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November 24, 2009

Anyone Wanna Repeal the 19th Amendment?

Donald Pittenger writes:

Dear Blowhards --

A Faithful Reader passed along the following quote:

I would venture to say women can’t be true conservatives because conservatism is a male thing. One will find time and again, for example, from talking to them, hearing them on TV, reading what they write, and watching how they vote, that women can’t conceive of the things men know as countries, nation-states, and so on. They just cannot perceive their existence, and therefore of course can’t see what steps must be taken to protect and preserve such entities. Another problem is they are too socially liberal as a natural, inborn quality (or rather, defect). As Chamfort said, “elles possèdent une case de moins dans le cerveau et une fibre de plus dans le coeur”—they have a compartment less in the brain and a fiber more in the heart (than men).

Women, incidentally, look at political liberalism in a man as irresistibly sexually attractive and conservatism as absolutely sexually repulsive. (Yes, yes, it goes without saying there are tons of exceptions, and happy wives with children tend far less to fall in this category than other women.) Women see Marxist revolutionaries like Ché Guévara as Christ-like figures whom they’d love to sleep with, and one can be sure the majority of college-age young men who go around sporting Ché T-shirts are after the sexual opportunities they hope might “rub off onto them,” more than the ideology. (I said the majority, not all. Obviously, there’s no lack of true hard-core Marxists running around.) Roger Daltrey if I’m not mistaken, John Bon Jovi, and many other rock-and-roll stars said they first ventured into R-n-R bands primarily in order to get girls and sex, not primarily in order to sing or play music. Well, there’s no doubt whatsoever but that many men who are in reality fundamentally apolitical go into left-liberal politics for the same reason: women and sex will be showered upon them. They are not disappointed: those of them who aren’t completely physically repulsive will be surrounded by throngs of groupies like a rock star.

Anyone who wants to find one possible plausible explanation for the way the world seems to be going down the left-liberal tubes must have a frank look at something rarely brought up in this regard: the nation-killing extension of the franchise to women. (Switzerland held out until 1972, then caved. Worst mistake they ever made.)

It is part of a comment to this book review.

Brave man, that commenter. I wonder if he's married.

Despite a whiff of misinterpretation, dashes of exaggeration, etc., there is the nugget of truth that women voters tend to be more swayed by appeals to sympathy and other varieties of that area of emotion than men. (Guys tend to heat up over appeals such as "To the barricades!" or "Kill the bastards!!" and even "What a stupid, expensive idea!") At least that's how public opinion polling shows it -- the "compassionate" left agenda favored by higher percentages of females.

Therefore, it's pretty likely that the American political climate would be considerably different if only males had had the franchise over this country's existence.



posted by Donald at November 24, 2009


So, we're all paying the price so liberal men can get pussy? I knew there had to be a reason behind Clinton's lechery...

Posted by: Bob Grier on November 24, 2009 10:10 AM

Someone needs to get laid.

Posted by: LemmusLemmus on November 24, 2009 11:20 AM

"Well, there’s no doubt whatsoever but that many men who are in reality fundamentally apolitical go into left-liberal politics for the same reason: women and sex will be showered upon them."

Jesus. What in the holy fuck? I must be doing the liberal thing all wrong, then.

Seriously, while there are certainly sex differences, this "post" does nothing towards furthering a conversation on that topic. Jesus, man, get an editor. This is pathetic.

Posted by: JV on November 24, 2009 12:40 PM

I think the last time the Democrats won more than 50% of the male vote was 1964.

Politics is to some extent an exercise in coalition building, and the two major parties have basically broken down along the following lines:

Republicans - White men (married or not) and married white women.

Democrats - Single women, SWPL types, gays & lesbians, minorities, and immigrants.

Are there exceptions? Of course.

(As an aside, I've always been an unapologetic conservative libertarian. My politics never prevented me from having, shall we say, an active social life, even with liberal gals. If you're low status, being liberal and open minded isn't going to get you laid. By the same token, if you're high status, having the "wrong" politics is no hinderance.)

Posted by: Sgt. Joe Friday on November 24, 2009 12:40 PM

Yea Gods! I just read the original article and happen to browse the web site it resides on. If the comment was loony tunes, it's got nothing on the rest of the web site.

Holocaust denial?

I feel unclean.

Posted by: Tom West on November 24, 2009 1:35 PM

What a marvelously constructed piece of comment bait.

Even though I suspect I'll regret this, I'll bite.

