Woman Suffrage

Centennial Of 19th Amendment On August 18, 2020: Time For A Woman VP And Eventually President!

On August 18, 2020, we will be celebrating the centennial of the 19th Amendment, giving all women the right to vote.

The battle for women suffrage was a long, hard fought struggle for 72 years, since the first national call for the right to vote for women occurred at the Seneca Falls, New York Equal Rights Convention in 1848.

It took fifty years after the 15th Amendment, giving African American men the right to vote in 1870, before the battle for women, white and nonwhite, to gain that similar right was accomplished, as it was thought to be too extreme and radical after the Civil War, crazy as that is, when one looks back!

It was the work of Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton at the convention, and over the next 72 years, Stanton continued her activism, and was joined in it by such figures as Susan B. Anthony, Carrie Chapman Catt, and Alice Paul.

And the final push for the 19th Amendment came from the first woman to serve in Congress, in the House of Representatives, Republican Jeanette Rankin of Montana.

Now, we will have a woman Vice Presidential nominee, to be announced soon by Joe Biden, and a strong chance that whoever is selected will become the first woman Vice President, and possibly, a future President!

95th Anniversary Of Woodrow Wilson’s Death: The Decline In Historical Reputation, Although Still In Top Quarter Of All Presidents

On February 3, 1924, Woodrow Wilson, who had been in retirement only for nearly three years, died in his home, the Woodrow Wilson House, in Washington DC, at the age of 67.

Wilson had never fully recovered from the massive stroke he suffered on October 2, 1919, and he was unable to gain support of the US Senate for the Versailles Treaty and American membership in the League of Nation that he had fought for when he attended the Peace Treaty negotiations in France, the first President to travel overseas as America’s diplomat.

Wilson had accomplished much domestic legislation that was memorable, including the Federal Reserve Act, the Federal Trade Commission Act, the Clayton Antitrust Act, and the first federal labor laws.

But his record on racial segregation was horrendous, and he opposed the woman suffrage movement for a long time. He also presided over massive attacks on civil liberties during the First World War, totally intolerant of dissent.

And his mission to the Versailles Peace Conference ended in failure, as America did not join the League of Nations, and ratified its own peace treaty with Germany and the other nations on the losing side of the war.

Wilson’s reputation for his accomplishments kept him in the top ten of all Presidents for many decades, but lately he has come under fire, and his spot in the Presidential polls of scholars has declined. He is now out of the top ten at number 11 in the C Span Presidential Poll of historians conducted in 2017, after having earlier been number 6 in 2000, and number 9 in 2009. The American Political Science poll of Political Science professors had pegged Wilson at number 10 in 2014, and in 2018, he slipped to number 11, the same as the most recent C Span poll.

The troubling part is that Wilson fell behind Ronald Reagan and Lyndon B. Johnson in the recent polling, and is only 15 points ahead in the C Span 2017 poll over number 12, Barack Obama, just as he left the Presidency.

So do not be surprised that Wilson will likely slip to number 12 in the next polling, with Obama surging ahead of him, as Obama looks ever better in comparison to Donald Trump, who ended up at the bottom of the APSA 2018 poll as number 44 out of 44.

Nearly One Out Of Four Members Of The 116th Congress Will Be Women, All Time High

The role of women in American politics has grown dramatically in recent years, and in 2019-2020, the 116th Congress will have its highest number of women in history, 102 in the House of Representatives, and 25 in the US Senate.

89 of the House women are Democrats, while 13 are Republicans, and in the Senate, 17 women are Democrats, and 8 are Republicans.

So 106 women in Congress are Democrats, as compared to 21 Republicans, nearly five times the rate among Democrats as compared to Republicans.

Every state except four have had Congresswomen, the only exceptions being Alaska, Iowa, North Dakota and Vermont, but with the first three having elected Senators, so only Vermont has never had a woman represent the state in Congress.

Nearly 38 percent of Democrats in the House of Representatives are women, while only 6.5 percent of Republicans are women.

About the same percentage, 38 percent, of Democrats in the Senate are women, while about 14 percent of Republicans are women. 

