Article II, section 1, of our Constitution vests the executive power in a president of the United States.
That’s president, not womanpresident. Not that a woman can’t be president.
Women are holding, and have held, the highest office in Britain (twice), Germany, India, Brazil, Israel, Liberia, South Korea, the Philippines (and probably other places that don’t come to mind).
Angela Merkel is chancellor of Germany, though, not womanchancellor. Golda Meir was just prime minister of Israel, not womanprime. Their gender was an incident, not the essence, of their ascent to office. They had stature, gravitas, leadership, character – all apart from gender. Hillary does not.
It was manifest– at least at the end, when there was no political cost in making it explicit – that her constituency promoted her not as president but as womanpresident.
It was to be epitomized by the literal, architectural glass ceiling of the Javits Center which she was about, by her preordained triumph, to metaphorically crack. It fueled the giddy anticipation of bringing-their-daughters-to-witness-history. Witness they did, but not the history they presumed it would be. The air was thick with hubris in Greek tragedy dimensions.
Hillary-for-WomanPresident is the underpinning of the recent post (“She’s Not the Right Woman!”) by our colleague, Hilary Schwartz, who, after five months, is still “upset” by the voters’ rejection of Hillary. Ms. Schwartz blames sexism for that result. She correctly points out that not all U.S. presidents have been of star quality, naming, without explanation for her choices, Rutherford B. Hayes and Franklin Pierce. (She could have named others, who serve today mainly as comedians’ punchlines, Millard Fillmore, James Buchanan, Warren G. Harding and Herbert Hoover – at least with the benefit of hindsight).
But what of that? Nixon once nominated one G. Harold Carswell for the Supreme Court, who was criticized as a “mediocre” judge (and mind). Nebraska Senator Roman Hruska defended him thus: “Even if he were mediocre, there are a lot of mediocre judges and people and lawyers. They are entitled to a little representation, aren’t they, and a little chance? We can’t have all Brandeises, Frankfurters and Cardozos.”
That our republic has endured bad presidents before is hardly a reason to choose another one.
But, alas, Trump? (Or, speaking of Trump . . . ?) Alas, indeed. Hillary may have been the only Democrat Party nominee, of either gender, so flawed of character, so palpably self-serving, so out-of-touch, so thoroughly known after 40 years in public view and – thereupon so reviled – that she could be beaten even by the likes of a Trump.
Hillary was the devil the country thoroughly knew and the country (albeit the broad electorate, geographically well-distributed to prevail in the Electoral College) chose the devil it didn’t.
Hillarians contend that voters who failed (as they were allegedly obliged) to give Hillary a pass on all her defects, must be tarred as “sexist.” Being a woman, of itself, should have trumped Trump (and anyone else, certainly any male), so they contend.
That’s what’s sexist (a term which should be applied, but seldom is, in the pro-feminist sense as well as the anti-feminist sense, as both are equally obsessed by gender).
To damn our late election as “sexist” is playing a “Woman’s Card” where not voting for the first woman president candidate is condemned – like not voting for a black candidate – as inherently misogynist or racist, respectively (and occasionally both). But there are bad women and black candidates. Are there not?
“All Over Again”?
Kirsten Gillibrand is positioning to run for first woman president in 2020 (Chelsea Clinton having allowed that she may not be ready). Gillibrand’s experience is shallow, her preferred soapbox is the senatorial dais from which she sneeringly berates male generals for the antisocial misbehavior of distant male subordinates. Another contender is Elizabeth Warren, darling of the far Democrat left, who does likewise to male bankers.
With a taunting “ Ha ha,” my learned colleague Ms. Schwartz says she “can’t wait” for the next womanpresident candidate to put voters “through the same thing all over again,” seemingly some sort of dare.
Take care what one dares. These two are not of Margaret Thatcher/Angela Merkel/Golda Meir quality. And, there may be Trump to contend with again in 2020. The “same thing” could well happen again, including the same outcome. Hold the laugh.
A closing prediction (and a suggestion) –
The first woman who will be elected president of the United States will come from the Right, not the Left.
Ron Litchman is Chair of The Manhattan Libertarian Party. ManhattanLP.org. He expresses his own views, not necessarily those of the Manhattan, New York State or National Libertarian Party, nor of any other individual.