It is beginning to seem like a dedicated effort is underway to re-brand 2Blowhards from quirky culture blog with libertarian tendencies into a reactionary political echo chamber. At this rate I fully expect to see a post someday seeking comments about the idea that the US should consider rejoining the British Commonwealth. I look forward to comments urging that we do so, provided the Monarch is restored to the level of power enjoyed by Henry VII, while others opine about the proper methodology for America's landed gentry to use to gain Peerage. Just for discussion mind you, heaven forefend the ideas presented in the posts should be taken for ones actually being advocated.

"Despite a whiff of misinterpretation, dashes of exaggeration, etc., there is the nugget of truth that women voters tend to be more swayed by appeals to sympathy and other varieties of that area of emotion than men. (Guys tend to heat up over appeals such as "To the barricades!" or "Kill the bastards!!" and even "What a stupid, expensive idea!") At least that's how public opinion polling shows it -- the "compassionate" left agenda favored by higher percentages of females."

Whiffs and dashes indeed. I especially like the scare quotes around "compassionate." Wow, women are more empathetic and men more aggressive, who knew? The inference seems to be that "empathy" and "compassion" do not belong in the political sphere, which apparently should more properly be viewed only as an arena for ritual (or sometimes actual) combat between warrior men. Sorry, but this doesn't seem right to me.

I'll agree that it is more than likely, in fact I'd say it is a fact "that the American political climate would be considerably different if only males had had the franchise ..." Just as it is a fact that the American political climate would be considerably different if only white male landowners in good standing within an established Protestant church had had the franchise throughout our country's history. Or if only Catholics could vote. And the point being?

The comment from another site that set this post in motion offers some real doozies. Women cannot conceive of nation states? Really? Anyone tell Margaret Thatcher that? Or Elizabeth I? Or Catherine the Great? And women are "naturally" sexually attracted to liberal men? Perhaps we get to the root of the issue, the rampant feelings of sexual inadequacy among conservatives.

I'll stick with the 19th Amendment, thanks.

Posted by: Chris White on November 24, 2009 3:46 PM

women can’t conceive of the things men know as countries, nation-states, and so on

Of course in reality women are right on this point. "Nation states" and "countries" are abstractions. They don't really exist except in our minds and to the extent we believe in them. Women are more comfortable with clan and family groupings which are more real in a natural and genetic sense. Men have a greater gift of abstract thought but it is not always a good thing (no woman would have thought of Marxism for example).

The idea that women are more attracted to liberals is prima facie bullshit. I never noticed star QBs having trouble in HS. Che Guevara was a typical "bad boy" and a killer. He's attractive to woman because he was an alpha, just like Mussolini and Berlusconi are attractive to women. Liberal politicians attract women because they are politicians - they have power. This should not be surprising. Traditionally it has been easier for younger men to rise more quickly on the left than the right - that would help explain why apoliticial people go "left for sex!" (that would be a good slogan.

Posted by: vanya on November 24, 2009 4:07 PM

I'd rather be ruled by a smart woman than a stupid man.

The franchise should be restricted to those with a proven capacity to manage their own affairs. People who can't manage their own affairs have no business managing mine.

Posted by: slumlord on November 24, 2009 4:39 PM

Gee, Chris. You're in the wrong country. This one was founded by white, male, protestants of northern European ancestry, descended mainly from colonists from the British Isles. Most were slave holding land owners. They even had the gumption to produce the Bill of Rights. God knows what we would have gotten if they had been...well, what? I guess we'll have to redesign our currency to conform with your enlightened views. How thoughtless of us to honor such vermin.

Posted by: Bob Grier on November 24, 2009 8:46 PM

Slumlord: I guess you have to be less than happy with leadership in D.C., huh?

Posted by: Bob Grier on November 24, 2009 10:48 PM

From a libertarian perspective, the 19th amendment has been a complete and total disaster. It has given us:

- Political correctness
- The welfare state
- The nanny state
- Government intrusion into private lives
- Prohibition
- The Drug War
- Opposition to abortion
- Religious conservativism
- Religion-based censorship
- Homophobia

I can't think of one good thing that's come of it.

Posted by: sam on November 24, 2009 11:13 PM

Bob Grier - The question du jour, however nonsensical, is repeal of the 19th Amendment, not the demographics of the Founding Fathers. Perhaps mild sarcasm fails to translate well in print, but when someone, in this case Donald, offers a statement that boils down to, "If history had taken a different course, then the present would be different," my natural reaction is to say, "Duh!" No one, least of all me, is in any way disparaging the Founding Fathers, I'm disparaging the emptiness of the painfully obvious argument "if only males had ever had the vote in this country things would be different."