35 Democratic women were elected to the House of Representatives in November 2018, to just 1 Republican woman, an amazing statistic.

2 Democratic women were elected to the Senate in November 2018, to just 1 Republican,  plus 1 Republican appointed to fill a seat to 2020.

So clearly,  the Democrats are the party of women by vast margins, as compared to Republicans.

The longest serving Congresswoman ever, Marcy Kaptur, Democrat of Ohio, has served 36 years and will start her 19th term in January.

Nancy Pelosi, the past and future Speaker of the House, is starting her 17th term in Congress, having served 32 years.

And this all began with Republican Jeannette Rankin of Montana, elected to serve in 1917-1918, and sponsoring the woman suffrage 19th Amendment.

Multiple Women Running For President: Will That Help Men In the Democratic Presidential Race Of 2020?

It is not too soon to start considering potential nominees for the Democratic Presidential nomination in 2020.

We know that as soon as the Midterm Elections of 2018 are decided, the 2020 Presidential battle begins.

We have the potential of four women running for President, but the question is whether that possible reality will actually help men to triumph, with the women neutralizing each other.

So one wonders if it would be a better idea for at least two of the four women to forgo the Presidential race, not that it is likely that will actually happen.

2020 is the year of the Centennial of the 19th Amendment, the woman suffrage amendment, and it would certainly be appropriate for a woman to be nominated for and win the Presidency, particularly after Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, and still lost the Electoral College in 2016.

Who among the women would be most likely to have a good chance to win?

This author would argue Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar would be the best case scenario.

Klobuchar has had both state and national experience, and comes across as less controversial and more mainstream than the other three women who are considering running for President.

Klobuchar has a great advantage coming from the Midwest, and the Democratic Farmer Labor tradition of Hubert Humphrey, Eugene McCarthy, Walter Mondale, and Paul Wellstone.

Do not forget that the Midwest is the crucial area of the nation that the Democrats must win, and there is no other leading figure from the Midwest in the Presidential competition.

Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts may be best known, but she comes across to many people as too combative, too outspoken, too divisive a figure, and too much like Bernie Sanders, who might co-opt her support.

Kirsten Gillbrand of New York has an earlier history of being quite conservative in her upstate New York district, and then suddenly being very liberal, and then becoming controversial when she pressured former Minnesota Senator Al Franken to resign without a hearing about sexual harassment charges lodged against him, which alienated many people, including this author.

Kamala Harris of California may be the best alternative to Amy Klubuchar, and being of mixed race (mother from India, father from Jamaica), and with a compelling background of long experience in law enforcement as District Attorney of San Francisco and then Attorney General of her state, and her dynamic and charismatic manner, she could be a great possible choice for the Presidency. She is often called “the female Barack Obama”, but has much more experience in government than Obama had when he ran for President in 2008.

Could The Equal Rights Amendment Become The 28th Amendment? The 27th Amendment As A Case Study

Lo and Behold!

The proposed Equal Rights Amendment, passed through both houses of Congress by wide margins, and then ratified by 35 states between 1972 and 1977, three states short of the three fourths or 38 states needed to ratify, and abandoned after one three year extension from the original seven year plan, in 1982, suddenly has life again!

Nevada’s legislature became state 36 in 2017, and Illinois just became the 37th recently, and now North Carolina is moving ahead on the measure, even though it is 41 years since the original 35 states ratified it, and 46 years since it was passed by both houses of Congress. Also, as a backup, the states of Arizona, Utah, Florida and Virginia are moving in the same direction.

There is precedent for this great delay in the 27th Amendment, suggested in 1789, and only finally ratified by enough states in 1992, mandating that Congress cannot raise its own pay during the same session of Congress that they enact a raise, but only for the succeeding Congress.

If that can happen 203 years after the original enactment, then why not 46 years?

George Will, the conservative ideologue, is bitterly opposed, as he argues progress has been made for women as members of Congress and in society and in law. from what it was in the 1970s.

While that is true, there is still no reason NOT to put women in the Constitution specifically, as the only mention is the 19th Amendment in 1920, giving women the right to vote long after the first push for suffrage at the Women’s Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, New York in 1848.

