The political moment for feminine role models, arguably, has passed us by. The children who are suffering in this country, who are having trouble in school, and for whom the murder and suicide rates and economic dropout rates are high, are boys — especially boys of color, for whom the whole educational system, starting in kindergarten, often feels a form of exile, a system designed by and for white girls....Should we pick a President based on who needs inspiration most?
Perfect historical timing has always been something of a magic trick — finite and swift. The train moves out of the station. The time to capture the imagination of middle-class white girls, the group Hillary Clinton represents, was long ago. Such girls have now managed on their own (given that in this economy only the rich are doing well). They have their teachers and many other professionals to admire, as well as a fierce 67-year-old babe as speaker of the House, several governors and a Supreme Court justice. The landscape is not bare.
Boys are faring worse — and the time for symbols and leaders they can connect with beneficially should be now and should be theirs. Hillary Clinton’s gender does not rescue society from that — instead she serves as a kind of nostalgia for a time when it might have. Only her policies are what matter now, and here — despite some squabbling and bad advice that has caused her to “go negative” — the Democrats largely agree. But inspiration is essential for living, and Mr. Obama holds the greater fascination for our children
How strange that after all these years of waiting for a black or a female President, we get the strong candiates in both categories at the same time. It's not working out the way inspirationalists might have hoped as the two candidates must do battle. Moore would like to say: Step back, Hillary. Barack Obama is the candidate of diversity symbolism. But she's going to fight, and nobody can or should stop her. The race and gender cards are already in play. It may have been an inspirational game at some point, but it morphed into something ugly, and it's hard to see how it won't get uglier.