Unlike the offhanded remarks that the media love to obsess about, a candidate’s prepared statement should be taken seriously and analyzed closely. On her Facebook and Twitter accounts, Hillary Clinton recently posted this statement in response to accusations that she has been playing the gender card:
“There is a gender card being played in this campaign. It’s played every time Republicans vote against giving women equal pay, deny families access to affordable child care or family leave, refuse to let women make decisions about their health or have access to free contraception.”
Let’s take these statements in reverse order.
Republicans refuse to let women have access to free contraception.
Yes, Republicans believe people should pay for their own condoms and birth control pills. Hillary Clinton wants to force the taxpayers and health insurance customers (including nuns) to pay for other people’s contraceptives. Bobby Jindal and Republican Senators Cory Gardner of Colorado and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire have proposed making birth control pills even more affordable and accessible by allowing them to be sold over the counter. That’s an idea that empowers women by removing government from the equation. Imagine that!
Republicans refuse to let women make decisions about their health.
As the previous point demonstrates, Republicans do support women making choices about their health, but they don’t want to force other people to pay for those decisions. But here, Clinton’s not even talking about healthcare. “Health decisions,” is really just the newest euphemism for “abortion,” (which in turn is the old euphemism for killing unborn babies). And she’s right, Republicans believe there should be some regulations on killing babies in utero. For instance, Hillary Clinton believes doctors should be permitted to kill babies after 5 months of gestation. Most Republicans don’t.
Republicans deny families access to family leave.
I wasn’t 100% sure what Clinton meant by this from her original tweet/Facebook post, but in an explanatory #gendercard video, Clinton gives us her best example: “Marco Rubio (“and Rand Paul,” “and Ted Cruz”) voted against paid sick leave.” It is true that Hillary Clinton wants the federal government to prohibit workers from taking a job unless the boss is willing to offer paid sick leave. Most Republicans don’t want to impose this obstacle on employment. (Yes, a machine can do your job, and the beauty part is: it never gets sick.)
Republicans deny families access to affordable child care.
There are programs in every state that subsidize child care for the poor. But Hillary Clinton is not really talking about that. She’s talking about universal Pre-K. In other words, she thinks the taxpayer should pick up the child care bill for the rich and middle-class. Most Republicans believe that singles, childless couples, old folks and stay-at-home moms should not have to pay for rich people’s child care.
Republicans vote against giving women equal pay.
Clinton’s #gendercard video fleshes this out too, by saying that Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and Rand Paul voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act. Clinton wants to give female workers the legal authority to sue their bosses for unlimited punitive damages if their paycheck reflects not just intentional gender discrimination, but also any unintended “lingering effects of past discrimination.” Republicans think employers will be less likely to hire women in traditionally male roles if laws like these take effect.
Republicans are playing the gender card.
Playing the gender card has been defined as “assert[ing] that sexism is involved in a situation.” In all of the above accusations, Clinton insinuates that Republicans hold many of their limited government, pro-life views because they don’t like women. So, Hillary Clinton defends herself against accusations that she’s playing the gender card by…playing the gender card.
Among Republican hopefuls, Trump is the RINO-in-chief. In the past, he has come out as pro-choice, pro-socialized medicine (I mean really socialized, not Obamacare). He has made millions violating other people’s property rights. And, until five minutes ago, he favored amnesty for illegal immigrants!*
Other than ignorance of Trumps stated positions, there are two related reasons he has caught fire in the polls in the last couple of weeks. First, he makes liberals mad. Second, the “Republican Establishment” doesn’t like him.
Trump makes liberals mad. But as you can see by looking at his stated positions, that does not make him a conservative. If it did, Bill Maher would make a good Republican contender too, what with all his negative comments about Islam. Conservative leaders should never be afraid to speak their minds and tell the truth. But Trump is not conservative, he’s not saying the things he really believes (based on past comments), and some of his characterizations of the “truth,” about the general character of illegal immigrants for instance, are deliberately misleading. Americans should be angry about the lack of immigration enforcement and the existence of so-called sanctuary cities. But you should also be angry that Trump is using these important issues as a vehicle for naked self-promotion. Angering people is a cost of standing up for your beliefs, not a benefit. It’s often a cost worth bearing, but it should never be the primary objective. Anybody can piss off the liberal media: just say something true about gender, crime, the welfare state, U.S. history, or the economy… Making liberals angry is really not a big accomplishment. But, so far, that’s Trumps main appeal.
The second reason for Trump’s popularity is that he is not a member of the “Republican Establishment.” That’s true. But again, it does not make him a conservative. At one time, the national Republican Party organizations did support a whole bunch of “RINOs” (Arlen Spector comes to mind as a prominent example). The problem is many conservatives have built a mental shortcut around this fact, so that anyone who has actually ever held office as a Republican is labeled as an establishment phony. Just read the comments on a conservative website right now, and you will find, as I recently did, that of the 16 or so Republican presidential hopefuls, not one is a “real conservative,” and all except Trump (of course) are members of “the establishment.” Less than six years ago, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, and Ted Cruz were insurgent, Tea Party outsiders, a.k.a. “real Republicans.” But now that they won an election, apparently, they are phonies, RINOs, sellouts.
Very conservative candidates will sometimes not get the support of the national or state Republican Party organizations. And honest conservatives will make liberals mad. But these two factors make a pretty terrible test for deciding who the real conservatives are. Better look at the candidates' records. Because Trump has never had to make any public policy decisions, his record consists of his past statements (many are liberal), his business career (abusing eminent domain), and his political involvement (as a Hillary Clinton supporter). Compare this to the record of any other Republican in the race, and the Donald’s conservative credentials seem a little trumped up.
*That is, he favors providing a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrant after a vetting and waiting process. This is the same position that makes Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio "RINOs" in the eyes of many conservatives.
Unless otherwise stated, these are the opinions of RT Vaden.