The Improper Celebration of Gender and Race in American Politics
I’m afraid I went to bed last night in 2010 and woke up in the 1960’s.
Do we, as a people, really not get it!
With the primary elections behind us are we really going to celebrate another “night of the woman”.
Are we going to continue to celebrate the gender and race of our politicians rather than the politicians accomplishments, their beliefs, their honesty and truthfulness … their character.
A great American, in speaking about our “children”, once said, he prayed they would be “judged by the content of their character, not the color of their skin”.
We condemn individuals who, due to their racism or sexism, refuse to vote for a candidate based on the candidate’s gender or race – yet we don’t hesitate to celebrate a candidate’s victory and link the victory to race and gender.
If it is morally wrong to withhold ones vote based on gender or race – why is it right to cast a vote based on race or gender.
Are we “equal” or not?
The celebration of gender in American politics
Forty two years ago, in 1968, Virginia Slims announced, “we’ve come a long way baby”. Forty two years!
Thirty plus years ago Maggie Thatcher was elected Prime Minister in England. Thatcher , the “Iron Lady” as she was affectionately nicknamed by friend and foe alike, ruled successfully for over a decade. If Thatcher did nothing else, she answered any remaining questions about gender equality in politics.
Why should a Conservative celebrate Nancy Pelosi’s primary election victory? Her gender? Her philosophy? Her agenda? I think not.
Why would a Liberal celebrate Michelle Bachmann’s primary election victory? Gender?
Understanding the celebration of gender and race rather than the celebration of character and accomplishments may go along way in explaining the problems of this Country.
The celebration of a candidate’s gender is inappropriate, just as attacking a candidate because of their gender is inappropriate.
The two actions are closer in effect than most might acknowledge.
Playing the “gender card” and “gender baiting” serve no useful purpose to the Nation, even if these despicable actions are regularly employed for political advantage.
The celebration of Race in American Politics
The celebration of race in American politics is as misplaced as the celebration of gender.
Was it appropriate to celebrate the fact that, after 200 plus years, our nation finally elected a black to the office of President – it was, undoubtedly, an appropriate time to celebrate, a celebration that was long overdue.
But does that mean it is appropriate to celebrate President Obama because he is black. The simple answer is that, no, we should not celebrate Obama or any other candidate because of their race.
Obama should not be judged because of his race, by either his supporters or detractors.
We as a people should judge Obama on the “content of his character” and the “degree of his accomplishments”.
Those who support Obama, based on his race, assume that those who criticize do so for the same reason.
Playing the “race card” and “race baiting” serve no useful purpose to the Nation, even if these despicable actions are regularly employed for political advantage.
As an American and as a Conservative I was elated to celebrate the election of our first black President, however, I was not willing to celebrate the election of Barack Obama, the man, nor am I currently willing to celebrate Obama’s policies. “Content of character not color of skin”.
Oh how I wish our first black President would have been General Colin Powell. I can only speculate as to how General Powell would have handled our current set of crisis. While I’ll never know for sure, I’d speculate that under General Powell’s leadership we would now be moving towards securing our borders, that after 53 days the oil leak in the gulf would be capped. Heck, under General Powell’s leadership, Operation Desert Storm only lasted 40 days – 01/17/91 to 02/27/91– and the “ground war” with Iraq lasted a total of 13 days – 02-14-91 to 02-27-91. I just can’t imagine General Powell conducting an international “bow and scrape” tour or engaging in a never ending set of apologies for America’s role in world affairs. I can’t imagine Powell embarrassing his Nation. Under Powell’s leadership would we, as a nation, be speculating on whether the latest set of “impotent sanctions” against Iran would have any meaningful effect on stopping that rogue nation from developing nuclear weapons? I doubt that the national economy would be be any worse than it is today, if General Powell, if he were President, had simply ignored it.
Yes, these are speculations, but my strong criticism of Obama has nothing to do with race. My speculation as to “what would General Powell do” has nothing to do with race either.
When Obama was elected the Liberal Main Stream Media and the Democratic Party heralded the beginning of a “post-racial” America. Less than 18 months into Obama’s Presidency the MSM and the Democratic Political strategists are running to the familiar comforts of race and gender baiting.
It is 2010, isn’t it time we move on? Let us remember and never forget the lessons of the 1960’s, even if those lessons are 50 years old! We, as Americans, need to learn and move on. To understand this is 2010 and not 1960. To learn from the past but not surrender to being a victim of it.