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Gloria Steinem on woman managing Trump campaign: ‘Like seeing an anti-Semitic candidate being managed by a Jewish person’

Michael Walsh
Reporter

August 17, 2016

Feminist trailblazer Gloria Steinem was not much impressed by Donald Trump’s appointing a woman to manage his presidential campaign.

“It’s like seeing an anti-Semitic candidate being managed by a Jewish person. It’s not heartening at all. I can’t imagine why she’s doing it,” Steinem told Yahoo News Wednesday, after the Trump campaign announced that Republican strategist and pollster Kellyanne Conway had been promoted to campaign manager.

Steinem, 82, addressed the latest Trump campaign shakeup during a wide-ranging interview with Yahoo Global News Anchor Katie Couric. They discussed Trump’s appeal, political correctness and her memoir, “My Life on the Road,” among other topics.

“He’s a bully and also he’s not a successful businessman. He inherited his money. He calls Hillary cowardly and I think to myself, ‘Have you ever given birth?” Steinem continued. (Steinem, who married for the first time when she was 66, has one stepson.) “It is unprecedented that we have had someone with so little experience, so little accuracy, so much bombast, such a bully.”

According to Steinem, Trump is the candidate of discontent, hatred and nostalgia for a past that never existed.

“He’s big. He’s simple. He’s a brand. He’s not a person. He’s a brand,” she said. “He makes impossible promises and he appeals to people who legitimately are having a hard economic time. … He’s the candidate of unnamed resentments, and everybody knows his name.”

Couric pointed out that bashing political correctness has almost become a mantra for Trump and that it’s been resonating with many Americans — even among people who aren’t supporting him. Many today feel that others are hypersensitive and that it’s too difficult nowadays to speak freely or discuss difficult issues.

“We invented political correctness to make fun of ourselves,” Steinem said, “because we were inventing new words and trying to be inclusive and so on, and doing it with a sense of humor. But the whole point is inclusion, so it doesn’t make sense to me that being incorrect and exclusive is desirable. We’re trying to think of more creative, humane, kind-hearted ways to be inclusive.”

Eventually, the conversation circled around to the fact that many Americans are not particularly excited about Trump or Clinton and lament what they consider the absence of really good candidates on the ballot.

Couric asked Steinem why she thought more people were not embracing public service enthusiastically and going into politics.

“Well, first of all you take a lot of punishment,” Steinem replied. “Look what’s happening to Hillary.”

Secondly, she said, the image of politics as a hotbed of corruption and ineffectiveness has been around since the Nixon administration.

“We’ve been told consciously ever since Nixon that politics is dirty, your vote doesn’t count, which was the campaign he launched to depress the voter turnout,” Steinem said. “That is absolutely untrue. It happens that the voting booth is the only place on Earth where the least powerful and the most powerful are equal.

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