Trump’s presidency may survive this flood of scandals, investigations and even a few high level convictions. But Trump’s presidency will NOT survive a general election square off with a Democratic ticket of Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris. And he knows it. He knows it as well as he knows how to swirl and spray that thing on his head.
I have been having this argument with people who should know better for more than 2 years now. And I am as right today as I was back when it started. Whenever a Democratic voter or a progressive tells me that America is “just not ready” for a woman to be elected President I take it as another example of self-evident truth that America NEEDS to be ready for a woman president.
Consider what that idea signifies. In a nation that is supposed to be aspiring to the elusive ideal of meritocracy, we are accepting the idea that genitalia should function as a disqualification for our highest office. I realize that these people are not saying it is a good thing that the combination of misogyny, male entitlement and female self-loathing makes it politically untenable for a woman to make it all the way through our protracted and brutal election process and win. They believe they are just acknowledging that sour reality and adjusting their expectations accordingly. But my view is that their acquiescence to that sour reality is the biggest problem and it continues to give the other side exactly what they want in exactly the way they want it.
We should all recall from our high school history class that there were many white folks with good intentions during the 60’s that were frustrated with the Civil Rights protesters NOT because they were racists and disagreed with them but because they felt that the country just wasn’t ready to see little black boys sitting next to little white girls in classrooms. Not just yet. They didn’t mean any harm and didn’t want to see harm come to the protesters for whom they had sympathy. But they really just didn’t think America was ready and so those kids should all just go home and be patient while things just work themselves out. One of those white folks of good conscience was President Kennedy. But Martin Luther King wasn’t interested in waiting around for America to be ready. His calculus was that unless the issue is pushed, America is NEVER going to be ready. And thank God he did – he and the thousands of brave souls who protested and suffered the consequences for standing up against the creeping complacency of incremental change.
And before anybody advances the canned argument that you don’t elect somebody president “just because they are a woman” that is not what I am suggesting. You really ought to know better and even tossing that argument out there is insulting as all hell. It presupposes that it would be some onerous, exhaustive task to find a woman who was qualified, fit and prepared to serve the nation as it’s Commander In Chief and Chief Executive Officer. Not only is that not a difficult task in 2018, my view is that we have better candidates for the big chair amongst Democratic women than men for the most part. Senator Elizabeth Warren has announced that she is not running and I think its a shame. President Trump is terrified of her. Senator Kamala Harris is beyond impressive and is exactly the unnerving presence that a Neanderthal like Trump needs to face on a debate stage – without the decades of Clinton baggage weighing her down of course.
So my call to progressive thinkers is to remember the lessons of America’s continuing march toward racial egalitarianism. You don’t go slow because you don’t think the society is ready – you go faster. And that includes in elections with high stakes. This is the worst possible place to hedge because it is the truest reflection of your values. For example, we all know that Republicans do not take seriously the idea of a woman as president because they put up Sarah Palin for Vice-President. They cannot wash that stain away unless and until they put a serious woman at the very top of their ticket. We’ve done that once. But instead of cowering in fear because it didn’t work out the first time, we need to have the brains and balls to double down on that mission.
I am doing that here and now: I still maintain that the winning Democratic ticket for 2020 is Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris. Beyond their obvious competence and capabilities, the symbolism for little girls across this country and around the globe will be clear and undeniable. Instead of telling girls they can aspire to anything, we can show them. And that has always been a superior proposition.