Dean MacAdam’s illustration on the cover of this week’s Washington Examiner magazine brilliantly captures the unfairness and absurdity of biological men competing in women’s sports and the justifiable anger and frustration this travesty engenders.
A musclebound dude in a woman’s swimsuit stands atop a medal podium, having won gold. Two actual women glare in justified but silenced rage from the silver and bronze positions. The scene encapsulates one of the three areas explored by Nicole Russell (P.xc.) in her cover story, “How Democrats erase women.”
The others are the blue party’s pandemic policies and efforts to squelch gig work, which disproportionately harm women, and its dismissal of work-family balance after the Supreme Court overturned the fiction of a constitutional right to abortion.
Presumably, Democrats enjoyed winning the majority of women’s votes over the past several decades. They certainly have tried rhetorically to present themselves as more concerned than Republicans are with women’s rights and well-being. And one could conclude from this that the dire effects of their policies on women are unintended consequences.
But it would be wrong to do so. What is happening is not inadvertent but, rather, a deliberate choice. In each case, Democrats are deciding between two sets of supporters and siding against women. In unnecessarily shutting down schools as a response to COVID-19, the party sided with its paymasters in the teachers unions and against mothers who lost work having to stay home with their sons and daughters. In clamping down on gig work, Democrats are again choosing to do the bidding of their union bosses even though it means inconveniencing women who prefer flexible work because it allows them a better job-life balance.
It is not despite the fact but because of the fact that women have tended to vote Democrat that the party now ignores their interests. It takes their votes for granted, believing they can be painlessly ignored, but it fears unions would be less obliging and might stanch the flow of dollars if the party stands against Big Labor’s wishes.
Taking a group of voters for granted and supporting policies that hurt them is a wider Democratic trait. The party keeps pushing to increase the minimum wage, for example, even though all economists know doing so kills jobs. Democrats trumpet their affinity with workers. We’re raising your pay, they say. But as economist Thomas Sowell succinctly put it, “The real minimum wage is zero.” Making jobs more expensive means employers buy fewer of them. Democrats briefly burnish their caring credentials and do union bidding while leaving their onetime base to pick up the pieces.
One could discourse at length on other areas where there is a yawning gap in Democratic governance between cheap messaging and damaging policies; the “Inflation Reduction Act” that was really a climate bill, the incessant invocation of “racism” and “equity” belied by anti-crime measures that afflict minorities most, etc., etc.
The difference between what Democrats proclaim and what they do — on gender, economics, regulation, healthcare, wages, job creation, crime, and much more — is the difference between superficial appearances and reality. Which is what our cover story this week captures so well.