I’m betting I’ll be referring to Kubler Ross’s famous five stages of grief a fair amount over the next few weeks. Because once again, a female presidential candidate who I admire and am rooting for—and even love—is out of the race. And once again, my heart is broken.
And I know that Elizabeth Warren hasn’t officially ended her presidential campaign yet. And I am still 110% in her corner, however long she chooses to stay in the race, whether that’s to advocate for her policy positions, or just to make this piece of head-canon come to life:
But let’s face facts: there is no path to the nomination for her.
I’ve been increasingly worried about that possibility in recent weeks, as the inevitable dog-whistling drumbeat about “electability” increased. As the media erasure of her campaign became more pronounced. Even after her incredible performance in the Las Vegas debate.
But it was a quiet worry, and one I choose not to look at too closely.*
Super Tuesday just made the truth inescapable. The bubble I live in. The self-fulfilling cycle in how all the hand-wringing about the country’s willingness (or lack thereof) to vote for female candidates pretty much serves to reify the cultural and institutional misogyny that creates so many barriers for female candidates.** The retrospective inevitability that our final two candidates are going to be shouty septuagenarian white guys.***
And right now my heart is broken.
As is so often the case, Jessica Valenti speaks part of my heart for me:
Whoever the nominee is, their campaign is going to have to come to terms with the intense misogyny so many female voters have dealt with — and understand that it’s an issue we care deeply about. And their supporters are going to have to let us be sad — depressed, even — that once again we’re going to watch a race to leadership between old white men.
Valenti’s article ends with a chillingly honest and vulnerable admission: she doesn’t have any more hope of seeing a woman president in her lifetime.
I get that. I feel that.
And I don’t know if I’ll feel this level of hopelessness forever. I’m sure I won’t only be feeling heart-broken in days to come.****
And ultimately, I know I’ll pull up my big girl panties and #VoteBlueNoMatterWho when November 3rd rolls around.
But all of that is for another day.
Tonight, I’m grieving.
* And there’s denial.
*** An observation that holds true whether we’re talking the primaries or the general.
**** Stay tuned for a tour through more of Kubler Ross’s stages. If nothing else, a stopover in anger is guaranteed.