OPINION: We shouldn’t have another white man for president

I’m tired of hearing the same old story of the founding fathers and the white men who are written about in history books as if their experiences were the only ones happening. 

Someone references George Washington as an inspirational figure? No thanks … for so many reasons. 

Too often we’re taught that the experiences of white men are the narrative of American history. And that’s why we shouldn’t have another white cisgender man as the U.S. president. 

Representation in federal government would bring renewed excitement and faith in American democracy, which our government desperately needs in this political climate. People will be more willing to participate in elections if there are candidates who understand their experiences.

But at this point, I’m growing tired of explaining people’s privilege to them, particularly when arguing on social justice topics and identity struggles.

Most of the past American presidents have used their white privilege to create institutions which simply uplift other white people, most often white men. Look at Bill Clinton, who supported and moved forward plans for prisons, according to the BBC, which I believe cultivated the corrupt and racially motivated prison-industrial complex seen today. 

Andrew Jackson, whose face is still on the $20 bill, continued the genocide against Native Americans with the Trail of Tears. Not to mention, eight of the U.S.’ early presidents owned slaves during their time in office, according to HuffPost.

Male presidents have created sexist systems and laws; just look to the gender pay gap, the lack of voting rights and an incomplete health care system. They’ve also been accused of sexually harassing and assaulting women

The fight for equality is a never-ending struggle. For so long, all other genders have had to persuade male presidents to simply listen to their experiences. 

It would be breathtakingly powerful to have someone who really knew firsthand about gender-related injustices and who would then hopefully be more willing to listen to calls for change.

I’m not saying the prospective president has to or should serve the needs of only certain identities. But, having a president — someone who has the power to create new systems — as someone who understands firsthand what racism or sexism or homophobia or xenophobia feels like would forever change my perspective and interaction with the federal government. 

Obviously not all white men are the same, and all the white men who have been president are not the same. White male presidents have made movements forward in terms of gaining rights for all people. 

But at this point, I’m growing tired of explaining people’s privilege to them, particularly when arguing on social justice topics and identity struggles. 

I personally am leaning toward supporting Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., right now. I believe in Warren’s liberal stances, and I think, as a woman, she brings experiences and perspectives that would be new to the presidential office. 

That isn’t to say that I don’t have reservations about her (i.e. the time she used her DNA test results to argue that she had Native American heritage). However, all candidates have something problematic in their past or campaign; what matters is what implications those issues may have. 

Representation in the executive branch could mobilize involvement in the meritocracy on a massive scale. Even though some candidates, who are white men, have some solid policies and plans, there are other candidates with similar plans who can also bring the power of representation to the presidency. 

So let’s get it going; it’s been too long already. 

Abby Pugh SC ’23 is originally from San Francisco, California, but recently moved to Palo Alto, California. She’s thinking of majoring in Asian American studies or politics. 

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