While I hope next Tuesday brings good news to the masses, much of the election coverage out there now is old news. Palin’s bat-shit harpy with beauty queen credentials while Hillary’s a bitter politico doing her party-duty so she might catch the leftovers in 2016.
But are those two, um, ladies all the x-chromosome political clout there is to offer? I’m sure new players will emerge in the next few years, but in the absence of a sure thing I’d like to send out my wish list to the universe for a viable, powerful female candidate who actually represents me.
She must be educated. Duh. And not via the Palin leap-frog route either. She needs at least one degree for every two schools she attended. And, preferably, she had to take out student loans for a good portion of that education. I want a candidate who understands just what a clusterfuck the holy grail of college is for the middle-class.
She needs to be of the middle class and preferably living there now. The higher-end is fine—she can own her own house and maybe a timeshare—but she needs to have first-hand memory of what it’s like to have to cut back on the basics. I want her to have known the anxiety that comes when you decide there are some bills that aren’t getting paid this month.
Her name needs to be her own. My biggest issue with Hillary was the fact that she was Bill’s wife. I’m not into dynasties. I want a woman who hasn’t been able to trade on the family name beyond her local community. I would rather she trade on her reputation for class and diplomacy, and for moving groups of people forward to accomplish a goal even while navigating differences of opinion.
I also want her to be a divorceé. She can have remarried by election time, but with so much of the population having gone through that fun little legal journey, and its emotional and financial aftermath, I’d like a woman who has been through it and come out on the other side without becoming an angry siren of vengeance. (Hey, it happens.) Being divorced will mean a battle with those who want to toss ‘family values’ into the mix, but I think it’s just the flip that argument needs.
Instead of ‘family values’, I want her to be known for valuing the basics of responsibility, honor, and service. And I want her to speak to those ideals as they apply to country, self and family. I’m tired of the family values argument. It’s outdated and doesn’t apply to me, or a lot of people, in the way it’s meant. I’m a family of one right now (not counting the cats) but I still have a responsibility to give a shit about my community and care about things beyond my selfish little world of Project Runway and job searching.
About those babies...I want her to prioritize education like never before—not just sex education—but education period, and I want her to couch it as a means to virtually eliminating unplanned pregnancies. Education + opportunities + self-esteem = fewer baby mamas and daddies. And yes, education does also mean sex education when age appropriate, and she will need to say that and not hide behind or cower before the Christian right.
Speaking of the Christian right, I want my candidate NOT to be part of that. Ok, that’s obvious I know, but what I want is for my candidate to not be religious. She can believe in God and she practice a particular faith privately, but I don’t want her to parade her ‘Christy-ness’, or whatever it is, around as if it was an achievement or a skill.
So now that I’ve talked about babies and religion, let me state the obvious. Even if the thought of abortion raises bile in her throat, I want her to be pro-choice. Period. She can’t want to limit access to abortion or birth-control ever. The education plan above will take time to work and even then babies are going to happen. The decision about what to do at that point should belong to the body it’s happening to and no one else.
Next up? The little things: War, crime, and money.