Unlike the plethora of reports in 2016-2017 from Rust Belt diners to explain the pro-Trump sentiment among white, older college-educated men, there have not been very many stories to explore the reasons why so many women dislike Trump so much. Maybe it is self-evident. If you endorse an alleged child molester, insult women, scorn the #MeToo movement, grovel at the feet of the National Rifle Association, separate immigrant children from their parents, threaten to take away health-care benefits, rescind legal protection from “dreamers” (again with the family separation) and act like a crude bully, well, chances are you are going to turn off a lot of women voters. Go figure.
How might Republicans protect themselves from women’s ire? We’ve got a few ideas based on the assumption (after entirely unscientific sampling) that Trump reminds a lot of women of their ex-husbands or former boyfriends or obnoxious bosses — a big know-it-all who never takes responsibility for much of anything, insults their friends and lies (oh, how he lies!):
- Call for the resignation of Homeland Security Secretary Kristjen Nielsen, other high-ranking DHS employees, Stephen Miller and anyone else who cooked up the zero-tolerance policy that meant ripping thousands of kids out of their parents’ arms.
- Pledge to fix and improve health-care coverage, not sabotage the existing system to cause pain and thereby force the Democrats to capitulate.
- Call out the president when he says racist, misogynistic, xenophobic and/or anti-democratic remarks instead of insisting that’s not in the lawmakers’ job description.
- Stop repeating NRA talking points. God forbid, don’t suggest arming teachers. (Parents in particular know their kids’ teachers and aren’t about to entrust them with weapons.)
- Don’t equivocate on Neo-Nazis or announce that the country needs more white immigrants.
- Don’t tell Californians their record-breaking wildfires are caused by liberal policies. And don’t deny climate change. (Those same teachers the NRA wants to arm are teaching our kids science.)
- Stop telling women they benefited from the tax cut when they’ve not seen much, if any, change in their take-home pay.
- Don’t holler, insult your opponent in demeaning terms or call only part of the electorate “real Americans.”
- Don’t give a series of utterly incoherent explanations as to why tariffs are the “greatest.”
- Don’t say, after years of promising to overturn Roe v. Wade, that Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh isn’t going to overturn Roe v. Wade, um, at least not immediately. Don’t declare that women will still be able to drive hundreds of miles (thousands if they live in the Deep South) to find a state where abortion is protected under state law.
- And above all, don’t appear on the same stage as Trump — or say anything nice about him.
Well, that’s going to be awfully hard for Republicans to do, you say. They have to win pro-Trump Republicans after all. Yup. And that pretty much explains why women very likely will be instrumental in knocking Republicans out of control. The only thing that would save a whole bunch of candidates is getting rid of the “R” after their names, and it’s too late for that.