In 2016, politics was at a critical crossroads for the United States. After eight years of Barack Obama, both sides of the political spectrum viewed it as a major moment in history. Former President Obama had advanced the liberal agenda and electing a Democrat would help stabilize his progress. Conservatives viewed this election as a critical moment to reverse the perceived damage of the Obama legacy.
In short, the hyperbole and rhetoric were running high.
Clinton supporters took on the cause of electing the first female President. The case for American progress was clear. The American electorate could make history by electing their first female President in history.
For her supporters, the reasons for supporting the career politician were simple. She has a long career in politics, ranging from being a First Lady to former President Bill Clinton to being a United States Senator. She has been active on the scene for decades in a number of roles, being active in her political party and government itself.
Who wouldn’t want to elect a woman who has experience?
Instead, the United States went with a rich, white businessman with no political experience. Clinton supporters were angry they were deprived of a female leader with a deep political background. They were upset that they were beaten by a man with no political background simply because he knew what to say.
The election of France became a hot topic inside and even outside France. Many American observers saw political parallels to our own country. Far-right politician Marine Le Pen was seen as a parallel to President Trump. Because of this, many left-leaning political observers here in the United States opposed her rise.
Le Pen also has been involved in politics for decades, first running for office in the early nineties. She has since established her name in political circles and within her own political party. She is an established woman with a deep political background.
Instead, France went with a white former banker with little political experience. Why? Apparently, because he said better things. With minimal political experience, his words went far beyond Le Pen’s own established background and experience, or even the fact that she was a woman.
The Left celebrated.
Herein lies the problem with identity politics and the hypocrisy of those who used Hillary Clinton’s gender as a selling point. Regardless of Clinton’s positions or questionable connections, her chromosomes became a selling point, as if one sex has an inherent advantage over the other.
When it came to Le Pen, her chromosomes were not enough and her sex wasn’t a legitimate selling point. The fact that Le Pen was a female leader didn’t seem to affect the judgment of liberal observers here in the United States.
While criticizing America for going with a rich white man with minimal political background, American liberals celebrated an established female leader being defeated by a white banker with minimal political background. Where is the consistency in the shallow identity politics?