Thursday, March 5, 2015

The Best Man for the Job?

Wading into politics here. Not an expert. This is your typical disclaimer: All opinions here are my own, no one has asked me to say them nor offered me so much as a cup of coffee to hold forth on this topic.


Senator Barbara Mikulski has announced her retirement. And the entire state of Maryland is falling all over itself analyzing the likelihood of who will run to succeed her. I gladly leave the prognostications to others. As for myself, I have one thought in my mind.

It should be a woman.

Don't tell me it should be whoever the most qualified candidate is. Maryland has plenty of well-qualified candidates, both male and female, and I am saying I want to see a woman win it. Not just any woman off the street, for heaven's sake. A well-qualified, constituent-serving, feisty, responsive, ready-for-prime-time woman. And, to be specific, as I am a Democrat, that matters to me, too.

Women are grossly under-represented in government. And their voices need to be heard for our government to truly serve the people. Every day I read a story in the news in which women's rights are under attack. Whether it is reproductive rights, workplace fairness, rape culture, childcare issues, even Gamergate, women are struggling at every turn just to maintain what rights we have now, much less try to move forward in any meaningful way.

Now, what makes Senator Mikulski great is not that she was in politics to serve women. Far from it. She is well known for fighting relentlessly to represent the needs of her constituents. All of them. I'm not saying a man is unable to do that. But a representative government cannot truly be representative when the voices of those who govern are so heavily weighted to one gender alone.

And so I say, the best man for this job is a woman. It should not be difficult to find one. Maryland has scads of talent in this area. Does this mean men should not apply? Hardly. It means that I, personally, could get really excited about the candidacy of a woman for this Senate seat. We just don't have enough people governing who can bring a woman's voice to the table. So many injustices will never be addressed until we do.

How many is enough? Ask the notorious RBG.

Following up, Ginsburg said that she is often asked how many women on the Supreme Court would be "enough."

Her answer? "When there are nine."

"For most of the country’s history, there were nine and they were all men. Nobody thought that was strange," she explained.




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