Sunday, November 12, 2006

Race, gender and the presidency

Today, I was visiting a popular "liberal" message board, and there was a huge swell of support for a proposed Gore/Clark ticket in 2008. Despite any other misgivings I might have about these two men, I said long ago that I would never again vote for a ticket of two white males, and I will not. In another thread on this same board, someone suggested that the Democratic Party should not put forth a ticket of two white males, and that person was soundly attacked for being "racist," despite the fact that s/he was perfectly willing to accept a ticket of two females of the same race.

The Democratic Party's insistence on all-white, all-male presidential tickets is one of the many reasons I am no longer one of its members. The one time the party did have a woman on the ticket, party officials and power-brokers sat back and did nothing when she was attacked for her husband's history.

The argument that the party must put forth whoever is most likely to win has two flaws: 1. What good does it do to "win" when you are winning with values that are undemocratic? And 2. The party machine determines who is a winning candidate, and can spin and polish whomever it likes. It likes to spin and polish white males.

Now there is a window for the nomination of Sen. Clinton, and one for Sen. Obama, at least in the future. Clinton is far from my favorite senator, and far from my least favorite. She is about a hundred times better as a candidate than John Kerry. Would I vote for anyone on the basis of gender? No, I would not. But I would certainly vote for a reasonably acceptable candidate on the basis of gender because gender is important. Would I vote for anyone on the basis of race? No, I would not. For example, I would not vote for Obama in 2008 because he is a totally inexperienced publicity product. And I would not vote for him any other time because I cannot condone his intolerance of equal rights for gay citizens.

5 Comments:

The argument that the party must put forth whoever is most likely to win has two flaws: ...

That argument also seems a bit strained when it's used as a reason for enthusiastic boosterism on behalf of a presidential ticket consisting of two established losers.

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