mykeystrokes.com

"Do or Do not. There is no try."

Dear Bernie Bullies, I’m So Over You

In early August 1968, just weeks after Bobby Kennedy was killed, my father and I took a walk through the fields of my great-grandmother’s house and plotted my career.

We didn’t know that at the time. I was only 11. He was 31, a father of four who had already worked for more than a decade at the local power plant. Those few facts about him make me shake my head at how young he was, how overwhelmed he must have felt so much of the time.

My beloved grandma BeBout’s farmhouse was a half-hour and a world away from our home in small-town Ashtabula, Ohio. I was supposed to spend just two weeks with her, which is why Dad was there. Minutes after his arrival, our collective tears persuaded him to let me stay longer.

For the first time, it occurred to me that my father was capable of missing me. He wasn’t in a hurry to leave, and he asked whether I wanted to go for a walk. We trudged through the cornfield and kept going, Dad jingling the coins in his pants pocket with one hand as we strolled.

I had just finished reading a paperback about Bobby Kennedy’s life. It was one of those quick-press editions sold down the street at a newsstand owned by a woman we all called Aunt Louise even though she was no relation. She often let me sit in the back of the store to read paperbacks free. When the Kennedy book arrived — I think its cover was glossy white with a small black-and-white photo of Bobby at the top — she gave it to me as a gift because she knew how sad I was that he had died.

I don’t recall how I brought up the book to my dad, but I do remember being surprised at how he paid attention as I told him about what I’d read. At one point, I made my announcement. I remember the wording only because he never forgot it.

“I think I’ll go into politics, Dad,” I told him. “Maybe write books about it or something.”

My father didn’t laugh or make fun of me. He just nodded his head and assured me that after I went to college — a nonnegotiable in our family — I’d be able to do anything I want. Politics would be a fine profession, he said, as long as I remained a Democrat.

“Maybe one day,” he said, “you could even be president.”

I’m not sure he believed that, but he wanted me to, and I don’t have any doubt he’d vote for Hillary Clinton if he were alive today. Not because he was a feminist. Lord, no. His affection for strong women began and ended with his three daughters, but our persistence would have gotten him there.

I grew up in a time when a woman who owned her own newsstand was famous because she was so rare. Aunt Louise was unmarried, which the grown-ups tirelessly pointed out as the reason she could do such a thing. What else did she have to live for?

I share this story from my childhood to illustrate just how long I’ve been waiting for something I could imagine at such a young age. There are so many women like me. We were born in a time when most of the country believed that white women should be sequestered at home, but we dared to believe we would grow up to be evidence to the contrary. I emphasize the privilege of our race because so many women of color never had the option to stay home.

Plenty of good people support Bernie Sanders, but his bullies are out of control. I am so over them. I no longer care when they accuse me of voting my gender. How interesting that they think there’s something wrong with so many women who want, for the first time in history, to see themselves reflected in the most powerful person in the world.

I support Clinton for a long list of reasons. The Sanders bullies say that makes me part of the “establishment.” I wish my working-class parents had lived long enough to hear that. How they would have howled.

There was a time when I got worked up over those voices of superiority telling me who I am because I don’t want what they do. I couldn’t care less now. My roots are my legacy, and I don’t owe anyone an apology or explanation for who I am.

When I was 11 years old, my dad told me a little girl could grow up to be president.

Forty-eight years later, I believe him.

 

By: Connie Schultz, The National Memo, May 19, 2016

May 19, 2016 Posted by | Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, Sanders Supporters | , , , , | 1 Comment

“Donald Trump Can’t Win Without Women”: Trump’s Crude Sexist Spiel Has Backfired

Donald Trump, the Republican Party’s freshly-minted presumptive nominee for president, has called his Democratic counterpart Hillary Clinton a weak candidate lacking in stamina whose only asset is the “woman’s card.”

“And the beauty of this is that women don’t even like her,” he claimed after he won the Indiana Republican primary.

Harsh words, but not totally surprising from an unrestrained rich guy who has called Rosie O’Donnell a “fat slob,” among other epithets, and suggested that Fox News host Megyn Kelly was menstruating when she asked him tough questions at the first GOP Debate. (“She had blood coming out of her whatever.”)

