As we come into the closing days of the 2018 campaign the number one thing on the minds of Democratic candidates and campaign managers should be getting motivatable voters who are predisposed to vote Democratic to the polls. The best prospects are women. Let’s explore.
Women are the Democrats second most reliable demographic. In 2016 Hillary Clinton won the demographic by a wide margin only losing the sub-demographic of white women and then by the slim margin of 53-47. Undoubtedly the Republicans have lost some white women in the interim. Starting with January 21, 2019 women have been the most visible and committed protestors of the Trump administration. They saved Obamacare and nearly stopped Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation. Turning that sub-demographic around and increasing the overall margin with women should be very achievable as long as we increase women’s turnout. They are already persuaded and they are certainly motivatable Democrats just have to get them to the polls.
I like to think in similarities as opposed to differences. Most values are human values, not women’s values, men’s values or what have you. However men will never have women’s maternal values; it’s just biology. I am among the many progressives who feel that refuges will hurt us more than help us in the “ninth inning” of this election. They will stoke the xenophobia, hatred and fear on the right much more than the empathy and humanity on the left. Here is the exception to that rule; women in particular will be appalled by children being forcibly separated from their mothers at the border. In my mind the federal government under Trump is kidnapping children, holding them in emotionally (and in some cases physically) harmful situations and perhaps even much worse. As it should, that will tear at a mother’s heart.
The Trump administration has been unable (and I would suggest unwilling) to comply with court orders. We know they are moving children under cover of darkness. We know they are denying access to facilities to the news media because they are afraid of the truth. We know they are moving children to tent cities. We know they have forced children as young as two who do not speak English to represent themselves in court.
Trump is out on the stump talking up the caravans of “illegals invading America”. In his rhetoric and right wing mythology they are all criminals, drug smugglers, MS-13 members and rapists who are coming to steal Bubba’s job and rape his women. This will fire up his racist, xenophobia and self-pitying base. To politically counterbalance that, progressives must present the truth: which is that in the vast majority of cases these are refugees fleeing for their lives including mothers fleeing to protect the lives of their children. I love America and am a senior citizen empty nester. However if I felt the lives of my grandchildren were so in danger I would flee with them in tow. If I had to do it on foot I would hope Canada would accept us when we came to that border.
It may seem strange to have an old man writing about motherhood because, well it is. However I understand just enough about it to know that it is a tremendous motivator. If Democrats turn enough motivatables into voters they win. The maternal instinct is much stronger than any political argument and we have an additional weapon in our quiver – the truth.
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