Politics & Policy

The Mysterious Female Conservative

Iowa Senator Joni Ernst at a McCain campaign event, May 2016. (Photo: Gage Skidmore)
What explains this newfangled phenomenon baffling progressives from coast to coast?

This fall, if you’re lucky enough to hang your hat at the leafy, cloistered, and widely acclaimed Amherst College — checking in at #2 in the rankings of national liberal-arts colleges by U.S. News and World Report, with tuition at a mere $60,000 a year! — you can learn about one of the greatest mysteries in the universe.

It is truly a question for the ages, in line with puzzlers such as what happens to space–time in the heart of a super-massive black hole, how free will and predestination can truly coexist, and why Finding Bigfoot, the well-funded Animal Planet television series now in its ninth season, has never actually managed to, you know, find Bigfoot. Prepare for your minds to be blown, dorm-dwellers: How do women ever become conservative?

The course that tackles this question, titled “Contemporary Debates: Women and Right-Wing Populism,” explores “why some women become prominent right-wing leaders and activists” while others join with “progressive forces to fight for the rights of women.” Ah, “the rights of women.” The phrase might sound virtuous and grand, but those who’ve circled the political block more than once probably know that it tends to be code for three things: a) abortion b) more government, and c) even more government. (Surprise!)

Indeed, right-wingers do not tend to fight for these things. The reasons are not mysterious and could be quickly cleared up by having an actual right-leaning woman come in and lecture for a day or two. Normally, I would offer to do so for a somewhat reasonable fee, but for conservatives of all stripes, many of today’s college campuses have morphed into a terrifying blend of the Salem Witch Trials, a Ken Kesey acid test with despondent undertones, and the running of the bulls at Pamplona.

If this sort of nonsense were limited to the goofballs at Amherst, we could brush it off as a blip on the broader national screen. Sadly, it goes all the way to the top. This week, Michelle Obama blithely labeled the congressional GOP as “all male, all white.” This remark might come as a surprise to well-known GOP lawmakers like Tim Scott, Marco Rubio, Joni Ernst, and Mia Love, not to mention the 20 other Republican women in the House of Representatives alone, but never mind.

The monochrome, mono-gender GOP, Obama suggested, is one of the reasons “why people don’t trust politics.” Well, it could be that, or it could be because prominent political figures on both sides of the aisle seem locked into a secret competition to see who can be the most insufferable. The former first lady’s comments came just days after her declaration that “any women who voted against Hillary Clinton voted against their own voice.”

Good gravy. Hillary Clinton is a lot of things, but she is not my voice. We have vastly differing views on abortion, taxes, the economy, freedom of speech, the Second Amendment — America’s constitutional gun rights, by the way, are a great equalizer for women — and whether or not it is a good idea to get the government involved in every nook and cranny of American life. I don’t know why more women aren’t annoyed by the repeated Democratic insinuation that they cannot think for themselves, or by the idea that they could easily be tricked into fawning over an inept politician just because she has lady parts, but here we are.

Sadly, on the left, the obsessive gender-based narrative will continue — full-throated, predictable, repetitive — and many women will continue to play along. On his show this week, Jimmy Fallon featured a bevy of female writers and a tearful Miley Cyrus delivering overwrought thank-you notes to special guest Hillary Clinton. For her part, Clinton sat there and chortled, righteous and aglow. For my part, I sat and marveled.

Why on earth were these people thanking Hillary Clinton? She lost! She was so bad that many people debated sitting the whole election out. Great Britain had the glory of the Iron Lady; modern Democrats have the Countess o’ Kryptonite. Don’t take my word for it: This spring, a Washington Post/ABC News survey showed that Donald Trump would win both the electoral vote and the popular vote in a rematch with Clinton. A recent Bloomberg poll had Trump’s favorability ratings besting Clinton’s as well.

There’s only one conclusion: People must not know that Hillary Clinton is a woman. Surely, the word will eventually get out! There are no female failings, after all — well, okay, there’s one, which is the regrettable tendency of some women to lean to the political right. It is truly a mystery for the ages.

After all, as our very empowered friends on the left like to remind us, don’t we women all think alike?


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