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POINT: The Presidency Is an Old Boys’ Club | COUNTERPOINT: America Is Getting Female Electability All Wrong. Klobuchar's Male Fans Prove It. D5FRa
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POINT: The Presidency Is an Old Boys’ Club | COUNTERPOINT: America Is Getting Female Electability All Wrong. Klobuchar's Male Fans Prove It. D5FRa
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    PostThe Last Outlaw Thu Mar 05, 2020 9:44 pm

    POINT: The Presidency Is an Old Boys’ Club | COUNTERPOINT: America Is Getting Female Electability All Wrong. Klobuchar's Male Fans Prove It. DZCxy

    On the heels of Senator Elizabeth Warren suspending her campaign for President of the United States, I welcome to this all-new edition of POINT -- COUNTERPOINT.  In this edition, we get some arguments that America is NOT ready for a female to be President of the United States.  Is both POINT and COUNTERPOINT in agreement?  You be the judge.  Gail Collins tells The New York Times that The Presidency is an Old Boys' Club.  Liz Plank told NBC News that America is Getting Female Electability Wrong.  Amy Klobuchar's Male Fans Prove It.  As always, I have but one question for YOU on this site:  Are you siding with the POINT or the COUNTERPOINT?  Let's get started.

    NOTE: The opinions in these articles are the authors, as published by the source, and do not necessarily represent the views of Bethea's Byte.



    POINT: The Presidency is an Old Boys' Club


    From The New York Times

    Gail Collins to The New York Times wrote:
    POINT: The Presidency Is an Old Boys’ Club | COUNTERPOINT: America Is Getting Female Electability All Wrong. Klobuchar's Male Fans Prove It. BB10L8oc

    So sorry, Democratic millennials. You’ve got to drop the idea that baby boomers control everything. When it comes to the Democratic presidential nomination, the finalists are too old to qualify.

    Bernie Sanders, 78, and Joe Biden, 77, were both born during World War II. Is that a problem? I’ve always had a theory that as people get older, if they’re lucky, they get better and better at a more limited set of skills. (I use this argument frequently when the issue of my inability to keep computer passwords straight comes up.)

    If it’s true, we’d really have an argument for Biden, who has endless experience working with Congress and dealing with foreign leaders. Sanders, on the other hand, is very, very, very good at giving his one basic speech. I believe he could deliver it while being swung from a crane over the Statue of Liberty.

    Whoever wins, of course, will run against Donald Trump, 73, who has never made any attempt to actually learn how to run a country but has super-perfected his genius for bragging and insulting people on television.

    Trump is already making a big deal about Biden’s tendency to garble his words when he’s talking in public. “WATCH: Joe Biden confuses his wife with his sister,” tweeted the president’s campaign.

    That was when Biden was making introductions during his victory speech Tuesday, and it was actually sort of funny. (“Ah, you switched on me!”) But I hope the Democrats are stockpiling video for the final campaign of, say, Trump’s speech at the Lincoln Memorial praising America’s revolutionary army for the time it “rammed the ramparts” and “took over the airports.”

    Or the time he told a crowd “the kidney has a very special place in the heart.” Or the time he called his wife “Melanie” in a tweet. Or the time he demanded the media look into the “oranges” of the Mueller investigation. Or the time he referred to the midterm elections as the “midtown and midturn.” Or …

    We could go on and on. And you know, before November I bet we will.

    Super Tuesday ruined the presidential hopes of Mike Bloomberg, 78, who bowed out with an endorsement of Biden. “I’ve always believed that data should inform our decisions,” Bloomberg said in what was nevertheless a very emotional address for him.

    Well, money won’t buy you everything. But it will certainly make Bloomberg a venerated Biden supporter. He’ll be fine. Most of us would never get over having spent $600 million to win the delegates from American Samoa. But financially for Bloomberg, that’s pretty much like blowing $10 on a bad cheeseburger.

    Elizabeth Warren, 70, was the youngest serious candidate in the Super Tuesday battle, and it certainly wasn’t any help. Coming in third in her home state was a terrible way to end a campaign. But when Americans in the future look back on her career, they’ll remember Warren as one of the pioneers who, like Hillary Clinton, helped to get the nation used to the idea that there’s nothing unusual about voting for a woman to be president.

    Either Biden or Sanders, if elected, would be the oldest American entering a first presidential term. As of right now the record is held by Trump, who was 70, followed by Ronald Reagan, who was 69. Reagan went on to a second term that many people felt was marred by a certain … mental slippage. It’s sort of hard to tell whether Trump is failing in that way since he was so awful when he started out.

