Late this past summer, as a marketing gimmick for its new show, Commander in Chief, ABC had billboards all over the place saying, “This Fall, A Woman Will Be President.” Aside from the fact that some people actually thought that this was campaigning by someone (Hillary?), what’s interesting is that in America, this is such a novel idea. The country is 230-some odd years old (or will be in 2008, the next Presidential election), and we still have not had a woman in any of the three top positions (President, Vice-President and Speaker of the House). Not only that, but as recently as 1984, having a woman on the ticket helped Walter Mondale lose one of the most lopsided elections in history. (Not even a Jew on the ticket hurt Gore that much in 2000).
What puts this into stark contrast is the reality in the rest of the world. Britain has had a woman Prime Minister. So have Israel and India, both within 25 years of their establishment as independent states. Germany just elected its first female Chancellor, a little late, but America’s still waiting. It seems that America is more inline with the Islamic world than the Democratic world in this regard. (War on Terror? Ha. Elect a woman instead of a bumbling idiot next time, and there’s your War on Terror.) And yet, for all the “Condi v. Hillary” talk for 2008, there are plenty of people in this country that will refuse to vote for a woman simply because she is a woman. It’s actually a little embarassing.
Now, I am not saying to vote for Clinton in 2008 simply because she’s a woman, and it’s about damned time, blah blah blah. What I am saying is that when I vote against Hillary in 2008 it won’t be because she’s a woman, it’ll be because I despise her and her politics. There’s a subtle difference there.