Lessons Learned
What can we learn from Election 2012? Some reflections

A victorious President Obama, November 7, 2012


Romney did almost no better with women than John McCain did in 2008. He did approximately the same with married women (a core constituency for Republicans), and Obama once again had a landslide victory with unmarried women.

Sadly, the GOP lost all the gains on this front that it made during the 2010 midterm elections, when Republicans managed to close the gender gap and elect a slew of strong, conservative female lawmakers to the House, the Senate, and state legislatures.

Conservatives shy away from playing gender politics — which is a good thing — but that doesn’t mean we don’t need to think seriously about how to talk to women.

It’s certainly our goal at the Independent Women’s Forum to reach women about how limited government, personal responsibility, and free markets will actually give them more freedom, more choice, more opportunity, and more security.

The bottom line is that conservatives — and, by extension. Republicans — have a great message, but it’s not reaching voters. As Adam Schaeffer wrote (above) there is a giant need for more experimentation; but Republicans have to develop a respect for organizing and turnout efforts comparable to the Democrats’.

In the end, we need to get out there and talk face-to-face to women and make it clear that Liberty Is No War on Women.

— Sabrina Schaeffer is executive director of the Independent Women’s Forum and co-author of Liberty Is No War on Women.

This is not a lesson learned, but it bears repeating as context: It’s an uphill climb against a demagogue with a loose relationship with the truth, working in the warm bath of the Fourth Estate Booster Club. In this election, we saw life-ending drugs falsely touted as “women’s health”; radical abrogation of conscience rights promoted as “compromise”; and opposition to protection for infants born alive promoted as “compassion.” And the result was that 67  percent of single women voted for the Abortion President. We have serious work to do.

We know that abortion harms women. But apparently these women do not. In the middle of the election season Tonya Reeves, a young black mother, died from a botched abortion. Tonya walked into a Planned Parenthood facility on Michigan Avenue in Chicago — the president’s back yard — and was left to hemorrhage, right across the street from the Art Institute, for five hours before her death. The self-appointed arbiters of women’s well-being organized no marches and no demonstrations, and called for no investigations. The president said nothing.

What did we learn in this election? We learned that Tonya Reeves did not look like Barack Obama’s daughters. And if he won’t defend her, we will.

― Charmaine Yoest is president of Americans United for Life.