Where do I start? I've been watching the goings on in Tampa mostly on C-SPAN where the coverage is practically 24/7 and mostly without any talking heads telling me what to think. I'm going to write some of my own impressions, and if you'd like to add yours, that would be great. It's a moment in time to write something for posterity I suppose (not meaning to put too grandiose a point on it). After all, our own raw impressions in real time are important.
I am jolted by the awareness that women are everywhere. Absolutely everywhere. My friend T sent me an email listing all of the speakers and all of the committee members, and it appears that there are more women than men involved. What this tells me is that women are the backbone of the Republican Party in the same way that they are the backbone of the Democratic Party. Or as some of the young people might say, women are the party b*****s doing all of the work. Sorry if that's a little graphic for some, but hey, it certainly spells out a truism rather starkly.
Beyond that, my own eyes tell me that the delegates at this convention are likely skewing female. At the very least there is probably a rough parity between the two genders. So what in the world is that all about? I mean, hasn't the Republican Party declared a War on Women? If so, what are all of these women doing on the floor of the convention acting like they belong there? You could have the real liberal gleeful fantasy/nightmare that there is REALLY a war on women, and that since the Republicans are pro-gun, any minute now the men are going to pull their guns out and kill all of those darned women since that is the purpose of the war. Right?
Or you could take the other liberal tack and just state that all of these women are prolife and therefore aren't really women anyways. And then you could really teach these women a REAL lesson like Code Pink who are saying that you need to "take your vagina to the RNC" .
But seriously, all I could really think about is that no matter what the women at the RNC think about abortion, most of them work. Most of them would like to make as much as men make for the same work, and most of them are enthusiastic about getting more women elected. And most would like to see more women running things. I just kept thinking that we women have so much more that unites us than those things that divide. Why do we keep allowing ourselves to get caught up in fights that aren't getting us anywhere on that score? We are discouraged from thinking this way because if we women really did decide to get together, we would be a force that would simply steamroller over everything in our path, and that is a dangerous thought to many. So, instead of aggregating our power, what do we do? We just keep sniping at one another and it only ends up hurting ourselves.
Tonight and for the rest of the convention, there are going to be a stellar lineups of accomplished Republican women speaking for all of the world to see. There will be Mayor Mia Love, Governor Nikki Haley, Governor Susannah Martinez, Governor Mary Fallin, current Republican Congressional conference Vice Chair Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, senator Kelly Ayotte, former Secretary of State Condi Rice, and of course Ann Romney. And that's just for starters.
I am reminded that while 2010 was overall a year that gave us fewer women in the U.S. Congress, it was a banner year for Republican women. More of them were elected to Congress in a single year than ever before. And even of you are a rock hard Democratic liberal, this is a cause for celebration because if women are to achieve parity, there needs to be an equal number of women on both sides of the aisle.
I am convinced that by achieving parity in Congress, the whole dialogue will change because women's voices bring different nuances to the table, and right now those voices are just too faint because there aren't enough of us.
I think we need to stop demonizing the women on the other side of wherever we are. One benefit of living in a swing neighborhood in the swing region of the swing state of Ohio is that I just cannot see either side's women as my enemy or as demons out to destroy everything I believe in. The women on both sides live in the houses across the street and down the block. They work side by side with me. Their children play in my home with my children, we exchange play dates,and it is WE, all of us prochoice, prolife, etc. who are the village who are bringing up the children. We may differ here and there, but we agree on what's really important and we struggle with the same things.
So I look at my Republican sisters and my Democratic sisters the same way----we are all sisters. And that's what I think of as I watch the Republican Convention. I want women to excel on both sides and I'm cheering them on.
What are your impressions as far as the women go?