Are We Ready for a Woman President?
When Barack Obama was elected the first black (actually black and white) President it was considered a milestone for a nation that has a long history of virulent racism. Whether you agreed with his politics or not, you could surely feel a sense of pride that most voters were colorblind when they made their selection for Chief Executive in 2008. Yes, I know that about 98% of blacks voted for Obama, but, considering the history of subservience to whites, I don't think any fair-minded person could have expected less.
Now that we have shown how open-minded we are about race relations, maybe it's time to do the same with gender relations. Hillary Clinton came close in 2008, but no woman has yet to be nominated for president by a major political party. Two women have had a chance to be vice president, but it wasn't enough to push the head of the ticket across the finish line. It wouldn't be accurate to say that women have been subservient in this country, but I'm certain it can be said that they don't have the same image as men when it comes to leadership. Perhaps that's why, with more than half the population made up of the "fairer sex," women have not been able to reach that pinnacle of political power on Pennsylvania Avenue.
There's an interesting dynamic at play here. Before Obama's election, few blacks had been taken seriously as presidential timber. However, once that hurdle had been achieved, several others are being considered for the top job. It reminds me of the story about trained fleas. An experiment was conducted in which fleas were caught and placed in an open jar. Now, fleas are quite capable of jumping great distances for their size, hence, as long as the jar was open they were having no trouble jumping out. Then a lid was place on the jar. For a period of time one could hear the sound of fleas trying to jump out, but hitting the lid and retreating. Soon, the sound stopped and the fleas were jumping just below the level of the lid, so as not to hit against it. When the lid was removed the "trained" fleas no longer tried to jump high enough to get out.
People are often like fleas in that they don't try to succeed past a point where they have been trained to stop. Feminists have coined the phrase "glass ceiling" indicating an unbreachable barrier that keeps women and minorities from reaching the upper rungs of the corporate ladder.
It's my contention that women will continue to face perceptual roadblocks in the presidential area of politics until one of them becomes the role model for others to follow. Currently, Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann have popular support for 2012. My choice is Palin because she has demonstrated her executive ability as Governor of Alaska and was the most exciting candidate in the election of 2008.
Although she hasn't decided if she'll run next year, we constantly hear that she has too much baggage. What baggage? Anyone who knows anything about her record in Alaska would have to admit that she exhibited all the traits that make up the building blocks of leadership. Her rise to prominence is well-known and doesn't need to be restated in its entirety here. Suffice to say that she took on a corrupt system within her own political party and rose to the governorship after throwing the bums out of office. Certainly, a résumé like that should be viewed as the perfect recipe for a country in need of a moral renaissance. Aha, therein lies the problem! How many in this country want to return to the days when politicians weren't sending their nude photos on the Internet, fathering children with their housemaids, or having sex with interns in the Oval Office?
I suspect that all decent people want to go back to a time when their children had better role models than Weiner, Schwarzenegger, and Clinton. The culture shift in the last few decades is more than mildly alarming; it is downright frightening! Every aspect of our lives has eroded. From education to entertainment to politics; we have seen a value system that was once the envy of the world, slowly, insidiously corrupted by a philosophical framework that is inimical to any concept of a great nation. Today, we have a country whose people have almost given up on the idea that morality has value.
What has all this to do with Sarah Palin? She's a threat to those who have become addicted to the titillation of a callous and uninhibited lifestyle, free from compunction or responsibility. She represents the wholesome values and patriotic spirit that have been all but lost in the violent maelstrom of social and political engineering that has distorted our sense of right and wrong. No flea is she; Sarah's the iconoclast that breaks glass ceilings and shatters the lids on jars.