It is good we have a female Democratic senator that is an avowed feminist and votes on the left. We need more. I just wish Kirsten Gillibrand wasn’t one, and that she wasn’t running for president in 2020.
While she has seemingly always been feminist to some degree, she hasn’t always been liberal. This makes her just another poll-driven pol like her mentor Clinton, and casts doubt on even her longer-held positions.
Her infamous takedown of Franken was not irksome because of its accuracy. Despite all the good he’s done in government, Franken needed to go. It was irksome because he was a ridiculously easy target among countless worse – just in the Senate alone! – who would have not so quickly folded. Denouncing him was no braver than announcing she was against kicking puppies, and served her more than any of #MeToo’s collective goals.
Her New York seat has never been in any risk; she was recently elected with 67%. It was just another career move, and a classic example of the right thing done for the wrong reason. This means she will, eventually, advance to doing the wrong thing in some other matter – most likely by following a poll.
Meanwhile, there are literally dozens, if not hundreds and thousands, of more consistent and trustworthy female liberals in politics. Several are running for President. They are all better choices.
This leads me to my main agrument. A unwise assumption that lurks behind the desire to elect more female office holders is that women do a better job in such offices, and the more there are, the more powerful the collective effect. I suspect that the numbers will continue to improve, but as they so, this assumption will fade and be replaced with cynicism.
The likelihood that a man or a woman will become corrupted by power is, in my experience, identical. This will become more obvious only after something resembling equality in numbers is reached. Roughly equal gender representation in elected office is ideal, but let’s not pretend this, if even reached, will lead to better decision-making. It will lead to a better reflection of the diverse nature of the citizenry, certainly. But as more women gain political office, it is inevitable that many will become like the men already there – corrupt and craven and driven more by ambition than ideals.
This is not to say that Gillibrand is at that point yet. Perhaps she will redeem herself during her campaign. At minimum she would have to attack Trump far more directly than Clinton ever did, with the same condemnation that she gave Franken. She should have an easier time of it now that he has a dismal record to defend, but he will not resign. She, like any female candidate. will have to find a simple, brutal way to weaken him without getting the b-label.
I assume here that Trump will get to the election, of course. He might not. Right now, I suspect he will, no matter what is in Mueller’s report.
Would I vote for her? Doubtful. But let’s see what happens.