Dear Gentlemen of the GOP:
I see that you've come out with an "autopsy" report about what went wrong last election. I think that's just great. It's a good start. You're growing up and discovering the whole big world out there. Sorry if I sound emotional. But it's not every day that a group of wealthy aging men learn to take responsibility for themselves.
That's why I think it's time we talked about, y'know, women. You Republicans are trying to figure out why ladies don't like you.
"There is growing unrest within the community of Republican women frustrated by the Party's negative image among women," the report says. This is a nice start, fellas. And here's what's even better: "Our candidates, spokespeople and staff need to use language that addresses concerns that are on women's minds in order to let them know we are fighting for them."
See? This isn't going to be too hard. You folks need to be blunt about your shortcomings. Don't be shy, guys. Women are people — they're not another species or anything. They actually made up 53 percent of the electorate in 2012 according to your own data. And Obama had an 11 point lead with them! You won't close that gap without facing some difficult truths about just what's going on with the fairer sex. And what's going on with them is really understandable. It's not a big mystery or anything. They just need some basic respect.
Here's where we get to the real problem. You guys ready? Okay... After talking about how important it is to talk about women's issues, your report is weirdly silent about exactly what those are. It's like you got all tongue-tied or something.
Here are words you won't find anywhere in the document:
- "pro-choice," "pro-life"
- "domestic violence" or "violence against women"
- "sexual harassment"
- "maternity leave"
Now to be fair, it's not a policy paper — I know that. It's about improving the GOP's image. But sections discussing other groups at least mention some of the issues that are tripping conservatives up. You can read about immigration in the part on Hispanics. You learn about the gap in gay rights, when the report talks about the youth vote. So, maybe it's time to just deal with this stuff.
Even though these are not the only core women's issues they matter because GOP surrogates and supporters have certainly been talking about them for a long time. And they've said some things that really, really horrify people. Did you know that?
Think back to Rush Limbaugh talking about contraception. Or that endless series of politicians making statements about abortion and rape. Or the Congressmen who didn't sign the Violence Against Women Act. I remember these matters cropping up from time to time over the last year. And every time they did, you people would find a whole new way to completely alienate more than half the population of the country. And now that you're finally ready to try to figure out what that half thinks or wants, or why they're mad at you, you can't use simple language to describe the problem.
You're turning red, aren't you? I know, I know. This stuff is difficult to deal with. I went through that period when the opposite gender seemed like they came from another planet. We've all been there once. When we were 14.
This post originally appeared on Goblinbooks. Republished with permission.
Photo credit: Everett Collection/Shutterstock