As to the third paragraph, yeah I actually do agree with you that the Republican Party has become terrifyingly authoritarian of late, and could well, if they retain this level of monopoly on political power for too long, successfully reorganize the country in a way that mimics Russia, which seems to be an example they like a lot, with its presently very conservative politics, lily white population, Christian quasi-theocracy, oil-driven economy, lavish military spending, weak (and shrinking) level of public welfare investment, net emigration instead of immigration, younger people leaving in particular, general anti-intellectual, masculinist aura, etc. etc., all structurally guaranteed by single-party rule and official censorship of both public and press. I believe that many American conservatives, including our current president, look at that and see in contemporary Russia something of a going model deserving of emulation here. That definitely worries me. I recently finished reading former tea party leader Rick Wilson's new book, Everything Trump Touches Dies, and it left me wishing there were more Never Trump Republicans to balance that out in the GOP and hoping that his core argument is at least partially correct.
Looking over your last paragraph honestly leaves me with the conclusion that maybe you don't have a very positive opinion of women in general if you sit down and are completely honest with yourself since they all seem to be enemies in your mind regardless of what their politics are: Hillary Clinton, Kirsten Gillibrand, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, all liars and frauds and whatnot. Only men can be trusted. All politicians are fake to some degree, including Sanders, who is also, one may notice, not entirely the same person he was back the '80s when he was Mayor of Burlington, Vermont rather than a member of the U.S. Congress. On the one hand, what office one holds, or is attaining to, seems to generally change their politics. On the other, people also do honestly change their views over time. (I know my political views have changed on many issues over the course of my lifetime, including just in recent years.) Sometimes it can be hard to tell which is the more significant factor for any one individual. I like Bernie Sanders and would love to see him become president! But if everyone who is currently speculated to be plotting a presidential bid in fact runs, then he would be my second or third choice because he really only seems to sincerely care about economic issues. They are important! But they're not the ONLY thing on my mind either. If I can be so selfish, I would like for our next president to be not only an economic populist, but a progressive woman because we have never had a female president before in this country and I feel like Kirsten Gillibrand is someone who would raise issues that I care about that Bernie Sanders would be less likely to, as a man. I hope that doesn't come across as hateful or mean. It's just my preference, and I don't think you need to be worried about that because Gillibrand has so little name recognition outside her home state of New York anyway that she isn't even included in many of these early presidential polls for 2020 that we're seeing so far. She won't win the Democratic primary battle. Won't even come close. May not even make it to Iowa, IF she runs at all. But that doesn't stop me having that personal preference nonetheless. Again, I hope that doesn't come across as hateful or anything like that.
At the bold, damn, when you put it that way, it's no wonder the right loves Russia so much. It's everything they want this country to be!
I understand that as a devoted feminist you want to see a female POTUS, and I do too, but not for the sake of it. In my mind, the only real advantage to a female POTUS for the sake of it is to normalize female leadership, which is definitely a positive thing and the cultural power of the US Presidency would go a long way in changing the underlying cultural attitudes of the country towards female leadership. All else being equal in an election, I might pick a female for that reason, but if there's a better male choice on policy, that reason wouldn't be enough to change my mind, policy comes first. I do get why you'd suspect that a female would prioritize policy issues that are important to you though.
I don't distrust females as a rule, and don't trust males as a rule. I trust Bernie more than any other politician because he's changed the least over a very long period of time and always seems to be on the right side. He cares most about economic issues, but his platform contains a lot for non-economic issues as well, and I've never been disappointed by his positions. For example he was in favor of full gay rights long before almost any other major politician today, while Clinton for example was still against marriage into the 2010s, and some of the leaked emails detailed just how late her evolution really was, and how uncomfortable she still is with the idea. I don't think her evolution was sincere. But that doesn't mean I don't trust anyone's evolution on issues. I evolved significantly myself, so much that I'm embarrassed by what I was (semi-conservative, but in a really unreflective way, not really having examined any of my political beliefs or why I felt them).
I'm sorry if you think I just hate women, that's not the case. I feel that's an unfair conclusion, as I only mentioned a few women and only completely distrusted two of them, and only mentioned one man I trusted. I'd vote for any of the ones currently running, men or women, over Trump, without a second thought or moment of remorse. The women I really like in politics aren't very popular. Alexandia Ocasio-Cortez, Nina Turner, Stacey Abrams are women off the top of my head that I trust completely at this point. Oh, and Jess King, who I'm actively volunteering for and feel like she'll shock the country in November when she topples what many feel is a safe R seat. Men, off the top of my head, Bernie Sanders, Ben Jealous, John Fetterman. There's also a difference between trust and support. Trust is emotional, support contains a heavy dose of strategy. Neither are all or nothing. The people I just listed have my full trust and as much support as I can afford to give them, at least at this point in time. There are dozens more, both men and women, that I mostly trust and support (Warren, Harris). Then there are more that I don't trust much at all, but would support in the right circumstance (Biden, Hillary). Then there are several that I only withhold full trust because I don't know them all that well, but suspect I'd probably have full trust if I invested the time to check out their full history (Tammy Baldwin maybe? Sherrod Brown maybe?). And these things change over time. In 2015, before I really got to know Bernie, I'd heard of him and liked him, but not nearly as much as now. My dream Dem ticket was Warren (who at the time had my full trust) with Bernie as VP. Warren is starting to earn my trust back, but it really hurt me that she wasn't bolder in the 2016 race. I wish she had run herself. I wish that if she was determined not to run, that she'd have stood up for progressive policies and the progressive movement and called out some of Hillary's BS and endorsed Bernie early on. It just felt cowardly, and it felt like betrayal. I still like her, she was my favorite before Bernie, but that just really, really hurt, and I don't think you appreciate that.
I'm a pessimist too, you know. I just know that pragmatically I can't sit here and wallow in pessimism. At the very least, I'm not letting democracy die without a fight. But damn, since I started really paying attention, I've had my heart broken time and time again by politicians, and it's barely been a decade. I've become really jaded. So pardon me for clinging to Bernie, he's just the only big name politician that hasn't hurt me yet. It's not about gender. I'm just a pessimistic person like you and don't trust easily, and lose trust quickly. And no, nothing you said came across as hateful. Quick to judge, maybe, but not hateful. You have different things that inspire you to hope, thus different people that you place your hope in, but our hopes are fundamentally the same, I believe. Liberty, justice, equality for all. Equal access to participation in society for everyone, economically and otherwise.