where I will personally draw my line in the sand. What do I want in the first female president? Well, Elizabeth Warren fit my qualifications, as did Hillary Clinton, Kamala Harris, and many others for that matter. I want a strong, intelligent woman. I don’t care what she looks like, nor do I care how her voice sounds. Is she qualified, and can she do the job? Does she advocate for policies that I think are important to America? Those are my criteria. Frankly, it’s no different than how I feel about men candidates.

But I also want to say that I will not vote for just any female president. If the candidate is a Republican who advocates policies that closely resemble the current iteration of the party, I will not give that candidate my vote, regardless if she would be the first female president. I want a woman president—badly. But if they’re simply a card-carrying right-winger in the mode of a Donald Trump or Mitch McConnell? No thanks, I’ll pass.

I watched Senator Warren on Rachel Maddow the day she dropped out of the race. She welcomed Rachel into her home and her heart. I could see the anguish on her face. She was emotional at times, but she kept it together. What I realized most from that interview was that Senator Elizabeth Warren wanted the job. Not just a little—a lot. It made me angry and sad. I think America missed a tremendous opportunity. I’m convinced she would have made an outstanding president. I guess we’ll never know.

That said, I’m a ‘blue no matter who’ voter. I will proudly vote for either Bernie Sanders or Joe Biden because removing the current president from office is my most important goal for the rest of this year. I was hoping Senator Warren would be the last person standing at the Democratic convention. I gave her some money here and there. It just was not meant to be.

I think America dropped the ball on this one. Oh well, maybe she’ll end up on the ticket of Sanders or Biden. I think they’d be crazy if they didn’t consider her. The paternal hierarchy of America is still a tough nut to crack. We did elect the first African-American to the presidency, though. Yes, he was a man and an outstanding one at that. And we should forever be proud of that barrier finally being broken.

This year, it is all about defeating Trump. The folks out there voting right now are telling us it’s Biden. He’s ‘Uncle Joe.’ We’re willing to overlook his flaws and his age. In the end, the people didn’t think a woman could do it. We tried that in 2016. So, it’s probably Biden v Trump. I can live with it.

The first female president? I suppose we haven’t found perfection yet. For it seems as though that’s what it’s going to take.

60 comments

    1. If you really believe that’s why she’s not in the race anymore, I feel kind of sorry for you. How can somebody believe in this day and age in America that misogyny is still so strong? How gullible do you have to be to believe somebody when they tell that to you? How many of your own life experiences that contradicted do you have to ignore in order to be able to accept the idea?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Is that today’s modern Republicanism? Nobody tells me anything. I read and look at facts. It’s always a double standard with woman. How can you not see that? I think that’s the more pertinent question, if you ask me.
        And, in your previous comment, you’re implying that Warren is corrupt. Is that what you’re saying? Because if it is, you clearly do not have a clue of who is the personification of corruption. It sure as hell isn’t her. The system itself is corrupt, and one of her main planks was to hold the corporate and wealthy accountable. Have you read anything she’s proposed? Obviously, you haven’t. I’d love to know your reasoning.

        Liked by 4 people

      2. Yes, this is true. I have some friends back east that I text with. They will support him no matter what. I try logic, to no avail. They resort to calling Dems names etc…In other words, they take on HIS personality. I just laugh it off and send insults back their way. It seems to be the only thing that shuts them up..a little. Sometimes it’s like dealing with 5 year olds.

        Liked by 3 people

      3. That is exactly why she is no longer in the race … she wasn’t ‘anatomically correct’ in the eyes of the majority of this nation. Bigotry in all its forms is as prevalent today as it ever was, and I can tell you in no uncertain terms that it is still very much a man’s world. Women are held to a higher standard. As Jeff said … they are judged on their appearance, their clothing and even their voice. Men are not … just look at Trump … a fat sow with an ugly pock-marked face, a spray-on tan and a horrid hairpiece. A woman who looked like that would never even make the first debate. So yeah, I am a woman and I will tell you … misogyny is alive and well in the “United” States.

