It’s about time: Dear US voters, please vote for Hillary

opinion June 11, 2016 01:00

By Veena Thoopkrajae

12,241 Viewed

I beg you, my American friends, if you’re voting next November, vote for Hillary Clinton.

It’s not that I despise Donald Trump, who’s soon to lock horns with Hillary. Rather, I believe it’s about time your country caught up with the rest of the world in trying a woman leader.
Why has the United States never elected a female president? All sorts of nations have shown you the way. Argentina, Bangladesh, Denmark, Britain, Germany, India, Norway, the Philippines, Pakistan, South Korea and (very briefly) Canada have had women in charge. Thailand proudly welcomed a woman prime minister in its recent history. Now it’s happened in Myanmar too, unofficially at least, with Aung San Suu Kyi the power behind the screen. 
It puzzles me why the US, land of the free and model democracy, has never had a female president in its 240-year history – even though American women won the right to vote in 1920, almost a century ago! Demographics can’t be blamed, since 51 per cent of the US population is female. It’s impossible to believe that no one in that half of the populace is fit to lead the country.
How can there have never been a woman president when there are so many great American women? You have a famous humanitarian in Angelina Jolie, women’s-rights campaigners like Melinda Gates, the world’s best tennis player, Serena Williams, the inspirational TV host Oprah Winfrey, and, in politics, two secretaries of state, Condoleezza Rice and, yes, Hillary Clinton. One American woman, Grace Kelly, even became the Princess of Monaco.
America has plenty of great women in every sphere of human activity. I grew up admiring many of them, long before I had a chance to visit the US. You have female truck drivers, airline pilots, astronauts and judges – so why is it always a man in the Oval Office? Is there something lacking in American women? With so many ladies doing so well in every imaginable career, why can’t one become president?
I understand that Hillary’s controversial political record leaves many voters hesitant to choose her, but she might well represent your only chance in this lifetime to remove that blot on America’s reputation about the disparity in female political representation.
Besides, if the Democrat Party nominates her (after all these years), high-ranking politicos must be appreciating her as the real deal. I well remember her dancing through the storm as first lady when her husband was engulfed in scandal. 
She might well be cunning. A friend of mine thinks she’s a match for Khunying Potjaman na Pombejra, Thaksin Shinawatra’s erstwhile wife. But that doesn’t mean she shouldn’t be elected president.
I would be sorely disappointed in particular to see Hillary lose to The Donald, such an easy target with his big mouth and bad manners. Hillary can surely see his every tactic coming – Trump will attack her family and her womanhood – but if she survived the “cigar” scandal, she’ll be all right. This woman is tough – more Sudarat Keyuraphan than Yingluck Shinawatra.
Vote for Hillary and you deliver a knockout blow to the sexism that overshadows America’s good record on women’s equality. (The US ranks 22nd among 135 countries in terms of gender equality.) The best time to elect a woman president passed decades ago – this is your second chance.
I take some relief in learning I’m not the only one who’s puzzled about the US never having had a woman president. Even American scholars search for the answer. But they always seem to arrive at different conclusions – the complicated electoral system, the deep-rooted patriarchy, bias in the news media, and many more possible factors. The bottom line, though, forever seems to be “We can’t have a female head of state!”
A woman can be the US head of state, though. Just because you’re used to a man running the country, it doesn’t mean a woman is incapable. 
It’s time, my American friends, that you showed the world you believe what you preach about gender equality. In Hillary you have a quick fix to the perception of US hypocrisy and can put an end to the question of why you’re so far ahead of the world in every respect but one.