As we draw closer to a general election battle between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, professional pundits are beginning to admit that any predictions must be taken with a grain of salt. After everyone was thoroughly embarrassed by their analyses of the primaries, few are willing to stake what remains of their reputations on further declarations.
But even as the country gets comfortable with the unknown, there is one unknown that almost no one is talking about. Maybe in an election that didn’t include Donald Trump, there would be room for this speculation. More likely, though – considering the allegiances of the liberal media – it would be gently swept under the rug. You can’t be too careful. You start bringing up questions like this one and you could accidentally plant an idea in someone’s head. That would be dangerous.
What’s the question? Simple: Is America ready to elect a female president?
At first blush, this sounds like the kind of crap liberals throw around to make us all feel bad about our culture of sexism. But this isn’t about casting judgements on society or making a statement about cultural norms. It’s just a recognition of a fact: It’s never happened before. And there’s a chance, however small it might be, that it can’t happen. At least not right now.
It’s not surprising that this question is being ignored. Liberals don’t want to poison the well and conservatives don’t want to give Hillary supporters an excuse for failure.
Hillary has been – and will be – criticized for playing what Trump calls “the woman card,” and that criticism is valid. For anyone other than the most militant feminists, just “being a woman” is not enough to recommend you for the White House.
And, as loathe as anyone is to admit it, it could very well turn out to be a fatal detriment.
To be clear, there is every reason to believe that America can and would elect a female president. And even if Hillary loses in a landslide, it won’t prove otherwise. She is, after all, hardly the greatest representation of her gender. If America was ready for a black man with an African name and a Muslim background, it’s hard to imagine we’re not ready for a woman.
But if you’re grasping around for reasons to hope that Hillary won’t be president, it’s something to keep in mind. That hope comes mingled with a little bit of shame, but that’s a small sacrifice compared to the disaster her administration would be. If worse comes to worst and we have to rely on America’s latent sexism to put Trump in office…well, all’s fair in love and war.