The Republican “War on Women,” as fostered by increasingly desperate congressional Democrats, has all but disintegrated. As it has never actually existed, this is more or less a predictable turn of events, despite the best efforts of that wholly owned subsidiary of the Democrat party, the media, to make that particular phantom as vital as possible. Voters, in a rare show of attention and common sense, are rejecting it at the polls, much to the chagrin of Democrat twerps that have been cynically serving it for breakfast, lunch and dinner for years. But the actual Democrat war on women continues with all the faux earnestness and sincerity of which Democract politicians are capable.
On Friday, Mr. Obama was speaking in Rhode Island about how government–it’s far too small, you know–must be greatly expanded to include government pre-school. Sort of in that context, he said:
Sometimes, someone, usually Mom, leaves the workplace to stay home with the kids, which then leaves her earning a lower wage for the rest of her life as a result. That’s not a choice we want Americans to make.
Put aside, for the moment, the idea that women are possessed of intellects too insubstantial to know what is best for them and their families and what they really need and want to do, and consider Mollie Hemingway at The Federalist, who tells us there are three substantial problems with Mr. Obama’s argument:
1) It Exists In A Fantasy Realm
Putting the absolute best construction on this statement, we might say President Obama misspoke. Perhaps he meant to say he doesn’t want mothers to have to choose between staying home and lower future wages. I mean, he didn’t say ‘I don’t want mothers forced to make this decision,’ but we could imagine he might have wished he’d said it.
You can say you wish that taking time out of the workforce would have no effect on income, but that’s not how economics works. If every person got paid the same over the course of his or her lifetime — whether or not he or she took time away from the workforce to raise children — that would be an imaginary place, not a real place where scarce goods are allocated through market prices. I mean, you can believe in your heart of hearts that command economies can magically milk efficiencies out of something other than people acting in their self-interest, but you probably can’t do it with a grasp of reality. People should be free to make their own decisions regarding what they consume and what they produce, unless we want to be controlled by an all-powerful state. And what that means is that we have trade-offs.
2) Too Much Focus On Market-Based Metrics Of Success
At the same time, I’m struck by how shallow our discussion of parenting is. Of all the things to note about how parenting changes you, the craziest is the idea that the only thing that really matters is income. Yes, I traded income for more time with my children. And I still do.
And I’m the winner in this exchange, as are my children. Maybe it’s because I grew up in a family with much happiness but not much in the banking account. I don’t know. But I learned from my parents that there are things far more valuable than cash money. Time with my children far exceeds any paycheck I’ve received (it may help that I’m a writer, admittedly). I treasure the moments I’ve had caring for them, watching them reach milestones, seeing them conquer obstacles, helping them learn musical instruments or how to read. I have never had a job — particularly some of the horrible office jobs I’ve had — that came close to the joy and fulfillment I’ve had with my daughters.
I don’t want to give the impression that staying home with children is always a bad economic decision. [skip]
3) Daycare Vs. Subsidized Daycare Vs. Time Spent With Parents
I’m not going to tell you that doing things the way my husband and I did is the right way. I can tell you it was the right way for us. I believe that parents have an obligation to provide for their children, but how they do it is up to them. Yes, they should make prudent decisions matched to their family’s needs, but that is going to be a different scenario for everyone.”
By all means, take the link and read the rest of Hemingway’s article.
The most telling sentence is “that’s not a choice we want Americans to make.” And who, pray tell, is “we?” For Barack Obama “we” is “me.” He simply occasionally stoops to include some nebulous “we” to make “me” appear slightly less egomaniacal.
In a broader sense, he refers to basic Progressive ideology. Americans, and particularly non-Progressives, are too racist, sexist, genderist, and every other “ist” one might care to invent, to be left alone to live their pathetic, meaningless little lives. The intellectual elite must write laws–actually executive orders when those bothersome representatives of the rabble won’t cooperate–and regulations so voluminous no one can understand or even find them all, so the rabble might be told by their betters what they must do, how they must live, what they must think and of course, how they must vote. For the time being, appearances must be maintained, and if they don’t appear to be going the right way, there is always vote fraud.
It is the progressive elite, the Democrats, that are “we,” and “we” very much don’t want any designated victim class–in this case, women–doing anything of which we might disapprove. And why not? All right-thinking–actually, left-thinking–drones must think the same way, must cry out for the same policies that will build a better world, ala Serenity. Individuality of thought and belief is simply not allowable. But more, “we” don’t want an entire designated victim class–women–to get the idea that raising children is in any way important or meaningful, after all, it takes a village, and that progressive village knows best.
Also assumed is that a woman’s natural place is in the workplace, and therefore, when a woman “…leaves the workplace…” that’s a horrific, society-shattering abomination, a disruption of the natural order. Let’s ignore that Mr. Obama’s policies–such as they are–have driven millions of men and women out of the labor force, and the labor participation rate has already dropped off the bottom of the chart and is continuing downward.
I know I’m not one of the Progressive Elite. How do I know? I actually have independent thoughts. I do not weep with joy nor ache with sexual longing when I behold photos of Barack Obama. I do not feel an irresistible compulsion to manage the lives of others. In fact, I’m very much content to let them live their lives as they see fit.
All of this is horrifying to the progressive.
Most significantly, my experience is so at odds with Mr. Obama’s world of theory as to be akin to the difference between, well, male and female, a difference progressive theory also seeks to deny.
In the 36 years I’ve been married to Mrs. Manor–the smartest thing I ever did and the best years of my life–she has, for years at a time, made more money than me. She has worked in male-dominated industries and earned every penny as much as her male co-workers. In fact, due to longevity and experience, she often made more. In every profession in which I’ve worked, men and women made the same salaries. All of this was Mrs. Manor’s choice, a choice with which she was generally content. No woman, in my experience, has ever made a penny less than a man for the same work, and they have often, based on experience, longevity and ability, made more.
Unless I live in a world of mass delusion where a cognitive elite control thought–a progressive utopia to be sure–and I am unaware I’m being manipulated, I suspect I share these experiences with hundreds of millions of Americans.
It is important to remember that government–progressive or conservative–cares nothing for individuals. “The people,” are an abstraction, a concept, an applause line to be occasionally added to talking points to placate the rubes. Government has no conscience. It feels no empathy, demonstrates no altruism, is incapable of feeling kindness or acting in the interests of any individual. It does not–it cannot–look out for me. Progressives have taken this fundamental aspect of government even farther away from benign neglect and indifference into active malevolence in that manipulating the upbringing and indoctrination of children is a mandatory component of establishing any future progressive utopia.
This is another fundamental reality upon which progressives and conservatives disagree. Conservatives believe that some things are more or less permanent, unchanging, like God, His word, the Constitution–which is difficult indeed to change–the fundamental principles of democracy and capitalism. Therefore, conservatives tend not to think long-term because they think these bedrock foundations of liberty are enduring. They also generally accept the idea that it’s best to leave people alone.
Progressives always take the long view. Law, culture, tradition are malleable, and must be shaped by the elite, who can never admit the past or current failure of progressivism, but who are certain they will succeed because they are far smarter and more morally evolved than all that came before them. They never stop trying to establish utopia on the backs and bodies of anyone in their way. Honest people ignore this at their peril.
Perhaps the single most important thing we can do when any politician steps over the line, is to say, then and there, “that’s none of your damned business.” We say it, then and there, and we hound them as long as necessary to make them see the error of their ways, or at least to chase them back under their rocks and into their holes.
We fail in this too, at our own peril.