I was rather surprised by the lack of showing on behalf of Elizabeth Warren. Of the current crop of candidates, she comes across as the most intelligent, prepared and capable. And despite what many establishment Democrats and virtually all Republicans say, she’s barely Left of Center, policy wise.
The last couple of days I’ve been reading quite a bit of commentary regarding her performance. It seems among those who support her, everybody was rather saddened and surprised that she hasn’t done better. Many think it’s because she’s a woman. They link to this essay from a couple of years ago, which is good reading. I can’t say, I still don’t know myself. But there are two anecdotes I do have –
1) I’m the only male supporter of her that I know. I know of a few Bernie supporters that saw her as a second option, but that’s it.
2) Her most vocal critics that I personally read, we’re women of color. The chose Biden over her because they felt that she did not pursue the black vote nearly enough down South.
Again, I still haven’t gathered enough info to form a solid opinion on the cause of her performance. But I’m reminded of two things, in particular, that make me really want to dig in to our society.
1) She reminds me a lot of Hillary in 2016. Competent, controlled and she had plans for everything. She was intelligent, had a quick wit and did not back down from the men in the room. Hillary had a lot of baggage, some of it legitimate, much of it not. I’ve watched her be trashed consistently since she was merely the First Lady. Go back and read the social and political commentary about a woman who was just the wife of the President. To call it vicious, underhanded and small is to not do justice to the commentary. She couldn’t win to save her life. The comments about Chelsea were similar.
2) About 34 years ago, maybe a bit more, my mom, aunt and I myself went into a pawnshop where my mom had to pawn something, I think it was a VCR. She needed the money. I believe it was Scary Larry’s, which at the time had a place over on Broadwater. The guy was loud, somewhat greasy looking and… pretty much a normal guy from my rather limited experience at the time. They haggle a bit, settle on a price and then he hands mom the money. He wants to tell a joke he says. He proceeds to hold a dollar over my mom’s head and says, “What’s this mean?” Nobody says anything.
“Nothing under a buck!” Everybody laughs, mom and aunt included. Even at my age then, something seemed mean about it, but I didn’t understand what. Not then. But everybody smiled and laughed and then we left with our $30 or whatever.
I don’t know how much sexism played a roll in either the Clinton or Warren campaigns, but I do know that I’ve personally experienced a fair share of those kind of jokes, those kinds of comments, that kind of attitude even this year. I don’t laugh but many still do.