Women Suffrage

If Joe Arpaio Ran For US Senate, He Would Be Oldest First Term Elected Senator At Age 86 And Seven And A Half Months!

Donald Trump is suggesting that former Maricopa county Sheriff Joe Arpaio, just pardoned by Trump, run for the Republican nomination for the US Senate against Republican critic Senator Jeff Flake next year in Arizona.

Whether Arpaio would actually take such a step is unsettled, and it would seem that Arpaio would be unlikely to win the nomination or election, with both Flake and Senator John McCain highly critical of him, and of Trump’s pardon of the controversial former Sheriff in Phoenix.

However, were Arpaio to run and be successful, he would be the oldest first term U S Senator ever elected in American history, at age 86 and 7 and a half months in January 2019, making him older than the oldest members of the present US Senate, California Senator Diane Feinstein and Utah Senator and President Pro Tempore Orrin Hatch of Utah.

Previously, only two US Senators were sworn in at an older age than Arpaio would be, but both were appointed to finish out a term, not elected by popular vote.

Andrew Jackson Houston of Texas, son of the famous Sam Houston, served by appointment for 67 days to fill a vacancy from April 21, 1941 to June 26, 1941 as a member of the Democratic Party, and he was 86 years 10 months and 1 day old when he became a member of the Senate. His brief term ended with his death, and he had been ill most of the time while a Senator, mostly being in a hospital during his tenure in the upper chamber. His death came five days after his 87th birthday.

Rebecca Felton of Georgia was the first woman to serve in the US Senate, and the only one to date from Georgia, and the oldest person ever sworn in to the US Senate, at age 87 years, 3 months and 24 days old, and serving only one day in the Senate as a Democrat from November 21 to November 22, 1922. Her husband had served in the House of Representatives, and Rebecca Felton had been a prominent reformer in the Progressive Era, an advocate of women suffrage and equal pay for equal work for women, as well as prison reform. However, at the same time, Felton supported white supremacy and had been a slave owner in her younger years, and had spoken in favor of lynching of African Americans, so her so called “Progressivism” had major shortcomings. She died at age 94 in 1930.

Seneca Falls Women’s Rights Convention Anniversary On July 19 A Reminder Of Struggles American Women Still Face In 2017!

On this day in 1848, 169 years ago, the Women’s Rights Convention took place in Seneca Falls, New York, organized by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott, with about 200 women attending.

It was a two day convention to “discuss the social, civil and religious condition and rights of women”.

The convention condemned slavery, and advocated women suffrage, along with property rights, education rights, equality in marriage and over children, and the rights of women to employment at a decent wage, all very advanced ideas for the time.

The idea that a group of women spoke up for their basic human and legal rights was seen at the time as revolutionary, and it would take to 1920 and the 19th Amendment for women to gain the right to vote nationally.

Here we are a century later, and still the fight for women’s equality is far from over, with the clear attack on women’s rights by Donald Trump, Mike Pence, the Republican Party, and right wing Christianity, including on equal pay, sexual harassment and assault, education, and court battles over privacy rights, including abortion rights and the equal treatment of lesbians.

We have an openly sexist and misogynistic President and Vice President, and even within the Republican Party, its women members, particularly in the US Senate, are shown lack of respect and equality in how they are regarded and treated by their male colleagues.

The fact that three women Republican Senators–Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia–helped to kill the attempt to end ObamaCare without protection for constituents on their health care, is leading to Trump being critical of them, and his disrespect for women is legion.

So the battle for women’s rights is suffering from retreat from earlier accomplishments, and the struggle goes on, and both women and men need to work together on fighting for those basic human rights for women, against women such as Ann Coulter, who has advocated repeal of the 19th Amendment, the Woman Suffrage Amendment, as we near a century since its addition to the Constitution.

Time For Action By Congress On H. R. 19, Authorizing National Women’s History Museum On National Mall!

The Congress has accomplished nearly nothing under Republican leadership in 2017, but one action they should unite on is the passage of H.R. 19, authorizing the construction of a National Women’s History Museum on the National Mall.

Democratic Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney of New York introduced the legislation authorizing the building of the museum on March 30, 2017. It was referred to a Subcommittee On Federal Lands on April 7, 2007, and no further action has yet been taken. There were 127 cosponsors with Maloney, and now an additional 100, for a total of 227, have been added to that list.

