As the 2020 elections get closer and Americans have to grapple with the effects of Donald Trump’s presidency, former President Barack Obama has returned to deliver an inspiring message in favor of women in leadership positions. One might hope that something as simple as that wouldn’t be a de facto rebuke of the current president of the United States — but it is. Trump has routinely publicly derided women, and the majority of his closest associates remain old white men. Rather than stopping there, he’s also rolled back basic women’s rights to healthcare through means like defunding Planned Parenthood, which provides many different crucial health services to low income individuals.
Obama countered that position at a leadership event in Singapore, where he and former First Lady Michelle Obama had visited.
‘Now women, I just want you to know, you are not perfect, but what I can say pretty indisputably is that you’re better than us. I’m absolutely confident that for two years if every nation on earth was run by women, you would see a significant improvement across the board on just about everything… living standards and outcomes. If you look at the world and look at the problems it’s usually old people, usually old men, not getting out of the way.’
At present, there’s one woman among the leading Democratic presidential candidates: Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, although Obama certainly didn’t single her out by name for any kind of endorsement. The field’s leaders also include Obama’s former second-in-command Joe Biden and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.
Obama didn’t stop with the above — he got even more direct in his criticisms of those currently in power, no matter who exactly replaces them.
‘It is important for political leaders to try and remind themselves that you are there to do a job, but you are not there for life, you are not there in order to prop up your own sense of self importance or your own power.’
Looking at you, Mitch McConnell (among others). Not only is Trump an old racist and sexist white man, but many of his allies are long-serving white men who seem most intent on protecting their political careers. Despite the weeks on end of public evidence accumulation implicating Trump in a plot to exchange military aid for dirt from Ukraine on his Democratic rivals, no Congressional Republican has come out in favor of the ongoing impeachment proceedings targeting Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Instead, they have resorted to melodramatic proclamations about Trump’s supposed innocence that bear little resemblance to judicial standard let alone reality. They’ve claimed that Trump’s innocent because he said he is — but that’s not how it works.
That’s one of the issues poised to affect the push to replace Trump. There’s now just a short time until the first votes are cast in the Democratic presidential primary race, with states set to vote in rapid succession after that throughout this coming spring. Overall, there’s been little dramatic movement in the polls — although all the leading candidates do consistently beat Trump in polls measuring possible general election match-ups.