If you, Bob, or you Donald, want to make the case that women are unworthy of the right to vote because (a) they are, by nature, subjective creatures incapable of the degree of abstract reasoning required to understand or engage in politics or (b) suffrage should be limited to those who share the same race, gender, religion, and cultural ancestry as the Founding Fathers, go ahead and try.

And, frankly, someone claiming I should look for a new country because I support the 19th Amendment (not to mention the 14th, 15th and one or two others) needs to consider whether or not THEY are in the right country, not me.

Posted by: Chris White on November 24, 2009 11:51 PM

It must be an American thing. It was certainly believed for a long time in Britain that it was the ladies, bless 'em, who preserved us from permanent rule by the Labour Party.

Posted by: dearieme on November 25, 2009 9:14 AM

Regarding men going leftist to get some, I'd link to the Asylum Street Spankers singing "Whatever" on Youtube, but I'm only a woman and I'm not sure how ;)

Posted by: Bradamante on November 25, 2009 9:52 AM

"Therefore, it's pretty likely that the American political climate would be considerably different if only males had had the franchise over this country's existence."

John Derbyshire actually made a case recently that women should not be allowed to vote because they generally vote more liberal than conservative.

Posted by: Lisa K. on November 25, 2009 10:49 AM

Why the hell would you repost such a comment? This is a fucking disgrace. It's stupidity like this that's convinced me that conservatives and libertarians are a bunch of loons, completely lacking in intellectual integrity.

Posted by: Jean Valjean on November 25, 2009 12:21 PM

Jean -- What do you mean by "intellectual integrity?" Agreement with you?

Look, the ideas aren't mainstream New York Times grist, but they're provocative and I can see no hard airing them. And commenters such as you then have to opportunity to explain what you think is wrong with those ideas. What's wrong with that?

Posted by: Donald Pittenger on November 25, 2009 1:00 PM

Dearieme is right. I've seen it claimed, years ago, that the Tories would not have won a single election in the 20th century without women's vote.

Women were more Republican in the US, as well, until about 1970. Kennedy won men, Nixon women. The 19th Amendment was followed by three Republican landslides-- Harding, Coolidge, Hoover.

Inasmuch as "progressives" supported women's suffrage, they were sorely disappointed, at least for fifty years or so.

This is not said in support of women's suffrage, but to point out the common fallacy of women being inherently liberal. Phyllis Schlafly discusses this in The Power of the Positive Woman. Women support the perpetuation of things, not necessarily their creation, the welfare state being a good example.

Posted by: Reg Cæsar on November 25, 2009 1:06 PM

Bob Grier
Slumlord: I guess you have to be less than happy with leadership in D.C., huh?

I haven't been happy with the leadership in Washington since Roosevelt,.....Theodore Roosevelt.

Posted by: slumlord on November 25, 2009 1:07 PM

I'm on board with denying the franchise to women. I just have to be persuaded that we have any business extending it to most men, either. (The majority of both sexes vote with their emotions, not their heads, though which type of cretinous wallowing emotionalism an astute politician might choose to pander to differs by the sex of the voter.)

One could reduce the amount of female participation, though, without having explicitly to exclude women. Requiring that one pass a basic civics exam would, I suspect, result in a disproportionately male electorate. This is a pipe dream, I know - disparate impact and all that. Still, not quite as unlikely as repealing the 19th. (A good test of whether a woman is qualified to vote might be whether she is able dispassionately to examine and debate the idea of ending female suffrage. If she flies into a passion and denies that any decent person would discuss such a thing, and that none but the vilest of misogynists or the most brainwashed of tools would even moot the question, it's a good bet that striking her from the rolls would be no great loss to the functioning of the Republic.)

I don't know that it's true that women historically have always been more "liberal" voters than men. I should try to dig up an informative email I had a long while ago from the Seattle blogger Jim Miller, who had the stats. Iirc correctly, it was also true that the natural conservatism of women was advanced as an argument against suffrage; being timid and reactionary by nature, women's participation in politics would hold back the advance of progressive policies.

Perhaps trial by combat for candidates would significantly reduce the number of women in office, if not in the electorate. This would at least be more entertaining than our maddening campaign culture, and thus has a fairer prospect of implementation, as the Idiocratic Age rolls on, than rolling back suffrage - and it would at least result in a slight improvement in the intellectual caliber of our representatives.

