IS AMERICA READY?
On July 25th 2016 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Hillary Clinton officially became the Democratic Nominee for President of the United States. History was indeed made, because this was the first time a woman had reached this plateau of success in a presidential election in our nation's history. The only other woman to have come close to this milestone achievement was Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm who launched her campaign for the presidency in 1972 at a Baptist Church in Brooklyn New York. At the time she became the first black major party candidate to run for President of the United States. Although, she made it as far as the Democratic National Convention, the official Democratic nomination went to Senator George McGovern, who eventually lost the general election to presidential incumbent Richard Nixon.
Of course, we all know what happened that fateful day on November 9th 2016, Real Estate Tycoon Donald Trump was elected the 45th President of the United States. (Mueller Report is still pending) Although, most American's including myself believed as Hillary Clinton became the presumptive nominee in June of 2016 that it was a foregone conclusion that she would indeed become the first woman President of the United States. We already had our party hats ready, our confetti, and other refreshments to toast the occasion. But, what happened that dark and dreary evening on November 9th no one saw coming accept Donald Trump (especially if he colluded with Russia to rig the 2016 Presidential Election, which I wholeheartedly believe he did!) and his subset of followers who thought he was the best man for the job. And, in some cases that is how Hillary's election failed was spun for those "on the fence supporters" or even those who decided to vote for candidate Trump. There argument was not that Sen. Clinton wasn't qualified; after all she was 1st Lady for 8 yrs (unofficially serving as 1st VP, and Al Gore a distant 2nd) Plus, a couple years as a Junior Senator for the State of New York, and 4 years as Secretary of State under Pres. Obama's 1st term in Office. So far, Hillary Clinton has been the poster woman for political success and failure in the stratosphere of the presidency. She is still the only woman to go as far as the Democratic nominee, and still the only woman to fail at this level as well. It can be looked at as a blessing and curse; a blessing and indeed an accomplishment, which inspires woman of not only how far they have come but how high they could potentially go, and a curse because even though, in Clinton's own estimation the "glass ceiling may have encountered it's BIGGEST crack" it still hasn't broken in favor of the first woman to ever grace the seat of power at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
But, could Sen. Kamala Harris be the one that finally breaks the ceiling wide open? Could Sen. Kamala Harris be the one that surpasses both Chisholm and Clinton and becomes the 1st Woman President of the United States? Hence my question, is America ready? Is America ready for not just our 1st Woman President, but our 2nd Black President? (That's Right!) One thing you have to give the Democratic Party credit for, is there diversity when it comes to the candidates that aspire to run for the highest office in the land. You don't get the same impression on the other side of the aisle. Republicans have the BIGGEST problem with capturing the imagination of the Black community. And, it is because in large part the Republican party is made of rich Anglo-Saxon white men who are too rigid and far too racist in their core values to adapt with the changes in the 21st Century Electoral Map. The country is changing, the world is changing. And, in order for your party to succeed you have to adapt to the changes in our society. ( I hear what you're saying, and change is still the hardest thing to do for most people, including myself.) But, Sen. Kamala Harris chose Dr. Martin Luther King's Annual Holiday to announce her run for President of the United States. Her video below is her formally announcement as well as it reveals her campaign slogan. Kamala Harris "For the People" is her campaign slogan for her 2020 Presidential bid. It is my understanding, the campaign slogan hearkens back to her days as a California Prosecutor and Attorney General. (I happen to really like it)
But, again the question we pose to our readers in this blog post is essentially, "Is America Ready?" Is American ready for a woman president. Given our history of American presidents 44 of them being white males and only one being an African American, which was in fairly recent memory for Black America. However, there was a real sense that once Obama's tenure as president was over that we would never see another Black President again in the Oval Office in our lifetime. (That long? Sheesh!) Could it actually be closer than we think? I definitely would like to think so. One things is for sure, America is in dire need of change of direction, given the last two years we have put up with the childish behavior of the Chump in Chief-Donald Trump. It is definitely time for a change in the Oval Office, whether by impeachment or election our country deserves better, more sound leadership in Washington, because what we have now is morally reprehensible to say the least. Is it finally a woman's turn to sit at the Resolute desk at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. What an amazing site to behold, a desk where Kennedy's son "John-John" was photographed hiding underneath, or a the office where Pres. Obama was photographed relaxing with his feet on top of it. This could be the same space where the first woman in Presidential History could finally occupy. Can you see it? Do you think that Sen. Kamala Harris has a real shot at not just becoming the Democratic nominee, but winning the general election? I say, yes she does. I certainly believe that Trump would be no match for her at all, if they did indeed end up on a debate stage at some point next year. (If he isn't impeached first!) I actually think it would be a slam dunk if they ended up facing off. The question becomes, would that be Democrats best shot at electing our 1st Woman President by going up against an incumbent that pretty much everybody hates? Is this a woman's best opportunity? Is this a woman's only opportunity?
