On Tuesday, Hillary Clinton lost her second bid to become the President of the United States. She has had a long spanning political career and undoubtedly had the most political experience for the job on offer. However her main opponent, Donald Trump, a business man and reality TV star, won the hard fought race and the coveted prize: leadership of the land of the free. He is now the 45th President of the USA, along with being the 45th man in the position and the 44th white man.
Hillary’s campaign was often based on the fact that she was a woman, and if elected, she would be the first female president of the USA, a historical achievement. #ImWithHer was the hashtag used to show support for Hillary on social media. Female celebrities including Lena Dunham, Miley Cyrus and Beyoncé declared their support for her, continuously highlighting the fact that it was time for a female leader in the country. Beyoncé called on support and votes for Hillary so young girls and boys, like her own daughter, could look up to Hillary and inspire to be such a dignified leader when they grew up. Indeed, our history books have long been missing significant female figures who have helped to shape the world along with their male counterparts.
Since Trump’s victory, there have been people insisting that Hillary lost because she is a woman and that misogynistic, white men have rallied by Trump and voted against her because they would hate to see a woman in such a powerful position. This is not a farfetched accusation. Women are only at the beginning of their time in history as leaders of the world. Not so long ago, a woman’s place was in the kitchen and at home minding the children. Men have never been held back in the same way that women have been, and yes, in the western world we are beginning to move forward to be more inclusive and encouraging of women in their career paths, but there is still a great distance to travel until we reach equality.
I have absolutely no doubt that there are people out there who would not vote for a woman simply because of her gender. She could have a degree in nuclear science and be up against a man who got an A1 in Junior Cert Science, and there are those out there who would consider whether her mood swings during her time of the month would affect her work in comparison to her male counterpart. There are plenty of people out there who will be little women and fear that they would be too emotional for a high intensity job such as the President. However, I have do not think that Hillary lost her bid for the Presidency due to being a woman. This is not such a black and white issue as something like that.
Let’s discuss political dynasties. Hillary Clinton is married to Bill Clinton who served two terms in office as POTUS. George Bush served two terms and his father George W.H. Bush, served one term as POTUS. George’s brother, Jeb, is involved in politics and was a potential Republican presidential candidate. Let’s not forget the Kennedy family who were prominently and still are involved in politics in America. These people are all a part of the elite in American politics.
Elitism in politics is nothing new or unique to America. However, it’s a little ironic that in the land of the free and a democratic ‘haven’, you need to have connections or a lot of money to move up the ranks. Donors will give politicians money on condition that they will support their interests (oil, dairy, pharmaceuticals) whilst in office and a position of power, essentially bribing them. Trump, whilst not a part of the political elite, used his money, fame and outlandish personality to his advantage and therefore received much more attention from the media than any other outside candidates.
The system is wrong and needs to be upheaved and reconstructed to be fairer and more inclusive. Ultimately Hillary was the more qualified candidate, but not as many people could look at her and see real change taking place during her presidency. Trump’s victory was due to the fact that he could appeal to a section of voters who were misogynistic, racist, homophobic and generally deplorable. He could also appeal to ‘regular’, sort of sound people who were simply tired of the establishment in politics. They are disillusioned and saw Trump as someone who was a somewhat successful businessman and who wouldn’t make the same bullshit promises that politicians usually do (he obviously will do this). He is their wild card and an opportunity for ‘real change’.
Hillary could never have made this connection with this kind of voter. She would not lower herself to sewer levels of those who condoned Trump’s predatory behaviour or his racist and deplorable comments about other races and cultures. Hillary lost for many reasons. She is part of what could be likened to a Royal Family or Monarchy. An establishment of elites whose policies are often based on the interests and desires of the donors who fund their career paths. She did not lose because she is a woman.
I really think people need to pull themselves together when it comes to politics. This shit is going on right under our own noses in Ireland and we take it like a blast in the ass when it happens in America but kind of shrug it off at home. We are inclined to vote for people because they seem ‘sound’ or because our parents are voting for them. It’s not often you see anyone looking into a candidates record and researching whether they would be the right candidate to improve the condition of the country. For me, the Healy Rae’s epitomise the stupidity of Irish politics. They are continuously elected and yet declare that Climate Change doesn’t exist because ‘God above is in charge of the weather, and we here cannot do anything about it’. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oeiEO6rv97s
On a more serious note, the politicians of the world are meant to serve the people of their country or constituency. They are not there to be sound and be likeable. They need to implement changes to make life easier and better for the citizens of the world. Trump cannot, and I assure you, will not continue to spout any shit about building walls. He took advantage of his audience and told them whatever extremes they wanted to hear to become president, and it worked. Male or female, politics is not for the faint hearted do gooders. It involves manipulation, promises and lies. Maybe Trump will be a great politician after all!