Don’t we all love something new? Something hip and happenin’? Something that’s so fresh that even just talking about it makes you say, “Is that even possible?”
That’s what the Republicans have in Mia Love, the mayor of the small town of Saratoga Springs, Utah who is running for Congress in a newly created district there. Even though many on the political right claim that they hate identity politics, they are putting a white hot spotlight on Love — their new, new thing to show try to prove that the Republicans have a big tent.
She gave a rousing speech a the Republican Convention and as a result her fundraising “love bomb” is going gangbusters with $225,000 raised so far.
While there was plenty of of talk on the main stage at the RNC about opportunity being blind to race and gender and religion, I’d be willing to be that if you could get a party official to talk off the record, he or she would say it’s not a bad thing to have a Republican woman of color who happens to be a Mormon mom of three young children. As they used to say on Rocky and Bullwinkle, that’s not something you see every day, Chauncey.
The GOP tried its damnedest to paint a picture of inclusiveness by tapping the few diverse speakers they could muster to instill some excitement into the crowd of mostly white attendees. It was a visual disconnect that wasn’t lost on anyone who spent a few minutes watching any of the convention coverage, even on politics-neutral C-SPAN.
Love is an exception in another way. In both the Republican and the Democratic parties, so many women — and especially mothers of young children — find the current political climate of attack, lie, fib, bend the truth at any cost kind of politics to be so unappetizing that the idea of running for office in the 21st century leaves their heads quicker than the memory of the last actual date they had with their spouses or partners.
While I don’t agree with her politics, I’m glad to see a woman like Love running her town as mayor and thinking she has something to offer on a bigger political stage, even while raising three young kids. But she’s going to remain the exception to the rule and be a member of a very small club until we our country’s politics gets to a place where there’s a little more respect.
Though after watching a cranky Clint Eastwood address President Obama as an empty chair in one of the closing RNC speeches, I don’t hold out hope for the near future.