Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Sexism vs. Racism in the U.S. -- A Valid Question for 2016

She was on her way to victory. I was supporting Hillary over Obama -- until the wheels came off her campaign.

Joshua Green lays it all out in the recent Bloomberg Businessweek. In his piece, Joshua tends to downplay the successes of Obama's campaign versus the screw-ups of HRC, i.e. Obama didn't win the nomination as much as Hillary lost it. Not sure I agree. If memory serves, Obama's 2008 campaign was pretty darn masterful, and it had to be since then it appeared Hillary had the momentum needed to become the nominee.

But as Green makes clear, she better have learned from her mistakes else there is the chance even a somewhat compromised Republican contender might be able to edge her out of a victory. Not to mention, if this time around she again does not take charge and put a stop to any internal turmoil arising within her campaign, what will that say to many about what her presidency might look like? Drama city? Frequent controversies resulting from in-fighting and power moves? Fortunately Obama's 6+ years in office has been downright boring in this regard, putting the mainstream media to sleep.

Admittedly, it will likely take a significant amount of petty, behind the scene backstabbings and all-around incompetence to sink the HRC ship in 2016. And the GOP is always playing from behind when gunning for the White House (see my reasons for this here and here). But judging from 2000 and 2004, I suppose anything can happen....

I thought it was also interesting to read in the piece that most Americans desire compromise in Washington and according to a Pew poll, "they believe by a 4-to-1 margin that women are better at working out compromise than men."

So Americans hate gridlock and want our political process to function more efficiently, and they favor women over men when it comes to achieving this goal. Seems like a huge advantage for HRC, no? One would think.

But are (male) Americans more sexist than they are racist? If yes, then obviously this would be a significant problem for Hillary. After all, could anyone have predicted that history would have been made with the first elected African-American president before the first elected female president? Would Hillary have also soundly beaten McCain in 2008? Or would Hillary being a woman have been perceived as more of a handicap than Obama being black, due to unfortunate realities and biases in the U.S.?

I don't have answers to these questions, but I do hope that in 2016 voters are able to look past gender as they were able to look past race or color in 2008. Let's hope we've grown-up that much as a country.

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