Twitter has found a new hero. The man is Vern Hause, a Wisconsin man who was once interviewed for a 1963 issue of the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
He was among five people asked this simple question nearly 60 years ago: "Would a woman make a good president?" Lo an behold, Vern was the only one who even entertained the idea. He's now being heralded as someone who was way ahead of his time.
The four other interviewees, including two women, all gave a definitive "no," along with their reasoning. But Vern, the hero of the internet this week, said, "She couldn't do any worse than some we've had." Hallelujah! What a guy.
Immediately, people all over Twitter stanned Vern. It's worth noting that Vern didn't say, "Of course a woman could be a good president. Women are just as capable as men of performing high-powered jobs." He basically said, "Well, men suck too, so why not?" Still, Twitter loved him.
While most people were exalting Vern and singing his praises, a few noticed that Vern might not have been the uncomplicated feminist hero some were making him out to be. "Vern: more nihilistic than misogynistic," one Twitter user wrote.
"Everyone is praising Vern but let's go back to 1963 and ask how he feels about a Black man / woman as president and see if y'all still like him," another person wrote. Yet another person offered the succinct but surprisingly encompassing, "Go Vern?"
But Vern did seem to be a little ahead of his time, whether or not he was actually excited at the prospect of a woman president. And many are viewing his words as maybe an outlier then but a signal that from the 1960s to now, some things have changed fairly drastically.
While Vern stole the spotlight, some others took a closer look at the other four interviewees and noticed something very interesting. It seems that Tom Romanowski and his wife, Mrs. Tom Romanowski (guess she doesn't have her own name??) stumbled across the reporter while they were together because they were both interviewed for the piece.
Tom flat-out said he didn't have "much faith in women to let them run the country." And his poor, oppressed wife echoed his sentiments: "No. A woman is too likely to give in. They might not stand their ground when they should."
One (a.k.a. lots of people on the internet) wonders if Mrs. Tom Romanowski's answer would have been different if she wasn't asked while standing next to her husband or if she wasn't Mrs. Tom Romanowski at all.
What do you think? If a local newspaper today decided to ask the same question of five random people they met on the street who were inexplicably also OK with giving away the exact address at which they lived (seriously, that's the most shocking part of this whole thing), would we get five people more enthusiastic about the idea than Vern?