I had dinner with a progressive last night. At least, I think I did, because she used the word “progressive” to describe countries that had elected a female president.
My first thought was that this was an effort to maneuver into a discussion about Hillary 2016. I assumed that the theme would be how America is second rate compared to those other countries that had already elected a woman as president.
My at-the-table response was to share my first hand experience in Brazil, describing the extreme division between the “haves” and “have nots,” which was quite shocking to personally witness.
After replaying the discussion in my head, I have developed a better response, and it is one that can be easily modified and reused for similar situations. Ironically, this improved response developed as I recalled the Benghazi hearing and Hillary’s disgusting attempt to belittle the effort to expose what happened.
When I am confronted in the future by a “progressive” talking point regarding the race, sex, or another superficial characteristic of an elected official, my response will essentially be, “What difference, at this point, does it make?”
More specifically my response will be some variation of, “What difference does the sex of the President make? Don’t you want to vote for the most qualified candidate regardless of their sex? In today’s society why does sex matter?”
This forces the opposition to process the fact that their worldview is based on ideologies they claim to reject, that is sexism, racism, etc. It also forces the opposition into a choice: What is more important in an electoral contest, a superficial characteristic such as race or sex, or a fundamental characteristic such as training or experience.
The only counter argument I can anticipate is one regarding gender “inequality,” where the opposition claims that comparing candidates based on fundamental characteristics is not fair because the female candidate will always be at a disadvantage due to societal oppression. This is nonsense of course, but I think the better counter would be to acknowledge that this might be an issue, but enforce that it would be better addressed at the source, rather than allowing a lesser qualified candidate to hold an office (See: Barack Obama).
Even though this brief part of the dinner discussion was awkward, it gave me the chance to craft another counter position to the narrative that someone’s color or sex is important to their political aspirations, or their political value.