- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 8, 2016

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Hillary Clinton’s call to arms: Vote for me because I’m a woman.

“Thanks to you, we’ve reached a milestone. The first time in our nation’s history that a woman will be a major party’s nominee,” Mrs. Clinton said in her victory speech Tuesday night, painting the divide she will be reiterating throughout the campaign season, that she deserves the presidency based on her gender.

Mrs. Clinton continued to speak about the women’s suffrage movement, and how her mother was born on the day Congress passed the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote.

“I wish she could see what a wonderful mother Chelsea has become and could meet our beautiful granddaughter Charlotte and, of course, I wish she could see her daughter become the Democratic party’s nominee,” Mrs. Clinton said.

This is identity politics at its best — that a vote for Mrs. Clinton is a vote to finally break the glass ceiling, the final step in women’s march for equality. This is from a woman who actively worked to suppress other women’s sexual assault accusations against her husband, and who has accepted millions of dollars in donations from Middle Eastern countries that deny women their most basic human rights.

Still, the gender card is one the media loves to play up — that anyone against Mrs. Clinton must be so because they’re sexist, not because they disagree with her policies or politics.

Take the question from a New York Times reporter this week to Mrs. Clinton’s rival Vermont Sen. Bernard Sanders.

“What do you say to women who say that you staying in the race is sexist, because you’re standing in the way of what could be the first female president?” the reporter asked.

“Is that a serious question?” Mr. Sanders replied in disbelief.

Yet it was. And it’s a sign of what’s to come for Donald Trump.

It’s not sexist to oppose Mrs. Clinton. I do. And I don’t feel like I’m undermining the women’s rights movement in doing so. I actually think quite the opposite — that true feminism is being able to think, reason and analyze for ourselves — that we shouldn’t be defined or limited to any arbitrary gender roles. To vote for a woman simply because of her gender would be to undermine the progress we’ve made.

To be clear: I disagree with Mrs. Clinton on most of her policy positions, not because she’s a woman, but because I believe she’ll weaken our nation’s borders, take away our Second Amendment rights, nominate progressive liberals to the Supreme Court, and widen the reach of government in our everyday lives.

I also don’t trust her. Whether it be dodging sniper fire in Bosnia, or setting up an email server as secretary of state to avoid freedom of information requests, Mrs. Clinton has trouble telling the truth. And that has nothing to do with her gender.

Twenty years ago, New York Times columnist William Safire wrote, “Americans of all political persuasions are coming to the sad realization that our first lady — a woman of undoubted talents who was a role model for many in her generation — is a congenital liar.”

His words remain as true today as they were in 1996.

Everybody should vote their conscience. But to suggest mine will be burdened by not supporting the first woman president is insulting.

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