Another one bites the dust…

November 28, 2016 OPINION/NEWS

AP photo

 

By

Siddhartha Rastogi

 

This time the SECOND most powerful Woman on Earth

 

Over 220 years ago several revolutionaries fought for a cause and laid the foundation of a Nation founded by Immigrants on three basic principles; Equality, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

After two centuries and more, things have changed a little. From a global perspective, the US has become a Superpower controlling and providing security to large nations, where it has deep commercial interests.

 

 

Has anything changed socially?

 

Do the colored/ Asian diaspora and the Latinos still face apartheid and discrimination as was prevalent in the 19th Century? The jury is out on this one, but a spate of supposedly racially motivated shootings last year brings this argument to the fore.

Thankfully, the election of Barack Obama in 2008 corrected some statistics and Equality on the basis of color was accepted.

 

Equality on the basis of Gender still remains a farfetched dream for the United States as well as for the World at large.

Donald Trump was elected as the 45th President of the United States despite his virulent rhetoric against many of these significant immigrant groups who have been equal partners in building this nation to its exalted status. Significantly, Trump got lesser individual votes (62.4 million) as compared to Ms Clinton (64.6 million) but obviously he had more Electoral votes by his side to be elected as the next President.

If one looks at modern history, one would find very few or almost no example where a woman has been voted into power unanimously OUT OF CHOICE by the party / electorate, rather than OUT OF COMPULSION or OUT OF LACK OF CHOICE.

Ms Clinton would perhaps be the first woman who would have become the President not by default, lack of options, or Protocol, but because SHE was voted in POWER by the PEOPLE of the United States.

 

 

Let’s go back in the books of modern history and check some facts:

 

  1. Maria Theresa of Austria 1717 – 1780 – Maria Theresa succeeded her father, Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI, as empress of the Hapsburg controlled lands of Central Europe in 1740. She made her son, Joseph II, coregent in 1765 after the death of her husband. She was anointed Queen as her husband passed away and her son was young to rein the throne.

  1. Empress Dowager Cixi born: 1835-1908 – Cixi was probably most powerful woman in China. Cixi was a consort of Emperor Xianfeng. After her husband’s death, she acted as regent for her son, Emperor Tongzhi, and later for her nephew, Guangxu.

  1. Queen Victoria 1819–1901 – Queen Victoria served as Queen of Great Britain and Ireland from 1837, and as empress of India from 1877, until her death in 1901. Upon her father’s death, Victoria became the heir apparent, since her three surviving uncles, who were ahead of her in succession, had no legitimate heirs who had survived childhood. When King William IV died in June 1837, Victoria became queen at the very young age of 18.

  1. Indira Gandhi – 1917 -1984 – Indira Gandhi was India’s third Prime Minister, serving from 1966 until 1984, when her life ended in assassination. She was the daughter of Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first Prime Minister. Following the death of her father in 1964, she was appointed to Rajya Sabha, the upper level of Indian parliament. When her father’s successor, Lal Bahadur Shastri, died abruptly in 1966, she ascended to the post of Prime Minister.

  1. Margaret Thatcher 1925 – 2013 – Margaret Thatcher became Britain’s Conservative Party leader and in 1979 was elected Prime Minister, the first woman to hold the position. In 1974, When Edward Heath lost the general election for the second time in the same year, he pushed the Conservative party to continue him as the Leader. With no alternative in sight, members of Conservative party rallied behind Margret Thatcher with a single purpose to overthrow Heath. Later in 1979, when conservatives gained majority, she was elected the Prime Minister.

  1. Angela Merkel – 1954 – Angela Dorothea Merkel is the current Chancellor of Germany and the leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU). After a party funding scandal that compromised many leading figures of the CDU including Chancellor Helmut Kohl, successor as CDU Leader, Wolfgang Schäuble, Merkel criticised her former mentor Kohl publicly and advocated a fresh start for the party without him. She was subsequently elected to replace Schäuble, becoming the first female leader of a German party on 10 April 2000.

 

 

Ms Clinton emerged victorious over seven male members of the Democratic Party in primaries to be voted as the Presidential Candidate. There have been several Lady Governors of states for several decades but almost none have succeeded to break the glass ceiling and qualify as the Party’s Presidential candidate. Ms Clinton did that and could have sent the message that the World’s most perceived progressive economy has embraced change.

She won most of the states which comprise of a young and educated populace. But in the interiors of the United States, states which have a large population of people working in farmland like Texas, Montana, Kansas, Nebraska and those that have factories like Indiana, Louisiana, etc, saw Trump getting support en masse.

 

 

Is it just a coincidence or something else?

 

Surely it is something more. Most families living in these states have men as the breadwinner of the house. Two things have happened since 2008 – President Obama came into ower. A general slowdown in wage levels and industrial economic activity due to the after effects of the subprime crisis and the belief their masculinity and ego would be impacted if a woman became President. Most men who voted for Trump were blue collared workers without a degree education.

Also hardcore male democratic supporters didn’t vote for Ms Clinton. In fact, under the pressure of the male member of the family, a lot of women also voted for Trump despite his brash comments against women.

Last but not least FBI director Comey reopening the email case at the last moment was a thoughtful action or perhaps something else. However, a retraction of no further action was made by the FBI two days prior to voting, yet the damage had already been done.

Perhaps some questions will remain unanswered. In this process the US once again lost a chance to elect its first woman president who appeared an icon to millions of young women across the country. They lost a chance to make a real change and break the hegemony which has existed in a country which has always claimed to set the standards of free equality amongst genders… perhaps a deeper introspection would cut well in the days to come.

 

Will we see a female elected representative in our times leading the world’s most powerful nation? The jury is out on that but with great despair comes great hope. To summarise, we are closer than we were and this last standing bastion will soon fall away.

 

We don’t want No Preaching, 

 

We have no Fear!

 

We have lost this battle 

 

But we will win the War!!

 

You try & try & try to put us down, 

 

We will rise from the ashes & bounce back soon!!!

 

Maggie, Gina, Muriel, Hillary are just some names, 

 

We will not back, nor bow down, till we claim the Hall of Fame!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Siddhartha Rastogi

Siddhartha Rastogi

Siddhartha was born to a learned middle class educated family in Semi Urban India. His father was an extremely honest man who because of his honesty had to pay the price in corporate world. Mother is a determined woman who ensured that children are being well taken care off. After a few years of birth, doctors called Siddhartha, a slow child having flat foot. He would fall more than he could walk. Determined mother ensured all therapies for her son to come out strong to fight the world. Siddhartha joined swimming when he was in 6th standard. Seeing other children of his class, he jumped in 10 feet deep pool and learnt swimming on his own, the very same day.

From that day there was no looking back. He topped his city in 12th and went to score highest in his B school exams. During his profession as banker, he became youngest branch manager of a MNC bank managing their biggest wealth branch in the country. There he found love of his life and got married. His love of his life emerged in the form of his daughter who completely changed him for good.

Siddhartha Rastogi is Director for a boutique Investment bank in India.

Siddhartha is a forward looking thinker & writer who has written a book on decision making. 8 Simple steps to effective decision making.

He writes on various social and current issues.

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