By Rachel Brody |
Democrats' attempt to spread the idea that Republicans have gone to war against women is as offensive as it is absurd. As I've pointed out, the implication that women are a monolith who universally support liberal over conservative positions is deeply, empirically flawed. Yet even if there were overwhelming opposition to the GOP by female voters, that would still not be evidence of a Republican "War on Women."
Consider an analogous example.
A segment of the population has long favored a ban on the use of monosodium glutamate in food, arguing it has deleterious health effects if consumed in a large enough quantity. Such a ban would disproportionately affect Chinese food restaurants, and Chinese food restaurants are disproportionately owned by Asian families. Therefore, there is a "War on Asians" in the United States.
This is obvious hogwash. Groups and individuals who favor banning MSG do so out of genuine concern for the safety of restaurant patrons. They would likely be deeply insulted by the accusation that they are prejudiced against Asian-American restaurant owners or motivated by a desire to harm any one industry or ethnicity in the U.S. In fact, they probably believe an MSG ban would be good for impacted establishments by ensuring those restaurants' customers don't get sick.
What is wrong with characterizing opposition to MSG as a "War on Asians" is that doing so fails to account for the intent of those who hold that position. The point of the ban is to make society better off. One can (and I do) disagree with the factual claim that forcing restaurants not to use certain ingredients is a good idea, but I would never suggest those who disagree with me do so out of a personal vendetta against Asian families.
The very need to debate this question points to a troubling pattern on the American left: More and more, liberals are choosing to fall back on groundless ad hominem attacks on those who don't share their world view rather than engaging with them in good faith on the issues. A thinking liberal can disagree with conservative policy prescriptions; only the shallow-minded resort to the cowardly defense that his side must be right because the other side is "out to get you."
Claims of a Republican "War on Women" represent a new low for the Democratic Party, and those who think their side is right on the merits ought to be ashamed.
About Stephanie Slade Project Director at the Winston Group
Sharon Day Co-chair of the Republican National Committee
Zerlina Maxwell Political Analyst and Contributing Writer for EBONY.com, theGrio.com, and Feministing.com
Jehmu Greene Owner of JSG Strategies