Posted by: Moira Breen on November 25, 2009 2:11 PM

Donald - Man up!

Quit hiding behind links to comments on other blogs by someone presumably not participating in this thread and make YOUR case for the repeal of the 19th Amendment, if that is what YOU think. Tell us why YOU find women having been granted the vote to be a mistake.

You quote an unreasoned, nonsensical, comment claiming women are incapable of conceptualizing nation states and therefore the defense of same, followed by an absurd assertion about the sexual desirability of leftist men to women, all leading to the conclusion that women should be denied the vote. This piece of misogynistic drivel is given as a jumping off point for a discussion thread, without evidence that you are willing to express your own opinion and without attempting to make the case for why you think the comment has merit. So far all you seem willing to offer is a tired defense of apparently anything you wouldn't see printed in the NYT and a petulant put down of someone (accurately) questioning the "intellectual integrity" of the quoted comment. Any comment based on nothing more substantial than a fringe opinion with no foundation beyond a simplistic stereotype or two pretty much by definition lacks "intellectual integrity." Pouting when someone calls attention to this obvious point only reinforces the validity of the charge.

I believe that, in a representational democratic republic all citizens deserve an equal vote regardless of gender, religion, sexual orientation, or familial ancestry. We cannot have a government "of, by and for the people" when we place better than half the people into a second class status and deny them the right to participate in self governing. If we do, we head down a path that too easily leads toward totalitarian dictatorship.

So too, slumlord's notion that citizens must prove that they have the "capacity to manage their own affairs" leads to autocratic rule by a self selected elite. (I'd guess that slumlord expects to be on the selection committee, determining who has or has not adequately "managed their own affairs" well enough to be granted the privilege of voting, since there would no longer be the "right" to vote.)

It is far too early for April Fools, so I guess you guys are serious, but I keep waiting for the punchline.

Posted by: Chris White on November 25, 2009 2:43 PM

"Nation states" and "countries" are abstractions. They don't really exist except in our minds and to the extent we believe in them. Women are more comfortable with clan and family groupings which are more real in a natural and genetic sense.

Actually nations and nation-states are the natural extensions of clan and family groupings. Real nations are made up of people who are genetically similar. Needless to say the USA and Canada are not real nations or nation-states but mere states that have captured nations within them.

Posted by: CanadianObserver on November 25, 2009 4:02 PM

"Hitler was a great leader. Now discuss."

Well, Don, it's provocative, so I hope to see it and other such provocative rhetorical questions being posted as the topic du jour.

Posted by: Peter L. Winkler on November 25, 2009 5:12 PM

All of you are far too provincial to see the real cause of the problem. If I may paraphrase from one of my favorite books:

[The old prince] shifts [topics] to the Holy Roman Empire, pointing out the catastrophic influence, which historians have as yet inadequately recognized and which is still to be investigated, that the emancipation of the Jews exerted upon the decay of the Reich: The Austrian Tolerance Edict of 1782 was suicidal, one need only go a bit further to see how the Jews profited from the dissolution of the old Empire, further recognizing their civil rights step by step[…]and by 1850 complete equality there [Prussia] (“Krauts it stands to reason!”) then the foul play of Bismarck’s founding of the German Empire under Jewish patronage: “According to the Imperial Law of 1869, all still extant limitations of civil and civic rights are hereby declared null and void…

Posted by: I_Affe on November 25, 2009 6:16 PM

Chris -- My opinion on this subject was expressed in the final sentence of the post.

I will add a related opinion which is that the 19th amendment isn't going away -- probably ever.

I try to keep my own political opinions very sparse here, because I don't see my role as trying to convert others to my point of view. And if liberals wish to fantasize that conservatives are nothing more than a pack of drooling goons and oppressors and project this into their interpretation of my blogging policy, there's little I can do to make them think otherwise.

The truth is, I have to keep content flowing and try to spice things up for potential commenters every three or four posts. Michael did pretty much the same with topics such as immigration, sex and food. So enjoy!!

