Sunday, June 29, 2008

Respect for Hillary

I am disappointed that we will not have a female president in the near future. This is what I told my 81 year old father who asked me how I was doing.

My father laughed.

I do not feel that was an appropriate response. It was disrespectful. It was unsympathetic. It was tasteless.

My father is supporting John McCain. I respect my father's right to vote for the presidential candidate that he feels will be best.

If and when John McCain loses the presidential election, I am sure my father will be disappointed. He might express his disappointment that a man who served his country honorably in Viet Nam and was a POW for more than five years will not become president.

I will not laugh at that. I will say that, yes, it is disappointing that someone who suffered so much for his country was not judged by the majority of Americans to be the best person to be president.

I respect John McCain. I respect his contribution to his country. I respect his patriotism. It is my personal judgment that he is not the right person to be president of the U.S. But I will not laugh at those who think he is.

I do not understand this lack of respect for Hillary Clinton. She is a very well-qualified, accomplished woman. She is a U.S. Senator. These are the facts.

I do not understand how Hillary's detractors could show up at her public events with signs that say "Iron My Shirt." Presumably the sign meant that Hillary should "know her place" and not be an "uppity woman" and focus her attention on housework, like ironing. The detractors are ignorant of the law since the 1964 Civil Rights Act guaranteed women equal employment, allowing them to become U.S. Senators and run for President.

The issue of equality and respect is an important one.

Did Barack Obama's detractors show up at his public events with signs that said "Shine My Shoes, Boy." No they did not. We would have been appalled. That would have been racist. We are better than that. We respected Barack Obama. So, why isn't Hillary entitled to the same respect? Why is okay to be sexist, but not okay to be racist?

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