Hillary Clinton and Identity Politics

Have you heard that Hillary Clinton is the "first woman" ever to be nominated for president by a major political party? Of course you have. The media have repeated the line so often it is broken news.

Hillary Clinton's nomination and the euphoria in the press (one NPR female reporter said she has seen women weeping over the possibility of Hillary becoming president) eclipses any discussion about the real issues facing the country.

To quote Clinton in another context, "what difference does it make" that she is a woman? A liberal is a liberal, regardless of gender, race or ethnicity.

Must we go through an entire list of "firsts" before we get to someone who can solve our collective problems, instead of making them worse? Many of those cheering this supposed progress in American culture, which follows the historic election of the "first African-American president," are insincere, if not disingenuous. Otherwise, they would have applauded the advancement of African-Americans like Gen. Colin Powell, Justice Clarence Thomas, former one-term Rep. Allen West (R-FL), Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) and conservative women like Sarah Palin, Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), former presidential candidate Carly Fiorina, Rep. Mia Love (R-UT) and many others.

Immigrants who entered the country legally and became citizens are virtually ignored by the media. They champion instead illegal immigrants and the liberals who support them.

The reason for this disparity in attitude and coverage is that conservative blacks, women and Hispanics hold positions anathema to the left. Conservative African-Americans have been called all kinds of derogatory names in an effort to get them to convert to liberal orthodoxy, and they're ostracized if they don't convert. If conservative, a female is likely to be labeled a traitor to her gender, or worse.

Notice how the term "women's issues" is used by the media and certain politicians to suggest that there is only one acceptable position for females on any given topic. To the left, women's issues appear to mean abortion rights, same-sex marriage, higher taxes, bigger government and electing more women who favor such things.

When it comes to accomplished conservative female leaders, one of the greatest and smartest of our time was the late Jeane Kirkpatrick, Ronald Reagan's consequential U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. As Jay Nordlinger wrote in his review of Peter Collier's book "Political Woman" for National Review, "In a saner world, Jeane Kirkpatrick would have been lionized by feminists. She had risen from the oil patch to the commanding heights of U.S. foreign policy. But her views were 'wrong.'"

Collier writes that Kirkpatrick, who was a Democrat most of her life, recalled feminist icon Gloria Steinem once referring to her as "a female impersonator." Author Naomi Wolf called her "a woman without a uterus" and claimed that she had been "unaffected by the experiences of the female body." Kirkpatrick responded, "I have three kids, while she, when she made this comment had none."

The left gets away with these kinds of smears because they largely control the media and the message. No Republican could escape shunning, or worse, if such language were employed against a female Democrat.

Conservative columnist Michelle Malkin, born in Philadelphia to Philippine citizens, has written about some of the printable things she's been called -- "race traitor," "white man's puppet," "Tokyo Rose," "Aunt Tomasina."

As the cliche goes, if liberals didn't have a double standard, they would have no standards at all.

There's an old joke about a woman with five children who was asked if she had it to do over again would she have five kids. "Yes," she replied, "just not these five."

As the husband of a successful woman with a master's degree and accomplished daughters and granddaughters, that's how we feel about Hillary Clinton. We're all for a female president, just not this one.

Cal Thomas
Cal Thomas
Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist and author