Not content with insulting the voters of red states as racist troglodytes, Hillary Clinton, speaking on a conference stage in Mumbai, went on to vent her bitterness at having lost the 2016 election at conservative women.
“And part of that is an identification with the Republican Party,” she said, “and an ongoing pressure to vote the way your husband, your boss, your son, whoever, believes you should.”
Clinton’s comments are similar to those made by Michelle Obama several months ago, when she accused women who voted for Trump of voting “against their own voice,” as though the leftist perspective is universally the “voice” of anyone with lady parts (or anyone who wants to pretend they have them, for that matter).
Conservative women are wearily familiar with condescending talkdowns from Democrats, who feel entitled to female votes on the basis of a sisterhood they are constantly undermining with catty talk about women who fail to fall in line.
But there’s an underlying perspective that creates deeper division than a few spiteful (dare I say “nasty”?) comments. As any number of commenters have noted, the left is currently in the grip of an ideology – some would say a religion – that posits that a person’s opinion flows directly from his or her experiences within interlocking systems of oppression.
Conservative women, as well as other right-leaning minorities, are dangerous exactly because they prove the triumph of individuality over group determinism. They couldn’t possibly come to the conclusions they do about the world within the leftist framework, so they must be guided in some way by the oppressor, either cynical collaborators or trembling victims. That narrative, of course, is deeply insulting because it erases our agency in making our own political decisions.
However, there’s a kernel of truth underlying the insult. The real “crime” of the married Republican women who vote differently from their single sisters is that they do take into account the perspectives of their husbands, fathers, and sons. They do see themselves as more closely aligned with the men in their lives who love them than with the faceless mass laughably called “Women’s Rights” in the freest and most prosperous country in history.
And why shouldn’t the outlooks of those closest to us shape our worldview more than an imaginary front made up of the 3.8 billion women on the planet with vastly different life experiences, challenges, and needs? There is no political agenda that can or should unite us all.
So when Hillary Clinton – a woman, by the way, who is vastly indebted to her husband for her political career – says we ought not to listen to our fathers, husbands, or sons when it comes to politics, she is hacking away at the deepest bonds human beings can create with one another. Of course, many families have differing political beliefs, but if you live life with your nearest and dearest for decades and do not influence each other’s worldviews one iota, you may be doing it wrong. We all can learn far more from those whom we love and respect most than from identity group leaders writing a lockstep agenda for us – and claiming our “voices” – from afar.