Oh, that a reasonable woman can think so wrongly! Rebecca Traister pens a opinion piece for The New Republic that criticizes prominent women in the Democratic Party for failing to challenge Hillary Clinton’s potential bid for President of the United State. Elizabeth Warren and Kristen Gillibrand particularly come under fire. (“Why a Woman (Or Many Women) Should Run against Her,” Rebecca Traister, The New Republic July 14, 2014 pgs. 18-21.) Traister reasons that women candidates to the political left of Clinton should use the primary to “exact as many concessions as possible.” (Ibid. Pg. 17) Besides, she adds,, Clinton’s path to the nomination shouldn’t appear to be easy and having several woman on the platform would give the press something substantive to talk about instead of the front runner’s pant suits. (Ibid, pg. 21.)
Another reason Traister cites for wanting to see more women in the presidential race is that, “Viewing women as adversaries — ideologically and also within their own parties – is an urgent next step in helping the nation adjust to the idea that female politicians are just like, you know, regular politicians.” (Ibid pg. 20.) It’s time, she insists, for women to abandon “the processional model, in which one diligent woman takes her hard-earned turn, while the next waits patiently in the wings… Men don’t behave that way. (Ibid pg. 20)
Traister’s right on one point. Male politicians don’t usually conduct business in a self-effacing manner. Seldom are they willing to suppress their egos for the good of party unless they are coerced. But instead of lauding Warren, Gillibrand and other females members of the Senate for signing a letter in support of Clinton’s run for the Whitehouse, ( Ibid pg. pg. 19) Taister seems to ask, “Why can’t a woman be more like a man?”
In taking the view that the male model of “duking it out” with one’s opponents has substance, Traister disappointments and appears to be a throwback to those early days in the liberation movement when women went to work wearing ties. Should Clinton run for the Presidency, what the nation will witness in this game of high stakes politics won’t be a mud wrestling match, but a new model of leadership – women clasping hands in a spirit of camaraderie to help one of their sisters crack the last glass ceiling. Now that’s an election worth coming out for.