Maloney has tried to lobby personally with President Donald Trump, his wife Melania, his daughter Ivanka, Vice President Mike Pence’s wife Karen Pence, and Kelly Anne Conway. to join in support of the museum project, but one wonders what the odds of endorsement are from a President who is a known misogynist.

Despite earlier moves to get this legislation accomplished under President Barack Obama, it failed to be dealt with before he left office. In 2014, the Congress voted to create a commission to study the creation of a national museum, and now the time for action has arrived in this 115th Congress.

Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine introduced the Maloney bill in the Senate with 11 co-sponsors, but there is little enthusiasm evident to make such a museum part of the Smithsonian Institution, due to other priorities, and the issue of private funding being a long haul.

We are coming up to the centennial of women’s right to vote (19th Amendment) in 2020, and it would be appropriate that we were well on the way to the creation of such a building to honor the role of women, half of our population, which has been mostly ignored until now.

Ironically, though, the Republican Party has become so anti women’s rights, that they are likely to refuse to take action on this, as they work to undermine a woman’s right to an abortion; the right to equal pay; the right to be protected from sexual harassment; and the right to be treated as equals to men in all aspects of life.

Too often, the religious Right has worked against women’s equality, and the Republican Party, the party that many early women’s rights advocates supported in the 19th and 20th centuries, now has taken steps backward in their advocacy of equality.

The Evolution Of Women In American Politics: 1916-2016 And Beyond!

In 1916, exactly a century ago, the first woman, a Republican, Jeannette Rankin of Montana, was elected to the House of Representatives.

In 1932, Hattie Caraway of Arkansas, a Democrat, became the first woman to be elected to the United States Senate.

In 1933, Frances Perkins of New York, a Democrat, became the first woman to be a member of the President’s cabinet, Secretary of Labor under Franklin D. Roosevelt.

In 1964, Senator Margaret Chase Smith of Maine, a Republican, became the first woman to run for President.

In 1972, Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm of New York, a Democrat, became the first black woman to run for President.

In 1981, Sandra Day O’Connor of Arizona, a Republican, became the first woman appointed to the US Supreme Court.

In 1984, Congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro of New York, a Democrat, became the first woman Vice Presidential nominee of a major party.

In 2016, Hillary Clinton became the first woman chosen as the Presidential nominee of a major party, and will become the first woman elected President in the next 24 hours!

And the fight for women’s right to vote began in 1848 at the Seneca Falls Convention, and only in 1920, did women gain the right to vote by the 19th Amendment to the Constitution.

So Hillary Clinton will be our president when the centennial of women suffrage comes about in 2020!

And this all began with Susan B. Anthony, arrested for trying to vote in 1872!

95 Years Of Women Suffrage Has Changed The Nation Dramatically!

On this day in 1920, women finally gained the right to vote on a national level, after a struggle begun as early as 1848 at the Equal Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, New York.

The heroines of the women suffrage movement included Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Alice Paul, and Jeanne Rankin, among others, and also included many men.

72 years had passed, and many women had been arrested for marching for the right to vote, including under President Woodrow Wilson, who, ironically, opposed the 19th Amendment, but under whom the amendment was added to the Constitution.

The effect of the right to vote for women took time to sink in, but in the past 25 years, women have become an important factor in the success of the Democratic Party on the Presidential level, with the Democrats winning the national popular vote five of the last six elections, including the two elections of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, and Al Gore, who was denied the Presidency by the machinations of the Republicans in the close election in Florida in 2000.

Most of the women who have been political leaders in the last century have been Democrats, but there have been a smattering of Republican women Governors, Senators, and House of Representatives members, as well as Mayors of cities.

The vast majority of women have voted Democratic regularly, due to the fact that the Democrats have dealt with real issues affecting women.

Meanwhile, the Republicans have done everything possible to alienate the majority of women—on issues of reproductive rights, labor rights, the issue of rape, the problems of minority women and single mothers, and so many other issues that affect women.

Additionally, Ann Coulter and others have called for the removal of the 19th Amendment, because of the reality that a majority of women vote for the Democrats, an idea which will never occur in the real world.

This is a massive mistake by the Republicans, as without support of a large percentage of women—including minority, single, young, and educated women—the GOP is destined to continue to lose elections for President over the long haul!

