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Women Will Play Defining Role in Post Impeachment USA Elections

December 20, 2019

 

I write this on an historic and sad week in my country's history.  Last night the U.S. House of Representatives voted to impeach the 45th president of the United States, charging him with 1) Abuse of Power and 2) Obstruction of Justice. This is only the third in our 243 year history that Congress has taken such a drastic step. 

Of course, everyone knows that President Donald Trump will not be removed from office, because the U.S. Senate, where the impeachment trial will be held in January, is now controlled by the Party of Trump—that once upon a time was the Republican Party.  

Over the last few weeks, I’ve heard more hours of witness testimony and congressional pontificating than I care to admit. I’m sick and tired of all that the Trump era has unleashed and would love nothing better than to sleep it off until America turns the page and begins to heal. 

But I can’t do that. And I hope you won’t either. We’re going to have to fight our way out of this mess. And women will play a greater role than ever before in shaping the USA that will morph from this Constitutional crisis. Think about it. 

From the moment he took the oath of office, Donald Trump’s presidency has triggered fierce backlash from women.  I was one of millions who donned pink pussy hats to mark his inauguration with the largest one-day protest in U.S. history. And that was just the beginning. 

In a fascinating article, Welcome to the First Impeachment in the Era of Female Power, reporter Garance Franke-Ruta writes, “They (women) fueled the rise of grassroots resistance groups that organized across the country to turn out voters and take on Republicans from the county seat-level to the presidency. They ran for Congress — and won — in record numbers in 2018. A CNN poll right before Thanksgiving found that 61% of women favored impeaching Trump, as compared to only 40% of men. That’s an astonishing gender gap.” 

Plus, the 116th Congress, which impeached this president, is not only led by the first-ever female Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, it has more female members (23%) than ever before in history.

And 83% of those Congresswomen voted for impeachment. Many represent swing districts where their vote will trigger bitter re-election fights. We need to have their backs!

Now comes the true test. Exactly 100 years after American Suffragists finally won their 75 year fight for women's right to vote, we will have it in our power to save our ship of state from political suicide.

Because, not only are more women than men registered to vote in the U.S. they also go to the polls during elections in greater numbers than men. Let's not leave it to African American women alone to save us from misogynistic men determined to make decisions about our bodies and our safety. Just because we're sleeping with the patriarchy doesn't mean we can't take our equal place beside them in the halls of power. 

So here are my 2020 rallying cries. 

First, an all-male (president and vice president) ticket must be UNTHINKABLE. Don't wait until it's too late. We must raise our voices and flex our financial and political muscles NOW to ensure that one of the many tremendously qualified women currently serving as senators, congresswomen, governors and maybe even small-town mayors WILL be on the Democratic ticket. 

Second, our second class status will only end when we DEMAND that it ends. That requires gender parity in political office -- from the White House and U.S. Congress to state capitals and county commissions. The 2019 Global Gender Gap Report, which was released this week, shows that political empowerment and economic opportunity are the two biggest barriers holding women back, despite nearly gender parity in education and health care gains. 

If you aren't running for office yourself, let this be the year you give more money, knock on more voters' doors and work harder than ever before to make sure women aren't just passengers on our national runaway train. 

Finally, treat yourself (and your favorite future feminist!) to some great books. Here's some of my favorite, new inspiration: Broad Influence by Jay Newton-Small, Enlightened Sexism by Susan Douglas and Oranges for Eve: My Brave, Beautiful Badass Journey to the Feminine Divine by Rabbi Tamara Kolton.  

Enjoy the holidays. Let's get rested and ready to POWER UP in 2020! Anne 

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