Monday, August 20, 2012

What women want: More angry white men?

Since Paul Ryan's ascension to the 2012 vice-presidential candidate status, much of the talk has been that he will garner a lot of votes from women that Obama was going to get when Romney stood alone. Ryan is cute and in shape, so of course that is all women want from their candidates, right?

I don't know why women like Obama more than they like Romney. Maybe Todd "Legitimate Rape" Akin can help us understand. He's a Republican congressman from Missouri. He seems well informed. Like Paul Ryan, he has the support of the Tea Party, so I'm sure their collective pool of critical thinking has helped inform their messaging methods. I wonder if they've brought on Mel Gibson as a celebrity spokesman to help them craft this clear call for the votes from real men?
The truly funny part is that Romney accuses Obama of the politics of division and of class warfare. Obama is a promise-breaking incumbent (and probably a few other redundancies as well), but the more the Rs descend into their attacks on women the more they guarantee their own loss. Yes, they will gain more and more of the extreme rightwing angry white male (by now you are on Full Redundancy Alert, I assume) vote, but has anyone mentioned to them that even if all of those AWM Tea Party guys vote for Ryan and Romney, they will lose?

One of my challenges to my women Peace and Conflict Studies students when we study the power of nonviolence in the context of the women's suffrage movement is, "So, during that struggle men worried that if women got the vote the US wouldn't ever go to war again. You all have had the vote since 1920--when will you get organized to prove them right?"

Sigh. Will we always be cornered by a "choice" of war candidates? Will we ever finally finally finally get a peace candidate who will keep us out of war and dismantle a war machine of war profiteers that keeps the world armed and at war?

If we do, I think we will likely credit women and people of color, but I am not holding my breath. We have so much work to do and the vast majority of it is not voting but is in the daily participation in public education and grassroots action.

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