Raybon Kan is an award-winning stand-up comedian

Raybon Kan: Hillary's arrival a US-style Wags-to-riches narrative

31 comments
A Hillary Clinton presidency so soon after her Bill's would feel monarchistic. Photo / AP
A Hillary Clinton presidency so soon after her Bill's would feel monarchistic. Photo / AP

It doesn't surprise me that the first woman to run for US President is a former First Lady.

This is American feminism.

Would it have been possible for another woman to become the candidate? Would it have been possible for a woman who hasn't already lived in the White House for eight years? Would it have been possible for a woman who had to climb the political ladder herself, without having a two-term President-husband as a sherpa?

I pose it as a question, but - spoiler - it's not really.

I think it's a loophole that Hillary's even able to run. Her husband Bill is barred from running because he's already been president twice. This rule was brought in after FDR served four terms as President (although World War II might have had something to do with that).

But surely this rule should cover Hillary as well.

Let's think of good reasons why someone shouldn't be able to be president for more than two terms. One reason might be that a sitting president has an advantage over a challenger. And if power gets unbalanced this way, then America would begin to resemble the monarchy they fought to leave.

So if Hillary wins in November and crosses the threshold of the White House, is she supposed to act like she's never been in this building before? Oh, what is this place? Where are all the bathrooms? What a triumph for women! Any woman (as long as she's been previously married to a President) can aspire to being President! What a giant leap for all former First Ladies!

The firm of Bill and Hillary get returned to the White House, on a loophole. Everyone who networked at them first time around, gets their speed-dial again. And after Hillary gets two terms, Michelle Obama can take her swing. And after two terms of that, Chelsea will be old enough to have her go. (Unless of course, the Bush dynasty decides it's their turn again.)

Contrast this with New Zealand feminism. Our female politicians aren't Wags. They're people like Helen Clark, who is quite simply unthinkable in the American context. They stood up and did it themselves.

I'm annoyed on two fronts.

One, I wanted Bernie Sanders to win. To be honest, I never thought he could, being so critical of the powers that be. I thought if he ever got close, he'd wind up assassinated. Bernie criticised the war in Iraq and the banks that created the GFC (only to be bailed out by governments).

But the other thing that annoys me is the media colonisation. The things which everyone is clicking on - the gorilla in Cincinnati, the rapist at Stanford - are so distant, that really, the rage we feel is closer to the passion of fans of WWE, or Game of Thrones. It's a programme we watch, and we have no say on the outcome, but we're addicted.

And every time we click on an American story, we're not clicking on a story about New Zealand. Every time we click on a story about Donald Trump, another New Zealand journalist dies. I'm sure when something like Brock Turner (and his dad's letter, and that drummer's letter) goes viral, New Zealand politicians breathe a sigh of relief. Today, there will be no questions about anything they've done. The hardest question they can expect to face is: would you have shot the gorilla?

Meanwhile, this week we're spending more on the military. The Government tells us we need to. Fair enough. We have to look after our piece of the ocean. But it's always interesting the things we're told to angst about, like Isis, and the things we're told not to angst about, like housing. We need to angst about a national convention centre, but not to angst about problem gambling.

Last week John Key even told us there were houses available in Auckland for $500,000. Was he talking about the deposit? I wondered if there was some elite, subscription version of Trade Me I didn't have access to. Did I miss out on it because of cyber-terrorism?

Then there's the way the Government spent the money from asset sales, compared to how they said they'd spend it. Remember the asset sales? Oh well. Don't worry. There's historic things happening in America. And soon, it'll be the Olympics.

Debate on this article is now closed.

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW
Raybon Kan is an award-winning stand-up comedian

Raybon Kan's books of humour include ‘America on 5 Bullets a Day’ and ‘An Asian at my Table’. Before comedy, he graduated with honours in law and his legal research was published in the New Zealand Law Journal. His TV work includes a documentary in which he trained to be a casino croupier. He once held his breath for 3 minutes and 50 seconds. Visit RaybonKan.com

Read more by Raybon Kan

Sort by
  • Oldest

© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf05 at 26 Sep 2016 13:40:16 Processing Time: 882ms