In a perceptive look at the 2020 presidential election, a New York Times columnist speculated that President Donald Trump has so damaged the country and poisoned the Republican Party for female voters that he may make sexist voters actually vote for a Democratic woman candidate.
According to columnist Michelle Goldberg, there are three factors that may bring to an end America’s seeming aversion to the idea of a female president — and women can thank Donald Trump for being responsible for every one of them.
Goldberg began by touching on recent history, writing, “There are many explanations for Clinton’s loss, including her campaign’s mistakes, Russian hacking and James Comey’s blundering investigation of her email server. But sexism pretty clearly played a role. “
But that was then and this is the Trump-era now.
“Plenty of women understood intuitively that a misogynist backlash helped Trump win his Electoral College victory. It’s why they poured into the streets the day after he was inaugurated, and why they’ve led the Resistance ever since,” Goldberg explained. “It’s why there’s a record gender divide in voting patterns and a record number of Democratic women in the new Congress. And it’s why it’s both thrilling and slightly terrifying that the Democratic presidential field is going to have at least three strong, viable female contenders.”
According to Goldberg, having more than one female candidate to choose from — with the possibility of five or more women in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination — will make having a female candidate seem less disconcerting.
“America has never before seen a presidential primary in which this many women compete against one another. It could help to normalize female political ambition, allowing the candidates to be individuals rather than archetypes,” the columnist explained. “Voters who are hungry for female leadership won’t be forced to rationalize away the flaws of a lone woman contender. Real progress is not just being able to vote for a woman, but being able to vote for the best woman.”
Goldberg went on to note the karmic retribution voters might enjoy feeling at the idea of seeing a horribly sexist Trump decisively beaten by a woman.
“To see Trump vanquished by a woman would start to heal the injury of his repulsive reign,” she wrote while conceding ingrained U.S. voter sexism might keep him afloat.
Then again, Goldberg said female resentment of Trump may override concerns — particularly if women show up to vote.
“Yet if male resentment has grown in the last two years, so has female anger,” Goldberg explained, quoting Democratic pollster Celinda Lake who confessed, “The fate of the women candidates, both in the primary and the general, will depend on the enthusiasm of the women voters,”
“This enthusiasm was volcanic in the midterms, and it’s hard to see what Trump could do in the next 22 months to dampen it” Goldberg added.
“Trump, though dangerous, is also weak. In a recent survey, 57 percent of registered voters said they planned to vote against him. There’s a phenomenon in business called the “glass cliff,” in which companies in crisis promote women to clean up disasters caused by men.” the columnist concluded before taking a final jab at Trump.
“Trump could be the man to wreck the country so badly that Americans will be willing to let a woman save it,” she predicted.
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