Votes for Women, Step in Time!

electiondayNow, I think we all know that if we paid attention to everything Ann Coulter had to say, we'd be significantly dumber and less happy with our lots in life. Nevertheless, every so often, Coulter coughs up a jewel that simply must be addressed.

So it is today, when the fantasy of all neocons declares that the problem with America is that we let the womenfolk vote:

If we took away women's right to vote, we'd never have to worry about another Democrat president. It's kind of a pipe dream, it's a personal fantasy of mine, but I don't think it's going to happen. And it is a good way of making the point that women are voting so stupidly, at least single women.

It also makes the point, it is kind of embarrassing, the Democratic Party ought to be hanging its head in shame, that it has so much difficulty getting men to vote for it. I mean, you do see it’s the party of women and 'We’ll pay for health care and tuition and day care -- and here, what else can we give you, soccer moms?'

Now, there's an infinite amount wrong with this statement, but I want to focus on the deeper narrative here.

It would be easy to blame this on Coulter throwing bombs, but that aims us at the wrong target. Indeed, the "Democrats would be in trouble if not for (blank)" argument is a commonplace one. Usually, it's made about African Americans, but you can fill in women or gays or what have you.

The point is always the same: if Democrats lost the votes of women/blacks/gays/nonbelievers, they'd be in big electoral trouble. And on one level, this is true. The Democrats would lose badly if the vote was restricted to white men, just as the Republicans would lose badly if white men were disenfranchised.

But look back at that last sentence, and ask yourself this: when is the last time you ever heard the phrase, "Republicans would be in trouble if not for white men?"

The answer, of course, is never. White men would always get the vote -- of course they would! Why, it's silly to imagine a world where white men can't vote. Imagining a world where women can't vote? Oh, sure, that's perfectly cromulent. Where minorities are disenfranchised? Heck, remember Florida in 2000? Good times, good times. But a world where white men can't vote? Preposterous!

You see, rich, white, Christian men are owed their votes. Everyone else? They get their votes only through the largess of the rich, white, Christian men. And what whitey giveth, whitey can taketh away.

That's the underlying message from outbursts like Coulter's. It's not that women are too liberal and need to become more conservative. It's that women's votes simply matter less than men's. Minorities' votes matter less than whites'. Non-Christians' votes matter less than Christians'. In America, we have the citizens, and we have the women.

That's the message: if you're not rich, not white, not male, not straight, not Christian, then your vote doesn't count. Not really. And in a world where things worked right, it wouldn't count. Because we all know that rich white men are natural-born leaders. At least, Ann does.

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