Posted by: Donald Pittenger on November 25, 2009 6:24 PM

Whew! Ole Chris is really getting his carrot scraped on this one. Some one should sneak up on him and shout "Anglo-Saxon!" just to see him jump out of his skin. I think Shouting Thomas had him pegged long ago. The anti-white crap this guy spews is fairly standard Trotskyite boilerplate. And not even very interesting any more because of its predictability. Hey, Chris! It turns out that Bill Sparkman, the Census Bureau worker found hanged in the Daniel Boone National Forest in Kentucky, committed suicide. You must be bitterly disappointed that a secret cabal of Anglo-Saxon anti-government types weren't fingered. But don't worry. No retraction from the New York Times will appear to erase the impression made by earlier commentators.

For the record, I agree with Moira. Right on, girl!

Posted by: Bob Grier on November 25, 2009 6:49 PM

Chris White.

So too, slumlord's notion that citizens must prove that they have the "capacity to manage their own affairs" leads to autocratic rule by a self selected elite.

The alternative is governance by morons, which we have a plenty.

What man lets an unqualified pilot fly a plane? An unqualified surgeon operate? Governance is a skill, and allowing people who can't govern themselves the choice of who governs is like getting the snake oil salesmen to set the medical exams. Why not give five year old's the right to vote? Youth can bring so much vitality to government can't they. The underlying basis for their exclusion is the common sense insight that children can't manage their own affairs. Now someone who spends their life living on public charity(welfare) clearly can't manage their own affairs. You wouldn't let some bum manage your bank account, but you would let him choose who is going to regulate your bank. Logic and objectivity are not your strong points Chris White.

Slumlord sits down, kicks back and waits the inevitable prolefeed.

Posted by: slumlord on November 25, 2009 7:07 PM

Donald - The last sentence of your post expresses no opinion about whether the 19th Amendment has been good or bad, you merely say (if I may paraphrase), "If we had a different history, things would be different now," which is self-evident, but meaningless.

You have no opinion you are willing to put forth about whether it is good or bad that women have the vote, only that they are unlikely to lose it anytime soon. Hardly taking a stand, although it seems you think the idea has great merit, if your choice of who you put down in your post-Post comments is any evidence.

I find it fascinating that many of the same conservative/libertarian commenters who rail about the elite (one area where there is agreement with those of us on the other side of the right/left balance beam) seem ready to require citizens be compelled to pass various tests and subjective judgments of fitness before one can vote. Tested and judged by whom? Seems more like an argument that the wrong elite are in charge and power should be in the hands of the right elite rather than a case against being ruled by an elite. I'll continue to support democracy rather than autocracy, thanks.

There are plenty of leftists of various stripes that I think are wingnuts. I'm unlikely to offer their rants as examples of provocative, non-mainstream, thinking in order to stimulate a discussion. And if I did, I would fully expect comments from the right railing about Marxist traitors with no conception of how the real world works ... and they'd likely be more right than wrong. If you offer a quote from and forum for "conservatives [who] are nothing more than a pack of drooling goons" somebody is going to call them drooling goons. There are so many articulate and intelligent folks from the right who comment here regularly (Moira, Vladimir...) that there is little need to resort to offering quotes by the likes of Fred Scrooby to get a thread going.

Posted by: Chris White on November 25, 2009 7:23 PM

Chris -- I really, truly seriously have no strong opinion regarding the 19th Amendment. On the one hand, it has the great merit of establishing fairness in a certain area to adult citizens. This is good in a democracy. But the result has been a bunch of liberal notions becoming law which, in my opinion, is not so good.

Do I want the amendment repealed? No. Do I think a discussion of the topic makes for good blogging biz -- reader interest, intense commenting and all that -- of course.

Actually, I'm surprised the guy quoted wrote what he wrote and (presumably) signed his own name to it. A brave man, given the shut-up-you-enemies climate in DC these days. But he is (presumably) a citizen with every right to express his opinion. Commenters here are free to express their opinions so long as a reasonable (as I see it) degree of civility is preserved.

Thoughtful comments about the benefits of cannibalism for the environment, the leadership skills of Adolf Hitler (as Peter Winkler proposes above), the likely sainthood of Che Guevara and the decision-making and leadership skills of Barack Obama and any other non-mainstream topics are fine with me, But be prepared to deal with opposition from other commenters.

Now I gotta run because Thanksgiving and tons of family stuff are almost upon me. Please have a happy Thanksgiving, all you Yank readers!

Posted by: Donald Pittenger on November 25, 2009 7:53 PM

The inevitable prolefeed

Wow. You really got me! I've had a conversion, a revelation, an epiphany!

