Had Bernie been Bernadette — The heartbreaking truth about American patriarchy
Lauren Besser
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I made a Medium account just so I could respond to this. I hope you get a chance to read my comment. First, I just want to say thank you for this piece. I have seen so many pieces that are set up exactly like this, but fail to get to the heart of the issue. It’s not “we should vote for Hillary because she’s a woman”, it’s “are the positive effects of finally having a female President greater than the negative effects of failing to elect the best candidate (in my mind at least)? I really appreciate your ability to see both sides of this and my heart goes out to you for that struggle. As a man, I can’t truly understand it, especially because as an Atheist Jew myself, Bernie represents both my values and the first chance for people like me to be President.

My big issue with people voting for Hillary on the grounds of what it would do for women in this country is this. Would woman be saying the same if Carly Fiorina was in position to win the nomination? I think not. There seems to be a sentiment of, well Hillary isn’t the best candidate, but she’s a woman and she’s good enough. I disagree with that sentiment. I think, very soon, possibly as soon as 2020 (looking at you Elizabeth Warren), there is going to be a female candidate who actually is the best candidate for President in the race. That is the woman we should be electing President and every woman after her who is also the best candidate in the race.

Women have gotten the short end of the stick in this country for far too long. I mean, we let black men vote before we let women vote! I think that tells you something about how we’ve treated women, considering how badly we’ve treated black men. Things have improved greatly, but sexism is still very prevalent in this society and I know that Hillary Clinton has endured a whole lot of it. She still is enduring some, I am ashamed to admit in part from Bernie Sanders supporters. I hope very much (and am working to ensure) that those days will soon be behind us, but electing Hillary as President will not solve sexism. Electing Obama did not solve racism, did it?

What we need to do is elect leaders who are committed to leading this country in positive directions, be they man or woman, black or white or any other color. I do not believe Hillary Clinton is committed to the American people in the way Bernie Sanders is. It has nothing to do with her gender and everything to do with her dishonesty, her hawkish war record, and her campaign contributions from every corner of every big industry in America.

I completely agree that Bernie Sanders would have no chance to win were he a woman, and that frustrates the hell out of me. It’s absolutely ridiculous and it needs to change. But it doesn’t change the fact that he is the best candidate. He is the candidate most committed to equality for women, minorities, the poor, and every other group of people who have been marginalized in this country. He will lead us to a better, happier, more prosperous America and I promise you with all my heart, that when we have a female candidate who is the best choice for President of this country, myself and millions of others who support Bernie will put everything we have behind that candidate. Not because she is a woman, but because she is the best candidate.

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