The Left failed to turn women into a reliable voting bloc — now many are leading the charge against progressivism
In the wake of Hillary Clinton’s loss to Donald Trump in the presidential election, liberals in America and elsewhere reacted as if women’s rights were set back by at least a century.
“Clinton … had inspired voters who hoped to usher not just a woman into the White House, but a woman who would push for progressive, female-friendly policies,” wrote Rebecca Ruiz for Mashable the day following the election.
This seemingly innocuous passage gets to the heart of the problem with the progressive worldview on women — they assume their policies are inherently female-friendly, and therefore anyone who opposes them must hate women.
Apparently, when the candidate pushing “progressive, female-friendly policies” loses, it is evidence of endemic sexism and misogyny in a society. “For much of the country a violent, misogynist … sexual assaulter is preferable to a woman. We feel it every day but wow, to see it,” tweeted one hysterical Twitter user.
“To all the little girls whose are watching this, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful,” Clinton said during her concession speech, as if her defeat would surely leave every little girl in America feeling worthless and weak.
This is of course the crux of the Left’s identity politics game — identify a group that isn’t white, Christian men, tell that group that traditional Western civilization and society is hostile to their interests, and tell them that progressives are the only ones who have their interests at heart.
“The lie behind the buzzword of ‘diversity’ could not be made more clear. If you don’t conform, then you don’t count as ‘diverse,’ no matter what your personal background,” Peter Thiel, the billionaire Trump supporter who is also openly gay, said during an appearance at the National Press Club in October.
Unfortunately, this tactic has been somewhat successful with some identity groups in America, such as black Americans and homosexuals. But blacks and homosexuals have long voted in large numbers for liberal causes. When the vast majority of a group votes a certain way, those few dissenters do tend to stick out, making alienation and isolation easier.
Despite Clinton supporters’ proud adoption of the moniker “Nasty Women,” their consistent touting of her record on abortion, and their constant attacks on the alleged misogyny inherent to any conservative mind, women were not a lopsided voting bloc for her — nor have they ever been a solid or reliable left-wing voting demographic
Indeed, 54 percent of women voted for Clinton, 1 point less than the 55 percent who voted for Barack Obama in 2012. A majority of white women voted for Trump.
Of course, the only way that the Left’s claim to speak on behalf of women makes any sense is if one’s sole metric of women’s well-being is the legal status of abortion. But if anything truly belies the Left’s argument that only it speaks for women, it is the fact that so many prominent women speak for the Right.
Clinton may have failed to become the first female president of the U.S., but Marine Le Pen, leader of the anti-globalization, anti-E.U., anti-mass Islamic refugee resettlement Front National, a right-wing nationalist populist party, could become the first female president in France’s history.
According to a shock poll released this weekend, Le Pen is 15 points ahead of her nearest rival. Le Pen’s niece, the radiantly reactionary Marion Maréchal-Le Pen, also plays a prominent role in the party.
The current prime minister of Poland is Beata Szydło, who is also vice-chairwoman of the national-conservative Law and Justice Party. The U.K. also has a female prime minister — Theresa May — who belongs to that nation’s leading right-of-center party.
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