Or, If you have a uterus, vote Clinton!
Hillary Rodham Clinton is supposed to be the next generation of American President. One of the foundation stones of her campaign platform is becoming the very first female President in United States history. Intellectually, this would be an interesting foray into a possible political future. Certainly as a woman, the idea of a woman holding what is arguably the most powerful position in the world is a coveted ideal. It would be a beacon of hope not just for women and feminists, but for minority groups and the marginalized everywhere that pursue equal rights for all.
And this particular beacon is faltering. For the second time.
Hillary Clinton is a consummate politician. Throughout both the Presidency of Bill Clinton, and her time as Secretary of State for President Barack Obama, HRC showed the skill required to navigate international politics and succeed in her foreign policy aims. She should, therefore, have known better than to bring in someone who would imply that women should vote for Clinton simply because they share a gender. That is not politics. That is not spreading awareness.
That is idiocy.
As a politically aware woman, it is incredibly insulting to be informed that I should vote for a specific person just because we share a physical gender. It is insulting to insinuate that if I, as a woman, did not vote for Hillary Clinton that I would have reserved myself a spot in the “special place in hell for women who don’t help each other.” Moreover, the fact that a former Secretary of State such as Madeline Albright has the gall to tell the young women of America that, rather than perform proper research into the political candidates and give their support to the candidate they feel will be the best President for the United States, thereby further educating themselves and transforming the political space by their involvement, they should just vote for the woman.
Democracy in action? Not quite. If I wanted to be told what to do and not have to think about alternatives, or anything at all, I’d go to a Trump rally. It isn’t enough for Hillary to be a woman. It would never be enough, not in a Presidential campaign. If Albright had said “Because of this policy stance! Because of that tax cut! Because of this adjustment in the legal system… you should vote for Clinton!” then that would be another matter entirely. But she didn’t. By instructing women to vote for Clinton because they are women, by insinuating that they someone disappoint the female gender if they do not, Albright has cast a shadow of ignorance, and yes, arrogance, over Clinton’s campaign. There is a reason that Clinton, for the second campaign in a a row, is losing the youth vote. While greater youth also correlates to a greater unlikeliness to vote, it is telling that Clinton seems incapable of drawing in the younger generation the way that Obama did, and the way that Sanders is. It helps that Sanders’ team doesn’t tend to hand out ultimatums like Albrights’.
From another perspective, the on-going debacle surrounding Clinton’s apparent lack of understanding of basic security principles has not helped her project a Presidential persona. For a young, tech-savvy generation of increasing political awareness and social conscience, the fact that a Presidential candidate disclosed classified information over a relatively insecure network when common sense (and, one would hope, policy) dictates the use of secure channels when conducting State business is a little sad. Drawing in supporters like Albright, and indeed her husband, in order to bolster her campaign and smooth over the somewhat bumpy ride she has experienced so far does not disguise the fact that she is failing to connect with the next generation of voters. And it isn’t because of age; while Obama is younger than Clinton, Sanders is not and youth voters love him.
Possibly because he doesn’t tell them to vote based on anatomy.