Saturday, January 5, 2008

Is America Ready for a Black or Female President?

Is America ready for a black, or female, president?

I'd like to answer that with another question: Why do media commentators keep asking this stupid, insulting question? American voters - male, female, and of whatever race - have been voting for years for black or female (or both) candidates: for city council, for school board, mayor, for state senate, for governor, for the House of Representatives, for the Senate...but somehow, the fact that there's never been a black or female president of the United States strikes media commentators as slamdunk evidence of "racism" and "chauvinism".

I'd like to propose another theory: the United States has never had a black or female president because hardly any blacks or females ever run for president (or higher office, for that matter) - and those that do run for president, seem unsatisfactory for reasons entirely unrelated to their sex or race.

Let's take the three most promiment losing black candidates for president over the past twenty years: Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and Alan Keyes. Jackson is a (fake) "Christian" minister with a few mistresses on the side (to one of which at least he was funneling his tax-free "donations" as hush money), who has a problem with Jews, who actually makes his money as an extortionist. While he did serve as DC's "shadow senator", I don't think Jackson's ever even run for city council anywhere, let alone established a legislative track record as one. He simply has done nothing to reassure anyone he could be entrusted to ethically manage a Little League soccer team, let alone preside over the United States. He's a huckster, not a president, and most people - black and white - recognize that.

Al Sharpton was the unnamed standard in Joe Biden's comment that Barack Obama was "clean". The dude looks like he hasn't bathed since the Tawana Bradley fiasco. Not necessarily a disqualification for president, but...let's say twenty years worth of Afro-sheen and Royal Crown and God knows what else mouldering and fermenting in that pompadour ain't doing him any favors in the image department. Superficial I know, but...this is a television age. More importantly, the guy's never held elective office. He himself has claimed that he often doesn't run to win, only to "raise the profile" of some issue or other (like himself). Or rabble-rouse. Or pimp. He just...hasn't given anyone any reason to believe he's a serious political candidate. Who could vote for him?

Alan Keyes at least has a Ph.D. in political philosophy, but - what can I say? He can't shut up. Everytime he appears in a debate he appears irritatingly strident, disrespectful of the debate standards and the other candidates, and like the others, has never been elected to legislative office. He is also, shall we say, out of the mainstream on many issues. In fact, I think during his Illinois senate candidacy, he revealed that he knew that Jesus Christ wouldn't vote for his rival, Barack Obama (must be cool to know just what people who either don't exist anymore, or exist in some other galaxy, are thinking!). And by the way, arguing against the stupid racism allegations of the media is the fact that the peak of Alan Keyes's 2000 presidential primary run was the 20% of the vote he received in UTAH.

In sum, none of these three has shown any ability to even run a viable campaign for city councilman, let alone win one, or prove their worth as a legislator even at the lowest levels of government. Why then should they be given, as a political entry-level position, the job of presidency of the United States? It's ridiculous. It's why Pat Robertson and Buchanan never got anywhere, either. It isn't because they're black or white; it's because....they haven't shown that they're presidential material.

Obama, by contrast, won a Senate seat, has a track record, is positionally within the Democratic mainstream (though, as a straight-up leftist, just within), can articulate his message fairly well, and in sum, is a legitimate, viable candidate. And what is the result? He just won the Iowa caucus (like Utah, a very white state). (And by the way, Obama is half-white and half-black; calling him "black" seems like a tacit adoption of the old "one drop" rule. The whole Establishment fixation on blackness is just...totally stupid).

About women: the truth is that few women run for high office. That fact too is blamed on "society" by media commentators and airhead Gender Studies professors (as though "society" were some entity entirely independent of human biology). But anyway, the bottom line is that the fewer the females who choose to run, the less chance there is of any female being elected (brilliant insight, I know). But where a female does run, and shows fitness over her rivals, she wins just as easily as a male. Could that be any more obvious? How else did Boxer and Feinstein and Dole and Clinton win? They were elected by people who voted for Schwarzenegger, Helms, and Spitzer, and a host of others. How can that be if "American voters have a problem with women"? The whole thing is nonsense, a baseless slur.

I suggest that most voters love their country and genuinely wish the quality of life to improve for themselves and their children, and would therefore vote for whoever they think is the best candidate, regardless of their race or sex. I further suggest that the main reason why there aren't more women or blacks in the US Senate is because hardly any blacks or women run, and those that do, often aren't viable candidates - not because Americans are so stupid or bigoted that they would vote for a lousier candidate just because he's white or male.

More on this later.


Gerda said...

Funny you should mention this:
I was just finding myself moderately fuming about the whole ‘female’ presidency issue. Earlier today a female friend of mine expressed her dismay at H. Clinton’s third placement in Iowa- stating broadly “ I knew America would never allow a woman to be President”. I stared at her incredulously, unresponsive; this is just the type of useless sexism that women offer each other. The rhetoric is, that women should support each other because they are women. What a load of crap. Certainly anyone who runs in the election for the President of the United States of America should be elected not because of their colour or gender but because they are qualified for the job, because their values and ideals represent the climate of culture of the people that they are intended to represent. What any of this has to do with regard to gender or race, I have no idea.
The only exception to this rule should be if the person in questions ethnicity or gender somehow represents a need for change within that culture. For example; if there was a rising intolerance or a disdain for women within the US, there may be an ethical niche that a women in office might fill in order to better balance that disdain. But even that argument is questionable.
Thanks Tal! You read my mind.

Leonard Susskind said...

"Is America ready for a Black or Female President...?" -- I dunno Tal; I think if you have to ask the question in the first place, the answer is...we probably ain't.