        Liked by 4 people

    2. Me too Kim. I guess people overall were looking for the right person to defeat Trump. I suppose the Hillary factor had a lot to do with it. We went down that road, and people weren’t willing to give another woman a chance. It really is sad though. She would have made an excellent POTUS. I have no doubts.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. It’s not going to take perfection, it’s going to take nominating someone who’s not a personification of corruption. Democrats keep failing at that, but give it some time and Republicans will nominate a woman who’s less corrupt. 😉

    Like

  2. I felt really bad for Warren. She was my favorite. I do think it’s misogyny and women are affected with the view too.
    We really have a old white good old boy cultural stigma here and it will be hard to break.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. We’ve had one female Prime Minister, and she copped hell. Winning the job is just the beginning. Living with the misogyny will take more strength and dedication than most men can muster. But at least the Western world is changing, even if the pace of that change is glacial.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. -sigh- I’m 67. Back in the early 70’s my friends and I thought we would live a life of equality, unlike our mothers. Things have changed for the better, but we are still so very far from true equality.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. I had been planning to vote for Warren in the Illinois primaries. She was my preferred candidate.

    Yes, it is tougher for a woman. It is also tougher for someone who is black. Obama negotiated that very well, but few others could have succeeded.

    One of the reasons that Bernie did better in the primaries, is that he has built up a following over the last few years. So I don’t think we can blame all of that on sexism. It is complicated.

    We have come a long way from when Geraldine Ferraro was VP candidate in 1984. We aren’t all the way there yet, but we are moving that way.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Very true Neil. Certainly not all of it is sexism. It plays a part, though. No doubt about it. That’s why I keep racking my brain as to what it will take. It will have to be the right time and the right situation, I suppose. After the disaster we have sitting in the White House, it just wasn’t the right time. If he wins again (UGHHH), maybe then? Who knows? If you keep knocking on the door, eventually it will open. I wish it would have been this time.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Excellent post, Jeff. As you know, Elizabeth Warren was my #1 choice and I’m sad that she’s out, but I knew from day #1 it was inevitable because … this is still a man’s world. Ask any woman who’s been in the business world, academia, politics or any other arena. Hillary was highly qualified and would have made a thousand times better president than the POS we have in the White House now. Elizabeth was well qualified and would have taken this nation in a good direction, solved some of our problems and made progress on others. But … missing a few parts, I guess. Sigh.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Some people, like my buddy, did think she was too far to the left. You know what really irks me? We hear these kind of things all the time-that the Dems are moving to far to the left. Why do I rarely hear that the Republican Party is off the rails to the right? Why is it considered mainstream to cage children, decimate the environment, stack the courts with idealogical whackos, give tax breaks to billionaires, never allow ANY votes on common sense gun safety legislation, try to eliminate health care, reverse Roe v Wade…..geez, I could go on and on. This kind of narrative is never seriously challenged by the media. The word ‘liberal’ has been turned into a pejorative…it’s been that way for years. I’m so sick of it.
      I don’t have a doubt in the world that if Warren had become president, she would have got things done. She would have had to work within the confines of what she could get through in Congress. So, while some of her proposals were very progressive, you get what you can get when it’s all said and done. Sadly, we’ll never get to see it come to fruition.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Excellent questions about political “identities,” Jeff. Would that more journalists focused on these very same questions so more people would be made aware of exactly what they’re supporting when they take on the label of Republican.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. So true Nan. They’ve been dropping the ball for years, in my opinion. Much of time, it’s passed off as, ‘well, cutting taxes, blowing up the deficit, and weakening regulations so polluters can pollute more, is just who they are…’ But when Dems advocate for universal health care or tuition free college, it’s considered ‘fringe’ or ‘far left’. Another one of those double standards I suppose….