Those living on welfare, having shown they cannot manage their affairs and are unfit to govern, should not be able to vote. Those who have demonstrated the ability to succeed in managing their affairs may vote. Following this line of reasoning to its next logical step; those having demonstrated superior capabilities in managing their own affairs should govern.

Seemingly economic status directly correlates to the ability to manage and so to govern. We should therefore consider skipping elections entirely and move directly to a system whereby the wealthiest citizen ... make that wealthiest white male ... becomes the Supreme Leader until someone out does him in net worth. The senate will be made up of the two wealthiest men from each state. Men whose income is above the poverty line and showing an annual increase in net worth may vote for representatives. The right to vote is suspended if a man's net worth decreases for two years in a row.

I suspect the first order of business would need to determine how to deal with all the dead weight. And whether or not to recognize the delegation the rabble elected to negotiate with the government.

Posted by: Chris White on November 25, 2009 8:29 PM

"But the result has been a bunch of liberal notions becoming law which, in my opinion, is not so good."

Donald, such statements necessitate the wearing of tall bullshit-proof boots. Pure dee hockey, sir.

Course, it's a good tactic for raising hackles and mine are porcupine-worthy after this post.

And though I be no Yank, I'll be sure and enjoy my liberally basted turkey tomorrow.

Posted by: Cowtown Pattie on November 26, 2009 12:26 AM

Actually, 'Fred Scrooby' is a pseudonym; he also used to go by another pseudonym, 'Unadorned'... (He used to post on Jim Kalb's blog; maybe he still does; I haven't been there in a while...)

Posted by: anon on November 26, 2009 3:21 AM

The inevitable prolefeed

My ideas are much more nuanced than you think. I'd also ban excessively rich people from holding office or from voting.
Any man who feels that his whole life purpose is to aggregate wealth, is a man I feel is not fit for office. The type of man that your looking for is the man who can independent support himself and yet recognise he has obligations to the community. The petit bourgeoisie (the type of man that the left hated with an absolute passion) is the ideal man for the job.

The paleolithic right recognised that best managers of the community where the successful middle class. A rapacious robber baron is just as bad, if not worse, than a lazy bum.

Too much wealth is a sign of bad character.

Posted by: slumlord on November 26, 2009 4:20 PM

In my brief period of leftism in the seventies, I experienced that ultimate disappointment of young Catholic boys: guilt-free, or Scandinavian model, sex.

Any male who has not gone through the excitement of intricate negotiation and painful progress with a conservative and mass-attending convent girl has simply not experienced sex.

Even in the field of fornication, where the left presumes an effortless victory, conservatism proves superior.

Damn we're good!

Posted by: Robert Townshend on November 26, 2009 5:55 PM

Say the magic word and women swoon. And the magic word is...compassion.

The entire liberal agenda has been advanced based on an appeal to the female mothering impulse, which has disastrous consequences when applied to adults.

The 19th amendment will never be repealed and we will never again experience freedom from the ministrations of a caring state.

Posted by: ricpic on November 26, 2009 9:32 PM

I agree that women should not vote.

Realistically, the biggest problem the US (and the world) is facing is the fact that low capital people are growing rapidly in numbers. It's sobering to realize that the population of Ethiopia has doubled since the last famine in the 80s.

Women (who are more emotional and motivated by sympathy) have a hard time wrapping their minds around the fact that by subsidizing the reproduction of folks at the bottom, we are creating huge potential problems for the future. Where a woman sees a starving baby, a man sees somebody who, given the chance, is likely to rape and rob his own children in 20 years.


Posted by: sabril on November 26, 2009 9:50 PM

Times are still pretty good for most people here in the US. Why would we want to reverse anything? I'd even go as far to say that right now is the best time to be alive and America is arguably the best place to be alive.

I especially like the line about Switzerland, he talks as if it became some sort of hell hole after 1972. What nation has been killed due to enfranchisement of women? Most of the places that lack women's suffrage are in the middle east. Do we really want the US to be more like that neck of woods?

Posted by: I_Affe on November 26, 2009 10:22 PM

The outraged comments above are amusing and indicate that you gents have hit a sore spot.

Liberalism scored its greatest coup with the passage of the 19th Amendment. The nanny state has grown remorselessly since then, powered by legions of female voters who see no problem with an all-powerful state taking dictating every aspect of life.

George Orwell commented on this trend. In his book, 1984, he noted that female converts to socialist/communist causes tend to be much more fanatic than their male peers.

