Make 2018 the Year of Women

I was a Bernie Sanders supporter in the 2016 primaries because I want change in Washington as much as Trump supporters did. I voted for Hillary Clinton in the presidential campaign that followed. I saw her as the herald of real, sensible change. Apparently, the American people agreed with me, since 1.3 million more Americans voted for her than voted for Mr. Trump.

I knew at the time that the president only administers the laws that Congress makes, and I knew that we need new laws to change the direction of this country. So, a different kind of president was not the solution to the problems plaguing our government.

What is needed is a radical change in congressional culture. We need less fighting to win at all costs, a masculine trait, and more understanding and cooperation, both more feminine attitudes. We need more women in Congress.

Marc Friedenberg, a candidate in the 12th Congressional District in the Democratic primary against Judy Herschel, has a law degree from Columbia University. He has written a fine op-ed in The Daily Item (March 19) in support of gun control. However, Congress doesn’t need more lawyers; it has enough already.

We need more people, Republicans and Democrats, who can just talk to each other “across the aisle.” So, someone versed in talking to her neighbors across the backyard fence is much better suited to bring about sensible change in Washington than yet another lawyer.

To bring about good change we need to change the culture of law-making in Congress, not the chief administrator of the law. We need to change the current culture from fight to win at all costs, to do whatever can be done to improve the lives of constituents, each and every one of us. In other words, we need more motherliness, less machismo.

Even if men and women are not genetically different as claimed by John Gray in his 1992 blockbuster book “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus,” everyone agrees that there are differences in the values and attitudes of men and women. Very few women have started wars. Many, many women have nursed those wounded in wars back to good health. Judy Herschel has spent 18 years attending to those ill with alcohol and drug addiction. Jennifer Rager-Kay, candidate for the 85th State House District, is a doctor. Both are mothers.

In a country with a population that is half women and half men, there should be more masculine-feminine balance in state and federal law-making. The partisan obstinacy in Congress, the heart of all problems in our governance, is more the result of a masculine culture than feminine one. While toughness is a necessary quality of the American Congress, so is kindness and civility — both qualities associated more with motherhood, hence womanhood.

Trump was a shot in the dark at change that failed. This is the year of the women and children. More women are in Congress and more women are running for Congress than ever before in our history. Those running will be supported by high school and college kids in record numbers. Let’s take this opportunity to bring real, sensible change to our government.

(Sunbury Daily Item, April 17, 2018)
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