Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., speaks during a primary election night rally, Tuesday, March 3, 2020, at Eastern Market in Detroit. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Welcome to Unsolicited Advice, the weekly column in which I dispense advice no one asked for to people who don’t even know who I am.
On Thursday, Senator Elizabeth Warren announced that she was ending her bid for the presidency, leaving behind the one thing every Democrat voter has been saying they cannot and will not allow since the end of Obama’s administration – two old white men running for the party nomination.
And here we are! Ain’t life funny?
Usually, I give advice to struggling parents or silly girls who think their boyfriend of 15 years is going to change his mind about marriage any day now. However, with this announcement being so prevalent on social media at this very moment, I wanted to take the space in this week’s column to address complaints I see popping up among Warren fans. They’re the same complaints that cropped up after Hillary Clinton’s epic loss in 2016.
The only reason Elizabeth Warren/Hillary Clinton lost is because America is not ready for a woman president.
Before Barack Obama ran his historic campaign we talked all the time about how America wasn’t ready for a black president. Chris Rock has an entire stand-up comedy bit he can no longer do centered around the reasons America would never elect a black president. Yet, when given the opportunity Americans elected a black man to the highest office in the land (and likely the world) not just once, but twice.
If a black man can be elected to the White House, a woman certainly can.
I suppose what I resent about these complaints is that they are rooted in the belief that in order to be “pro-woman” you must support every woman. In order to be “girl power” you must thrust any and every “girl” into power. In order to be a feminist, you have to support every single person who even identifies with the feminine. To say that Warren couldn’t get enough votes to stay in the race because American voters hate women leaders is patently ridiculous. The entire argument hinges on the idea that women should put no other thought into their vote other than their gender.
Ladies and gentlemen, I say it all the time…there is no inherent nobility in gender. There are bad women and good men and there are good women and bad men. I bet you can name five of each in your life right now.
There is no inherent nobility in race. There are bad white people and good black people and there are bad black people and good white people. To decide that one is better than the other based on the color of their skin is dangerous and frankly, ignorant.
There is no inherent nobility in poverty. There are bad poor people and good rich people and there are good poor people and bad rich people. Hollywood especially loves to give us the “noble savage” trope, where the poor and oppressed are always the noblest and kindest and most giving. It tells me that most people in Hollywood don’t really know any poor people, they just enjoy making poverty porn.
My point is, Elizabeth Warren was not a good candidate simply because she’s a woman. Neither was Hillary. And while I know some of you are reading this right now and already conjuring up your, “She’s qualified and experienced!” response, those are subjective descriptions. She certainly hasn’t been in the Senate as long as Biden or Sanders. She certainly hasn’t served in the White House. I’m not rejecting your opinion, I’m just saying those are very subjective supporting arguments. I think what you’re really telling me is that you think Elizabeth Warren is supposed to be the president because she’s a woman and “it’s time.”
I’m telling you that’s ridiculous. Furthermore, it’s the type of hubris that brought down Hillary Clinton. Even more furthermore, it lets female candidates off the hook and absolves them of the responsibility to be good candidates. That is how you get dangerous and unqualified leadership. If we lower the bar based on genitals, we’ll get what we deserve. I daresay many Democrat primary voters are getting exactly that right now, looking at who is left in this race.
Warren (and Clinton before her) had a duty to prove her value to the American voters. It was up to her to convince primary voters that she could best represent their interests and more importantly, beat Trump. Barack Obama made that case successfully two terms running. If you’re going to try to tell me that a wealthy white woman experiences more discrimination than a black man (of any stature) then I suspect you are also the type of person who goes by the nickname Permit Patty.
Democrat voters have spoken their piece on Warren. They didn’t like her. She failed. It is wholly unreasonable to blame them for her failure to make her case. It also may be a bit bigoted considering the voter makeup.
A woman doesn’t deserve a thing just because she’s a woman and just because no other woman has done that thing before. If we women want to be considered as competent as men on the battlefield of political ideas then we must be willing to take our lumps the same way men do. Warren lost because the voters didn’t want her. It’s really that simple and if you’re going to say she lost because she checks “female” on her driver’s license then what happened to Tom Steyer? Or Bloomberg? Or Booker? Or Castro? All men of means and experience. All losers. Did they lose because they’re men? No. They lost because they failed to make their case to the American people.
America is ready for a female president. When we get a candidate we actually enjoy, we’ll elect her. Until then, stop assigning nobility based on physical characteristics.
As my good friend Bruce (@GayPatriotTM) likes to say…don’t vote with your genitals. It’s gross.