This quote comes from the mother of Lara Brown, the Director of the Graduate School of Political Management at the George Washington University. Brown came to the Washington Center and presented a lecture about shattering the glass ceiling in regards to the nature of leadership and the presidential history in the context of the 2020 election. Brown’s lecture discussed how women have been used in politics as scapegoats and have been viewed as unfit for the presidency since the beginning. Women are viewed as more moral than men, and their strength is viewed in terms of motherhood, rather than strong and courageous in militaristic terms. This is just one of the reasons why Hillary Clinton only had a 17% chance of winning the presidential race in 2016.
According to Brown, Hillary lost because she didn’t fit the mold of a classic presidential candidate. To illustrate this, Brown has conceived her own definition of leadership. There are three main dimensions to her model: courage, curiosity, and compassion. Men like George Washington and Barack Obama have appeared to embody all three of these characteristics. However, it is rare women that are elected to positions of power, although they may possess all three of these three traits. Women are often seen as more moral and ethical than men, so when scandals occur women frequently replace the man’s position. After the football scandal at Baylor, they had a female replace the previously male president. This can also be seen through the new Congress that was just elected, many of which are female. This very possibly could be due to the fact that the president is seen as immoral and irrational if this election cycle followed the same pattern that has been seen in and out of the realm of politics. According to Brown’s theory, it can be derived that the influx of women in new freshman class of Congress are likely a consequence of Trump’s scandalous presidency. Furthermore, voters like someone who is compassionate and relatable. Hillary ran on motherhood and went straight to the problem solving instead of venting to the voters.
According to Elaine Kamarck, the author of Why Hillary Clinton Lost, Hillary was “someone so interested in solving problems that she skips right past the emotion that drives so many emotions” (Kamarck). Unlike Hillary, Bernie Sanders didn’t really care if what he said was realistic, he cared about being relatable for the voters. Hillary jumped right past this emotion and went straight to policy. Kamarck argues that Hillary is great at the business of government, good at making friends with people in government, and is good at getting things done. However, this put her at a disadvantage, the people who care about those things, don’t have much say in the nominations. Many people said she was a great president, but a lousy candidate. Trump, on the other hand, was a great candidate. He could make the American people believe he was compassionate and courageous and could make them feel something, much unlike Hillary. Trump was willing to take on tough arguments like border security and was willing to stand his ground when it came to gun control. He spent his time on the campaign trial venting to the American people about the things he felt were most important. Politics is all about getting people to relate, getting people to believe that politicians have their best interest at heart, and Trump was much better at this than Hillary was.
Basically, we can conclude based on evidence from people across professional fields, such as Brown and Kamarck, that Hillary did not win because she did not fit the classic mold that we have seen throughout American history. Hillary did not run as a courageous, curious military leader, and furthermore, she was unable to cultivate the same kind of whole-hearted, dramatic emotions in the American people that Trump could.
Based on this information, we can make predictions about the upcoming 2020 presidential election. Based on patterns and statistics, this election can go in three directions. The first being that so many people are so furious with the Trump administration that it creates another populist movement and a male democrat could take over. However, it would have to be someone who fits the classic mold of the American President, courageous, curious, and compassionate and has a sort of militaristic strength. If this happens, Beto O’Rourke might win since he is strong and compassionate and is a businessman, much like Trump. The second option is that a female wins the Democratic nomination, this will most likely be a young willing woman who appears strong enough to take on the title of Commander in Chief and is compassionate, but doesn’t base her campaign on motherhood. She would need to run as the underdog to give her a leg up. This could mean Kamala Harris might win since she is young and comes off as willing to fight not for what she believes is right, but what is in the best interest of the American people. Many view women as more moral and ethical than man, so it is going to heavily depend on how society feels about Trump’s ethics come November 2020. If he becomes extraordinarily unethical and immoral, there is a very good chance a female might win. This is due to the preconceived notion and internalized sexism that women are more moral and ethical than men. The last and final way the 2020 election could go is that Trump wins and is President for a second term. While this seems unlikely since he is being viewed as more immoral but the minute, patterns do suggest that many people are more likely to vote for the incumbent. However, the growing immorality of Trump could cause many to believe that a female will win due to the stereotypes of women as mentioned in prediction number two. The way people follow patterns and stereotypes makes me believe that these are the three most likely options for presidential candidates. While these are the possibilities currently that seem the most realistic, a lot can change between now and November of 2020