By Cloie Swain / Staff writer
By Cloie Swain / Staff writer
If Jerry Brown told Meg Whitman during a debate to go back to her rightful place in the kitchen and make him a sandwich, a few things would happen in very quick succession.
The first would be a mass lesson on how exactly to spell “chauvinist” as newspaper editors and political pundits all dropped dead from giddiness at the gift.
The second would possibly be a small earthquake in highly populated areas of California where people would be stampeding to the ballots in order to cast their votes for Whitman out of pure spite for Brown’s words.
Not only Republicans or Tea Partiers either, the disgust for sexism in politics could possibly trump the disgust for her obviously biased financial platform and send equality loving Californians of Democratic, Green, and other independent persuasions to elect her.
To clear up the motive of this piece, neither of our major party candidates for California governor are being accused or otherwise connected to chauvinistic behavior. They are strictly being used for an example.
Also because picturing that happening could make for some great “Saturday Night Live” skits, on par with the epicness that Sarah Palin provided in 2008. But that is neither here nor there.
The idea that a male candidate for office telling a female opponent to go back and do something that has become a cultural anecdote (which actually isn’t that funny, by the way) employed by legions of “mini-chauvs” for a quick laugh with their dumb buddies is as offensive as is a female candidate telling a male opponent to “man up.”
The fact that this even has to be said is kind of ridiculous, what with more attention paid to who got the better soundbite today as opposed to who has the better plan to put their constituents back to work. Or finally getting around to that whole marriage equality thing.
You know, the somewhat important issues America has on the docket lately.
The whole debacle comes from Republican Nevada senate hopeful Sharron Angle and was addressed to Senate majority leader Harry Reid.
She wanted Reid to acknowledge something about how it’s his fault for the economy, or social security, or the war. She then proceeded to tell him to “man up” about four more times, in case anyone had missed it the first time.
Aside from the honestly lame phrase to cling to (Democrat or not, nobody can deny exactly how great the “Yes We Can” slogan worked, and now all hopeful candidates are futilely leeching onto anything to generate the same effect), Angle looks like a kid on the playground calling out weak insults to try and get her name.
Politics, perpetually a hotbed of immature “leaders,” has now actually sunk lower with its standards, and Angle is the poster child for it.
Attacking someone’s manhood, or womanhood for equality’s sake, is essentially like calling them a butt-head.
It’s juvenile, immature, and frankly astounding when it is uttered by someone vying to represent the general public.
If the election were for a group of sugar high elementary kids, Angle would have it in the bag, but since she is aiming for Nevada as opposed to the sandbox, she has to grow up.
Instead of busting out with a fallacy of the day to get a leg up on the competition, our candidates need to understand that behaving like children is going to cost them.
Since we have a real easy way of telling them how we feel by not voting for them, it should be a no-brainer at the polls.
A voter movement is possible. We saw it in the congressional 2006 elections.
We saw it even more so in the mass exodus of first time and rare demographic voters in 2008 for the presidential election. It can be done. And now it’s time to do it again.
Withholding office from candidates who behave poorly will be the political equivalent of a time out for them. Without the constraints of the office they were unable to whine and kick sand their way into, they’ll have more time to comb over their campaign and see what worked and what didn’t.
Hopefully they will see that their actions are irresponsible, and that simply being witty around a microphone is not enough to earn a position responsible for millions of people.
By forcing our politicians to grow up and stop with the catty insults, we will hopefully mold a group of people who can speak eloquently about problems we face and how they will be the best to fix them, not just be the better one at spitting out insults.