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Sexism and the U.S. Presidential Election

Updated on March 7, 2020

In 2016, the first woman, Hilary Clinton, ran for U.S. president and won the popular vote over Donald Trump, however, he won the presidency based upon electoral votes, which determine the true winner.

In 2020, another U.S. presidential election fielded up to six women, but in the end, the race would nominate an old white man to run against President Trump. What happened?

There has been a lot of chatter about how there is sexism and gender inequality in the U.S. presidential election, but is this really the case? The last standing woman was Elizabeth Warren, a Senator, elected by her state. Before that, it was another Senator, Amy Klobuchar, elected by her state several times, that fell victim. Was this some male plot to prevent a woman from getting to becoming POTUS?

Is America ready for a woman or gay president? The answer to that is yes, but only if their platform on which they run wins the hearts and minds of the general public. In 2020, the main focus was which candidate could beat Trump. The only woman who ran but failed who could was Kamala Harris, a former California prosecutor and Senator. Warren and Klobuchar, while intelligent and successful, just seemed too weak against a bully like Trump. Perhaps it is a wrong perception, but it was in the minds of voters. That said, both Sanders and Biden, the two old men last standing, many voters hesitate about them for different reasons. Sanders is simply too radical for most. His Utopian vision is one that would greatly disrupt America and would NEVER pass the Congress nor Senate. It is a quagmire of high costs. As for Biden, many voters wonder if he is "all there" regarding his mental facilities based upon his often gaffs he makes when rushed or debating. One can only hope voter perception is changed when there is a Biden v. Trump debate.

Amy Klobchar had the right platform and many Republicans thought highly of her, while she wanted to appear as a tough and wily fighter that could take on Trump, that simply failed to reach the voters. She appeared nervous at times. Warren might have reached the Democratic nomination had her platform not been as wacky as Sanders in some respects. She had some good ideas that may have worked, but she stumbled about details on how to pay for some of the programs. She could be an attack dog for sure, which would be needed against Trump. Like Sanders, her platform was too similar to his, and thus, too far left for most voters. As for Kamala Harris, she was the strongest of the female candidates and fully qualified. Her platform was more centrist in most respects and she was willing to face off with the men. Her problem was she was unknown at the start, which never really improved much in that regard. Her campaign suffered from funding problems, critical for success. She had my vote!

Sexism?

Just because a person is female does not mean they will automatically vote female. Same for men. Clinton showed that Americans would vote for a female president. Like any political race for an office, voters mostly care about the platform and issues the candidate runs on and their personality. There are many well qualified and electable women, such as, Condoleezza Rice, Susan Rice (both African-American), Nikki Haley (Indian-American). All three held high-level offices in past administrations, all qualified but there are others also.

The point is if there is sexism in who becomes POTUS, its not a major factor with most of the voters. It is about many other issues other than gender. Having a woman POTUS should not be a big deal, as many countries have woman leaders leading their governments. If they are qualified and popular, gender is not an issue.


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