White Women, It’s Time to Get a Clue … If It’s Not Too Late
Not all white women are clueless. But Trump’s victory proves that the majority of us are.
I’ve never understood the election statistic that most married white women vote Republican. Even if they were Democrats before their wedding day, there’s apparently something about putting on that ring that turns their blue hearts to red.
Yes, I’m a white woman, but a diehard liberal Democrat. So I cannot for the life of me understand why white women go Republican or why they would ever vote for Donald Trump. It’s understandable, policies aside, that in 2012 many white women voters liked that “nice” Mitt Romney with his ever-growing brood and good head of hair. But how in the world did white women allow themselves to be bamboozled to vote against their own interests by the biggest misogynist since Rush Limbaugh?
I know the answer. Too many white women think that certain bad things will never happen to them, so they don’t have to worry about them. Yes, Trump mocked Hillary Clinton mercilessly on the campaign trail. Yes, he constantly lied about her, saying that she was “crooked” without a shred of evidence (and ignoring the fact that he himself isn’t the straightest arrow.) Yes, he let his alt-right supporters chant about locking her up, and worse. But those things would NEVER happen to nice white soccer moms, right?
That kind hubris and ignorance has now put the least qualified person to ever run for president into the Oval Office. And we have white ladies to thank for that. The women’s vote has determined the presidential winner in every election since 1980, and Tuesday night, 53 percent of white women voted for Trump.
Too many white women take things for granted and assume that things many people complain about just don’t happen to them. For example, many 21st century feminists have bought into the fairy tale that we now live in a world where qualified women don’t experience sexism or discrimination. They blithely went along with white woman Sheryl Sandberg who convinced them that to advance in a world of men, all they had to do was “lean in” a little harder; that they should stop worrying their little heads about blatant misogyny because working harder and longer would make up for the male bosses who continue to promote less qualified men at their expense.
It also didn’t help that many younger feminists said, “Nah, no need to vote for Hillary 100 years after suffrage, because I’m sure that I’ll see a woman president in MY lifetime,” while glibly casting their protest votes for Gary Johnson, and arrogantly brushing off the dreams of the handful of 100+ -year-old women who were proudly voting for HRC in their white pantsuits, something they thought they would never live to see.
White girls, it’s time to wake up. Because if you don’t, soon your daughters are going to be in exactly the same spot you are today — living in a time where the leader of the free world is a lying, sexist, pussy-grabbing bigot who cares about no one other than himself and his own authoritarian style of self-aggrandizement.
Don’t take my word for it. Samantha Bee, my white “sister” from the north of the border will school you:
“ [White voters], if Muslims have to take responsibility for every member of their community, then so do we. … A majority of white women, when faced with the historic choice between the first female president and a vial of weaponized testosterone said, ‘I’ll take Option B. I just don’t LIKE her.’”
No, white girls didn’t like Hillary Clinton. I already knew that, but I didn’t think they’d play that high school card with so much vigor that it would keep one of the most qualified candidates ever to run for the White House from taking the oath of office.
Women voters of color knew they didn’t have to like Hillary (though many probably did) in order to vote for her. They knew they needed someone who was smart, qualified, and experienced who had the policy chops and connections to help everyone economically and who could make the world a safer place. But because the majority of white girls didn’t “like” Hillary, they voted for the unqualified wrecking ball who will now have a GOP Congress to do his bidding. Because white girls didn’t like Hillary, we are all now stuck with the guy who has never held elective office who says his brain is so good he doesn’t have to consult anyone on anything, even on military matters or “bombing the shit” out of people.
In 2020, white ladies, you might want to get over that likability fetish. The first woman president doesn’t have to be like you, even though you apparently think she does. I know you hated the smart girl with glasses in high school who wanted to be on student council, go to college and make a difference in the world. Been there, done that. I’m also guessing that you seemed to like the guy in high school who paid the negative attention to you and you thought you could change him. Well, at least that’s how Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell view Trump. But you ladies who tried to be the good influence on the bad boy know that has zero chance of working.
The wheels are already turning to put the extreme policies of Donald Trump into effect — cutting Social Security and Medicare, getting rid of health insurance for the 20 million people who just started being able to see doctors again, and cozying up to other strongmen like Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas.
But it’s not just the fault of the white women who voted for Trump. It’s also the fault of the rest of us white women who weren’t able to convince them of how dangerous it would be if Trump got the keys to the White House. Many of us tried. We tried really hard, but our message didn’t get through.
For you white ladies who decided Trump was better than Hillary, I hope you enjoy the next four years as you realize that all the things Trump claimed he’d do for the “little guy” — like bringing back manufacturing jobs and helping the economy by trashing any and all trade agreements — will never happen, because he has never cared about you, and he isn’t about to start now. Oh, and that paid maternity leave policy he claimed to be so interested in? In case you hadn’t checked, there’s no there there.
Take this to the bank — in 2020 you will be shaking your heads over how the once great United States turned into a virtual Trump dictatorship that has benefitted no one, other than Trump and his ego, and that has become dangerous for all of us. And that’s when I’ll sadly say, just look in the mirror and you’ll see who bears the blame.
Joanne Bamberger is the founder of The Broad Side and the author/editor of the the award-winning bestseller Love Her, Love Her Not: The Hillary Paradox.