Thursday, January 10, 2008
Infrequent Political Rant
I'm a Hillary supporter because I think she would make a fantastic President and she's the most qualified out of all the democratic candidates. I love Barack, (literally, I love him—if he weren't married I would gladly oblige) but he's just too young. I think in another four to eight years I'd be more than happy to vote for him.
And, in general, I think it's amazing that there's a woman and a black man running for President at the same time. FINALLY.
However, democrats' reasoning for disliking Hillary disturbs me. First (and always) she's accused of being icy, stoic, or unfeeling. Women criticize her for being "too ambitious." Too ambitious?! For christsakes, she's running for President ! Then, in New Hampshire, when she shows some emotion (wildly miscontrued as "tears"), suddenly she's weak? She's underqualified? She's suddenly . . . a woman?!?!?! (See Maureen Dowd's Op-Ed in The New York Times). Catch-22, anyone? When she's ambitious she's a bitch, and when she's emotional, she's weak. She's a human being. She's allowed to be both. And yes, she's a woman, and her sex has a large part to do my decision to support her. I'm proud to say that.
Gloria Steinem's piece in The New York Times best communicates the horror over women's unwillingness to support Hillary. It disturbs and disgusts me that Obama is able to solidify a base because of his race, but Hillary is unable for some reason to do the same with her gender. And I don't think it's because she's "unlikeable." I think all of it goes back to the still taboo notion of a woman being in charge. Women themselves have freely admitted to me that they would be more comfortable with Obama in office simply because he is a man. Frankly, I find that sentiment politcally and socially disgusting.
I may have allegiance to Hillary because she and I share a sex, but I admire her and respect her for her ferocious intelligence, her die-hard ambition, and her strength under pressure. Yes, she is a politician. SO ARE ALL THE OTHER CANDIDATES. Reviling Clinton because she is "too political" means that you are uncomfortable with women being "political." I don't know about you, but I don't believe in double-standards. Men are cutthroat and unfeeling in their ambitions, and if a woman has to play the political game to win, so be it. She should not be cut down in the race for doing EXACTLY what every other candidate is doing: running for President of the United States.
I would love nothing more than to see Clinton and Obama on the same ticket, with Obama running for Vice-President, but being politicians I'm sure both are reluctant to pursue that option. You have to admit, at this point, it is a very attractive and inspiring hypothetical.