This is the first post in a series by Independent Voters of America founder Bill Hillsman. We’re calling it the “Why Be Independent?” series, and will be posting POV on why a number of typically aggregated groups like women, seniors, people under the age of 45… why all should be independent voters.
More women vote than men. More women are attending and graduating from college than men. Women are doing well as entrepreneurs and doing better in the corporate world than ever before. All of this marks progress.
But there’s one place where women haven’t progressed very far at all, and that’s in the eyes of our two major political parties.
The Democratic Party is often called the “mommy” party, and there’s no doubt that it has been more progressive than the Republican Party in terms of women’s issues. Women voters, in fact, make up an exceedingly important constituency for any Democratic candidate. But by and large, the Democratic Party takes women’s votes for granted. After all, they are the “mommy” party. And where else are they going to go if they don’t vote Democratic?
The Republican Party is known as the “daddy” party. And this paternalistic streak carries over in the way they view women voters. Republican Party leaders won’t say so in public, but in the closed-door rooms where the (mostly male) political consultants talk strategy, women voters don’t have a voice. Why? Because among Republicans, the prevailing notion is that many women vote the way their husbands, or their fathers, or their boyfriends do.
So if you’re a woman, one party takes your vote for granted, the other party thinks you can be told what to do rather than persuaded.
Women voters are a more potent political force than ever before in American history. But political campaign strategists regularly pigeonhole them into preconceived roles in elections.
What’s a woman to do? Become a free agent. Until the Democrats stop taking you for granted and the Republicans stop trying to dictate to you, assert your independence. Join Independent Voters of America today.