In keeping with the theme of division put forth by President Trump in his Inaugural Address, Atlantic County Freeholder, John Carman, chose to use social media to spread a meme aimed at belittling women rather than to unite constituents and assuage the fear of those who do not feel like they are represented by the new administration.
Traditionally, following such a heavily contested general election, the victor has reached across the aisle for the greater good of the nation to unite the electorate. With a chasm between the two parties seemingly wider than it ever has been coupled with an election result that saw the losing candidate win the popular vote, a call for reconciliation and compromise has never been more appropriate. However, in this case, President Trump used the opportunity of the Inaugural Address to further alienate those who did not vote for him and continues to assert the unsubstantiated claim that he would have won the popular vote had it not been for voter fraud.
On a local level, especially one comprised of such a diverse citizenry as Atlantic County, which includes urban Atlantic City and Pleasantville, beachfront towns, suburban townships, and rural farm lands the need to represent all of the constituents, with whom the county Freeholder must interact frequently, is paramount.
However, fresh off his visit to the nation’s capital to witness President Trump’s Inauguration, Assemblyman John Carman sought to make light of the concerns of the Women’s March instead of addressing their concerns. His condescension reflects an emboldened position of a conquering party rather than one who recognizes a divided constituency in need of representation on both sides of the aisle.
The meme that Carman posted on Facebook, prefaced by his caption, “Just asking”-jabbed: “Will the woman’s [sic] protest be over in time for them to cook dinner?” While he has since taken it down, Carman had initially posted that he would leave it up, saying,
“Lighten up, it’s called humor”
“some people just have to get a sense of humor…it’s not like were in the 1700’s.”
In a twist of irony, he also claimed that he is “a proponent of women’s rights.”
The reaction, reflective of the different views possessed by those whom he represents, varied from encouragement to condemnation and everywhere between. In support, one poster opined:
“The people who can’t take a joke and whine about this are the reason that Trump got elected.”
Others realized it was meant as a joke but questioned why a person holding a political office would stoop so low as to post such a thing. Dissenters posted that they would do what they can to prevent his reelection.
In a time when Assemblyman Carman would have been better served to unite Atlantic County across party lines, he may have given his Democratic opposition more reason to rally and oppose him and his Republican party of division. As President Trump ignores the fact that the majority of voters did not cast their ballots for him, Carman ignores a large portion of his constituency that does not enjoy demeaning jokes made by or passed along to their elected officials. Both do not realize that if their service of the people does not reflect their diverse composition, their time in office will be terminated swiftly.
President Trump’s rise to power has been accepted by many to be a rejection of political correctness; Assemblyman Carman’s sharing of a meme on Facebook reflects such a thought. However, the misogyny promoted by the joke that Carman passed along is the reason why the women marched in Washington and all over the globe. While Trump and Carman seek approval through the “likes” and “retweets” of social media, a ground-swell of opposition unites against them, and if they do not share the community of all of their constituency, they will not like their political fate.
Here is a clip from that meeting.
Women walk out of meeting after freeholder declines to apologize, praises own relatives for not being easily offended. pic.twitter.com/KEcGVJGYRH
— Amy S. Rosenberg (@amysrosenberg) January 24, 2017
[Image by unknown via Facebook]