I don’t want a woman president or a male president. I want the best one available.

Identity Politics and a Women President

by | Oct 20, 2015

Do genitals determine the qualities you want in a president?

Hillary Clinton and her supporters seem to think so. They keep saying, “It’s time to have a woman president.”

The reason you’re supposed to support Hillary is because she’s a woman; quite literally, because of her genital make-up.

Here’s a question: If we should not assume a woman would be an inferior president — merely because she’s a woman — then on what logical basis may we assume a  woman would be a superior president, just because she’s a woman?

We’re not permitted to ask this question. Or at least it seems that way, because I do not hear anyone asking it.

It would be considered unenlightened and sexist to say, “She’s a woman. She can’t be president.” And I totally agree that those are improper things to say. But I do not see what makes it acceptable, and even enlightened, to proclaim, “It’s time for a woman president.”

Outsider candidates are in this year. Hillary Clinton also claims that her being a woman makes her an “outsider.” Yet she’s a career politician and has been a national politician for the last twenty-five years. She’s more of an “insider” candidate than anyone else running in either party, by far.

If you like all the things the government is doing — and most Democrats do — then an insider candidate is the logical choice. Are we to suspend reason and the observation of obvious facts to call Hillary Clinton an “outsider” when she’s so obviously an insider? How stupid does she think we are; how stupid is she?

It seems to me that sexism consists of judging someone either unfavorably or favorably because of their gender.

To refuse to judge someone unfavorably because she’s a woman obviously involves irrationality, at least in an area where gender is irrelevant. However, if gender should be irrelevant in choosing a president, then on what basis do we assume a particular candidate is the best choice because she’s a woman?

Imagine selecting a car mechanic to fix your brakes; or a pilot to fly your airplane; or a brain surgeon to cure your cancer. Would you disqualify the best person for the job because she’s a woman? Not if you’re rational, i.e., not if you wish to go on living. Would you go out of your way to find a woman — or a man — rather than the best person you could?  It seems unlikely. When faced with such a life-or-death and important task, you’d throw the overwhelming bulk of your energy into finding the best person available; gender be damned.

Then why is it so different when choosing a president?

I will never vote for Hillary Clinton. I disagree with her on virtually everything, particularly the all-important areas of economics and defense. Where she wants more socialism, I want total free markets; where she wants peace in our time with Iran and ISIS, I want to blow militant Muslim governments and gangs to bits, scaring the Allah out of them so the rest of us can finally live safely. For these and other reasons, I would never vote for Hillary Clinton. Does this make me a sexist? Of course not. It makes me someone with totally opposite views of hers on all of the fundamentals and most of the particulars.

Yet if there were an American, twenty-first century equivalent of Margaret Thatcher running for president, I’d probably run to go work for her. Even if I did not agree with her on everything, I’d certainly agree on the essentials and would rush to support her. I would not want her because she’s a woman. I’d want to elect her because she’s the only person on the scene who will do what I think should be done.

I don’t mean to be crude when I bring up the topic of genitals. But I’m merely responding to what Hillary Clinton herself is saying. She’s saying we should elevate her above the pack, when compared to her Democratic or Republican rivals. The reason for that is because she’s a woman. She’s the one raising the issue, not myself or anyone else who questions her. She might not use the term “genitals,” but that’s literally what she’s saying when she insists it’s time for a woman president.

I’m not a woman. If I were, I’d be deeply insulted. Saying it’s “time for a woman president” implies that gender is an accomplishment. If I were a woman, I’d feel the same way I do as a man: I’d want to be respected, rewarded, compensated or admired for my actual accomplishments. Gender is not an accomplishment. It’s simply a fact of who you are; it’s not something you earned or achieved.

It seems to me that a deeper issue is going on here. It’s deeper than politics. Just as some black people identify themselves primarily as black — rather than primarily as individuals — it appears that some women identify themselves primarily as women.

The Democratic party, in particular, is driven by group identity politics. Individualism is considered cold, cruel and outdated. Yet group identity (gender, race, sexual orientation) forms the essence of who you are, at least once you deny your individuality.

I find this unsatisfying, inaccurate and degrading.

Masculinity and femininity are complex and fascinating concepts. They’re worth exploring and understanding, as fully as we can. But in my mind, we are all individuals first. It’s certainly true when selecting a candidate for president.

I don’t want a woman president or a male president. I want the best one available. At present, I cannot find one, and that’s another discussion.

One thing is certain. America will either rise again or continue its present decline. It will do so not because of the gender of our president, but because of the actions the government and the people permit.

Dr. Michael Hurd is a psychotherapist, columnist and author of "Bad Therapy, Good Therapy (And How to Tell the Difference)" and "Grow Up America!" Visit his website at: www.DrHurd.com.

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