The Republican Presidential Race Gets Nastier, Degrading The Whole Process!

One would think that the Republican Party, already in crisis, could not stoop lower, but they now have, with the insults flying back and forth between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz over their wives!

There is no excuse for any candidate to attack anyone else’s wife or children, or for that matter, a woman candidate’s husband, and it should be totally avoided at all costs.

But Trump is clearly a misogynist, who judges women solely by their looks, and Cruz denies women the basic freedom to control their own bodies!

The effect of this dispute is that any self respecting woman, even one who is “religious”, should tell her husband, boyfriend, brother, father or whoever, if necessary to keep peace, that they will “obey” them and vote Republican, but should go ahead and use the brain God gave her, and reject the party and its candidates!

It is clear the vast majority of women, particularly the millennials and all those under 45, will be decisive in electing Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders to the White House!

No intelligent, educated woman will ever again allow Republicans or “religious” people to dictate their futures in any form, and will exercise their right to vote in a way that will transform history, and appropriate with the centennial anniversary of the 19th Amendment (woman suffrage) arriving in 2020!

Imagine a President Hillary Clinton commemorating the 100th anniversary of women’s voting rights from the Oval Office!

Gay Marriage Finally National: The Advancement Of Human Rights Reaches A New Pinnacle Of Social Justice!

On June 28, 1969, the Stonewall Inn, a gay restaurant and nightclub in Greenwich Village in New York City, was raided by police, leading to a large scale riot. It was the beginning of the gay rights movement, the struggle against oppression.

46 years have passed, and on June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court upheld the right of gays and lesbians to marry everywhere in the United States, a path breaking advancement in human rights, reaching a new pinnacle of social justice. It makes America a more perfect democracy, promoting equality and liberty for another class of citizens who have faced oppression. It is a tremendous expansion of human rights and social justice!

America is a better nation for this fantastic development, and much credit is due to several people, including:

Then San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, who was the first chief executive to promote gay marriage in California, and officiate at many gay weddings n 2003. He is now Lieutenant Governor of California, and likely successor to Governor Jerry Brown in the next gubernatorial election in 2018.

Ted Olson and David Boies, opposing attorneys in the Bush-Gore Presidential battle in 2000, who pursued the constitutional case promoting gay marriage, helping to lead it to Supreme Court decision yesterday.

Associate Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, who wrote the majority opinion in four crucial Supreme Court cases, in 2003 (Lawrence V Texas), two in 2013 (Hollingsworth V Perry) and (US V Windsor), and yesterday (Obergefell V Hodges) Without him, none of this advancement of gay rights and gay marriage could ever have occurred. Interestingly, all four of these cases were decided on June 26, of those years, 2003, 2013, and 2015!

The history of the gay rights movement is yet to be written, but it will be seen as part of the great movement forward as evidenced by the abolitionist crusade against slavery; the woman suffrage movement; the civil rights movement; the labor union movement; the environmental movement; the disability reform movement; the promotion of a safety net as represented by Social Security, Medicare, and now ObamaCare; and the immigration reform movement!

The Coming War On The 17th Amendment By Conservatives!

The right wing in America has a planned strategy to conduct war on the 17th Amendment to the Constitution, one of the greatest of all amendments added since the first ten were enacted as the Bill of Rights!

The 17th Amendment, added to the Constitution in 1913, came as the outgrowth of the Progressive Era, and occurred at its peak, the vigorous campaign for progressive reform promoted by Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson in the Presidential Election of 1912. It was also endorsed by the incumbent President, William Howard Taft, who had elements of progressivism in him despite his general reputation as a conservative, which led to his disastrous third place finish in 1912, despite being the Republican nominee.

The 17th Amendment developed in reaction to “muckraker” David Graham Phillips’ path breaking non fiction exposure, “THE TREASON OF THE SENATE”, which demonstrated the corruption of the US Senate, and its leading figure, Senator Nelson Aldrich of Rhode Island, and led to direct popular election of the US Senate from 1913 onward.