 

 

The Reality Of American Women In 2014

Having just celebrated Women’s Equality Day yesterday, the 94th anniversary of the 19th (Women Suffrage) Amendment, it is important for us to understand the condition and reality of American women in 2014.

Women still make 77 cents to a man’s dollar.

One in five college women will experience sexual assault.

Some companies deny birth control coverage to their female workers under the Supreme Court decision in the Hobby Lobby case.

Two thirds of minimum wage workers are women, and many are single mothers.

America is one of only a very few industrialized nations with no mandated paid maternity leave.

Many states have passed more abortion restrictions, interfering with a woman’s rights under Roe V. Wade in the past three years, than in the past ten years.

We still have women being fired for becoming pregnant.

Twice as many women as men live in poverty when over age 65.

Child care costs more than college tuition in 36 states, making it impossible for women to work and pursue a career, and make up for loss of support from men, so often the case.

These realities are unacceptable in a nation that promotes justice and fairness, or claims to do so.

So much work needs to be done, and we cannot sit on our laurels at whatever advancements have been made!

94th Anniversary Of Woman Suffrage Amendment 19! And Women’s Equality Day!

Today, August 26, commemorates the 94th anniversary of the Woman Suffrage Amendment 19, and is celebrated as Women’s Equality Day.

Women had to fight for the right to vote since the Equal Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, New York, in 1848, a full 72 year battle!

And yet, there are those, such as Ann Coulter, the conservative ideologue, who calls for the abolition of the 19th Amendment, because the majority of women vote Democratic!

There are one third of women who are strongly Republican, anti abortion, anti feminist, anti promotion of more laws to benefit women in their daily lives. You see this in the GOP House women members, who one has to wonder about their sanity!

But women have come too far to allow their hard earned rights, not only voting, but controlling their own destinies, without the interference of right wing forces who would love to put them back into the bedroom and the kitchen, stop working, stop being educated, and being the dutiful wife and mother as their only role!

The vast majority of women will continue to assert their basic human rights, as well they should!

Conservative Right Wing Attack On The Constitution: The Threat Of Another Constitutional Convention Wiping Out Constitutional Amendments!

The Founding Fathers gave us a Constitution, admitting in the process that there would always be room for improvements, so made clear that amendments were appropriate over time.

So we have had 27 Amendments, including the first ten that make up the Bill of Rights.

When one looks at the amendments, particularly those that came after the Bill of Rights, one realizes that the vast majority of them were “progressive” in tone, designed to expand democracy in America, or else, amendments dealing with the office of the Presidency.

So the “progressive” amendments included the 13th (ending slavery and involuntary servitude); the 14th (promoting due process and equal protection and making African Americans citizens); the 15th (guaranteeing the right to vote for African Americans and others which had been denied that right); the 16th (providing for a federal income tax to raise revenue to deal with mounting social and economic issues); the 17th (granting the people the right to elect their two United States Senators by popular vote); the 19th (guaranteeing women the right to vote); the 23rd (guaranteeing residents of Washington, DC the right to vote); the 24th (preventing a poll tax for voting); and the 26th (guaranteeing young people 18-21 the right to vote).

So nine of the seventeen amendments after the first ten of the Bill of Rights promote progressive change, while the 12th, 20th, 22nd and 25th deal with the office of the Presidency.

The only amendment that was ever passed to limit the freedom of Americans was the 18th (prohibition of liquor), but later repealed by the 21st Amendment.

Now we have the real threat by right wing conservatives, including the Tea Party Movement, who want a new Constitutional Convention to wipe out these “progressive” amendments!

They do not like voting rights for African Americans, other minorities, women, residents of Washington DC (mostly African Americans) and young people; and they are unhappy that African Americans are considered equal under the law, and if they had the ability to do so, they would love to re-enslave poor people, which by corporate power is occurring in an informal way for many minorities, as well as white lower class people struggling every day to survive!

And they wish they could restore the US Senate elections to the corrupt state legislatures, taking away the popular vote. Finally, they hate the federal income tax, even though many of them avoid substantial taxation by having investments, rather than working for a living like most of us do. So they would prefer a sales tax, which is regressive, and would hurt the middle class and the poor much more than the wealthy elite!

But that is exactly the extremist right wing intention—to restore the “good old days” when they were in charge, and everyone had to kowtow to them!

We must not allow such a threat to develop, so the battle for progressivism is never ending, as a result!

