Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Doctor Laura Democrats

The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands reminds women that to take proper care of their husbands is to ensure themselves the happiness and satisfaction they yearn for in marriage. This, from the proud mother of an American soldier, speaks to a generation of women and the frequently bewildered men who love them. [In the picture, Dr. Laura Schlessinger participates in the hazardous activity that laid me low with a pulled Achilles tendon; definitely not the sport for men of an elder persuasion.] Doctor Laura also speaks to the demographic class that promises to be the downfall of the national Democratic Party.

Author Caitlin Flanagan explains why the Democratic Party is losing the housewife vote.

I am a 44-year-old woman who grew up in Berkeley who has never once voted for a Republican, or crossed a picket line, or failed to send in a small check when the Doctors without Borders envelope showed up. I believe that we should not have invaded Iraq, that we should have signed the Kyoto treaty, that the Starr Report was, in part, the result of a vast right-wing conspiracy. I believe that poverty is our most pressing issue and that we should be pouring money and energy into its eradication.

But despite all that, there is apparently no room for me in the Democratic Party. In fact, I have spent much of the past week on a forced march to the G.O.P. And the bayonet at my back isn't in the hands of the Republicans; the Democrats are the bullyboys. Here's why they're after me: I have made a lifestyle choice that they can't stand, and I'm not cowering in the closet because of it. I'm out, and I'm proud. I am a happy member of an exceedingly "traditional" family. I'm in charge of the house and the kids, my husband is in charge of the finances and the car maintenance, and we all go to church every Sunday.

The Democrats made a huge tactical error a few decades ago. In the middle of doing the great work of the '60s--civil rights, women's liberation, gay inclusion--we decided to stigmatize the white male. The union dues--paying, churchgoing, beer-drinking family man got nothing but ridicule and venom from us. So he dumped us. And he took the wife and kids with him.

Caitlin really wants to be a loyal Democrat but charges: When did I sign up to be the beaten wife of the Democratic Party?

The liberal Democratic viewpoint is exemplified by the new book, Mommy Wars, where author Leslie Morgan Steiner likens the tensions between working mothers and stay-at-home mothers to "a catfight." According to Morgan Steiner, many working mothers struggle with the stress that comes from playing dual roles — and the guilt that comes from seeing less of their children than they would like. Meanwhile, many stay-at-home moms struggle with feelings of isolation, exhaustion and irrelevance. Each pathway has both benefits and costs for the children. But whether one pathway is "better" is impossible to answer in the abstract.

Caitlin Flanagan, a Democrat, but not for much longer, finds it quite easy to answer that impossible question.

Another demographic that is attracted to Doctor Laura but repelled by the Democratic Party are the American patriots, millions and millions of us. When I wrote that “America is the greatest and most virtuous power in history,” an anonymous reader commented: “It is precisely this kind of hubris that will be our downfall.” That is precisely the attitude of the left and much of the Democratic Party and it repels millions of Americans.

Thankfully, the Republican Party reveres God, Country and Family and happily welcomes the disaffected Democrats.


Anonymous michael i said...

From where did you steal Caitlin Flanagan's remarks? I looked for some hint of where her remarks were previously published in full but didn't notice any.

Ms, Flanagan's wail that the party of all the loopy kook causes she's hooted for all these years has become too kooky for her taste doesn't draw the least little tear from my eyes. The trouble with democracy is not that the majority gets what they deserve but that the rest of us get stuck with what they deserve too!

7:18 AM  
Blogger gary daily said...

I just finished watching "Texas Ranch House" on PBS. These "let's go back in history and play the roles of colonials, frontier, manor house, Victorian house people" keep coming at us. One common element in all of them is how hard it is for the women playing the subservient roles expected of them in those times have letting go of the the degrees of liberty, freedom and justice the feminist movement of the late 20th century brought about. When Dr. Laura Schlessinger and Caitlin Flanagan state their personal feelings about the post-sixties world and the treatment of men in that world, are they saying that women should go back to the marginal status as citizens and human beings they held in the past? Are they saying join the Republican Party and embrace the religio-conservative ideology written on the mill stones of a strict male/female division that used be fastened firmly around women's necks? Is this what the Grand Old Old Party offers women?

Face it, change is hard but it's the one certain thing you can say about history. The men that straggle behind the changes created and won by feminism will be just that, stragglers. Head in the sand Republicans can have them. Most women are rejecting them and teaching their sons and daughters that freedom and choice and equality are not abstractions--these are ideals and realities that should guide lives and marriages.

8:24 PM  
Blogger fetching jen said...

Hmmm, "freedom and choice and equality are not abstractions--these are ideals and realisties"...

Women are as free as men, have more choices than men (to work or stay home) and are receiving equal pay (but don't work as many hours as men).

So what are we rejecting? Certainly not traditional values. What many women are rejecting is the notion that you can have it all. Now there's a choice, because you can't have it all. And selfish feminists cooerced women into believing that they could. Those same feminists are still trying to fight for a losing cause. Women have realized that raising a happy family takes priority... cause there's always plenty of time to work.

12:47 PM  
Blogger gary daily said...

fetching jen, I'm back in Texas with one of the women on the PBS "Texas Ranch House" show. Here's what she had to say on-line in response to criticisms that she came off too strong, perhaps "wanting it all":

"Lisa Cooke: My attitude was that a rancher's wife was a co-owner of the ranch, and she had a brain. (Like Henrietta King) No one asked me to check mine at the door. Yes, I think that the boys didn't like that. But you wouldn't want me to play the demure, non-thinking wife would you?? Boring! For all they knew, it was my father who had died and I had inherited the money to buy the ranch!"

She doesn't "want it all," she only wants what is rightfully hers, the right to think and act as an adult human being. '70s feminism never promised this "wanting it all" bunk either. The only "all" main line feminism has ever promoted is the all of equal opportunity and equal respect under the law and within culture and society.

Interesting that every single person I've spoken to about the people who took on the roles of "Cooke" family on this show pegged them as conservatives and Republicans (sometimes, though less and less often today it seems, they're the same thing).

Finally fetching jen, you write: "Women have realized that raising a happy family takes priority... cause there's always plenty of time to work." What does this say about men, husbands and fathers? A "happy family" doesn't take priority? That work for men outweighs family obligations?

Feminism is about helping to create a world of respect and equality--and it's a hard road getting there. Too many people, men and women, have too much to lose in false power, false prestige and false security to go down that road.

10:18 PM  

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