Today on NPR there was a really interesting interview with journalist Melinda Henneberger, who, upon seeing the strange statistic that more women voted for Bush than had voted conservative in the previous election, decided to look into it. The result is her new book If They Only Listened to Us: What Women Voters Want Politicians to Hear. Here are the points I found interesting.
- African American Women of Christian faith (a significant block) voted for conservatives based on the pro-life and homosexual marriage issues – that is, they voted against the liberal position on this
- Abortion: Many women voted against the liberals solely on the topic of abortion. Not because they were one issue voters, but because they felt like the Dems basically say "if you’re not for legalized abortion under all circumstances, we don’t want you."
- Arrogance: There is a grain of truth in the fact that liberals are snooty and arrogant – otherwise, FoxNews could not make so much of it. Their looking down the nose at creationists, or religious conservatives, even in making jokes, has a negative affect on women voters. Interestingly, when liberals slam Bush for being stupid, a lot of conservative women feel like they "resemble that remark," and find such disrespect for the office of President and voters to be arrogant. Amen sisters, I’m right there with you.
- Environment: Interestingly, many women voted Democrat because of their environmental stance. Now if we would only listen to NEWT, whose consistent call for scientific envirnomentalism (instead of emotional) is what we need.
- Vote like a liberal, parent like a conservative: This interesting phrase came up a lot, where many women don’t want to inhibit the rights of gays or pro-choicers, but they are worried about the over-sexualization of their kids in the schools – translation? They want to give people their freedom to behave badly but they don’t want it to affect their kids. While that sounds noble, it’s another version of liberal anti-logic that looks nice on paper, but doesn’t work in the real world. If you don’t want sex-ed teachers teaching your kids to explore homosexual sex, there’s NO way to keep it out of the school curriculums if you sanction it via legalized marriage. No way.
- Hillary? Yeah, but NO. Hillary has an image problem with women – they just don’t think she is telling the truth, but just saying what she thinks they want to hear. And these aren’t just O’Reilly watchers ;) Worse than that, among women who would vote for her, almost NONE think she could win.
- War: As you might imagine, in general women are against this war. However, also interesting, is that if the GOP comes up with a candidate who is really not so agressive (like McCain used to be), many women are ready to peel off of the Democratic rolls to vote Conservative. Let’s hope we get a republican who wants to get our kids home and let the Muslims figure out how to live without killing themselves and their neighbors.
Anyway, this book looks really interesting, and both parties should take it to heart if they intend to win.