Hear Me Roar
On November 8, 2016 Hillary Clinton won the election by more than three million votes and Donald Trump became the forty-fifth President of the United States. And women all over the country exclaimed in unison, “Aw, hell no.” Thanks to these exclaiming women the House of Representatives will have around one hundred congresswomen beginning in January. MSNBC tells me this is the highest number of women in the House ever. I find this absolutely delightful, however, I’m still not over this whole woman president thing. Please indulge me while I complain about this whole woman president thing.
The first female to run for president was Victoria Woodhull in 1872. I wish I could say I learned this in a history class. I can't. I learned this from my friend's Pinterest board. Victoria Woodhull didn't become president in 1872. She probably lost because women couldn't vote in 1872. She couldn't even vote for herself. That’s messed up.
Roughly seventy-four women have run for President of the United States. Of those, only seventeen received thirty thousand votes or more. I'll bet you didn't know that many women ran for president. I'll bet you can't name five. It's okay. I'll name them for you.
1.) Hillary Clinton - In 2016, Clinton received over 65 million votes. That's more votes than any woman who has ever run for president. That's more votes than any Donald Trump who has ever run for president. No other woman has even received half a million votes.
2.) Margaret Chase Smith received 227,007 in 1964. She ran as a Republican and I like her anyway. She was the first woman to be on the ballot in a major party convention. She was the first member of Congress to condemn McCarthyism. In a speech known as the Declaration of Conscience, she called it a forum of hate and character assassination. Today, we would call that a Trump rally.
3.) My personal favorite, Gracie Allen. If you're under seventy, you've probably never heard of Gracie Allen. She had a successful comedy career with her husband, George Burns. If you're under seventy and over thirty, George Burns is the old guy with the cigar. (Gracie died way before George. He lived to be about two hundred and fifty years old. He was still showing up in movies and TV shows in the eighties.) If you're a millennial, you can find clips of Burns and Allen on Youtube. ME TV also shows reruns around one in the morning on Sundays. At least, they used to. I don't get that channel anymore. When I did get that channel, sometimes I had insomnia and I watched Burns and Allen in the middle of the night.
In 1940, Gracie Allen ran for president as a publicity stunt under the Surprise Party. She received 42,000 votes. Unlike Trump, Allen actually had policies in her fake campaign.
(1) Put Congress on a commission basis.
(2) Extend Civil Service to each governmental branch — “a little politeness goes a long way.”
4.) Carly Fiorina received 35,951 votes in 2016. Yes, her real presidential campaign received less votes than Gracie Allen's fake presidential campaign. Say Good Night, Gracie.
5.) Shirley Chisholm received 430,703 votes in 1972. She was the first black candidate of a major party and the first woman to run for the Democratic nomination. Chisholm had this to say about the campaign, "When I ran for the Congress, when I ran for president, I met more discrimination as a woman than for being black.” I’m just glad she didn’t live to see how white women voted in 2016.