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Exactly! So … Trump and his band of Merry Men haven’t gone off the right-hand edge of the page??? There is such a double standard today, used to demonize the other side, while people in the middle are simply dropping through the great divide. Like you, I am sick of it … sick of being demonized because I put people above profit, because I am a woman, because I am an atheist, because I don’t think anybody needs billions of dollars sitting in their investment portfolios or in their offshore accounts. We’re all on this bloomin’ planet together and if we don’t soon figure out how to live in peace and work toward a common goal, we are all going to lose everything, one way or another.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Reblogged this on Filosofa's Word and commented:
    Jeff’s post this evening reflects my own feelings perfectly. When are Americans going to grow up and shed their bigotry, judge people by who they are rather than what gender, race or religion they are? My best guess is … never. Backward country this has become. Good post, Jeff — thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I think a huge opportunity has been wasted. Elizabeth Warren could have brought a new freshness to the White House, used her personality to rekindle old alliances and had a great set of policies to help the people of the US.
    hUGS

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks David. Agreed, on all points. Instantly, we’d become admired and welcomed back by our allies. I have no doubt that Biden, or even Sanders will do the same, if elected. But Warren would have made us all proud. I’m convinced of that.

      Like

  9. excellent post, Jeff. Elizabeth was always my wife’s first choice, and she really started to grow on me at the end. So we are both upset that she is no longer in the race. Hopefully, she does not disappear from politics; she’s exactly what we need.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks Jim. She’s a force to be reckoned with. Her age probably will get in the way of her ever running again. But, things change quickly in politics so you never know. Sad how it all ended up.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Fantastic post. Sidebar – Trump has called women fat pigs, dogs, slobs and disgusting animals. In his defence Trump quipped he’d only called Rosie O’Donnell those names. Shortly thereafter Trump criticized Megan Kelly for asking tough questions, he simpered – she “had blood coming out her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever” , insinuating Kelly had her period. That’s the reality of good ‘ol boy U.S. politics. Solution – Dems should concentrate efforts on taking majority control of the Senate, pepper Senate with competent women and proceed to bust the balls of these dinosaurs. Sigh.

    Liked by 4 people

  11. It’s a well argued post Jeff.
    Problem is, looking from an historical perspective unqualified equality despite gender, race, religion or orientation is a still distant hope. Ignorance and fear are still deep in our makeups.
    And you really don’t want to hear my solution to the problem. In fact my wife forbids me to publicise my solution.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I feel your pain, Jeff. I agree that either Senator Kamala Harris or Senator Elizabeth Warren would have been excellent presidents given the chance. I hope that one of them gets on the Democratic Ticket for November 3rd.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I’d love to hear your solution Roger. I’m all ears because I’m at a loss. It’s like Jill points out above, there’s clearly a double standard, especially as it pertains to looks, appearance..etc…All we have to do is look at the current President. Enough said!

    Like

  14. It’s going to take an honest, smart woman which neither Hillary nor Warren were. Warren has gamed the system since college lying on her applications, then lying to land a job as a professor, then lying during her rallies about getting fired for being pregnant. If you fell for that, that’s on you. Any honest, smart women like Nikki Haley could win. They can’t try to act like a man to get ahead. They need to be themselves. Watch the movie Tootsie. There’s a great line in there about people expecting women in a power to be masculine.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Really? Are you comparing those two to the current President? Just wondering….because that guy obviously resides inside your head. If I were you, I’d go to Warren’s website and see her proposals for anti-corruption/campaign finance/lobbying. But why would you? She’s a liar….never mind.
      The whole ridiculous ‘pocahontas’ thing is a bunch of BS, and you know it. Boston Globe looked into this and found nothing. But, I know…fake news. Never mind.
      As for Haley? She’s definitely on the radar. I’ll give you that. But, she’s also aligned herself with the current president. I’d say that’s a huge strike against her from the start. We’ll see how she navigates it when or if she runs. I’d give her a look under normal circumstances. But, she’s a Republican. And that means she will do basically the same thing: cut taxes for the wealthy, blow up the debt and deficit, say you have to cut entitlements, blame Democrats for everything, reduce regulations, etc…..No thanks. Oh, and nice shot about Hillary’s and Warren’s IQ. Most Americans know that’s a bunch of bull too. Like I said, Trump is in your mind. I suggest you try removing him from it.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, to you. You said neither Warren or Hillary were smart. I used IQ. Regardless, you’re very wrong my friend. Both are very smart/intelligent women. You can believe otherwise. That’s your right.

