In a fairly large pick-up, Republicans at the time of this writing are predicted to take 65 House seats. But as remarkable as voters switching to Republicans only two years after voting in Democrats, in many cases, has been the performance of Republican women. Much has been blamed on the Tea Party for pushing non-professional candidates. But one thing is certain from the poor performance of Christine O’Donnell, Linda McMahon, Sharon Angle, Meg Whitman, and Carly Fiorina. White women don’t like Republican women much. To go beyond Congressional districts, and achieve state-wide and national victory, Republicans must understand how White women vote (Latino and Black women vote the way men of those ethnicities vote — Democratic). For most White women, economic issues take (even now) backstage to status anxiety. And they have a large animus toward certain candidates. Handsome, family men like Marco Rubio or Scott Brown are the success models. Particularly Rubio, who has the advantage with White women of not being White. And yes, Joy Behar matters. Republicans to retake the White House, and Senate, and undo Obama’s damage, and restart the economy, must at all costs, “go hunk.” And avoid female candidates.
Behar matters, because millions of “Nice, White Ladies” (ala Sandra Bullock’s character in “the Blind Side”, phrase credited to Steve Sailer, follow her every utterance. In “Seize the Fire: Heroism, Duty, and the Battle of Trafalgar,” author Adam Nicholson notes that anxiety over status, always uncertain, motivated almost every action that the middling, on-the-make class of captains that made up Nelson’s navy took in conducting their lives and particularly, engaging the enemy. Even a hint of “wrongness” in how “honor” (which was basically status as a “correct sort of person”) was perceived could and did destroy a career and life.
In the same way, millions of middle and working class White women feel the same anxiety. Though the bad economy is baneful, it has yet to hit most of them personally, and the feeling is that the “correct sort of person” would weather the storm. Men out of work, well that is merely (particularly if they are White) confirmation that the men were unworthy in the first place. Women are now the majority of the workforce, layoffs hitting 80% of men, and women working in “protected” occupations such as health care, education, government, and corporate office jobs, far more than men, do not feel the full impact of the sorrowful economy Obama has worsened.
For such women, Joy Behar and her fellow harpies on the View offer a guideline to who is in and who is out. It is like High School, that never ends. Filled with political correctness and a minefield of mis-steps. The NBC-TV show “the Office” depicts a clueless White guy for such women to laugh at, making un-PC comments, actions, and moves. Whenever I’ve been at the Doctor’s office in the morning, and there is a TV on, the View is always on. Indeed if the TV is off, the nice White lady (usually fifty plus) working at the desk will turn it on. If the Office significantly never shows women making PC mistakes, the View offers a guideline of who to hate to be a “cool woman.” Behar famously called Sharon Angle a “bitch” and said she would go to hell. Well, that mattered. Because most of the White working class women in Nevada take their cues from Behar and women like her (Katie Couric, visiting the “great unwashed in the middle of the country” and so on). Status anxiety indeed increases, once the power of sexual attraction fades with age and men no longer pay attention to a woman. Joy Behar and Katie Couric merely replace the grand ladies of Jane Austen’s day, who dictated fashionable and unfashionable behavior. That’s not a surprise. Much of old social functions have been replaced in one way or another by electronic media.
Clueless post of the day must go to Mark McKinnon who wrote “Stop Calling Them Sluts” (regarding conservative women in politics). Well, it worked didn’t it? Only Nikki Haley came out a victor, and that one she had to eke out against weak competition that she should have walked all over. White women don’t like, for the overwhelming most part, Conservative women. Meg Whitman was called a whore, because it worked. Christine O’Donnell, and Sarah Palin, were called sluts, because it worked. [Both are toxic to women, and O’Donnell’s ill-advised ad saying she did not go to Yale was a disaster. White women are probably the most status-conscious group on the planet, and view Ivy League credentials as magic, as of course do highly feminized elite men like Tom Friedman. There are relatively few Tom Friedmans, thankfully, but most White women set everything on status, and they are many where Friedman type men votes are few. Like Nelson’s captains and “honor” having the right status is all, between social ruin and prosperity.]
