Things have been happening so fast, that I didn’t get a chance to sit down and write about Elizabeth Warren dropping out of the presidential race. I wanted to do that, partly for cathartic reasons, partly because I think it is important to document it, to call it out, to process it. It also made me wonder… why do people hate women in politics?
The truth is, I didn’t think I was going to be so affected by Elizabeth Warren leaving the presidential race. But, surprising to me, I was SO upset. I am still upset, but you know… corona virus.
After I ugly cried on instagram (which you can see here) as I heard her announce she was suspending her campaign, I went on social media and discovered that so many other women felt exactly what I was feeling. Because, the thing is, we get it. We all had hopes. We all thought Elizabeth was IT. (Disclaimer: Earlier in the campaign I also really liked Kamala as well, and the idea that other candidates were able to stay in the race longer than Kamala Harris who is INCREDIBLY prepared and ready to lead is beyond me… but, you know, misogyny, patriarchy and racism).
By the time you read this, Elizabeth Warren dropping out of the race will seem like a LONG TIME AGO because right now we are in confinement…. Here in NYC for about 45 days, but really it feels like 653938 days. We are in the middle of a global pandemic. A pandemic that the man in the WH didn’t take seriously when his intelligence agencies brought to his attention. A global pandemic that, had a woman been in the White House, you know we would’ve been prepared for. Because, we women, we, as the French would say, “on prevoit,” we plan. There is a reason why there is always toilet paper (during normal times) or toothpaste in your house, and a first aid kit and a pretty stocked kitchen, because someone stocked it, and a lot of times, thinking about all the things that a family might need, is a “woman’s job.” (I’m not saying it’s right, I’m simply saying that many times this task falls on women/moms… and yes this is totally anecdotal at this point).
WHY DO PEOPLE HATE WOMEN IN POLITICS?
Elizabeth Warren was the complete package. Surely, she could do what Hillary hadn’t been able to do (or so we thought). Smart, prepared, amazing debater, knowledgable in policy, had PLANS people… plans that MADE SENSE. Didn’t have scandals… If not her, then who? How long is it going to take? Am I even going to see it in my lifetime?!
How come people (mostly men and women who won’t vote in their best interest) don’t VOTE FOR THE MOST QUALIFIED PERSON — BECAUSE SHE IS A WOMAN???
I mean, when Hillary Clinton ran, people didn’t like her. They couldn’t even EXPLAIN why, some of them. They just didn’t like her. (Some people also said this about Warren… because again, misogyny). People said that Hillary rubbed them the wrong way. Hillary had been around for years and had 25 years of political baggage that was ammunition for people to hate her… some people hated her because she didn’t change her name when she was first Lady of Arkansas, (she of course, gave in when Bill Clinton ran for governor of Arkansas a second time, and changed her name to help Bill win) people hated her because the thought she was corrupt, because she stayed with Bill Clinton after he had an affair with the intern, they hated her because she was smart, opinionated… some hated her pantsuits, or her hair. The reality is, though many people didn’t say it, they just didn’t like her because how dare she actually WANT to be president? How dare she think that it was something she could even consider?!
Here’s the thing: Elizabeth Warren didn’t have any of that. She hadn’t even entered political life that long ago. Elizabeth Warren had plans, and ideas and goals to make life better for millions of people, because she had lived through a lot of what people now are going through. Elizabeth was the most prepared person. She had a track record. She drew enormous crowds. She had life experience. She was the real deal. #TeamWarren was hopeful. We saw that glass ceiling shattering… or so we thought.
Those people that hate Hillary Clinton, because, well, her emails, those people who said they didn’t like HER… The people who say they wouldn’t mind having a female president just NOT CLINTON… those people end up making the same excuses when they realize they don’t like Warren either. Below is a perfect example:
So I’m a perfectly reasonable, women-friendly fellow who is completely open to the idea of a woman president. And I never thought I’d hate anyone as much as I hate Hillary Clinton. But to my surprise, I’m actually starting to hate Elizabeth Warren.
Don’t get me wrong. I’ve heard that Elizabeth Warren is a champion of consumers and the middle class who battled the big banks and advocates for economic reform. Nonetheless, she rubs me the wrong way.
“Nonetheless she rubs me the wrong way.” So this person is basically saying “Let me tell you about all the things she has done that are great… and yet despite all that– she simply rubs me the wrong way.” How can any woman be good enough if the simple fact that she exists as a woman is problematic?
Sadly, the media is partly to blame for the way they spoke about Warren… anyone with two eyes could see how differently Warren and her campaign were portrayed. If you watch political pundits and news, you know what I’m talking about.
The media did a hell of a job to downplay her brilliance. They either made it seem like she was unelectable, or they ignored her, or they asked when is she stepping down to make way for the other guys, OR to help “unify the party.” Sometimes they didn’t even talk about her at all, and it was clear that they highlighted who they wanted to highlight. Articles were written in a sometimes mocking tone, sometime bewildered tone, of her having plans — AKA BEING PREPARED.
As The Week says in “The Sidelining of Elizabeth Warren,” “As the dust around the disastrous vote-counting began to settle, the media centered the conversation on Sanders, Buttigieg, and Biden. For example, this headline from The Washington Post reads: “Buttigieg and Sanders take lead, Biden fades in partial results from marred Iowa caucuses,” ignoring Warren’s close third place finish entirely in favor of Biden’s fourth.”