One could argue that even with popular vote, the US Senate often disappoints us, and there are Senators who are an embarrassment and a disgrace to that legislative body.

But now, conservatives are promoting the idea of the repeal of the 17th Amendment, returning us to the method in the Constitution adopted in 1787, to have the often corrupt state legislatures choose the Senators, and deny the population the popular vote involvement in selecting the members of the upper body of Congress.

The theory has developed that all the laws passed to promote political, social and economic reform since 1913, including the massive reforms of Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Lyndon B. Johnson, and all other Presidents might be repealed as illegitimate if the Senate method of election returned to the pre 1913 system.

This is an alarming development, and joined with the desire to get rid of the 16th Amendment (federal income tax) and the 19th Amendment (woman suffrage), all of these “Progressive” amendments, could, if enacted take us back to the 19th century Gilded Age!

Conservative Republicans Want To Repeal Constitutional Amendments And 20th Century Reforms That Make America A Better Nation!

The Republican Party of the second decade of the 21st century, along with the conservative movement, in all of its ramifications, is out to repeal constitutional amendments and numerous 20th century reforms that make America a better, more modern nation, all in their quest to make the corporations ever more dominant and enrich the top one percent more than already is reality!

When one follows, reads, and watches right wing spokesmen, in and out of the party, they have called for the following repeals:

The 16th Amendment–Federal Income Tax
The 17th Amendment–Direct Popular Election Of US Senators
19th Amendment–Woman Suffrage
Antiquities Act–National Parks, Forests, and Monuments Protection
Food And Drug Administration
Clayton Anti Trust Act
Federal Trade Commission
Federal Reserve Act
Social Security Act
Fair Labor Standards Act
Medicare
Civil Rights Act of 1964
Voting Rights Act of 1965
Department Of Education
Department Of Health And Human Services
Department Of Housing And Urban Development
Department Of Energy
Environmental Protection Agency
Consumer Product Safety Commission
Occupational Safety And Health Administration
US Post Office
Affirmative Action
Abortion Rights
Gay Rights and Gay Marriage
National Public Radio
PBS
Americans With Disabilities Act
Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan
ObamaCare–Affordable Care Act

These and other laws and amendments not mentioned here became law under Presidents of both parties, including

Theodore Roosevelt
William Howard Taft
Woodrow Wilson
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Harry Truman
Dwight D. Eisenhower
John F. Kennedy
Lyndon B. Johnson
Richard Nixon
Gerald Ford
Jimmy Carter
George H. W. Bush
Bill Clinton
George W. Bush
Barack Obama

Basically, these right wing groups and the dominant element in the Republican Party in Congress want to repeal everything that is good about America, and bring us back to the 19th century Gilded Age!

100 Years Ago Sunday, The Woman Suffrage Parade In Washington, DC Took Place, A Day Before The Inauguration Of President Woodrow Wilson!

The woman suffrage movement, which had begun with the Equal Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, New York in 1848, used the occasion of the upcoming Presidential Inauguration of Woodrow Wilson to conduct a massive parade in Washington DC, the day before the inauguration, which is 100 years ago on March 3, with Wilson inaugurated the following day.

Alice Paul led the march of about 8,000 women, who were mobbed by tens of thousands of spectators, majority being men, who injured, shoved, and tripped many of the marchers, and in so doing, created a scandal and motivated the further push toward a constitutional amendment, which came about finally in 1920, despite President Wilson’s opposition, and his order of arrest of suffragettes on Pennsylvania Avenue, who regularly marched and demonstrated for the amendment.

The battle of women for equal protection and equal rights was at fever pitch then, as sadly it is now, as Republicans work at weakening the rights of women in all spheres of public life, including their rights to their own bodies, and to their right to avoid assault that cannot be prosecuted, something that happened too often in American history, and still goes on today!

Ironically, the sponsor of the 19th Amendment for woman suffrage was the first woman to serve in either house of Congress, Congresswoman Jeanette Rankin of Montana, who was a Republican, at a time when former President Theodore Roosevelt was advocating woman suffrage, as he did in his Progressive Party Presidential campaign the previous year, 1912!