"Refudiating" History among other Costly Political Mishaps

Ah, America: land of the free, home of the extremely long presidential campaign.

Like any other person who pays attention to politics, I’ve been watching the recent buzz about who will be the GOP nominee. As the list of names of candidates increases, I’ve paid more attention to the representation of female candidates.

Okay, so we know Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin are considering running and we know they are intelligent enough to graduate from college (Bachman a B.A. from Winona State. J.D. from Oral Roberts, and a L.L.M. from College of William & Mary; Palin a B.S. from the University of Idaho). Both have held political positions (Bachmann in the House of Representatives, Palin as the governor of Alaska) and have a massive following through the Tea Party movement and other conservatives.

And yet…

It’s things like these that make me seriously doubt their common knowledge of American history:


For two women seriously thinking about being the next President of the United States, you would think they’d have a better understanding on our country’s history. Let me rephrase: with the possibility that one of these two women might be the first female President of the United States, I’m afraid of what that says about our own intelligence as a country. I have a liberal friend who said she might vote for one of the two just because it would give us a female president in our lifetime. Honestly, I’d rather have male presidents for the rest of my life rather than female candidates I disagree with politically or female candidates who twist history.

Of course I would love to have a female president within my lifetime. Women are capable enough of doing so—both in intelligence and in gaining votes—as seen with how close Hillary Clinton came in the 2008 election. However, the two (possible) women candidates we have right now for the 2012 election are discouraging. Not only have there been other instances of no-so-correct statements, but many have been extremely ignorant:

As a staunch advocate of women’s sexual rights, it’s also sad for me to know that Bachmann sees Planned Parenthood as a corrupt organization and Palin believes in abstinence-only education, which has been found to be an unrealistic means of sex education.

Bachmann and Palin have a tendency to make facts up, but they’re not the first to do so. Other politicians goof up facts all the time and get away with holding office. What really irks me is that many may vote for either woman based on their gung-ho pro-women attitudes when in fact the pro-women part is skewed. Before any of us makes a decision on who to vote for, we cannot ignore our own views—women-related or otherwise—just because we want a female president. We cannot base our vote on a candidate’s gender, much like we cannot vote for someone based on their race. It’s important that we research all of the candidates before taking action so we don’t choose someone for one reason and regret our decision for another reason later.

(If you’re interested in a great source for checking the validity of statements made by various political figures, I highly recommend PolitiFact.)


2 thoughts on “"Refudiating" History among other Costly Political Mishaps

  1. I am concerned especially about such politicians being so vocal. All politics ever boils down to is extremist fringe views, and the fact that the only visible female candidates are not as qualified for the job makes the idea of a female president even less inviting.

    I certainly applaud Hillary Clinton for running, and it was too bad she didn’t make it to the general election, but I think that also brings up the point that many voters, intentionally or not, will let physical traits influence their votes. During the last three elections, I can always remember people talking about the candidates as if they were in a pageant.

  2. Pingback: University of Minnesota Women's Center Blog

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