I bet you thought I was talking about Donald Trump; you’re half right.
For all the hand-wringing, glee, and/or dread over Donald Trump’s unfavorability rating with women—70 percent as of this writing—Hillary Clinton is close on his heels at 58 percent. Not exactly a mandate from women to be the first woman president.
How is Donald Trump going to win over female voters?
Sit back. Hillary will do it for him. Think about it. Hillary Clinton is the closest thing to a female president we’ve ever had, yet more women than not don’t like her.
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High-profile women campaigning for her are threatening other women with hell if they don’t vote for her, yet more women than not don’t plan to. A self-styled advocate for women, she teeters on the edge of implosion from mealy-mouthed self-interest. “What difference at this point does it make?” and “I thought using one device would be simpler.”
Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t. Hillary Clinton is well known to her contemporaries in the Women’s Club, because we were there for Paula Jones, Juanita Broadrick, Travelgate, the Rose law firm, Troopergate, Ken Starr, Whitewater, Vince Foster … really, the list goes on and on.
Apologists for her campaign are trying to convince young women—who really don’t like her—that they simply don’t know her. She has been unfairly tainted, you see, by these ginned up scandals that, come on, are nothing more than a vast right-wing conspiracy. Millennials en masse respond essentially, “Ewwww.” It seems they don’t want to know her, devil or not.
Hillary Clinton is the girl trying too hard to get a date. Chasing after women voters repels those voters, as desperate pursuits are wont to do. If a woman candidate has to chase women voters, while frantically waving the increasingly impotent gender card, she’s already toast.
Unless she’s pitted against Donald Trump, in which case, all bets are off. A Trump-Clinton match-up would be a whole new version of vicious.
Manipulation in and of itself is not the turn-off. Donald Trump manipulates like nobody’s business, but it’s from a position of supreme self-confidence. Much as he seems to be enjoying the ride, if he fails to secure either the nomination or the presidency, none of us think he will consider it a failure. He doesn’t fail. You know that. He will probably file half a dozen lawsuits, take Melania out on the town, and parlay the phenomenon of his presidential run into a gazillion more dollars.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a rally at the Milwaukee Theatre Monday, April 4, 2016, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
If Hillary Clinton fails to secure either the nomination or the presidency, we’ll never hear from her again. Her whole raison d’être is to become the first woman president. If she fails, look for her to parlay the defeat of her presidential run into nothing.
Democrats are supposedly giddy over the Trumpism meltdown of the Republican Party, but I don’t see how their situation is any better. We would be more giddy over here if we were weren’t so busy bailing out the boat. Neither party establishment likes its front-runners, and each are pulling out all the stops to #neverTrump and #goawayBernie. The most likely nominee in both parties is a walking, talking minefield. Both are honesty-challenged; both have damning video documentation of days gone by; and both make a frighteningly large number of their own party members want to vote for the other guy. Or gal.
Women are the majority of citizens and the majority of voters. We are about to drive Election 2016, and it’s a toss-up which candidate we dislike more. I haven’t made up my own mind. I was actually considering Ted Cruz, but if he sends me one more pretend-we’re-intimates email from Heidi (not Heidi Cruz—Heidi—subject line “I need to share something with you”), I’m going to ralph. And, I’m in Utah, Mr. Cruz! We already voted in our caucus, and we went for you in a landslide. Why the hard sell? For me, an unnecessary hard sell is its own kind of repellant. What’s a girl to do? I have no idea, and I’m far from the only one.
I hope my fellow female voters stay in the game. The worst thing we could do, in my humble opinion, is to take our ball and go home because we don’t like our choices. Someone is going to answer that phone at 3:00 a.m., nominate a Supreme Court justice, and prioritize between Jimmy Kimmel and Jimmy Fallon. We are subject to it all; how do we take our hands completely off the wheel?
People say, “Why should I vote? My vote doesn’t count.” Maybe not. Or they say, “What difference does it make? We’re going to hell in a handbasket.” Maybe so. We are mostly helpless, I grant you. We cast our vote, other Americans cast their votes, and first a candidate, then a president shakes out. There are hella icebergs all around, and, in case you haven’t noticed, not nearly enough lifeboats. Some of us—individuals and/or political parties—are going down.
When John Jacob Astor IV realized the Titanic was sinking, he put on his tuxedo, walked his pregnant wife to a lifeboat, and then retired to the Gentlemen’s Lounge where he played cards with his upper crust buddies until the ship sank. The band played on.
On September 11, passengers aboard Flight 93 rushed the cockpit when they knew all hope was lost for them, but not for other Americans. They went out in a blaze of glory. Not only did they prevent a third plane from crashing into the White House or the Capitol, they inspired a rallying cry and a fierce pride in the rest of us. We were less defeated by terrorism because they refused to be cowed by it.
So vote. Exercise your civic duty, set an example for your kids, take control of the tiny sliver you own. We’ll wake up November 9 with a new president. Don’t you want to know that you at least gave it your all? And the more of us who vote, the more we know new president claims the throne aright.
This is the most fascinating, most tripwire, most difficult vote of our lives. We have to step up, even if we have to drag ourselves kicking and screaming to the voting booth. Some very brave men pledged their lives and their sacred honor to bring us this democratic republic. The least we can do is read widely, think for ourselves, and pull the lever.
Donna Carol Voss is an author, blogger, speaker, and mom. Her just-released “Hail to the Chief! 10 Questions to Ask Every Oval Office Candidate” throws a rope to anyone struggling with Election 2016.
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