Clinton, however, is betting that Trump’s crude sexist spiel has backfired, igniting opposition to him from women across the political spectrum.

“The whole idea of ‘playing the woman card,’ which he charged I was doing, and by extension other women were doing, has just lit a fire under so many women across the country,” she said during an interview with the editorial board of the Los Angeles Times posted yesterday.

“And I think it’s because they see his attacks on me, or Megyn Kelly or Carly Fiorina or whoever else he’s attacking at the moment as really a much broader attack on them. I think we are going to be pushing back and drawing the contrast whenever he does that. Because it’s just absolutely beyond the pale. He’s not going to get away with it, at least going forward.”

About half of Republican women (some 47 percent) say they don’t like Trump.

And several prominent female politicians in the Party of Lincoln are openly antagonistic to the foul-mouthed real estate mogul and his immodest proposals — like banning Muslims from entering the U.S. and deporting 11 million undocumented immigrants. Former New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman, for one, has compared Trump and other GOP candidates to fascistic dicators like Hitler.

“Trump especially is employing the kind of hateful rhetoric and exploiting the insecurities of this nation, in much the same way that allowed Hitler and Mussolini to rise to power in the lead-up to World War II,” she wrote last December in Politico Magazine.

Whitman has also said she might vote for Hillary Clinton.

Carly Fiorina, the former Hewlett-Packard CEO and sole female in the GOP race for president before she dropped out, is no ideological sistah to Clinton. But she was quick to attack Trump for boasting about his endorsement in April from “tough” Mike Tyson, the former world heavyweight champion who has had seriously rocky relationships with women.

“Sorry, I don’t consider a convicted rapist a tough guy,” Fiorina told reporters in Indianapolis during her brief stint as Texas Senator Ted Cruz’s pick for vice president. She was alluding to how Tyson was convicted of raping a teenage beauty contestant in the same city in 1992. (He spent three years in prison.)

Fiorina, who antagonized Trump when she was still running for the GOP presidential nomination, noted: “And I think it says a lot about Donald Trump’s campaign and his character that he is standing up and cheering for an endorsement by Mike Tyson.”

Cruz made a similar point with far stronger language when he assailed Trump as a “serial philanderer” and “pathological liar” who supports rapists as voters headed to the polls in Indiana on Tuesday. After they handed the bloviating billionaire a big win, Cruz abruptly suspended his campaign.

He was furious with Trump for making the bizarre and unsubstantiated claim on Tuesday morning that Cruz’s father was somehow involved in the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Trump’s proof? He had seem a picture in the National Enquirer of a man who looked like Cruz’s Dad standing next to Lee Harvey Oswald. Cruz seemed astounded: “This is nuts. This is not a reasonable position This is kooky.”

Cruz’s has depicted Trump before as “utterly amoral,” in his apparent bid for the evangelical vote. Those words are among the sound bites that appear in a brutal anti-Trump ad released by the Clinton campaign earlier this week. Clinton lets Trump’s former Republican rivals on the campaign trail and other detractors do the talking. (“A con artist,” summed up Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, who lost to Trump in his home state; “a race baiting xenophobic religious bigot,” stated Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina who was among the first of 17 GOP candidates to drop out of the GOP contest).

Another Clinton ad shows Trump talking himself into further trouble with female voters, telling Chris Matthew’s of MSNBC’s “Hard Ball” that women should receive some sort of unspecified “punishment” for having abortions in the event the procedure becomes illegal. He’s also shown in an interview refusing to disavow an endorsement from KKK leader David Duke.

Trump’s popularity among GOP standard bearers is hardly whole hearted.

“There’s more enthusiasm for @realDonaldTrump among leaders of the KKK than leaders of the political party he now controls,” Senator Elizabeth Warren, Democrat of Massachusetts. wrote on Twitter. Warren, who has yet to endorse anyone, has become a one-woman scourge of Trump.

Meanwhile, a recent CNN/ORCA survey shows Clinton mopping up the floor with her fellow New Yorker, leading him by 54 to 41, a 13 point edge. That figure augurs well for the former two-term junior senator from the big blue state should she capture the Democratic Party’s nomination over Sen. Bernie Sanders in Philadelphia.

