All White at the Top

Super Tuesday is over, and what a disappointment it has been to watch the Democratic candidates of color, the women, and our first LGBTQ candidate running for President drop out of the race one by one due to lackluster support. Never before have we had such a strong group of candidates who represented more of the majority of voters than in this year’s Democratic primary. And now we are faced with choosing between two White men to lead the Democratic ticket, one of whom will ultimately run against another White male for President.

What has transpired that caused this lack of diversity at the top of the Democratic ticket? Is it a result of more overt racism in the last three years that has not been challenged by the right? Perhaps it was the discernment over Hillary Clinton being backed instead of Bernie Sanders by the Democratic National Committee in 2016. She faced an enormous amount of vitriol, despite her winning the popular vote, and maybe that turned the electorate off to the idea of electing a woman as President. The answer(s) are anyone’s guess.

Elizabeth Warren was asked after dropping out of the race whether or not gender played a role in the campaign. “That is the trap question for every woman.” Tearing up, she acknowledged “all of those little girls who are gonna have to wait four more years” to see a woman be elected President. Sad indeed.

As a nation, we have not had to choose between two White males since the 2004 Presidential race 16 years ago when George W. Bush beat John Kerry. And here we are again. Could the two-time election of Barack Obama – our first and only African American President and person of color — have been an anomaly? Let’s hope not. And will we ever see a woman as President? Let’s hope so.

Ellen Coplen