By now most folks have heard about former First Lady Michelle Obama, the woman Democrats are quietly, desperately pleading with to run for president in 2020, sounding off on women who voted for Donald Trump in the last election. Wrapped in a larger new age rant about staying true to her “authentic self,” Michelle threw out this little jewel:
“As far as I’m concerned, any woman who voted against Hillary Clinton voted against their own voice. What does it mean for us, as women, that we look at those two candidates… and many of us said, ‘That guy? He’s better for me. His voice is more true to me.’ Well, to me, that just says you don’t like your voice. You like the thing you’re told to like.”
Look, I understand that we’re all just supposed to politely believe that Michelle Obama is thoughtful, rational, and levelheaded. But that notion has always been a false media construct, and this ridiculous statement belies it.
First, Michelle’s statement assumes the false notion of a binary choice between either Hillary or Donald. It doesn’t allow for the conscience of many women that said neither of these two individuals represent “my voice.”
Second, to suggest that someone as corrupt, privileged, and entangled with evil as Hillary Clinton is the voice of all women is just dumb. While she is currently making the media rounds as the loveable victim of nefarious Russian election hacking, let’s remember Hillary’s is the voice that intimidated, threatened, and silenced victims of sexual assault. That may be Michelle’s voice, but to suggest she can say the same for all other women is not just presumptuous, but audacious.
Third, I understand that critical thinking skills aren’t exactly en vogue these days on the American political landscape. But how did it not dawn on Michelle that her statement was a complete self-contradiction. Look at what her last line intimated about women who voted for Trump: “You like the thing you’re told to like.” Now, explain to me what it is that Michelle Obama is doing in this entire riff. She’s telling women the thing they should like.
So here’s how radical I am. I tend to believe that women are just as capable of thinking independently, intelligently, critically, and analytically as men.
I think that women are just as diverse and unique in their opinions as men.
I think that some women can prefer one thing and others another, rather than thinking and acting as a monolithic block of sock puppets.
I think that women are capable of finding Donald Trump’s behavior despicable while still believing his agenda is a better one for the country than Hillary’s, just as I think women are capable of finding Hillary Clinton’s behavior deplorable while still believing her agenda is a better one for the country than Donald’s.
I think a woman’s vote is between her and her conscience. I believe in a woman’s choice to exercise voting rights as she sees fit.
And do you know why I believe all those things? Because they’re true, and because I apparently hold women in higher regard than a certain former First Lady.