    Well, we’ve had plenty of presidents who seemed to go off the rails in the prime of life. And these days an average man of 77 has about a 10-year life expectancy. That goes up if he doesn’t smoke or drink. And I’ll bet it really skyrockets if he has the entire staff of Walter Reed hospital at his beck and call.

    The first time age was a big issue in a presidential election was back in 1840. William Henry Harrison, the Whig candidate, was 67 and his opponents referred to him as “a living mass of ruined matter.”

    Harrison promptly released a doctor’s report: “vivacity and almost youthfulness of feelings. … Bodily vigor as good as that of most men his age. Subject to no disease but periodic headache.” For its time, it was probably more thorough than the one we got from Bernie Sanders.

    Then, of course, Harrison got elected, went to Washington, and died a month after the inauguration. The only lesson the nation should derive from that story is that it’s a bad idea to give an extremely long inaugural speech in inclement weather.

    Trump, who revels in his ability to attach insulting adjectives to people’s names, calls Sanders “Crazy Bernie.” That’s a tad ironic coming from a man who has been driving the nation nuts for more than three years.

    The president calls Biden “Sleepy Joe,” which is maybe an age-related insult. But from Biden’s point of view, it’s not bad at all. Right now there’s nothing the nation would welcome more than a president whose worst flaw is making everybody feel like taking a nap.

    We could so use some downtime.



    COUNTERPOINT: America Is Getting Female Electability All Wrong. Klobuchar's Male Fans Prove It.



    From NBC News

    Liz Plank to NBC News wrote:
    POINT: The Presidency Is an Old Boys’ Club | COUNTERPOINT: America Is Getting Female Electability All Wrong. Klobuchar's Male Fans Prove It. BB10FLjL

    Today, Sen. Elizabeth Warren announced she was suspending her presidential campaign. Warren's announcement follows the news Monday that Sen. Amy Klobuchar was dropping out of the presidential race. Assuming Rep. Tulsi Gabbard does not prevail, we can bet that a lot of 2020 will — once again — focus on the question of female electability. After all, this primary started with the most diverse slate in history and yet here we are with two old white men now on top.

    Electability is an important question, but as we delve into the gendered nature of America's presidential politics, we must avoid perpetuating the narratives we seek to highlight. There is absolutely a bias against women operating in the world of politics (and every other sphere for that matter). But it turns out women are just slightly less sexist than men when it comes to women in politics. While 49 percent of men say they would be comfortable with a female president, women aren't far behind — with 59 percent of them saying the same, according to a 2019 global survey. It's shocking that half of men seem to hold sexist views about women in leadership. But what do we do with the fact that almost as many women feel the same way about their own gender?

    And when we constantly worry about men's inherent sexism, ignoring the biases we all hold by virtue of growing up in a culture where most leaders are male, we actually can help create conditions in which women in fact become less electable.

    This is evidenced in the data showing that voters say they are ready for a female president but think their neighbors aren't. One survey showed that only 1 in 3 Democratic and independent voters believe their neighbors would be OK with a female president.

    So the question remains, do women have an electability problem because we think they do, or do we keep sexism alive by reaffirming the very biases we are afraid to have? In other words, when we draw attention to the electability of women, do we in fact make them less electable, especially during an election year when winning trumps any other actual issue?

    I've spent a good amount of time talking to male voters this primary season. And one thing that I think hasn't been discussed enough are the men who found female candidates not just likable, but eminently electable, too.

    "Once you're in love with this person, you're in love with her forever," Wilfred Boucher, a Klobuchar supporter in his early 80s told me as he came out of a small polling station in Manchester, New Hampshire, in February. "Once in love with Amy, always in love with Amy," he sang, serenading me with the words to Frank Sinatra's 1948 song Once In Love With Amy.

    "I like her style," Boucher said. "She doesn't say grandiose stuff. She just says 'I got your back,' so to speak."

    But can she win? Boucher, a disabled veteran who served in the military for 34 years (and has been married to his wife for 55), laughed when I asked him that particular million-dollar question. "That's baloney," he scoffed.

    "In the military they were the best in sharp shooting," he said of women. "They have a steady finger."

    New front-runner Sen. Bernie Sanders has, for better or for worse, his Bernie Bros. But Klobuchar had her own diehard male fans — Klobros? Klobubros? Although women would be forgiven for assuming, especially after 2016, that men are generally more reluctant to support female candidates, the gender ratio I witnessed at Klobuchar's events told a different story, at least earlier this year.

