Tag: gender-baiting

Hillary supporter Jessica Valenti plays the “vote for someone that looks like you” card

Jessica Valenti, a Hillary Clinton-supporting columnist for the British newspaper The Guardian, effectively called for Democrats to vote for Hillary simply because she’s a woman:

When it comes to women in politics, the United States is pretty much the pits. Women make up half the population in this country but hold less than 20% of congressional seats and comprise less than 25% of state legislators. The numbers for women of color are even more dismal.

On the world stage, the US ranks 72nd in women’s political participation, far worse than most industrialized countries – and with numbers similar to Saudi Arabia’s. A United Nations working group late last year called attention to this disparity in a report that found massive discrimination against women across the board, an “overall picture of women’s missing rights”.

And so it seems strange that at a time when the country has the opportunity to elect the first female president, the idea that gender might be a factor is considered shallow in some circles.

Valenti, for all intents and purposes, effectively said the truth about Hillary’s presidential campaign: many, but not all, of Hillary’s supporters are supporting her because she’s a woman. I think that’s just as sexist as a Bernie Sanders supporter saying that he or she is supporting Bernie because he’s a white male and/or Jewish, something that virtually no Bernie supporter believes. I’m not supporting Bernie because of race, gender, religion, etc. (in fact, I’m a white male atheist), but because my political ideology closely lines up with that of Bernie.

One would only need to look to Wisconsin for a couple of real-life examples of how destructive this style of race and gender-baiting politics truly is. In a 2012 Democratic primary for a seat in the Wisconsin State Senate, Elizabeth Coggs called for voters in a Democratic Wisconsin State Assembly primary that year to “vote for someone who looks like you”, a reference to the fact that Millie Coby, a black woman, was running against Sandy Pasch, a white Jewish woman, in the Assembly primary. Both Coggs and Coby lost their primaries. Additionally, five of the seven members of the Wisconsin Supreme Court are female, yet Wisconsin’s highest bench is probably the most right-wing government institution in the entire country. As a matter of fact, the Wisconsin Supreme Court is ridiculously corrupt (outside political groups have had considerable influence on re-writing ethics rules for Wisconsin Supreme Court justices), hyperpartisan (the Wisconsin Supreme Court has sided with Republican Governor Scott Walker on every major case they’ve ruled on since Walker became governor), and even violent (in one instance, conservative Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser put liberal Justice Ann Walsh Bradley in a chokehold).

It’s pretty clear to me that Hillary Clinton and her supporters think that it’s a valid crime for a white man like Bernie Sanders to stand up for progressive values and seek the Democratic presidential nomination.

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Hillary Clinton and her allies are running a gender-baiting campaign

Hillary Clinton has made it clear that she is not going to run a campaign on the issues and, instead, is going to run a gender-baiting campaign by emphasizing the fact that she’s a woman (she did this at least twice that I know of at the first Democratic presidential debate) and falsely accusing Bernie Sanders of sexism. Now, some of Hillary’s allies, most notably Stephanie Schriock, a career political operative who leads the big-money Democratic establishment organization EMILY’s List, are attacking Bernie over one of his campaign operatives (idiotically, in my opinion) floating the idea of Hillary possibly being Bernie’s running mate should Bernie win the Democratic nomination.

This is disgusting gutter politics from the Hillary Clinton campaign and Hillary’s allies, and it would seriously damage the Democratic Party if Hillary wins the Democratic nomination. Hillary is, for all intents and purposes, running her presidential campaign on the fact that she’s a woman. That would be the ruination of democracy in America if Hillary were to win the nomination that way. The qualifications to be President of the United States are that one must be at least 35 years of age, a natural-born U.S. citizen, and a U.S. resident for at least 14 years at the time of inauguration. The Constitution does not include a gender qualification for the presidency, and there are, to my knowledge, four Democrats (Hillary, Bernie, Martin O’Malley, and Lawrence Lessig) running for our party’s presidential nomination who are legally qualified to run for president.

For those of you who are invariably going to accuse me of sexism, I don’t think it’s feminist for one to run a political campaign primarily on the candidate’s gender. It is feminist to run a campaign for public office in support of ideas like paid family leave, reproductive rights, equal pay for equal work, and other pro-woman ideas.

Bernie Sanders, on the other hand, is running an ideas-based campaign. Bernie is more than willing to talk about actual political issues like women’s rights, gun safety, and legalization of marijuana. That’s the kind of campaign I support.