Attorney and Democratic political strategist Christine Pelosi wants her party’s presidential candidates to show Americans a “pathway” through the country’s “trauma,” rather than focus on just beating Donald Trump.
“It’s to provide people with the sense of common purpose, with a sense of hope, and with a sense of optimism that there is a place for them in this society,” Pelosi, the daughter of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, said at TheWrap’s Power Women San Francisco event on Monday night. “It’s not about taking on Trump. … It’s about looking past Trump.”
Speaking with Audrey Cooper, the San Francisco Chronicle’s editor in chief, Pelosi pinpointed three different political moments in recent history that she said have contributed to America’s collective trauma: the terror attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, the economic recession of 2008 and the presidential election of 2016.
Pelosi said the U.S. government’s response to 9/11 created a “security industrial complex” that led to the “war of choice in Iraq,” the militarization of U.S. airports and streets, and has ultimately “affected the American psyche.” Adding to these wounds was the 2008 market crash, which Pelosi said fundamentally impacted Americans “economically, emotionally, financially” and has left them still dealing with the ramifications today. And by Donald Trump’s electoral victory in 2016, Pelosi said the “deeply, deeply hurtful assaults on our values of diversity and inclusion” only added to the country’s collective trauma.
Earlier during her conversation at the Chronicle’s headquarters, Pelosi discussed the number of female Democratic presidential candidates and implored the audience to defend them against misogynistic attacks, even if they didn’t support them politically.
“Anytime someone’s making a gendered argument against Elizabeth Warren, or against Kamala Harris, or against Marianne Williamson, or against Amy Klobuchar, or against Kirsten Gillibrand, it’s an attack all of us,” she said.
TheWrap’s Power Women events are dedicated to bringing prominent women across numerous industries together to network and discuss topics related to women’s equality and empowerment. The evening in San Francisco — sponsored by Dolby and Hearst — also featured conversations with the actress and disability lifestyle advocate Lolo Spencer, the star of the indie film “Give Me Liberty,” as well as the film’s writer and producer, Alice Austen.