    Opinion



    Indeed, according to exit polls from Iowa, Klobuchar outperformed Sanders with men age 45-64 in Iowa. And with men over 65, the contrast was even starker. In this demographic she outperformed every single other candidate with the exception of former Vice President Joe Biden. (Klobuchar did extremely well with white educated women in New Hampshire.)

    Warren, the only viable female with any chance left, is also bringing her own boys to the proverbial yard. I myself was surprised to see so many young men show up to her events on the trail, despite her female support only outnumbering her male support by about 4 percent in Nevada exit polls.

    One reason we did not hear as much about these "bros" is because while we expect women to support women (and are baffled when they don't), we don't have the same expectation for men. Old white men are a very important part of Trump's base, but we need to stop believing that men are biologically programmed to hate women. We perpetuate the idea that men don't buy books by women (they do) or that they don't enjoy TV shows or films about women (they do), often without very much evidence.

    While we assume that women are interested in stories about men, we don't have the same faith in men, at least in part because our lazy definition of masculinity still defines manhood as a complete repression and rejection of the feminine. Since masculinity requires constant surveillance and active validation, men are taught (and in some instances policed) to prioritize things that men traditionally like, which to be clear are not biologically determined but rather culturally agreed upon. Those faulty expectations then end up becoming reality.

    For example, male executives who watched the 1994 version of "Little Women" reportedly ended up in tears. And yet they still worried that the film wouldn't have widespread appeal, especially with husbands. History repeated itself in the head-scratching snubbing of Greta Gerwig's adaption of Little Women this awards season — after it was leaked that several male academy voters reportedly never saw the movie because they thought it was just for women. In the words of one of the cast members of the film: "I just can't believe we're still having this f------ discussion." It's a vicious cycle, as narratives about what men should and should not like or respect or watch become reality.

    Admitting that we're all a little sexist doesn't mean that we'll never have a female president. In fact, it's the only way we'll have one. While we're all pressured to outperform each other in the race to be pure and woke, running another race (the one to admit our biases instead of deflect from them) might get us closer to actually solving sexism. As Ibram X. Kendi writes in his book "How to be an Anti-Racist," when it comes to racial stereotypes, "the only way to undo racism is to consistently identify it and then dismantle it."

    Gender stereotypes work the same way. The only way to move past beyond them is to acknowledge they exist. That's what Jennifer Palmieri, the former communications director for Hillary Clinton, told me in New Hampshire. "We are roaming around the mock of gender bias," she said. "So it doesn't mean everyone is sexist and doesn't like women, but the models we hold in our head of what a model looks and sounds like is very male — and it goes way back."

    And what about the men who didn't vote for Warren or Klobuchar despite them being a woman, but rather, because they are women. "For me that's a positive," Robert Power told me at a Klobuchar rally in Nashua. Although he also expressed support for Warren, he said that Klobuchar "hit all the boxes." In his mind, only a woman could stand in the right contrast against Trump. "With this guy, [being a woman] is not a negative, it's a positive." He noted the midterm election — when a record number of women were elected — as evidence that in the current political climate, women can't just run, they can win.

    One way to counter the electability question is to replace it with actual reporting on the size, variety and gender diversity of support we've seen for female candidates. But in order to stop making assumptions about women, we also need to stop making assumptions about men. As of last fall, around half of Warren's donations have come from men; almost 80 percent of Tulsi Gabbard's donations came from men. Perhaps if we heard more from these men, our idea of who looks like your Klobuchar or Warren supporter might not be so warped.

    We know that women don't make worse leaders (in fact data shows that according to several metrics, they're more effective politicians than men). And we love that old adage that behind every great man, there's a great woman. Perhaps we should also remember that often behind great women, there are several men supporting her, too.
    Now the opinions are left to you.  Which way do you see this.  Do you side with the Point or Counterpoint.  Vote and drop in your commentary.  I look forward to reading and responding to you.

    POINT: The Presidency Is an Old Boys’ Club | COUNTERPOINT: America Is Getting Female Electability All Wrong. Klobuchar's Male Fans Prove It. I6goy

    _________________
    POINT: The Presidency Is an Old Boys’ Club | COUNTERPOINT: America Is Getting Female Electability All Wrong. Klobuchar's Male Fans Prove It. GO3ERPOINT: The Presidency Is an Old Boys’ Club | COUNTERPOINT: America Is Getting Female Electability All Wrong. Klobuchar's Male Fans Prove It. D5SsG
    POINT: The Presidency Is an Old Boys’ Club | COUNTERPOINT: America Is Getting Female Electability All Wrong. Klobuchar's Male Fans Prove It. Nexads420

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