“If President Obama is reelected on November 6th, it will be primarily because he ran against Mitt Romney. It he were running unapposed, 2012 would be a very tough fight for him.” – Mark Shields, “The News Hour”
HAPPY WOMEN’S EQUALITY DAY, which on the eve of the Republican convention doesn’t seem like such a silly thing to celebrate anymore.
The quote above from Mark Shields is as sobering as it is true and this is part of the reason:
Pres. Obama as the “conservative reformist,” doesn’t that say it all?
Obama’s conservatism is something I’ve been writing about for years. It’s created more disaffected progressives and liberals than any other aspect of the Obama presidency, because this foundation bleeds through it.
What it means if Romney-Ryan wins and sweeps in a Republican Congress is something every person thinking or having decided to vote third party has likely thought about long and hard.
Every modern American woman, as well as the men who love us, will benefit from the reproductive health care options now available through Obamacare. It’s part of Obama’s economic plan that focuses on women, as is the Lily Ledbetter Act and pay equity, all of which Republicans oppose.
There are other candidates who represent women’s equally as well, Jill Stein and Rocky Anderson both do, even Gary Johnson supports women’s equal right to self-determination, something today’s Republicans fight against at all levels, though on entitlements and our government’s role in a modern society Johnson is delusional.
Women and feminist men sick of the Democratic-Republican seesaw that has gotten us nowhere will weigh the reality about to play out in Tampa, Florida this week. The answer they come up with begins with evaluating the third party candidates and the power they lack to get into a position to affect change by winning in November. This stacks up against the the antipathy they have towards the buying of the presidency, while thinking about what Todd Akin Republican policies would mean for women. It’s a tough intellectual endeavor, because in the end they’re voting for a candidate who can’t break through, because the voting system in our country is set up this way on purpose.
Keeping candidates like Jill Stein, Rocky Anderson, as well as Gary Johnson, on the outside looking feckless, impotent and unimportant, while Democrats promote women’s right and Republicans promote women’s bondage to government or the state. So what do feminists of either gender do if they can’t bring themselves to support the broken system? Some will eventually give in, which is understandable, and others will continue to fight for change no matter the cost, which is noble. However, the movement and activism for alternatives beyond Democrats and Republicans must get larger, louder and more effective, or the supporters of third party candidates will end up hurting women’s equality in the end.
If Republicans prevail in 2012, what will that mean for women’s equality?
Maybe Americans have to see their anti-women agenda enacted before it’s understood?
Or perhaps if Republicans tried to implement their Romney-Ryan-Akin agenda the American people would launch a full scale revolt. Perhaps that’s what’s needed, because what’s going on right now in this country isn’t working, just look at Congress.
At a time when the Republican Party has revealed itself as the Todd Akin brigade, with a foundation of Dick Cheney neoconservatism minus the experience, the possibility that Romney-Ryan-Akin could assume power must vex independent voters, as well as disenchanted progressives, especially those who are high information activists that don’t blow with the wind and are laughed at and derided by Democrats and Republicans for daring to think outside the corporate party system. However, the passion of independent voters to reject the very system that has a stranglehold on better candidates prevailing, stronger policies being implemented, and a Congress being elected that isn’t in place to applaud the Executive Branch if he is one of their own, is no less important than the partisan’s goal to re-elect Pres. Obama because of what looms for women’s rights if he doesn’t prevail.
But what about the people who are against the American foreign policy currently on tap, with Republicans and Democrats representing the same type of militarism and Pentagon profligacy, with a drone war thrown in here and there? What do people do if they’re disgusted by the Obama administration’s lack of prosecutorial heft where Wall Street is concerned? That Democrats continue to ignore the plight of the poor while Republicans think the disadvantaged just need longer bootstraps?
Anyone committed to not voting for the big two corporate parties, for which no one can blame them, continues to carry the heaviest burden, because for our democratic republic to carry on as usual has proven not to be the answer, but looking at the alternative prospect this year remains a harrowing alternative to envision for women’s rights. It’s why the Democratic convention will be an anthem to this issue and should be, because they own it.
The stakes are high on all sides. People want more than just a contest between Obama and Romney, with the only way to get that being for more people to demand it by sending a message with their vote.
Yet on this Women’s Equality Day in 2012, we all face the prospect of the Republican Party and its Todd Akin platform being implemented, which has to give all voters pause.
How badly do American women need Barack Obama and the Democratic Party’s commitment to advancing women’s full equality? When you look at Romney-Ryan the answer screams out, but considering what you’d be voting for if you decide to vote against the Republican Party’s vision for women, the choice remains complicated.
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release August 24, 2012
WOMEN’S EQUALITY DAY, 2012
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BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA A PROCLAMATION
On Women’s Equality Day, we mark the anniversary of our Constitution’s 19th Amendment, which secured the right to vote for America’s women. The product of profound struggle and fierce hope, the 19th Amendment reaffirmed what we have always known: that America is a place where anything is possible and where each of us is entitled to the full pursuit of our own happiness. We also know that the defiant, can-do spirit that moved millions to seek suffrage is what runs through the veins of American history. It remains the wellspring of all our progress. And nearly a century after the battle for women’s franchise was won, a new generation of young women stands ready to carry that spirit forward and bring us closer to a world where there are no limits on how big our children can dream or how high they can reach.
To keep our Nation moving ahead, all Americans — men and women — must be able to help provide for their families and contribute fully to our economy. That is why I have made supporting the needs and aspirations of women and girls a top priority for my Administration. From signing the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act into law and creating the White House Council on Women and Girls to combatting sexual assault and promoting women’s economic and political empowerment at home and abroad, we have worked to ensure women have the opportunities they need and deserve at every stage of their lives. As women around the world continue to fight for their seat at the table, my Administration will keep their interests at the core of our policy decisions — and we will join them every step of the way.
Today, women are nearly 50 percent of our workforce, the majority of students in our colleges and graduate schools, and a growing number of breadwinners in their families. From business to medicine to our military, women are leading the fields that were closed off to them only decades ago. We owe that legacy of progress to our mothers and aunts, grandmothers and great-grandmothers — women who proved not only that opportunity and equality do not come without a fight, but also that they are possible. Even with the gains we have made, we still have work to do. As we mark this 92nd anniversary of the 19th Amendment, let us reflect on how far we have come toward fully realizing the basic freedoms enshrined in our founding documents, rededicate ourselves to closing the gaps that remain, and continue to widen the doors of opportunity for all of our daughters and sons.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim August 26, 2012, as Women’s Equality Day. I call upon the people of the United States to celebrate the achievements of women and recommit to realizing gender equality in this country.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-fourth day of August, in the year of our Lord two thousand twelve, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-seventh.