I Am Woman, Hear Me Lead
By: Thomas Lindaman
There is a great debate raging in America right now, and for once it doesnâ€™t have to do with who should have been voted off â€œDancing With the Stars.â€ (On a side note, shouldnâ€™t a show called â€œDancing With the Starsâ€ actually have stars?) The debate is whether weâ€™re ready for a female President. Now that Hillary Clinton is running for President, we may face the possibility of having a woman be the most powerful person in the world. Of course, we had that when her husband was President, but thatâ€™s neither here nor there.
There are those who say weâ€™re ready for a woman to lead because we need a change from the â€œgood old boys networkâ€ that controls government. Of course, this point is negated by the fact that many of the same people who say Washington is run by white men keep voting white men into office, thus continuing the problem. And who says America isnâ€™t smart?
There are others, like me, who have no problem with women leading, but it has to be a competent woman. Seriously, how would you like to wake up the day after Election Day to hear a newscaster say, â€œIn an election year full of firsts, we have the first woman President-Elect, and her name is Paris Hiltonâ€? Although it would make for some interesting press conferences and the possibility of the first Presidential sex scandal with video tape, I wouldnâ€™t want a woman who thought WalMart was a nightclub to be in control of our vast military arsenal. Just the possibility of her nuking Nicole Richie or the paparazzi should be enough for us to give serious thought to having a woman President.
Okay, I know Hilton isnâ€™t the typical woman, so letâ€™s go with two prominent current female leaders to get an idea of how a female might lead: the aforementioned Hillary Clinton, and current Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. In Clintonâ€™s case, people say sheâ€™s shown great leadership skills. Letâ€™s take a look at what sheâ€™s done since being elected New York Stateâ€™s junior Senator. Hmmm â€¦ sheâ€™s sponsored or supported legislation and got to run the Senate for a day.
Well, Iâ€™m convinced. Iâ€™m as qualified to be President as Hillary is.
Then, we have Speaker Pelosi. Since taking the reins of the House in January, sheâ€™s accomplishedâ€¦well, weâ€™re not quite sure. Again, it depends on who you ask. To hear Pelosi talk, theyâ€™ve accomplished so much, but the Republicans blocked her from doing more. And what has the Pelosi House accomplished according to the Congressional record? Somewhere in the neighborhood of 50-60 bills were passed to the Senate for consideration, with the bulk of them being for the naming of post offices. Sure, they passed ethics reform and a minimum wage increase, but when the bulk of your success comes from naming post offices, itâ€™s hard to say youâ€™ve been a successful leader.
One has to wonder how much of the current â€œitâ€™s time for a woman Presidentâ€ sentiment is based on factors other than qualifications. As I stated my previous column â€œQualifications? She Donâ€™t Need No Stinking Qualifications!â€ Hillary has been given credibility in some segments because sheâ€™s a mom and has â€œthe Mom Voiceâ€ to get people to believe her. Beyond that, there are other possible motivations. Many women have said they will vote for Hillary because sheâ€™s a woman. For men, the motivation is possibly more basic.
Men like sex.
Ladies, trust me on this, there are men out there who will say and do anything for sex, even if they donâ€™t mean a word of it. Case in point: Bill Clinton. Say the right words with the right amount of conviction, and some men can seduce just about any woman. (As my social calendar reflects, Iâ€™m not one of them.) Oh, sure, there are men who feel genuinely guilty at men running government for so long, but there arenâ€™t that many men these days looking to Alan Alda for man advice.
Once we strip away the possible motivations for voting for a woman for a powerful political office, we should be left with a central question: How will she react in a stressful situation? (For the record, â€œIs she hot?â€ came in second.) This is where women succeed or fail, depending on their character. We know how former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher reacted to the Falkland Islands situation and Cold War, and I think itâ€™s safe to say she handled herself well in both cases and in others not mentioned. Compare that to how Hillary and Pelosi have reacted under less stressful situations, which has been to blame Republicans and others for their failures. Quite the difference, but one that cannot be overlooked when we consider whether we want to pull the lever for Hillary in November 2008. (And, men, if youâ€™re doing that too much, youâ€™ll go blind.)
Perhaps the biggest hindrance to women becoming the head of our government is themselves. Those who have put themselves forward as leaders have been his or miss (or to be more politically correct, Ms.), which makes it that much easier for voters to ignore the female candidates and go with the male candidates. Ladies, if you want to be seen as credible leaders, you have to have some success being leaders. This means, of course, watching how women political leaders like Hillary Clinton and Nancy
Pelosi handle themselves and address important issues that arise.
Then, do the exact opposite.
Thomas Lindaman is a Staff Writer for the New Media Alliance, Inc. and NewsBull.com. The New Media Alliance is a non-profit (501c3) national coalition of writers, journalists and grass-roots media outlets. He is also Publisher of CommonConservative.com.
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