The Corner

Women and the GOP Have Trust Issues

Much will be written about what led to the reelection of President Obama, in spite of his dismal economic record and failure to articulate any positive agenda for the next four years.

Yet here is something that’s pretty clear, even as the dust settles. Men would have elected Governor Romney president by a wide margin. Women, who cast about 53 percent of the votes, gave President Obama about a ten-point margin and another four years in the White House.

This should be a wakeup call for everyone on the right. I count myself among those who assumed — clearly wrongly in hindsight — that the “war on women” rhetoric wouldn’t work. From my perspective, the Democrats’ campaign for women was flatly insulting, treating women as sex objects (appealing to them to vote with their “lady parts”) and helpless wards of the state (Julia). The charge that Republicans want to restrict access to contraception — that is, beyond returning to the pre-Obamacare status quo when religious organizations were not forced to pay for others’ contraception — is so far-fetched that it’s almost hard to know how to counter, since just engaging in the discussion grants the question a legitimacy it doesn’t deserve.

Survey research leading up to the election consistently suggested that jobs and economy — not the so-called “women’s issues” — were top of mind for female voters (just as they were for male voters). This suggests that, in spite of the administration’s record of massive deficits, intractable unemployment, and rising cost-of-living, women believe that their prospects were worse under the more market-centered, limited-government approach advanced by Romney-Ryan. In other words, women remain unconvinced that Liberty Is No War on Women.

This election confirms that conservatives must, simply must, expand the coalition of those supporting our principles to include more women. This will require a lot of ground work to show women how the ideals of limited government and free markets do not threaten women’s basic security, but in fact can be the foundation of a healthier, more secure, safety net and greater prosperity and opportunities for women, as well as men. A more robust, sustained effort to start that conversation with new groups of women needs to start today. 

— Carrie Lukas is the managing director of the Independent Women’s Forum and co-author of Liberty Is No War on Women

Most Popular

Culture

‘Epstein Didn’t Kill Himself’

It was just one more segment to fill out the hour, and thereby fill the long 24 hours of Saturday’s cable news on November 2. Or so it seemed. Navy SEAL Mike Ritland was on the Fox News program Watters World to talk to Jesse Watters about trained German shepherds like the one used in the raid that found ... Read More
U.S.

A Defining Statement of Modern Conservatism

The greatest documents in American history never lose their ability to astonish. They deserve, and repay, careful study, and inevitably have contemporary resonances no matter how long ago they were written or uttered. There’s no doubt that Ronald Reagan’s “A Time for Choosing” belongs in the top ranks ... Read More
White House

The Russian Conspiracy That Won’t Die

The Mueller report accomplished nothing. Whether you thought that the two-year, $32 million investigation was warranted or not, the report promised to establish a factual record that both sides could accept, especially on the explosive charge that Donald Trump had conspired with the Russians to win the ... Read More
White House

Impeachment Theater of Trolls

As a boy, I used to watch a television show with a weekly gag titled “MasterJoke Theatre.” A pompous egghead smoked a pipe in a leather-bound chair in a richly appointed library, told a joke, and got a pie in the face for his trouble. What the Democrats launched on the Hill this week is their own variant, ... Read More