      Like

  15. This is one of the most smartly feminist pieces I’ve read on the topic, Jeff. Hooray for you! I cover a bit of the same ground in my most recent post: “Post Super Tuesday: The Septuagenarian Scramble Begins.” Though my emphasis was different, my sentiments about Warren parallel yours. But as I told one commenter (An English Warren supporter), I feel confident her many talents will play a larger role in our national life now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for that Annie. I’ll check out your latest post later today. I think you’re right on the money as far as Warren and her role going forward. It’s too bad she wasn’t slightly younger because I think she could succeed next time around. Hard to say though. I doubt if we’ll ever find out.

      Like

  16. Tulsi Gabbard is still on the Democratic ballot, yet our news media and Democratic party refuse to acknowledge her at all, why do you think that is? She’s smarter than all these male bozos put together, is a woman of color (if that makes any difference), is an active major in the military and has served 2 tours of duty in Iraq while saving many lives. She’s also the only candidate brave enough to go against the establishment and expose all the rot and corruption in our political and economic system.
    Although she met all the requirements for qualifying in the next debate, the DNC changed the rules a few days ago to silence her whistleblowing. Problem is… she’s too honest, has too much integrity to simply go along to get along. Tulsi Gabbard is by far the most qualified to lead this country, she’s a total game changer like Bernie, cannot be bought, bribed, she’s untouchable which is why she constantly have to battle the establishment.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I certainly solute her service to the country. She must be commended for that. However, her propensity to keep digging at the so-called democratic ‘establishment,’ who keep dissing her, just doesn’t resonate with me. She goes on the worst propaganda network-Fox News- all the time, and they of course love her. Why? Because she puts down the Democrats. It allows them to push the narrative that Dems are dissing HER and Bernie. It sows division, and that’s all they care about over there. There’s simply no way Biden would ever consider her as VP.
      I like Bernie. I really do, and agree with so many of his ideas. But, I feel once the media and Trump were done with him, he’s be so battered and bruised, the current idiot president would get reelected. There’s a point where we should all come together to defeat Trump. I get a sense you’d be ok with another Trump term, if it would mean you had to vote for Biden. I hope that’s not the case, because another 4 years of him we cannot afford.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m voting blue no matter who. However, I’m not so sure Biden will get the job done against Trump. We’ll get a better sense of his capability during the upcoming debate. Bernie has a real platform to run on, can we say the same about Biden’s coalition?

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I read somewhere that Kamala would be better suited for Attorney General.

      I sometimes wonder if Biden, being of the “old school,” would even be willing to put a woman in as VP. And if he did give in to the idea, would he choose an “older, more mature” woman that would be more in tune with his perspective on life? Time will tell, I guess.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve heard that too Nan. I think he’ll nominate a younger woman, though, just because of his own advanced age. And being that she’s an African-American only helps her case. There are others to consider though, as I suggested to mistermuse below.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Like Brookingslib, I’ve also heard about Kamela as Attorney General, and based on her background, that would be an excellent position for her. One thing is certain: there is no shortage of outstanding women to choose from for VP, and I’d be very disappointed if Biden doesn’t pick one.

        P.S. Sorry, “Like” still isn’t working, but I appreciate your explanation for it on another post.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Yep, I’m betting on her as well, with Stacy Abrams or Amy Klobuchar possible as well. Or, who knows? Maybe Joe has someone else in mind. We’ll see

      Like

      1. I’m not betting on Stacy Abrams, if for no other reason than I doubt Stacy has the name recognition nationally and among white voters that Kamela has (though I think Stacy would make an excellent VP). As for Amy, I think she’s a bit bland, but for all I know, Biden would prefer bland. Like you say, we’ll see.

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s