Why is this? Why are little girls familiar with Louisa May Alcott rather than Margaret Fuller , with Scarlett O’Hara and not Myrtilla Miner , with Florence Nightingale and not Fanny Wright. Why have they never heard of the Grimke sisters, Sojourner Truth, Inez Milholland, Prudence Crandall, Ernestine Rose , Abigail Scott Duniway , Harriet Tubman, Clara Lemlich, Alice Paul and many others in a long list of brilliant courageous people? Something smells fishy when scarcely fifty years after the vote was won, the whole WRM is largely forgotten, remembered only by a few eccentric old ladies.
It is unusual for active-duty officers to be named the assistant to the president for national security affairs (the full title of the job), though not unprecedented. Then–Lt. Gen. Colin Powell served in that job under President Ronald Reagan. But by that time, Powell was already a consummate operator in Washington, as well as a combat veteran of the Vietnam War. McMaster, a maverick in an army that doesn’t tolerate many mavericks, comes into the job—the most vaunted and least likely in a series of vaunted, unlikely posts for the officer—with the keenest intellect and most rigorous judgment of anyone who’s taken the job in decades. We will soon see whether that’s enough to get by, much less thrive, under Trump and among his circle.