Thursday, November 17, 2016

Two peas in a pod

During the run-up to the election, I stated more than once that Hillary Clinton’s campaign strategy to make the election one of gender “entitlement” and the “sexism” of Donald Trump and those who supported him was bound to alienate and off-put many voters—especially working class people—and it did. The level of “shock” from people who assumed that women would vote for Clinton simply on these premises was based upon some very flawed assumptions about human nature. Yes, because minority women voted for Clinton by overwhelming percentages, she did “win” the overall women’s vote, but that masked another reality, and that is that white women are not as “socially conscious” as a group as the media tends to characterize it as. 

Clinton barely even won the white female vote among those with college degrees, 51 to 45 percent, while losing the non-college white women by 62 to 34 percent. Overall, white women voted for Trump by a surprisingly wide 53 to 43 percent. In fact, Clinton’s share of the white female vote was essentially the same as Barack Obama’s in 2012, but because Clinton failed to attract the same numbers of “independents,” the younger voters and minority voters as Obama did, the result was that states in the Midwest that generally swung Democratic were lost in close contests. “Third Party” voting was also a factor; while it appears that Trump actually did no better than Mitt Romney in 2012, more than double the number of votes went to third party or write-in candidates in 2016, and it is clear that Clinton was hurt the most by this. 

The question is why didn’t white women flock to their “standard bearer” and help her break that “glass ceiling.” As mentioned before, Clinton, her campaign and the media grossly over-did the gender angle; while a few gender-obsessed people were clearly focused on the “woman” angle of the election, most people probably asked themselves with all these leaked stories about her email business, classified information apparently passed out like candy, blatant attempts by the Democratic leadership to undermine any intra-party opposition to her candidacy, and a general feeling that she was a naturally deceitful personality, was all this rhetoric a way to pull the wool over voters eyes? Voters didn’t want to be treated like blithering idiots who couldn’t think for themselves. 

Something was very wrong here; everyone knew Trump’s various demerits—the pro-Clinton media was in non-stop mode proclaiming it far and wide—but what was Clinton hiding? Why was it that every time someone brought up Clinton’s mile-long demerits spanning decades, it was “old news” and “didn’t matter”?  Clinton and the media never understood that the more you try to conceal something, the more people want to know the reason for it. And that “reason”—that this election was about making “history”—came across at times as patronizing, and at others, insulting. 

Of course gender advocates have a different take on the proceedings, but Amanda Hess in a recent op-ed in the New York Times magazine pointed out the hypocrisy of the white “suffragette” and feminist movements, after reminding us that the use of sexual insinuations to batter an opponent in political campaigns is as old as the hills.  More important is whether it is true that white women are more “deserving” of our vote because they offer a “different” perspective; there is really no evidence for that. Hess noted that back in 1894, “a white woman at a meeting of the Brooklyn Woman Suffrage Association complained that New York had become ‘asylum for the trash of all nations’ and argued that women’s suffrage ought to be carefully restricted to keep undesirable women out of the ballot box. ‘Think what it means to give it to all women,’ she said. ‘Our criminal and pauper men have wives; there are thousands of female operatives in tobacco factories and similar fields of labor; there are probably two million Negro women in this country who are but little uplifted above the plane of animals.’” Meaning, of course, that “empathy” for the plight of “1b” in our society should be tempered with realization of the self-serving nature of the complaint. 

In fact, this election only proved that white men and white women are two peas in a pod, after all. Things really haven’t changed much since 1894, knowing how self-obsessed feminists are. Back in 1991, Eleanor Smeal was quoted in USA Today as claiming that media reporting on the Pamela Smart child murder case was “proof” of “racism against white women,” and of course there was that complaint of an “inadequate black male” winning the 2008 Democratic primaries, who should step aside for the white female because white people wouldn’t vote for him. But if Clinton had only been honest with the American people and stuck with the issues that people actually cared about, she would be in the White House in January. But she was simply too arrogant and egotistical, and millions of people who voted for Obama in 2012 simply walked away from it.

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