Posted by: Jonathan on November 26, 2009 10:38 PM

It seems pretty obvious that repealing the 19th amendment with the country as it is now would drag the country to the right. Obviously whether that's a good thing or not depends on your own politics.

I still do wonder about this tendency among conservatives to try to turn back the clock 90 years or so, or 200 in the case of some libertarians. The material conditions of the world have changed considerably, and I have to wonder if the small, limited government of the 1790s would be sufficient to govern a country of this size. Of course you could say the country should not be this size and should have stuck to the eastern seaboard, but then most likely the French, Russians, Brits, etc. would have colonized what's now the western two thirds of the country instead and we would not enjoy our relative ease from invasion; you may not like the cultural changes produced by large-scale Mexican immigration (and I'm all in favor of the wall), but it's not the same thing as having another, fully armed nation on your doorstep. Ask the Germans.

And I'm not sure, even from the straight nationalistic point of view, that being super-conservative is a good thing. Forget equity for the moment; was it good for Germany to be led by Hitler, who dragged the country into the bloodiest war in history and had it split in half for 50 years or so? Bush's own Iraq war seems to have hurt this country a lot, and I'm not sure what we gained by staying as long as we did in Vietnam. War isn't always a good thing, especially in a country like this that's protected by two big oceans.

Posted by: SFG on November 26, 2009 11:33 PM

One of the things you neglect when considering the female vote is how women are in favor of legally enforced preferential treatment of themsleves over men. If you have a doubt of this, consider the divorce laws, welfare, and other social programs that favor women over men.

The enfranchisement of women has vastly reduced the equality of people in this society, while being sold as the opposite. I would like one woman to describe how the enfranchisement of women has been a positive thing for men, in any regard.

Posted by: B on November 27, 2009 12:39 PM

Much as I think, for reasons already touched on by others, that female enfranchisement has been disastrous for the West, I don't see it changing any time soon; nor do I think it really could have been prevented; Novaseeker argued persuasively, IMO, for the inevitability of female suffrage, in a comment at the Spearhead, here:

It was, however, inevitable that women would seek to expand their power into the public and political realms once that power got devolved more broadly among men themselves. That is, as the society became more male egalitarian (as compared with the 18th century European hierarchies from whence the colonists came), it was only a matter of time until women demanded the same status as the newly “emancipated” men. The reason for that is that at the same time the fundamental unit of society was being moved from that of the family to that of the individual. That is the overarching trend of the last 200 or so years — a growing emphasis on the individual as such and not as a part of a collective, including a family. As that trend continued to build steam, it was inevitable that women would not be “satisfied” with being a part of the family collective, and would demand their own share in individual rights. That means that feminism, at least in its mildest form, was largely inevitable once the focus in society shifted to individual rights.
There was a bit of blindsiding going on, or at least unintended consequences. The philosophers who laid the foundation for the growth of individual rights in the 17th and 18th centuries did not have in mind anything like feminism — to them, it went without saying that these ideas would apply to men, and not to women, and would not upend and replace family life. But as the ideas gained momentum in the 19th Century in particular, that changed, and people like Mill realized that the logic of individual rights, unless stopped, required the liberation of women. There was no *logical* reason to exclude women from this, again once the ideas gained a certain momentum in the popular and political cultures — all that was left was tradition, and tradition was largely going by the wayside in a number of areas.
This is why I think the theorists who suggest that the liberation of women is inevitable in advanced societies are onto something. The basic idea is that once a society is economically advanced enough such that the economic (and to a lesser degree political) spoils start to become more equally distributed among the men (rather than being hogged at the top), there develops very quickly a strong pressure to also make these available to the women. In other words, in a system where only a small % of men are monopolizing economic and political power, it’s a minor thing that most women are excluded from this, because most men are as well. However, when the male side of the ledger starts to become more egalitarian looking, pressures develop for this also to include women. This happened in both Babylon and Rome, in the later phases of these civilizations. And it has happened in the contemporary West. It does not appear capable of being stopped, once a civilization reaches a certain degree of advancement and some level of egalitarianism, however imperfect.

Posted by: anon on November 27, 2009 9:10 PM

One more thing:

Why are people blaming women for welfare and large government? Who originated government sponsored healthcare in the West? What about a very early form of social security? It wasn't a woman or liberal.

Also doesn't allowing more people to vote dilute power? Isn't that a huge theme amongst many conservatives? I mean, they favor small government because a large government has too much power. The same thing with voters, a larger number of voters divides power.

