Opinion | Muftic: The gender gap is the GOP’s own making
March 6, 2019
The gender gap facing Republicans is no surprise.
In the 2018 midterms, the gulf between women's vote for Republicans and Democrats is huge. Per Pew Research 59 percent of women voted for Democrats, 40 percent for Republicans. The GOP has become a political home for males, 51 percent who voted Republican and 47 percent who went blue in 2018. Demonizing powerful women has become their national past time.
Fox commentator Tucker Carlson has been on a campaign painting man as the victims and claiming the left is conducting a war on men. That is a strange case to make when Republicans have worked overtime to turn off female support. They support without shame or shaming the most amoral, adulterous, women grabber in the history of the White House. They back anti-women rights in public policies and they become fixated on calling out and demonizing specific strong women politicians.
Three recent objects of disaffection are not even candidates for 2020 presidential cycles, but nonetheless the attempted effect of their attacks is to paint all women candidates with the same brush. The women attacked have different ideological shades of the left from pragmatic power to traditional liberal to democratic socialists, as do Democratic men, so it is not just ideology driving their fixations.
The current object of right's most disaffection is Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Her picture is an attention getter for social media postings and her outspoken fearless and clearly stated communication skills get under many skins. She is as far left as another democratic socialist, Bernie Sanders, but she now occupies his spot as the greatest object to be feared by males on the right if the volume and content of social media postings by right leaning men are any indication.
For years I have noted that Nancy Pelosi, now serving her second time as House Speaker, has been held up by the GOP as a demon. Pelosi, too, will not be on the 2020 ballot, but she strikes fear in the hearts of the GOP, not so much because she is a traditional liberal, but because she knows how to wield power as the daughter of a Philadelphia political boss. She expresses herself in non-inflammatory terms, but she has a steely determination and fine honed use of power. Recently in a Chuck and Nancy White House meet she stared down President Trump.
The GOP should be proud of their success in turning Hillary Clinton, a traditional liberal, into an uber demon, painting her as so dishonest she should be locked up. She is still the object of their scorn and calls for Congressional investigations in to her past endure. Why? She is no longer a factor in 2020; Donald Trump is. She certainly serves as a handy diversion from the Mueller probe. GOP members of Congress are still demanding investigations into her Uranium One dealings to call a kettle black in the face of Trump's accused conflict of financial interests, as if the allegations concern substance of equal weight and volume. Multi committee probes and FBI investigations into Clinton resulted in no indictments and guilty pleas, but the story is quite different in the Trump reign.
The public policy initiatives of the GOP feed the impression that the party is anti-women. Rights. Seventy percent of all Americans oppose overturning Roe v. Wade but Donald Trump's stuffing the Supreme Court and lower federal courts with anti-choice lifetime federal judges seriously threatens a woman's right to choose. The Kavanaugh hearings for Senate confirmation to the Supreme Court, left a bitter taste in women's mouths as their GOP male dominated Senate committee, right leaning cable talk, and social media, turned Bret Kavanaugh into a victim of unfair attacks as they took Kavanaugh's word over Dr. Blasey Ford in a mostly he said, she said situation. Only Chief Justice Roberts kept a Roe v Wade challenge from setting legal precedent last week that could have limited women's access to abortion to one clinic in a whole state.