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Yvonne Abraham

A woman’s prayer

Representative Seth Moulton is expected to join the Democratic field. Carolyn Kaster/Associated Press/Associated Press

Let us pray.

Lord, grant me the confidence of Seth Moulton, who surveyeth the legion of stellar Democrats vying for the presidency and who, it is prophesied, shall soon proclaim: “Lo, I am better than all of these. The people yearn for me alone to lead them.” This, the very congressman who assayed to topple Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the House and of No Nonsense, but was roundly smote. He now returns to fight an even bigger battle, with like prospects.

And Lord, I beseech thee, grant me the chutzpah of Joe Biden, who sniffeth the heads of women, layeth his hands upon their shoulders, and skeeveth them out. His aged eyes recently opened at last to the error of his ways, he waxed sorrowful and contrite, saying he knew not that what he did was wrong, and would change, as the ages have since the time of his birth. Alas, days later, he made merry of the matter before a manly union crowd, which laughed uproariously. Yet he still leadeth the primary field in polls.

Lord, give me the magnetism and charm of Bernie Sanders, who is wizened and gray, and who looketh like a bed unmade, yet who enjoyeth the status of a rock star. The Vermont senator yelleth and raileth in righteous wrath against the crimes of the rich, and behaveth generally like a cranky grandpa. Yet he draweth unwavering fealty from the young.


Grant me the manly certitude of Beto O’Rourke, the former congressman from Texas who, though vanquished in his race against the most detested senator in the land, seeth victory and the White House at hand. “Man, I’m just born to be in it,” he proclaimed to Vanity Fair. Even in defeat, he standeth upon tables and uttereth speeches that make men swoon, and his name is upon the lips and T-shirts of the hipsters, who love his cool.


Also, give me the audacity of Pete Buttigieg, just 37, who, though he be green in years, unpronounceable in name, and ruleth over but 100,000 souls in South Bend, believeth himself ready to lead the free world. Many others share his faith: Mayor Pete is this month’s Beto, for he is adorable and new, and he speaketh in many tongues.

And Lord? Whilst thou art at it, grant unto me whatever strange power over men that thou hast given to President Donald Trump. For the scales fall not from their eyes, and thou art seemingly with him, even as he breaketh most of your commandments. His mouth is full of cursing and deceit, and mischief is under his tongue. Yet all of this is like chaff that the wind blows away, and certain men and women of great public piety proclaim him not just godly, but personally sent by you. Art thou having a laugh, Lord?

So many men — and there are more! — so perfect the images they find in the mirror, so little burdened by doubt.

And so it is, Lord, that I ask you not to make me like the women candidates, for they have faults.

For example, Elizabeth Warren hath 69 summers. Not as many as Biden, Sanders, or Trump, but for some reason — one of thy mysteries, Lord — age weareth better upon the men. Also, unlike Beto, she trieth too hard, conjuring all manner of detailed policy proposals, which makes some feel lectured unto. And she speaketh intensely upon the stump, which grateth and is not softened by Sanders’ magnetism or whatever Trump possesseth.


So many faults. California Senator Kamala Harris was not progressive enough as a prosecutor, and Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar was unkind to staff: Though some men in the field tilt less to the left than Harris, and Trump roundly abuseth his subordinates, such qualities are more problematic in women.

Yet, even were they perfect, some prophets say, the women are still unelectable. For Hillary Clinton was defeated, and she is also a woman. Such logic is inarguable, and it is enough, for Democrats dare not risk defeat.

I want not to be a loser, Lord. So I beseech thee, make me not like them!


Globe columnist Yvonne Abraham can be reached at yvonne.abraham@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @GlobeAbraham.