Cooper: Democrats are slow learners about women

Cooper: Democrats are slow learners about women

October 4th, 2017 by Clint Cooper in Opinion Free Press

Former first lady Michelle Obama suggested last week that many women were told how to vote in the 2016 presidential election.

Photo by Carolyn Kaster

Democrats, perhaps reluctantly, are learning that women are people, too.

After years of assurances that women would vote as a bloc for a female presidential candidate, that women always would unite behind a pro-abortion candidate (rather than one who is pro-life), that women were ready to shatter the glass ceiling, and that all women were feminists at heart, the Democratic Party was stunned 11 months ago to learn that American women will make their own choices, thank you.

Lately, to counter that truth (or, better yet, hide it), former first ladies Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama have indicated that, on second thought, most women — at least those who didn't vote for Clinton in 2016 — apparently still believe it's 1955.

Those women, Clinton has said, repeating a story by Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, were pressured by husbands, fathers, boyfriends and bosses that they should never vote for "the girl."

"You don't like your voice," Obama said last week. "You like the thing you're told to like."

Read that sentence again.

Women — those who voted for Donald Trump, presumedly — likely were told for whom to cast their ballot.

If you consider that 42 percent of women (including 53 percent of white women), according to exit polls, voted for Trump, that works out to about 25,356,000 women. More than 25 million women in the United States don't have a mind of their own. That is what the Democratic Party thinks of you.

To be sure, the Democrat Party lives and dies on its bloc votes. It has owned the black vote for more than 50 years, though its percentage decreased to 88 percent in 2016 (from 93 percent in 2012). It is desperately trying to increase its already substantial Hispanic vote by the support of citizenship paths for illegal immigrants.

It has Hollywood, the higher education intelligentsia, the national media and those of LGBT orientation. Wall Street, in recent years, has been a solid supporter. It used to own unions, but the decline in union membership has rendered that bloc less helpful.

Were the Democrat Party to lose any of those blocs, and not widen its appeal, it's as good as dead. We're not suggesting that will happen, just as we didn't believe the Democratic Party's boasts that the Republican Party — at least in presidential competition — was as good as dead after Barack Obama was re-elected in 2012.

But the 2016 results certainly must continue to roil the party, not only because a woman was rejected but because the man who was elected had admittedly done things to women and said things about women that were inappropriate.

That should have told the party and otherwise intelligent women like Clinton and Obama the truth — that something (many somethings, truth be told) was missing in their candidate and that Trump was saying things that resonated with many women's worldviews (as opposed to the worldview their sister feminists told them they should have).

Nobody wants to hear that people think badly of them, but Clinton wound up the 2016 campaign with an unfavorable rating — according to Gallup — of 52 percent, the second worst ever for any major-party presidential candidate going back to 1956. The worst? Trump, of course, whose unfavorable rating was 61 percent.

In her campaign postmortem book, "What Happened," Clinton, while saying she was responsible for her loss, nevertheless recounted the slights she received and once again enumerated the various reasons she lost.

Michelle Obama, whose husband's policies led many of the women to vote for Trump, naturally stuck up for Clinton in a question-and-answer session with author Roxane Guy.

"Any woman who voted against Hillary Clinton voted against their own voice in a way," she said. "To me, it doesn't say as much about Hillary Clinton — and everybody's trying to wonder. Well, what does it mean for Hillary? — No, no, no. What does it mean for us as women? That we look at these two candidates, as women, and many of us said, 'That guy. He's better for me. His voice is more true to me.' Well, to me that just says you don't like your voice. You like the thing you're told to like."

Clinton, who has said she is through with running for elected office, called Obama's comments on SiriusXM "music to my heart." Then she doubled down on the forced-vote claim, softening the word to "pressures."

"[S]he was her usual candid, smart self about talking about the pressures that women, white women let's be clear, white women feel in this past election, but often times, in other settings as well," she said.

Or could it be, Mrs. Clinton, that women really do have a mind of their own and used it to reject what you stand for?

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