The men and the women in this campaign were never covered equally. No one ever questioned whether Sanders, Buttegieg or Steyer were “electable” because apparently “ELECTABILITY” is only a thing when we’re talking about women.
When Warren raised a crapload of money, the media asked when she was going to drop out of the race because her numbers weren’t there. (Even when she raise MILLIONS). And it wasn’t just the male reporters… even female reporters treated male and female candidates differently.
IS HAVING A PLAN A BAD THING? SHOULDN’T WE WANT TO TRANSFORM GOVERNMENT?
Re. having plans, the WSJ said,… “That’s Elizabeth Warren’s brand. But even that sells her ambitions short, as we discovered after a tour of her 60-some policy papers. Ms. Warren is proposing a transformation of American government, business and life that exceeds what the socialist dreamers of a century ago imagined.”
Is there a problem with wanting to transform the government? Doesn’t our government NEED transformation? Hasn’t COVID19 shown us all of the shortcomings that activists and advocates have been talking about for decades? The structural and institutional racism that has led to communities of color being devastated by the virus? The way our hospitals are not able to keep up, the fact that we don’t have enough hospital beds, that families are hungry and don’t have healthcare coverage, that young people can learn because they don’t have access to the internet… that our legislators don’t even know the realities of what it takes to provide for a family in the USA? (By the way, Elizabeth Warren also has a plan FOR COVID19 and was the first presidential candidate to release a plan on how to tackle the coronavirus. Check out her discussion with Ezra Klein here).
When I heard her say she was suspending her campaign all I thought was “Who is ever going to be good enough?” and “Why do people hate women?” Why do people think only men can lead?” … but also “FUCKING Patriarchy. Fucking misogyny. Fucking bias.” Is it ever going to change?
We literally said NO THANK YOU to the best candidate out there because she doesn’t have a penis. That is what it comes down to, when you look at it very plainly. Even WOMEN don’t vote for women because patriarchy is so ingrained in them that they don’t even realize that they are voting against their best interest. Because when you don’t vote for the most prepared candidate that literally has your best interest in mind and has the best plans to lead the country forward, you are voting against your best interest.
ELIZABETH WARREN AS VP?
Elizabeth Warren could’ve brought so much to the presidency. (And let’s face it, anything would be a step up from what we have now). She would’ve helped heal a divided country. She had plans FOR ALL THE THINGS. I’m still bitter about how it went downhill for Warren, and I’m not sure what her next move should be.
There’s talk about her being on the shortlist for VP and I am not sure how I feel about that. On the one hand, I believe that this would be great to bring progressives who aren’t happy about Biden to the voting booths. On the other hand, Warren isn’t the best choice to “balance the ticket.” How would POC – and particularly Black women— feel about impressive and qualified candidates like Stacey Abrams and Kamala Harris being shafted and passed over for an older white woman? And no, this isn’t about being ageist, but we have to be realistic. Joe Biden is in his 70s, and bless him I wish him a long and healthy life, but you can’t help but wonder, would it be better to choose a younger person to be VP?
Elizabeth Warren for VP… I’m all for it, and so is she, apparently. She answered YES when asked if she would accept a VP slot.
If Joe Biden treats his VP as Barack Obama treated him, then we know that the VP will have his ear, and will be influential. I don’t have any answer to any of this… like pundits on TV all I can do is speculate. If bringing in the Black vote is something Biden is really committed to, then he has to really consider Kamala and Stacey Abrams. Is there a right answer to this? Who can he pick that will bring people to the polls en masse? How can we unify the party?
Let me be clear…. I think people need to go out to the polls en masse because staying home is like voting for Trump, especially in those battleground states. Americans need to come together and vote for Biden because, even if Biden isn’t your NUMBER ONE choice, your number one goal should be to get Trump out of office. PERIOD.
Why am I writing all of this now? Well. I wrote this post a few days after Elizabeth Warren dropped out. AND THEN… GLOBAL PANDEMIC. And I thought, these feelings are still valid, so let me get them out there. I used to do a lot more opinion writing and somewhere along the way I stopped, so I’m hoping to do it a lot more.
WHAT WE NEED TO DO TO SEE A WOMAN IN THE WHITE HOUSE
Finally, I will say that the only way we can get a woman to the White House is to SUPPORT WOMEN RUNNING FOR OFFICE in all levels of government.
Also, RUN FOR OFFICE. RUN FOR LOCAL OFFICE. If you don’t want to run, campaign for a woman running for office.
You know women have leadership skills, you know that we can run shit, you know that we have brilliant ideas and can raise funds and are problem solvers, and you know that we GIVE A SHIT.
So, if you don’t want to run, don’t. But, if it is something you want to do, explore it. Here’s a list of organizations that help moms run for office.
HOW YOU CAN SUPPORT WOMEN IN POLITICS:
You can also help women running for office by:
- volunteering in campaigns
- hosting house parties for them, (or in corona times, virtual parties for them),
- texting for them,
- writing postcards for them
- donating to their campaigns
Here’s a great one to support: Amy McGrath who is running against Mitch McConnell in Kentucky.
Back to Elizabeth Warren…. we need her voice! Already, even though she is no longer running for President, Elizabeth has bold and big ideas that support American workers.
ICYMI, Here is her proposal for a Bill of Rights for Essential Workers: