A woman's work is never, ever, ever done.
by D.A. Forbes
"People don't expect government to solve all their problems. But they sense, deep in their bones, that with just a slight change in priorities, we can make sure that every child in America has a decent shot at life and that the doors of opportunity remain open to all. They know we can do better. And they want that choice. In this election, we offer that choice. Our party has chosen a man to lead us who embodies the best this country has to offer."
This was but one famous excerpt from an inarguably famous speech. Yet, as resolute as that speech may have been, it was, nonetheless, just a speech. As Thomas Jefferson once stated, "Speeches that are measured by the hour will die with the hour."
Here are the facts. Three short months ago, America did not choose to make a "slight change." It chose to make an unprecedented one. Every child in America does not, in fact, have a decent shot at life. 1 in 5 of them lives in poverty. U.S. children have lived this way for decades. Clearly, doors of opportunity do not remain open for all. Black and Latino poverty rates are 18 percent higher than whites, while their graduation rates are 18 percent lower. Black unemployment is double that of Whites. Women still earn only 80 cents for every dollar men earn. Women represent 51 percent of the population and 19 percent of Congress.
As we live and breathe today, America has made one thing abundantly clear, not only to itself, but also to the those beyond our borders: we may know that we "can do better," but we consistently choose not to execute on such knowledge.
218 million Americans are eligible to vote. 42 percent of them do not do so. They are unregistered, they are unmotivated, or they are otherwise flat-out marginalized. Regardless of the circumstances, all of us are complicit in the result. All of us.
92 million eligible voters did not vote this past November. Ninety two million. So, as our top judicial infrastructure is severed within 10 days of this new presidency, let us never forget this number. As our national security apparatus is compromised within 10 days of this new presidency, let us never forget this number. As our international relations are mangled within 10 days of this new presidency, let us never forget this number. As one after another public servant is fired for insubordination within 10 days of this new presidency, let us never forget this number. As America reverses its legacy of embracing immigrants within 10 days of this new presidency, let us never forget this number. As our media is told to "shut up" or "get rid of people" (Kellyanne Conway) who disagree with this president within the first 10 days of his presidency, let us never forget this number.
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This presidency offered "that choice." And Americans wanted it. Indeed, Americans have "chosen a man to lead us" who embodies the very worst this country has to offer.
America is no longer much more than a speech about offering choices in absence of them. America the republic has become America the prescriptive plutocracy cum oligarchy. America is not one failed party but two forever entwined in a march to preclude and exclude that which threatens an institution hell-bent on the preservation of boundless regressionism.
And speaking of marches, more than 3 million citizens recently occupied small towns and urban centers under the masthead of "Women's March." This may very well be the largest collective protest in the history of the nation. Regardless, the tragic irony remains: a misogynist hoarded the White woman vote from a fairly well known White woman by the name of Hillary Clinton, and he did so by 10 points. And while Clinton toppled Trump by nearly 3 million popular votes, what would America look like today were she to have wrangled one more percent of those White women?
How can this be? What happened?
In short: nothing new.
Between 1952 and 2016, White women have supported Democrats more than Republicans in only two of the last seventeen elections. Yes, only two: JFK and, ironically, Bill Clinton. Black and Latino women supported Hillary Clinton by head-scratching numbers (94 and 68 percent respectively). 78 percent of other Non-White women also supported her. Yet, again, White women gave her an emphatic no vote. And non-college educated White women said "hell, no," with Trump winning their support 62 percent to 34 percent.
Overall, women favor the Democratic party. Since Bill Clinton took office, however, 3 percent of White women have defected from the Democratic Party to join Republicans. Today, more White women are Republicans than Democrats. Incidentally, it is important to note that the number of White voters who lean Republican has increased by a whopping 8 percent since 2008 while the number of Whites who lean Democrat declined by 7 percent during that same time. 54% of White registered voters identified as Republican or leaned toward the GOP in this election, while just 39% affiliated with the Democratic Party or leaned Democratic. One must wonder what could have possibly happened in 2008 that would lead to such dramatic White flight toward a conservative right and waning support for a supposed progressive left?
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Another point of note... 73 percent of Republicans have a certain or strong belief in "God." 55 percent of Democrats feel the same way. 14 percent more Republicans than Democrats find religion to be very important in one's life. Women are significantly (12 percent) more inclined to believe in God than men and find the importance of religion significant in their lives (also 12 percent). Nearly 20 percent more women than men pray on a regular basis. 10 percent more women than men believe religion to be the guide for right and wrong.
With this data in mind, it is hard to wrap one's head around the fact that just six in 10 women overall were "bothered by" Trump's misogyny. Unsurprisingly, his Cabinet is largely White and male and wealthy. The five females Trump tapped for top Cabinet picks include... a billionaire for Secretary of Education who wants to dismantle the Department of Education... a billionaire for the Small Business Administration that will likely stifle the Small Business Administration and who happens to be a close friend and avid fundraiser for Trump... a multi-millionaire former banking exec for Transportation Secretary who just so happens to be the wife of the Senate Majority Leader... and a Governor, millionaire, staunch pro life, anti-LGBT, anti-immigration, racist for U.N. Ambassador who will likely and gleefully execute Trump's plan to end membership in the body altogether. And then, of course, you have Trump's Chief Counselor and Campaign Spokesperson who lives in a perpetually alternative universe composed of "alternative facts" and whose husband was not so coincidentally involved in Paula Jones' lawsuit against Bill Clinton. This same man is now being considered for U.S. Solicitor General, the third highest ranking official in the Justice Department who supervises and conducts government litigation in the United States Supreme Court. This appointment certainly makes sense from an absurdly litigious president who demands his way, all day, every day, or else.
These five White women do not represent all White women. But they do represent a growing wave of such women curling to the right who stand with their party regardless of its generally anti-woman principles... a party that prefers to keep the abysmal number of policy-making women inside the Beltway right where it is, a party that prefers to keep women's wages right where they are, a party that prefers to keep women's professional opportunities right where they are, a party that prefers to limit women's personal choices, and a party that prefers to keep women at the beck and call of the White, American male.
The "Women's March" was extraordinary in magnitude and volume and camaraderie and collaboration and cooperation and general canon. Yet, the White woman's march toward a certain conservatism might be the bigger story and the one that needs far more telling. Having marched with nearly 500,000 women, men and children in Los Angeles, the coalition was as diverse as it was determined. It was bold. But it was also broad. How this will translate into a political movement is yet unknown.
What is known, however, is that White males far outnumber White females inside the Beltway and on the rungs of corporate ladders. 78 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs are men. 84 percent of corporate Board positions are held by men. TO the contrary, 9 of 10 nurses are women. 9 of 10 secretaries and administrative assistants are women. 9 of 10 home health aids are women. 8 of 10 elementary and middle school teachers are women. 8 of 10 social workers are women. 7 of 10 counselors are women. 7 of 10 tax preparers are women. 7 of 10 social and community managers are women. 7 of 10 human resources managers are women. More women than men want a job that helps society and a job that enables them to take time for family needs. More men than women want jobs with advancement opportunities.
A mere 16 percent of Americans believe that the ideal situation for children is a mother who works full time. An even more meager 12 percent believe that the ideal situation for a mother with children is to work full time while 70 percent believe that an ideal situation for a father with children is to work full time.
Bottom line: Americans believe that women should care for others while men care for, well, the bottom line.
Besides the wage gap and workplace gap and gender rights gap, these are other ways by which we reward women for caring for the masses... in 2016, 47 of 50 states do not provide paid maternity leave, dead last among developed countries. In 2016, there were 3,500 pregnancy discrimination cases. 60 percent of them ended with "no reasonable cause." Only 22 percent ended with "merited resolutions." 8 of 10 employees who experience sexual harassment are women. 1 in 3 women has been sexually harassed at work (nearly half of whom are college grads). 71 percent do not report incidents largely do to fear of repercussions or intimidation. One in five women is raped in her lifetime. 94 percent of murder-homicide victims are women.
The drip-drip-drip of White women defecting to the right has certainly taken its toll on establishing equilibrium between genders. How does this change when a vast swath of women vote party over their very own progress? By current trends, one might argue that the future of women might just rest in the hands of Black and Latino women who align with a more woman-facing, progressive agenda. One might also argue that the fastest growing ethnic group in the nation will play a major political role for generations of females to come. That group is Asians. 25 years ago, Asians were firmly in the GOPs bracket. 52 percent of them voted for Bush over Clinton in 1992. Three months ago, 87 percent of Asians voted for Hillary Clinton. Overall, 57 percent now identify as Democratic.
The opening paragraph of this piece cited a famous speech. That speech was given 13 years ago at the Democratic National Convention by a relative newcomer named Barack Obama. He went on to say this...
"Now even as we speak, there are those who are preparing to divide us, the spin masters and negative ad peddlers who embrace the politics of anything goes. Well, I say to them tonight, there's not a liberal America and a conservative America; there's the United States of America. There's not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there's the United States of America. The pundits, the pundits like to slice and dice our country into red states and blue States: red states for Republicans, blue States for Democrats. But I've got news for them, too. We worship an awesome God in the blue states, and we don't like federal agents poking around our libraries in the red states."
He was right about spin masters and negative peddlers who embrace the politics of anything goes. On November 8, 2016, America's electoral college clearly supported the most dubious negative peddler in presidential history. America also overwhelmingly supported the party that supports, if not gleefully promotes, such peddling. The November result was a resounding blow against an Obama presidency and against Democratic party impotence. It was equally a denouncement of a Clinton dynasty. If the first woman to be nominated for president by a major party was in possession of a name other than Clinton, one can only wager a guess as to the result, but judging history as it is and indicators as they are, such a result would not likely have been different.
The balance of what Obama said that night in that speech in 2004 was simply not true. America is liberal and conservative. America is White and Black and Latino and Asian. There are 30 red states and 20 blue states. And, if there were a God, would that God celebrate the grabbing of women by their pussies or the banning and berating of Muslims or the bleaching of a woman's right to do what she wants with her own body or the continued war waged by the wealthy upon its subjects?
Obama crafted that 2004 speech to support John Kerry, not Hillary Clinton. 12 years later, he certainly stood firmly by Hillary Clinton's side on her recent run for the White House. But let us not forget, this was a very different Obama than the one we witnessed in 2007 in his own efforts to thwart a Clinton dynasty. One of his most notable ads stated, "she would say anything to get elected" and "change nothing." This line would be the gift that kept on giving, as it became the sword of Damocles wielded by an unthinkably populist Trump.
Barack Obama was a pro-woman president. His first order of business when he assumed the presidency in 2008 was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. He appointed two women to the Supreme Court. His Cabinet and staff were round with gender and ethnicity. He was also boundlessly supportive and respectful of the three most important women in his life.
Regardless, as a man in front of the world stage in 2004, he did not give a grand nod toward women; only swift reverence to his mother and grandmother. Perhaps this was a pivotal opportunity squandered. Just imagine if he abandoned the religious pandering of worshiping some "awesome God" and, instead, offered us this...
"There MUST NOT be a liberal America and a conservative America. There MUST NOT be a black America and a white America and a Latino America and an Asian America. And there MUST NOT be a male America and a female America."