What would be utterly catastrophic, if (and that's a BIG "if") if Trump not only survives impeachment, but happens to end up winning a second term whether its beating Kamala Harris or another Democratic candidate. I don't know if my little heart could take it. I don't know if the hearts of those reading this blog could take it either. For Trump to not only survive impeachment, but to win another 4 yrs he would literally have done the unthinkable. Inasmuch as his most ardent critics and prognosticators are not giving him much time before his presidency ultimately implodes. The #TrumpShutdown could very well be his undoing, but if he ultimately survives the shutdown, impeachment and manages to win another 4 yrs, what does that say about where we are as a country? Not to mention, where we are when it comes to viewing women at the top of the food chain, if he happens to beat out the likes of someone like Sen. Kamala Harris. We would literally be on our heels again as a nation. Almost like we were back in November of 2016. But, I think this would be much worse, because at that point we -as a nation, would have endured 4 complete years of a Trump presidency and then collectively decided to give him another 4 years, after all he has taken this nation through. (Shame on us!)
Listen to our discussion of #WomenInPolitics with Speaker, Activist, Influence & Ambassador Rev @MarciaLDyson including her answer to our question, will this country ever elect its first woman president?
It has happened before. Who would've thought that George W. Bush would be given a 2nd term after he literally stole the 1st one from then candidate Al Gore. One would've thought, we wouldn't forget what happened and certainly wouldn't let it happen again. Or, what about Pres. Clinton who in his first term in office was impeached in the House, because of a sexual affair he had with then intern Monica Lewinsky. Not only did he survive the scandal, but he was elected to yet another 4 yr term. (Unbelievable!) And, yet this is what took place. It seems pretty hard to explain how these egregious acts that played out right before our very eyes were ultimately rewarded with another opportunity to do it again. One thing that I have observed in American politics is that voters have a really short memory when it comes to things that happen in the political spectrum. We tend to forgive and forget. This is why, incumbents are so very hard to beat for that 2nd term in office. Prime example of this is Gov. Rick Snyder, who should not only have lost his 2nd bid for Governor of the State of Michigan, but should have went to prison for presiding over one of the worst water crisis in U.S. history. But, not only did he survive the #FlintWaterCrisis, but he was re-elected Governor of the State of Michigan for a 2nd term. I always thought that maybe it is the election cycles that is ultimately the reason why incumbents get re-elected in spite of their political and moral failings. Maybe if the elections were held immediately following a politician's fall from grace, then we would see a swifter and much quicker change in leadership.
But, on a much different note, if despite all that Trump has taken our nation through, shutdown, court battles, lawsuits, debacle after debacle and yet still wins another 4 yrs over the likes of a more than qualified candidate like Sen. Kamala Harris, it answers our initial question in a rather harsh but realistic way. No, America isn't read! Consider the implications, if this is indeed the case. Our country would rather have a morally bankrupt, sexist, racist, narcissistic, egotistical, maniacal mob boss as President rather than an intellectually, competent, experienced, accomplished woman. Kamala Harris is all of those things and more, and she still could lose to Trump in November 2020, if America's answer to our question is a resounding "No." Well, then when will we be ready? When will this country be ready for a woman to dawn the Oval Office as Executive In Chief? When will we as a country witness the ascension of a woman to the highest perch in politics; President of the United States. Other nation's like Germany & England have done it, why has it taken America so long? And, how much longer will it take for this glass ceiling to ultimately break in favor of women everywhere? Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm said something quite profound as she summarized her experiences as a presidential candidate in 1972, "When I ran for the Congress, when I ran for president, I met more discrimination as a woman than for being black. Men are men." It seems that gender in 1972 was more polarizing an issue than the color of her skin, and we still see some residue of that reality lingering even in today's politics. The harsh reality is that we are still grappling with some of the same problems and issues we were grappling with 20 or 30 yrs ago. Both will be in the mix once again in this edition of Presidential Politics, the question is, what are we going to do next?
I personally believe that this is another watershed moment for our country, much in the same way it was back in 2008, when we elected the first African American President of the United State in Barack Obama. Sen. Harris appears to be one of the strongest candidates on the Democratic side that has sense announced her candidacy to run for president in 2020. Is this a moment that we will all remember once again as we did in 08? Momentum seems to already be building for Sen. Kamala Harris, but she is just one of a string of other potential 2020 candidates that might throw their hat in the ring. Former VP Joe Bid, Former Atty Gen. Eric Holder, Sen. Cory Booker or former Star Bucks CEO Howard Shultz (who nobody wants to run except Trump so he could split the votes in his favor. NO!) are just three more names to be added to the already growing lists of presidential candidates for 2020. Not too mention those who've already announced their candidacy for 2020 like Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, and Rep. Julian Castro.This election cycle could proved to be the most historic moment in our nation's history. The question still, is America ready? I hear Sen. Kamala Harris along with millions of women around the country saying, "Ready or Not. Here we come!"