Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Feminists for Clinton: Can You Tell Me Why?

Hillary Clinton: It's about policy.
"Go-girl empowerment marketing trumping how her actual politics have and will affect women and children, not just here but around the world."

Feminist writer Marie Myung-Ok Lee, writing in Salon, sees a lot of contradiction in the women who plan to vote for Hillary Clinton for president, most of it having to do with policy decisions they strongly disagree with. Voting for the first woman president is, of course, appealing and empowering, but what about Honduras, Glass-Steagall, Iraq War vote, TPP, Israel-Palestine, GMOs, email, Benghazi? "How about that Saudi Arabia got their arms deals approved in a Hillary State department" (following big donations to the Clinton Foundation)?

Lee points out that 43 percent of Americans of voting age are independents and that Bernie Sanders polls much stronger among them than does Clinton. She says Clinton is nearly even in polling with Trump and trails Kasich, the remaining Republican candidates, with surprisingly Cruz out of the race. Sanders leads both by wide margins.

And, Lee says, "I disagree with almost everything she’s done in the State Department and much of what she did while she was a senator.”

It is a tough spot for feminists, many of whom I know and most of whom plan to vote for Clinton. Is it more a reflex action--voting for a woman over a group of men, regardless of their politics--or is there something else we're not seeing? If feminists just wanted a woman, they could have voted for Carly Fiorina, the Republican who dropped out early and had some baggage, but not a box car load of it. I don't fully understand all this, but then I don't understand Trump's appeal, either.

It remains one of the most frustrating and confusing election seasons of my long lifetime.

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