Updated: Jul 24, 2022
There isn’t much more I can say about the unsatisfactory outcome of the Democratic primary, other than to note that I’m certainly not alone:
When Hillary Clinton lost the Electoral College in 2016, I was angry and upset, but not surprised. There is a special kind of hatred reserved for the Clintons in this country, one that I’ve been keenly aware of as a native Arkansan. But hatred for Hillary Rodham Clinton is more visceral, more violent, more specific. I listened to the attacks on her, from the charges that’s she’s just another corporatist (fair), to the claims that she’s “unlikable” (irrelevant), to the accusations that she ran a child sex ring in the basement of a pizza parlor (WTF?). Joe and I were traveling around the United States in 2016, putting us in contact with people from all walks of life. If Clinton was mentioned at all, it was always with a tinge of disgust, from both men and women. So, while I hoped, I had a feeling we’d get stuck with President Pussygrabber.
In 2020, though, I thought now could be our time. There were four highly qualified, intelligent, and well-prepared women vying for the Democratic nomination, all of them matching or outperforming the male candidates at every turn. (Yes, I said FOUR. Don’t @ me.) I liked them all. I would have been happy with President Gillibrand, President Klobuchar, President Harris, or President Warren. They had plans. They knew their shit. They didn’t back down. They were professional and accomplished.
More importantly, they didn’t have the extra helping of seething hatred that Clinton could never manage to overcome.
Or so I thought. Turns out, it’s not just Hillary Clinton that people hate. It’s women.
Apparently, there is nothing we can say or do, no goals we can reach, no amount of personal and professional accomplishments we can attain, and no level of near perfection that we can acquire that makes up for the fact that we lack a dick.
How else to explain the fact that the two WEAKEST candidates in the field – two elderly white men who have certainly passed their prime both physically and mentally – are what we are left with? And when it comes to the actual election, our choices will, again, be two elderly white men, albeit at differing stages of cognitive decline. That’s a choice?
Look, I’m going to vote for whomever has the D next to HIS name. I said early on that I would vote for a chocolate chip cookie if it’s the Democratic candidate for president. ANYTHING is better than this horrific excuse for a human being and his merry band of grifters currently in the White House.
But did we really have to go just short of an actual chocolate chip cookie? Another Basic White Guy™?
I know I sound angry, and guess what? I’M ANGRY. We were told Hillary wasn’t likable, and that’s why she didn’t win. Or she ran a terrible campaign. Or she was too prepared. Or she had too much baggage. Or she was careless with her email. Or she was too aggressive. Or she wasn’t aggressive enough.
What are the reasons why these four outstanding women, anyone of whom could mop the freakin’ floor with the barely literate buffoon currently in office, aren’t “electable”? They’re smart. They have the right temperament to be president. They have experience in politics and government. Not to mention the fact that they aren’t all in their golden years (and let me add that when I’m Elizabeth Warren’s age, I hope I’m half as energetic and sharp!).
You know why they were all forced to drop off, one by one.
And I’m sick of it.
I’m sick of seeing women work circles around men, juggling work and family and school and volunteering in the community and doing the majority of the unpaid labor in this country, and still not getting representation. I’m sick of seeing old white men give lip service to our concerns and our needs when it comes time to getting elected or getting promoted, only to dismiss us once they get what they want.
(Let me note that I realize for every ounce of rage I feel about this state of affairs, people of color feel it a thousand-fold. That’s not for me to write about.)
I’m sick of the misogyny and the casual sexism that permeates our society, the demands that women play by a different set of super-secret rules, the persistent attacks on our bodily autonomy and our right to be treated as equals instead of “other.”
So let me give a warning to the two white male septuagenarians I will be forced to vote for in November: Your VP better be a woman. And you know what? Any woman will do.
After all, it’s obvious any old man can do this job.