Writer Rebecca Traister: Obama And Hillary Represent ‘The Death Throes Of Exclusive White Male Power In The United States’

Posted on Mon 12/21/2015 by

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Tom Johnson picture-58-1409692124By Tom Johnson ~

The current election campaign pits the forces of backlash (“the old and angry”) against the forces of frontlash (“the new and different”), and November’s vote will be “a referendum on the existence and civic participation of Americans who are not white men,” contended Rebecca Traister in a Wednesday piece for New York magazine.

Rebecca Traister_0Traister posited that “Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton…represent an altered power structure and changed calculations about who in this country may lead,” but warned, “While the resistance may be symptomatic of death throes, a rage at the dying of the white male light, it nonetheless presents a very real threat…Imagine Ted Cruz or Donald Trump or Marco Rubio in office with a Republican Congress and Supreme Court seats to fill. Voting: restricted. Immigration: halted. Abortion: banned. Equal pay: unprotected. Same-sex marriage: overturned.”

From Traister’s article (bolding added):

This moment, this election, these years represent the death throes of exclusive white male power in the United States…[T]he presidential-primary contest…is reflecting very real fury and violence in the non-electoral world: the burning of crosses and black churches, the execution of black men by police, the resistance of male soldiers to women in elite combat positions, a white man with a history of rape and violence against women himself a “warrior for the babies” after killing people at an abortion clinic, and a younger white man killing nine black churchgoers with the explanation “You rape our women, and you’re taking over our country”…

…Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton…represent an altered power structure and changed calculations about who in this country may lead. It is not coincidence that after seven years of a black president people are calling for lynchings at Republican rallies. It’s not some random quirk that eight years after a woman almost became the Democratic nominee, Republican candidates are crowing about their commitment to making pregnancy compulsory and accepting the endorsements of those who support violence against abortion providers.

…This is the story of the slow expansion of possibility for figures who have long existed on the margins, and it is also the story of the dangerous rage those figures provoke…

…This election is a referendum on the existence and civic participation of Americans who are not white men — as voters, as citizens, as workers, as members of the military, as presidents.

And while the resistance may be symptomatic of death throes, a rage at the dying of the white male light, it nonetheless presents a very real threat — there is the possibility that the old and angry may triumph over the new and different…Imagine Ted Cruz or Donald Trump or Marco Rubio in office with a Republican Congress and Supreme Court seats to fill. Voting: restricted. Immigration: halted. Abortion: banned. Equal pay: unprotected. Same-sex marriage: overturned.

…Clinton…will stand in as the symbolic target for those whose fury at increased female autonomy has been building…If she wins, she — and we — will be forced to do battle with this rising, chilling, ever more open threat from those who feel enraged that their country is no longer their own. I fear that there’s a lot more terror ahead of us.

Tom Johnson is a contributing writer for NewsBusters.

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