From Eva Peron to Imelda Marcos, from Sarah Palin to Michele Bachmann, what is it in the female psyche that encourages destructive hardline conservatism to surface? There’s more than a touch of Margaret Thatcher in Michele Bachmann, although Thatcher generally got her facts right; a talent that clearly eludes Bachmann, who just mistook John Wayne for John Wayne Gacy, the notorious serial killer, and then refused to back down.
There’s a lack of empathy and a steeliness of purpose in Bachmann and Palin that runs roughshod over sensitivity and completely eludes the liberal male, and it’s something we’re currently without in British politics. David ‘Balloon Animal’ Cameron is the acceptably middle-of-the-road Tory, tepid and sensible, but where is the glaring-eyed harpy in ascendence in his party?
It has often been suggested that America is a matriarchy, but no such accusation is levelled at the patrician UK, which was caught on the hop when Thatcher (a ghastly but undeniably strong woman, no matter what else you might consider her to be) rose to prominence and performed an act unthinkable to any male politician, breaking the power of the unions in order to break with the past.
The phoney sympathy with the plight of impoverished Americans in the rhetoric of Bachmann and Palin feels, from these shores at least, outrageous and unacceptable. What I find odd is that those same disenfranchised people applaud them, but when Clinton and Obama tackled the problem with direct action in healthcare they were vilified.
I’ve been fascinated with the machinations of US politics since Watergate, so anything that can shed further light is welcome.