Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Letting Women In

Nikki Haley was no doubt appointed to be UN ambassador because the idiot who had been elected saw the UN as irrelevant.  But, as we here in South Carolina know, Nikki is smart.  And as I said after Hurricane Matthew, give her a task that isn't partisan, and she may well shine.  So here we have this woman who seems to be one of the very few decisions Trump has done right.  With the added bonus of getting her out of our hair, and out of partisan politics.

Meanwhile, with all the incredibly stupid things being said by Trump's minions, I wonder why it is only Kellyanne Conway who appears to be confined to the White House basement where she continues to carry the title of counselor to the president without actually having to be in his face.  If she were a man, like say, Sean Spicer, maybe she would continue to be welcome at all the questionable goings-on, and the dumb things she says publicly could actually be traced back to the dumb decisions being made by her boss.  And let us not forget that, after managing to step up and reign the batshit crazy candidate in to the point where he was actually elected, Trump had the nerve to offer her the position of press secretary, rather than a role with substance.

What to do with the women?  Party Democrats don't seem to be having any better time with this problem.  The party that claims to represent the American people just keep choosing what they believe is the safe option.  Elizabeth Warren scares them.  They couldn't ignore Hillary the second time around, but their lukewarm support conveyed to voters, who walked away in droves shaking their heads saying, "I don't know what it is about her, but I just don't trust her."  You could barely see the excitement from the party regulars.

And yet these are both incredibly smart, competent women.

Now this weekend, here in South Carolina, our state Democratic Party apparently is having their convention.  I am in the position where I tend to know more than the typical voter, but have kept a cautious distance from official political organizations.  So if I speak out of ignorance, you can imagine that most voters know even less about what is going on.  And yet they make decisions about who to vote for, and possibly even more important, whether to vote at all, based pretty much not from what they are hearing from us, but what they hear from our more powerful and ballsy opponents.

It disturbs me that the Democratic Party, state and national, keeps banging their heads against the wall hoping that this time they won't end up with a headache.  Tom Perez instead of Keith Ellison for national party chair, for example.  The result of this being the awkward pairing of Perez with Bernie Sanders in a nationwide tour that is trying to convince voters that they need to get excited about being Democrats.

Here in SC, the Democratic Party is about to begin their convention.  They will be voting for party leaders.  I am hearing of support by party members for a candidate for party chair that they are bringing back to SC from Oklahoma, where he headed the state party from 2011 to 2015.  Trav Robertson seems to be a safe candidate, with experience, who has led a center-conservative Democratic Party to very little success.  Oh, and he managed Vincent Sheheen's first unsuccessful big for governor in 2010.  And let me point out the obvious:  he is a man.

Also running is:  a woman.  Susan Yarbrough Smith has been an activist since her college days.  She has operated on the grassroots and Party level, and has the kind of brains, dedication and energy that I can only envy.  And yet, what I have heard, is that Robertson is being more seriously considered because of his experience.  And I have also heard it said that "he is originally from here."

I don't know if y'all who are supporting a man instead of an extremely qualified woman can hear yourselves, but what I am hearing is the sound of being afraid to make waves.

And just as in the upcoming primary special election in SC's fifth district, people in the party, people who should know better, are throwing their support -- and their money -- behind the shiny object that is a white, male, former senior advisor at Goldman Sachs.  Rather than a smart young woman who actually lives and works among the middle class in her community.  The reason?  You guessed it:  she is too young and inexperienced (unlike the yahoos that are running Congress into the ground on the republican side these days, but please don't get me started...).

So, as I take a deep breath and attempt to regain my composure, I would like all you Dems and liberals out there to seriously think about your commitment to moving women forward.  We aren't going to get experienced women unless you are willing to actually trust women to be in positions to get experience.  And there are plenty of smart women to choose from.  What it will take is to stop making excuses.

And here is the thing.  You can keep throwing your support behind the safe guy, and you can keep coming up with the same outcome.  Or you can get really excited about someone who is different.  Someone who talks like a Democrat and really understands the people she would be working for.  And then maybe they would actually be motivated to come out and vote.

No comments:

Post a Comment