165th Anniversary Of Seneca Falls Equal Rights Convention: A Time For Women’s Rights Advocates To Plan Strategy For Future!

165 years ago this week, specifically on July 19 and 20, the momentous event known as the Seneca Falls Convention took place in upstate New York.

300 men and women gathered, led by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott, and including the black abolitionist Frederick Douglass, demanding equal rights for women, including the right of suffrage, participating in voting.

That fight for suffrage took 72 years, until the 19th Amendment was ratified in 1920, and the move for the Equal Rights Amendment proposal of 1972 fell short by three states, and was declared dead in 1982.

But now there is an urgency to fight for that proposed amendment, despite the odds against it being ratified in the political climate we live in now, if for no other reason than to declare that the strategy of the future is that women are not going to allow backtracking on basic rights that have now been the law for years, specifically the Roe V. Wade decision on Abortion Rights forty years ago, plus the push for equal pay, equal treatment in the military, fighting against acceptance of rape by many politicians of the Republican Party, and the Religious Right desire to send women back home, not working, cooking and being available for a man’s desires in the bedroom!

There may be women who are willing to accept the Republican view on women in 2013, but they are NOT a majority, and if Betty Ford, the First Lady with President Gerald Ford, were alive and well today, she would be leading the fight for women’s rights, as she did when she was in the White House!

Having visited the Gerald Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids yesterday, it reminded the author of how far the GOP has moved from the Ford Presidency experience, and remember that turn to the right began when Ronald Reagan challenged President Ford for the Presidential nomination in 1976, helping to cause his defeat, and the ultimate takeover of the Republican Party by the Right Wing led by Reagan!

So women, and men who agree that they deserve equal treatment, need to organize and fight for women’s rights, even now, 165 years after Seneca Falls!

The Centennial Of Woodrow Wilson’s Presidency: A Time For Debate Over His Legacy

A century ago day, Woodrow Wilson was inaugurated as the 28th President of the United States,and helped to transform the Presidency in massive ways, some good and some bad.

Wilson has been under attack in the present climate of conservative attacks on reform oriented Presidents, including Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Barack Obama.

The facts are that Wilson, FDR, and LBJ were the three most accomplished Presidents in domestic affairs, but with plenty of criticism about their handling of wars and the domestic relationship to those wars.

Wilson accomplished the most domestic reform of any President before him, taking on parts of Theodore Roosevelt’s New Nationalism agenda on the Progressive Party line in 1912, adding it to his own New Freedom legislative ideas.

So Wilson’s time saw the following:

Underwood Simmons Tariff

Federal Reserve Act

Clayton Anti Trust Act

Federal Trade Commission

Keating-Owen Child Labor Act

La Follette Seamen’s Act

Adamson Act (eight hour work day in interstate transportation)

Federal Farm Loan Act

Some of this did not work out well long term, and additionally, Wilson had major negative policies dealing with:

Woman Suffrage—opposing an amendment (although it came about despite him in 1920, via the 19th Amendment).

Race Relations—clearly racist policy of imposing Jim Crow segregation in Washington, DC; unfair treatment and recognition of African American sacrifices in the World War I effort; and endorsement of an openly racist film, D W Griffith’s BIRTH OF A NATION, which portrayed the Southern view of Reconstruction, a myth of long standing, which finally was proved inaccurate in the past half century of historical research and writing.

Civil Liberties Violations— including arrest and imprisonment of Socialist Party leader Eugene Debs for opposition to the draft and American involvement in World War I; the Espionage and Sedition Acts; and the Palmer Raids after the war.

In foreign policy, Wilson engaged in “Missionary Diplomacy” including interventions in Haiti, and more significantly in Mexico, attempting to pursue Pancho Villa for a raid across the border into Columbus, New Mexico, the worst incursion in American territory since the War of 1812. And of course, the controversy over Wilson and our entrance into World War I continues even today, and the whole debate and divisiveness over the Versailles Treaty and League of Nations in 1919-1920.

Additionally, being incapacitated by a stroke, but being unwilling to hand over temporary power to Vice President Thomas Marshall, and allowing his wife to run cabinet meetings, is another major issue in assessing Wilson’s Presidency.

So Wilson is a “very mixed bag” as a President, but usually is ranked in the bottom of the top ten of our Presidents, specifically because of his long range influence on America, rare among Presidents, for good or for bad, and there is clearly plenty of both!