Anyone who ever saw an episode of “Gilmore Girls” would know what a huge mistake that was, by O’Donnell. The popular WB-CW series featured a “hip single mother” and hip young daughter, both obsessed with the latter getting into Harvard or Yale. A modern day princess story (the mother and daughter were estranged heiresses to a fortune, pursued by often drunk, but always rich and hunky guys, video of one below). When O’Donnell said she didn’t go to Yale, she got a lot of White male voter approval (not all of course) but sunk herself with White women. She might as well have said she didn’t like romance novels at Twilight convention.
Nope, KKK riders are not lynching Black people and burning crosses. Nor are they flying planes into buildings, nor blowing people up, nor shooting up Fort Hood, or synagoges, or building victory mosques on the site of their greatest mass murder, or threatening innocuous SWPL Seattle Cartoonists with death (so that Molly Norris had to go into another identity in hiding), or any of that. All of these are done by non-White males.
What the writer Curtis Sittenfeld really cares about, is moral status and thus, status. It is status anxiety. Because her position is uncertain, like Nelson’s captains. One wrong move, one failure, and like their “honor” her status can be whipped away. So Republicans must offer, much as it pains me, hunky non-White guys projecting youthful energy. Or be swept away in by Nice White lady votes providing the margin of victory to Obama and Dems.
Yes, this is a definite risk. The danger is ala Michael Steele, or Colin Powell, or Condi Rice, that non-White office-holders will put racial solidarity (against Whites) ahead of party ideology and the support of White voters. The record of Steele, Powell, and Rice suggests that they put “race man” or woman ahead of being both Patriotic and their own party. That is probably a huge risk with Colonel Allen West, who will come under unbelievable pressure to be “Black” and vote with the Congressional Black Caucus. Not the least of which is that “White” equals the lowest of the low, the untouchable, in today’s racially driven caste and class system. [Rich liberal White guys are of course, honorary non-Whites, see this guy below:]
Republicans have to face facts. White guys alone voting will not cut it, not in close state-wide races, nor in the race for President. Women can be persuaded to vote for the “hunk,” even if he is conservative, but he has to be youthful, vigorous, and the Alpha of Alpha males. Nominating women is a disaster (Conservative White guys love Sarah Palin, but even among Republicans, women dislike Palin compared to men’s favorable opinion by 11 points). Folks like Tina Fey and Joy Behar can paint any Conservative woman, no matter how RINO, as “a bitch” and a “whore” and “slutty.” And yes, this matters because White women follow them like they do People Magazine and Justin Bieber and Brad Pitt.
The ideal winning candidate is a youthful, vigorous guy who oozes male testosterone and Alpha dominance, and is non-White. The hunk and the moral posturing to allow Nice White Ladies to demonstrate status. [That ordinary White guys are so despised is a subject for another column, but is a fact of life all across the West and undeniable.] Alpha dominance and power, beat wonkery and effectiveness. Fatso Chris Christie, despite his pugnacious Jersey attitude and mastery of facts and policy, is a non-starter. So is wonkery, thin and unattractive Bobby Jindal, who has the attraction (to White women) of not being White (hence status demonstration) but lacks Alpha dominance and physical beauty.
Mitt Romney, is a non-starter for President as much as Sarah Palin. He’s too “White” and is not a “cool” (as in TLC’s Sister Wives or HBO’s “Big Love”) polygamist Mormon, rather a boring Donnie and Marie one. For White women, “White” equals boring and low-status. Too much intelligence, an actual understanding of how the modern economic, political, military, and social world all interact, is probably a minus. Women have always preferred simple dominance and assurance over accomplishment, and Obama is proof positive of that.
I’d like to be proven wrong. It would make selecting a competitive candidate against Obama easier. It would allow combative, take-no-prisoners pols like Christie, or Sarah Palin, to put the wood to Obama and make him sweat. But sadly I don’t think the exit polls will show I’m wrong. In the end, a widely despised candidate, Harry Reid, who polled below 50% approval, won re-election. Mostly because his opponent, a solid, conservative, utterly conventional middle class woman, was easily portrayed to other woman as a “kook” and extreme. Christine O’Donnell, an inspirational, Horatio Alger figure, lost to a self described “Bearded Marxist” and was portrayed as a “stupid slut” to women voters. Linda McMahon, the brains behind the remarkable rise of the WWE, was poison to women voters and a man who lied about being in Vietnam won.
These are all facts Republicans must deal with. Go hunk. And go non-White.