Jun 17, 2019
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Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush speaks at a campaign event in Coral Gables, Fla., on Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015. (Roberto Koltun/El Nuevo Herald/TNS)

A debate or a Debacle? Purging women in the GOP

On Wednesday night, Americans witnessed the GOP debate. I say witnessed because I feel like I just watched a crime against America being committed. Wednesday night was no victory for women in America.

From defunding Planned Parenthood to putting women on U.S. currency, the GOP debate was a flop.

To focus my attention to one particularly infuriating response is difficult. But yet here is Jeb Bush causing my retinas to involuntarily roll back into my head and detach.

When he was asked which woman he would like to see on the new $10 bill coming out in 2020, Bush jokingly responded that he would like to see Ronald Reagan’s “partner” Margaret Thatcher.

Let that sink in.

Bush chose a non-American woman that he defined by her relationship to a man. As if we don’t know who she was without the Reagan connection.

This was just another conservative ploy to say Reagan as many times as possible.

We should have participated in a drinking game where every time a GOP presidential candidate mentioned Ronald Reagan, we took a shot.   

Jeb Bush suggested the only female British prime minister be put on our currency.

While this sounds progressive, it actually isn’t. Thatcher’s policies are highly controversial and outdated. She did very little for women’s rights while in office. She isn’t known as the “Iron Lady” for her exuberant amounts of compassion for the working class and poor.

How can Bush choose a non-American woman to go on American currency? What does that tell American women? It tells us that we have not had women in this country as worthy as those in other countries.

Bush dismissed a history of female patriots.

I’m sorry Harriet Tubman; you didn’t free enough people.

Hey, Susan B. Anthony, your vote didn’t count.

The story of dismissing American women’s accomplishments is getting old.

If I were to choose a non-American woman to go onto our currency, I would choose Malala Yousafzai, the youngest person to have ever been awarded the Nobel Prize. Yousafzai won this achievement for her advocacy of human rights in Pakistan.

She is a cornerstone of integrity and equality. I would love her face to grace my wallet daily. But I can already hear the outcry from the stagnant GOP about a woman wearing a hijab on a dollar bill.

So let us put that argument down and say that the woman on the $10 bill must be at least American.

While this is all bothersome, the most infuriating part is that Bush treated the issue as a joke. If he were serious in his choice, I would have found respect in his decisions.

But Bush didn’t. He took the opportunity to get a few chuckles at the expense of a women’s issue.

The entire question became a joke for the candidates. From Mike Huckabee saying that he would put his wife on the bill to Carly Fiorina refusing to name a woman, saying, “I don’t think it helps to change our history,” women’s accomplishments were dismissed.  

Dear Mike: to be on currency, you must be dead. Please don’t wish that upon your wife.

Dear Carly: Women existed in history. We aren’t mythical beasts attempting to change the past. We want our experiences and accomplishments honored in the same ways we have honored patriots before them.

Even Donald Trump amended his answer to say that he would push for Rosa Parks to be on American currency.

This might be the first time I have agreed with Donald Trump on anything.

That scares me.  

 

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