 

By: Mary Reinholz, Featured Post, The National Memo, May 6, 2016

May 7, 2016 Posted by | Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, War On Women | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

“Tough Guy Assertiveness”: Membership Has Its Privileges; Donald Trump’s Man Card Pays Off

Donald Trump cut to the chase after his big wins Tuesday night: “Frankly, if Hillary Clinton were a man, I don’t think she’d get 5 percent of the vote. The only thing she’s got going is the women’s card.”

Which is a hell of a thing to say after almost 250 years of American presidential candidates implicitly playing their “men’s cards”—perhaps no one more so than Trump himself, whose campaign rests largely on tough guy assertiveness and machismo bloviating. For many of his supporters, his appeal is very much that he’s a white man.

Don’t believe me? Try to imagine a woman of color running for president on his playbook. “Trump’s attitude coming from a woman or minority would make that person even more beloved by Trump supporters,” one person tweeted me. Which is not only incorrect but preposterous.

First of all, I can’t think of a single woman of color in American politics today who would back the sorts of ludicrous attacks on women and people of color that Trump supports. I can’t name one woman of color who wants to ban Muslims from entering the United States, summarily round up and deport 11 million undocumented immigrants—let alone who habitually calls other women like “dogs” and “fat pigs.”

But even if some Trump-ian woman of color Trump were to exist, it’s impossible to imagine her suffering the same landslide of critiques as Trump and yet emerging similarly unscathed. Women and people of color are simply held to a higher bar in our society. When you’re the only white woman in the corporate board room or the only black man in the legislature, you’re under constant pressure to prove that you’re as smart and qualified as everyone else and that you deserve to be there. It’s a bar white men are simply presumed to meet.

That’s the very definition of privilege—which is not just about where you come from, but what’s assumed about you the moment you walk in a room. And we know from study after study that the sexism and racism baked into American culture means that women and people of color are presumed less than—less than qualified, less than talented, less than deserving.

Try to imagine a woman of color skating by in a presidential primary with Trump’s thin soup of policy “ideas.” Imagine a white woman candidate reading a meandering, inconsistent and impractical foreign policy speech off a teleprompter. Imagine a black male candidate asserting he doesn’t need to give specifics on his policy proposals or how he’ll get things done because people should just trust him. Imagine a woman of color saying she only likes the soldiers who don’t get captured.

You know as well as I do they would be laughed out of politics.

Meanwhile Trump’s entire appeal is based on hyper-masculinity and machismo. He critiques Clinton, saying it’s “always drama” with her and she “doesn’t have the strength” for the job while he calls his Republican opponents names like “little Marco” and “low energy” Bush. He brags about his hot wife and how rich he is. Hand size innuendo aside, Trump is literally and figuratively boasting that he is the biggest guy in the room and as president will be the biggest guy in the world and will “Make America Great Again” because he’s great.

To buy into Trump’s candidacy, you have to buy into the Trump persona— because, let’s be honest, there’s nothing much else to go on there.

And his appeal is most directly to those who feel they have nothing else to go on themselves—mostly working-class white men who feel somehow that the ever-so-modest increase in rights for women and people of color in America has somehow meant less rights and opportunity for white men such as themselves. These voters would not, very simply, vote for a woman or person of color because that’s who they implicitly blame for their lot in life. Data have shown that, among white voters, higher levels of racial resentment correspond with higher support for Trump.

When Trump bases his entire campaign against political correctness, he’s implicitly evoking opposition to those who traditionally support political correctness—namely people of color and women. It’s no coincidence that Trump is running to succeed the first black president while running against the first major woman candidate. As Jamelle Bouie noted in Slate, this doesn’t feel like change to these voters as much as an inversion: “the end of a hierarchy that had always placed white Americans at the top, delivering status even when it couldn’t give material benefits.”

These Trump supporters—clearly not all, maybe not even most, but definitely many—are arguably the same people who think that racism against African-Americans isn’t really a problem in America today but believe in the myth of “reverse racism” against white people as a growing danger.

The impossibility of it aside, Trump supporters would never vote for Trump if he were a woman of color because they see women and people of color as a symptom of if not the actual cause of America’s problems today. These voters are clinging desperately to their white maleness and to their white male candidate.

 

By: Sally Kohn, The Daily Beast, May 1, 2016

May 3, 2016 Posted by | Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, War On Women | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: