George Washington: Just because you’re famous doesn’t mean you matter.

Note to readers: I screwed up. I failed to get an adequate grip on the context of Elizabeth Warren’s words before basing my post on a shaky premise. I produced a piece of “fake news” and I hate that term ;-).

However, no need to delete a well-written post. In fact, after thinking about it, this an excellent example of how to write a somewhat accurate fake news piece. I say somewhat accurate because Warren did take a jab at men in her speech—and failed to throw a shout-out to George Washington.

Guys, Elizabeth Warren doesn’t need you or your vote. Why? Because you’re men.

“We’re not here today because of famous arches or famous men. In fact, we’re not here because of men at all.”

“I wanted to give this speech right here and not because of the arch behind me or the president that this square is named for — nope.”

The arch in (George) Washington Square Park is adorned with Fame, Valor, Wisdom and Justice, and the words, “Let us raise a standard to which the wise and the honest can repair. The event is in the hand of God.”

The power of these words seems lost on Warren and most of our 2020 presidential candidates. They’re neither wise nor honest, and judging by the disdain of some for “thoughts and prayers,” they consider the hand of God impotent when compared to the actions of men … er … people.

Dear Elizabeth, did you not learn logic at Harvard Law school? Do you really think you’d be running for any office in a nation that wouldn’t exist if not for men like Washington? If you choose to ignore him and the reality of history, why bother to ugly up his arch with your campaign signage?

Here’s the truth, Liz: The office of president you deeply covet would not exist without men like Washington or men who fought and died in the Revolutionary War and in the World Wars. And you wouldn’t enjoy the right to alienate half of the voter pool you hope will deliver you into the house once inhabited by the man you choose to ignore.

Why give speeches in backdrops of famous irrelevant men who helped secure your right to give speeches at all?

Do you really want to go down the path of gender-based voter alienation? If so, you’ll be joining the last candidate hoping to break the glass ceiling on lonely and bitter walks in the woods.

17 Replies to “George Washington: Just because you’re famous doesn’t mean you matter.”

  1. Welcome back! I have missed our sparing. I had hoped you would return. I have a favorite candidate among the Democrats and in full disclosure it is not Senator Warren, nor is it Senator Sanders, nor Vice President Biden.

    I do think you may have taken Ms. Warren’s words a bit out of context. The speech was held not far from the Triangle Fire. The context is important.

    Quoting the NYT coverage…

    And in invoking the Triangle factory workers, she made explicit reference to the power of women to bring about change.

    “We’re not here today because of famous arches or famous men,” Ms. Warren told the crowd. “In fact, we’re not here because of men at all. We’re here because of some hard-working women.”

    The dead in The Triangle Fire were mostly immigrant women. Their deaths were used as a rallying cry to bring change to the garment industry. Here is some history, which you already know.

    Ms. Warren and many of the Democrats running for President are to the left of me. If they are to the left of me, they are to the far left of you. We will see who the public nominates. My personal hope is a moderate with broad appeal. We will see.

    Just know that voting for a woman doesn’t in any way make me question my manhood, nor am I concerned that my story won’t be heard. Maybe it is time for we white, male, Protestants to sit down and listen instead of always talking.

    1. Thanks for the welcome back, Stephen. And yes, you’re right about my missing the context of Warren’s words. Well, you’re mostly right. I went back and watched the video of her speech. I’d say you’re about 80 percent right. She snuck in a little jab at men and threw a bone to the feminists in the crowd. She also should have mentioned something positive about Washington seeing as how she co-opted his arch. But I’ll admit it—I screwed up by not verifying my premise before writing a blog post on its shaky foundations. Thanks for the context and for getting in touch :-).

      P.S. Are you leaning toward Buttigieg?

      1. pj – Welcome Back! What a wonderful surprise! I am glad I waited for your response to Mr. Chapman. It takes much more integrity to revisit a shoot from the hip response than to double down on it. My first response would have been – Well you certainly put the little woman in her place – even though I know from your previous writings that is usually not who you are. My next response was maybe this was an attempt at irony. We will always continue to agree to disagree. My last thought is that probably most of the 2020 candidates have 1000X more respect, knowledge, & honor for the founding fathers in their pinkie fingers than the dolt squatting in the White House and I understand that is an extremely low bar.

        1. Thanks, Joanne. I’m confident I’ll have plenty of legit opportunities to put the little woman in her place in the days to come. I must say that I find Warren much less unlikeable than Veruca Salt Clinton ;-). Not sure how she got into Harvard Law School though—she must be book-smart. I’ll do you one better—none of the 2020 candidates is wise and honest enough—including the dolt :D.

          1. How fun! At some point are you going to tell us who your perfect candidate for President would be? I have a theory that goes along with “putting the little woman in her place”. It has been said that men are losing testosterone. My theory is that men have depended on props for so long – examples: guns, power, money, women in their place thing – that they themselves are responsible for the generational shrinking supply of testosterone – use it or lose it.

            Seriously? Unlikeable? and comparing 2 women at that. Are there any women you find “likeable” – politically speaking. What men do you find “likeable”?

      2. Thanks for clarifying your post. It does take a man of integrity to admit a mistake. I am also glad you didn’t take the post down. It is honorable of you.

        I do like the Mayor. He is articulate. He is a Christian. He is in a stable marriage. He served in the military. He speaks 7 languages. He is inclusive. He has won in South Bend.

        You ask Joanne not to fall for identity politics, but then you fall for them by indicating you will vote for Mr. Trump. There are other choices in the Republican field. Are you concerned that the Republicans in various states are voting not to have primaries in order to allow The President to move toward the general election? Shouldn’t there be a conversation about his behavior?

        Thank you for the engagement. I have missed you. I hope you are well and the family is too.

  2. I’ll tell you right now. And it has zero to do with gender—just like my critique of Senator Warren has nothing to with her womanhood. Not sure about your testosterone theory—smacks of California quackery :D. What makes people likeable to me is honesty and integrity … traits you and Stephen Chapman display.

    I find my mom likeable AND lovable. I liked Margaret Thatcher, and I like Mollie Hemingway, you, and many other women who don’t blame everyone and everything else for their failed presidential campaign. I would dislike Warren less if she didn’t play the feminist card or be so much of a wackadoodle. I like Tulsi Gabbard because she’s real and well-spoken and she exposed Kamala Harris most beautifully and with dignity.

    I find George W. likeable. Same goes for Reagan and Kennedy and Rush Limbaugh. I even kinda like Bill Maher. As far presidential candidates go, because I’m into small government, maximum freedom, the rights of life for unborn babies, a strong military, low taxes, etc., and there’s only one candidate that fits that bill, I’m stuck with voting for the yellow-haired devil.

    Don’t fall for identity politics, Joanne—you’re better than that.

  3. Your words left this life long insomniac unable to sleep – so here we are. Note: This will be a very excruciatingly long screed. I apologize in advance. When I read your comments on Mr. Pavlovitz I was so enticed by your wit, playfulness & humor. Your words on these pages, except for your beautifully worded ode to your Puppen, seem to have taken on a hard edge, almost cruel. You have called me out more than once for being judgemental while you judge many. Now you TELL me not to fall for identity politics. I don’t even know what that is.

    After being married 10 years & shortly after the birth of my 3rd son, my husband walked away. He filed for divorce, never asked for visitation, & agreed to the minimum of child support. My lawyer told me if I did not allow him to claim the children for taxes he would not pay any support. After a year of hit & miss he just stopped paying. I had been working part time but needed to get full time to get benefits for my children & myself. It wasn’t until years later after I remarried that a District Attorney’s opened an office to collect from deadbeat Dads. Being a rule follower I never attempted to claim the kids on taxes so we had to hire a lawyer, take my ex to court to allow me, who had been their sole support to claim the children.

    I grew up before Roe v Wade. I know the heartbreaks, the deaths of that time. As a woman I would never think my voice should overrule another woman’s voice over her own body. I would never overrule my husbands voice over his body. I gave birth to 3 sons & raised a step-son. I have 10 grandchildren. I am not a baby killer. I am at a loss of why people would think they have a right to silence a woman’s voice over her body – hundreds of thousands of women they do not know or care one wit about. Corporations make judgements over life & death solely based on their bottom line every day. The only place less safe for a mother to give birth than the US are 3rd world countries. Texas had the highest percentage of maternal deaths all on its own of all developed countries. We should be ashamed that no one cares about those babies who will never know their mother’s love. I would have died having my 2nd child if I had been more than 15 minutes from a hospital. I was in the hospital 11 minutes before hemorrhaging. A child’s birth is a miracle and I was blessed to deliver 3. Maybe one good step is to start asking men to mind their own penis. Women have been blamed for centuries. It’s time men took responsibility. Many wonderful things have happened for women since Roe v Wade that have less to do with abortion than with autonomy over their own body just like men have always had except for male slaves until they were freed. We certainly have a ways to go but there is no excuse for inequality. Women have done great things to & probably would have done a lot more given the opportunity.

    I believe what 2 consenting adults due in private is no one’s business. I believe trying to change who someone is is like praying for them to grow a third arm. Many times those who obsess the most become disordered by pretending to someone they are not. I believe that allowing how other people love take up space in your head is the perversion. I believe everyone deserves to be loved and feel love.

    The NRA was once a respected group of good guys with guns who policed themselves & believed in common sense policies. Since the 70’s that changed. The leaders have become shills for gun manufacturers & take their members dues to live like kings. Their concern for any of your rights begins & ends with their ability to sell guns. They have overreached & flooded this country with weapons that do not belong on the streets. Seeing pictures of men walking into a Walmart to buy their Beeferoni with 3 guns strapped to their back is no more ridiculous than if they walked in buck naked wearing a bra. Schools, churches, malls, concerts, workplaces – all under attack. You do not know who the bad guy is until he starts shooting. The excuse that you need protection from when a hoard of people attack is bogus. It is ONE guy shooting the hoard of people. If everyone who legally buys a gun honored that gun there would never be a child with access to a gun who shoots himself or someone else. This was happening weekly. Guns are not magic. Every Tom, Dick and Looney Larry’s right to own a gun does not overrule my right to live. Guns fanatics are no longer special or respected.

    During Bush I’s recession my husband lost his job & my hours were cut in half. We had 2 sons in college. Our sons each started working at 15 1/2. They went to junior college first. One son came home from Cal Poly after the semester. The other stayed at Fresno state to get his degree. My husband took every part time/temporary job he could get. It was hard because he was 50 and there were hundreds of 30 year old’s looking for work. I found a part time job at night. We still ran up debt – $10,000, a pittance to many, but it took us years to inch out of debt. I hate debt. I hate that this country is run by the king of debt. He is going to bankrupt us like he has done so many times, always leaving someone else holding the bag. I can still remember Bush telling us – What is wrong with you people – spend your money that is how you get of a recession. The total tone deafness of the elite is overwhelming.

    During Bush II’s recession my pension was decimated. Last October they cut it by a third. We have always lived a simple life on a budget. I think greed & lust for money is a sin. I do not disparage anyone who has money they earned righteously. I think every one who goes to work every day, gives their 100+ percent, deserves a life. I don’t mind paying my share of taxes for good schools, national parks, streets, police (one of my sons is a policeman), firemen, libraries, all those things societies need, even for helping those that have less than me. Paying for Trump’s weekly golfing or carting his vapid plastic Barbie doll daughter around the world is mind numbing. Thinking that a woman who has never had to apply for a job let alone qualify for one is
    a meaningful spokesperson for women’s empowerment is just insulting. Every one of those women are so much more than her. Trump being able to crap on every rule, norm, or law that were expected of his predecessors should be a crime.

    I do not lie so I don’t like to be lied to. I do not cheat so I don’t like to be cheated. My opinion, which I am entitled to, is that Trump is the human embodiment of the 7 deadly sins, along with the 6 sins God hates. I keep a plaque of the Fruits of the Spirit by my desk. These qualities are what I admire. My friends & family possess these traits most of the time. We are all human, we slip, we fall, we get back up & move forwards. I am thankful for my blessings every day. My family thrives. Driving up to the Lake Tahoe area soothes my soul. I see God in every rolling hill, every leaf, every plant, every tree, every wonderful human. My sons know to spread my ashes under an aspen tree, & then some day I will be that tree with my silvery leaves fluttering in the breeze.

    I find GOP policies harmful to this earth that God blessed us with. I find their policies feed the greed of big business, big money. Working America has always been threatened with – you want more money we will just pack up & leave & have sweatshops & make even more money. Union busting, “right to work” states are all about lower wages. I always wonder what their end game is when working American is gone – who will buy their product? The wealthy cannot & will not feed the economy. They hoard their money & because enough money to live 5 lifetimes isn’t enough they need 10 lifetimes and they are willing to rape & pillage every blessing God gave us here on earth to play to their money God. I cannot imagine a God who would reward people with the kingdom of heaven when they don’t appreciate the blessings we have here & now.

    If my only choice for a Democrat was a amoral empty human like Donald Trump I would not vote for him. I just would not cast a vote for a President. I would not vote for any Republican because of their harmful policies.

    I was a bookkeeper. I started when there actually ledgers with rows of numbers. It was my perfect job. Black & white, right or wrong. If something was wrong you tracked it down to make it write. No gray area. I envy those like you who have gifts/blessings of writing, photography, art, music. I have none although music does make me dance & I read constantly. I miss your playfulness & your humor. Maybe I can sleep now.

  4. Your apology was very sweet but I wrote this because you accused me of identity politics & I wanted to explain why I vote the way I do. I think government should be a lean machine that works for everyone from bottom to top. I hate waste along with hating debt. Small footprint and all that. I do not think for profit is the answer to everything. I am embarrassed by all the typos so I apologize and will chalk it up to being old & tired and overly passionate about many things. I still don’t understand what identity politics is even after looking it up. To me identity politics is closer to how the GOP congress has enabled, repeated, or ignored Trump’s outrageous behaviors just to keep power. Maybe I will never understand or have a mental block like I do about chess. No one has ever been able to make me even slightly interested in learning to play.

    1. Here’s a definition of identity politics I find useful and accurate:

      Identity politics is a political approach and analysis based on people prioritizing the concerns most relevant to their particular racial, religious, ethnic, sexual, social, cultural or other identity, and forming exclusive political alliances with others of this group, instead of engaging in more traditional, broad-based party politics.

      When I cautioned you not to fall for this I dd so because I thought you were saying that my critique and criticism of Elizabeth Warren and Hillary Clinton is based on the fact that they’re women. Please consider this possibility and look back at your words in your comments and let me know if I’m completely wrong.

      Stephen claims I’m engaging in identity politics if I vote for Trump. His assertion, in my view, doesn’t satisfy the meaning of identity politics. If I vote for Trump, I’ll do so because I believe in the Republican Party platform, which is the essence of “traditional, broad-based party politics.” I won’t vote for him because he’s white or straight or protestant or German or wealthy.

      See what I’m saying? I’m glad we can dialogue respectfully. I hope you slept okay.

  5. Identity politics- Evangelical Christians believing that the Republican Party actually cares about them and not just the vote they give that keeps them in power. Identity politics- Evangelical Christians who believe that there is a battle between a baker’s rights and a same-sex couple. Identity politics- Evangelicals who believe that outlawing ALL abortions will stop them and then not appreciating the decline that we saw in abortion during the Obama administration.

    The current leadership in the Republican party is all about identity politics. Mr. McConnell needs them in order to stay in power. Please don’t just throw that on the Democrats and not see the same on the “other side”.

    I am a Christian. We have talked about this. I celebrated 34 years of personal relationship with Christ in June. I have real concern that the church has been so tied to a political party and to a President who does not show the fruit of the spirit.

    We will disagree. You may be able to vote for Mr. Trump in good conscious. I can’t. I won’t.

  6. It seems Mr. Chapman and I see things with similar eyes. Mr. Chapman, of course, brings to the table a much more peaceful soul than mine which I admire. I am sick at heart with the sea of lies & corruption we are drowning in. I don’t recognize my country sometimes. While the 10 Commandments & other Commands are common sense rules to live by in a civilized society I am sickened by what this weirdly new “religion” has wrought on this country. They put themselves & Trump above the Commands. Isn’t that the highest form of idolatry – a figurative slap in God’s face? Mulligans for constant lies & serial adultery especially for a man who told us he has never had to ask for forgiveness. This “man” cannot even admit when he is wrong. If he has stopped cheating on his wife – which no one knows – it actually doesn’t count as redeeming when you pass a certain age & haven’t seen what is below your unhealthy looking girth unless looking in a mirror. To call this man a messiah makes me speechless. But then preachers taking their flock’s hard earned money because “God” wanted him to have a new jet makes me want to weep. Religion has no place in government or public schools. That is why there are churches and family units. I grew up in a small town, every color & nationality, every religion – 1 high school. We all respected each other’s differences & paths. This is what made our country great in my opinion – being American & celebrating our origins and our similarities & differences.

    As to my response to your critique of Warren – again, when I 1st read your posts on Mr. Pavlovitz’s blog I enjoyed & admired your wit, humor & talent. But your opinion posts have included name calling & judgements to which you are totally entitled to. Calling me out more than once for what I considered similar words but opposite views shows me hints of – can dish it out but can’t take it. I would have come up with an equal old lady attempt at snark if you were talking about a man.

    The GOP bills themselves as – the party of God, think Trump; the party of family values, think Trump; the party of law and order, think Trump; the party of small government (think CA not being able to protect our own air)Trump, the party of fiscal responsibility, think massive debt with no bottom, if they come after my SS & MC we will suffer undeservedly, Trump who spent his life spending other people’s money. Those are my opinions which I am entitled to.

  7. Ha! I forgot another claim by the GOP – pro-life – caged people dying, people who sit in their cushy offices here sending other people’s loved one’s in harms way for what besides lining their pockets? Bush/Cheney ring a bell? Nixon wanting to be the one to end Vietnam – no matter the deaths. Cutting safety regulations. Big business calculating how many deaths can occur before it affects their bottom line. Big business hiding the harm their products does. Big business bribes to congress people based on the enormity of damage done to humans & the environment. Big business fighting to hold themselves not responsible for the damage they cause. The NRA succeeding in stopping studies into the causes and effects of shootings. I am pro-life because I am pro choice – everyone’s life.

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