Posted by: I_Affe on November 27, 2009 10:22 PM

Dearieme, etc: AIUI, the women's vote kept the Christian Democrats in power over the Communists in post WW II-Italy.

A more dramatic result was in Republican Spain in the 1930s. After the Republic was declared in 1930, the interim government enfranchised women. They also had a bash at the charities and social welfare operations of the Catholic Church. The result was that the right-wing parties won the 1934 elections. Shock, horror, armed rebellion! (Yes, the Spanish Left tried to overthrow the Republic when someone else won power.)

Posted by: Rich Rostrom on November 28, 2009 3:41 AM

Correct me if I'm wrong, but two of your original 13 states were named after women rulers who was each, by her own lights, pretty competent. (And, by God, much better educated than (almost?) any President you've had.

Posted by: dearieme on November 28, 2009 7:21 AM

Wow. Just wow.

Posted by: yahmdallah on November 30, 2009 7:44 AM

"[W]as it good for Germany to be led by Hitler"

I believe that women more likely to vote for the Nazis than men.

I supposed they attracted a lot of political naifs, as women tended to be; or maybe a lot of men were trade-union members wedded to the Social Democrats.

Of course, I could also check my facts (nah!).

Posted by: Chris Burd on November 30, 2009 9:47 AM

Chris is right to call Don on his weaselly way of posting outrageous stuff. "Hmmm, I don't necessarily *agree* with this, but isn't it interesting" doesn't fool anybody. You'll never see Don putting any left-wing contentions up for discussion that way.

Posted by: MQ on November 30, 2009 11:51 AM

Actually nations and nation-states are the natural extensions of clan and family groupings. Only to a certain point - 5 million people? 10 million? Lithuania is probably a natural "nation", Russia is not. Neither for that matter are Germany, France or even England. All these "nations" required considerable violence over the years to force people into the mold (wiping out dialects, smashing local traditions, underming local authorities, etc.) and considerable state intervention and indoctrination to keep people there. I think on average women are more practical and less susceptible to the seductions of abstract political thinking. (Palin for example - her appeal is completely to her clan of like minded people, and she is incapable of persuading anyone else through reason. Many feminist "thinkers" are the same, just on the other side of the barricade.) This may really be an admirable quality in women voters. It explains why they turned on the socialists in Europe and the neocons in the US - both political tendencies that put abstract political principles ahead of results. Women tend not to like that, and good for them.

Posted by: vanya on November 30, 2009 3:23 PM

"I still do wonder about this tendency among conservatives to try to turn back the clock 90 years or so, or 200 in the case of some libertarians. The material conditions of the world have changed considerably..."

Avoiding the topic of the thread, I'd like to compliment you for acknowledging that reverting the government 90 years wouldn't erase the polio vaccine, nuclear energy, or the internet. Too many Leftists like to imply that if we took away universal suffrage, our HDTVs would turn into phonographs.

"And I'm not sure, even from the straight nationalistic point of view, that being super-conservative is a good thing. Forget equity for the moment; was it good for Germany to be led by Hitler, who dragged the country into the bloodiest war in history and had it split in half for 50 years or so?"

But now I have to wonder whether or not you're a drooling retard. Because only a drooling retard would suggest that Hitler was in any way "conservative", let alone "super-conservative"...

PS: Godwin's law

Posted by: mike on December 1, 2009 6:13 PM

"Women, incidentally, look at political liberalism in a man as irresistibly sexually attractive and conservatism as absolutely sexually repulsive."

This is false. Liberalism is commonplace, and statements made in earnest whatever their orientation do not arouse a woman. Playful misogyny is much more effective - you are a challenge and an affront to her, which will turn her on if you're otherwise cool.

Even if getting shut down for being conservative happens to me personally, it must be rare, because I've never felt my conservatism to be an obstacle to my success with women. Just don't be ashamed, and don't be afraid to have fun with it, but avoid politics as such in general. And I go to a fairly liberal if apolitical northeastern university.

The comment is light on evidence and long on exaggeration, falsehoods and irrelevant observations. The idea that any guy who gets into liberal activism has loads of pussy is ridiculous. These guys are probably below average in terms of the quantity and quality of women they score.

Posted by: Basil Ransom on December 1, 2009 6:22 PM

This is news? Those of us old enough to remember the Vietnam War era remember the slogan pertaining to draft dodgers/conscientious objectors:

"Girls say yes to boys who say no."

Posted by: sestamibi on December 3, 2009 2:03 PM

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