Trump's decision to pardon Susan B. Anthony enrages leftists
On Tuesday, President Trump did something that ought to have gladdened feminist hearts throughout the land: he pardoned Susan B. Anthony, who was convicted of voting illegally in the 1872 presidential election. As first- and second-generation feminists know, Anthony was one of the colossi of the suffrage movement in the United States, spending five decades working to get American women the right to vote. Sadly, she didn't live to see the 19th Amendment pass, having died 14 years before.
In addition to being a Suffragette, Anthony was a classical liberal in other ways. At the height of the Civil War, she and her colleague, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, founded the Women's Loyal National League. The League wrote a petition demanding the abolition of slavery. They then conducted what was then the largest petition drive in American history, eventually collecting 400,000 signatures for that laudable goal.
Anthony is also celebrated in the pro-life movement for being against abortion, although pro-abortion scholars strenuously deny that she was. Because of the perception that Anthony opposed abortion, whether that's historically correct or not, she is no longer in good odor with today's third-generation feminists. (To catch you up, first-wave feminists wanted the right to vote; second-wave feminists wanted equal pay for equal work and equal opportunities for equal abilities; and third-wave feminists are hostile to men, support unlimited abortion, and generally embrace all current leftist policies.)
When Trump learned that Anthony had never gotten a presidential pardon for her conviction, he decided that the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment was a good time to change that omission:
"She was never pardoned ... and you know that she got a pardon for a lot of other women, and she didn't put her name on the list, so she was never pardoned," Mr. Trump said during a White House event commemorating the 19th Amendment, which secured women's right to vote. "She was guilty for voting."
It goes without saying (but I'll say it anyway) that, if it had been Obama who issued the pardon, women's rights organization would have celebrated. However, Orange Man Bad means it's impossible to approve of anything Trump does.
Accordingly, women's rights groups were outraged. The Susan B. Anthony Museum, purportedly speaking for the long-dead Anthony, "declined" the pardon in a long leftist thread. Just a few tweets will show that the museum's leftist staff have grafted onto poor Anthony every leftist idea current today:
Anthony wrote in her diary in 1873 that her trial for voting was “The greatest outrage History ever witnessed.” She was not allowed to speak as a witness in her own defense, because she was a woman. Judge Hunt dismissed the jury and pronounced her guilty.— S. B. Anthony Museum (@SusanBHouse) August 18, 2020
To pay would have been to validate the proceedings. To pardon Susan B. Anthony does the same.— S. B. Anthony Museum (@SusanBHouse) August 18, 2020
We must assure that states respect the 14th, 15th, and 19th Amendments to the United States Constitution.— S. B. Anthony Museum (@SusanBHouse) August 18, 2020
Anthony was also a strong proponent of sex education, fair labor practices, excellent public education, equal pay for equal work, and elimination of all forms of discrimination.— S. B. Anthony Museum (@SusanBHouse) August 18, 2020
Trimmed to its essentials, the tweet thread says, "It's an insult to someone as worthy as Susan B. Anthony for her to get a pardon from Orange Man Bad."
Then there's the alternate line of thinking, which is that Susan B. Anthony was such a horrible woman that she didn't deserve any recognition at all. Her sin? She believed that women's suffrage was more important than the fight black men were waging to have their existing voting rights recognized in fact, rather than only in theory. In other words, Anthony thought her issue was more important than their issue. The horror!
Wow they are actually trying to cancel Susan B Anthony https://t.co/0RZxU2a1HG— Robby Soave (@robbysoave) August 18, 2020
As the wits say, if Trump invented a cure for cancer, he'd be blamed for putting doctors and hospitals out of business. Susan B. Anthony was a great woman who fought a great fight. She deserves to be pardoned for something that was a crime then but is no longer a crime. End of story.
Image: Susan B. Anthony by Frances Benjamin Johnston, Wikimedia, public domain.