Both Democrats and Republicans have unveiled their convention line-ups. What is striking is that the Democratic agenda has a positive message, while the Republican schedule is nearly entirely focused on negative attacks. Trump is devoting entire theme nights to attacking Hillary Clinton.
I find this true of the 2016 election experience, in general. Republican women with more liberal social leanings are throwing themselves under the bus. They’re not really happy with Trump. But they’ve been sold a line of misogynist goods about Hillary for so long, they can’t imagine feeling otherwise. Even when they detest nearly everything Trump says. Even though Trump betrays their core values.
So, they post attacks on Hillary Clinton on social media, but fail to articulate what they actually like about Trump. And some, like the man they’re following, turn into bullies, with nothing but empty lies to offer in lieu of intellectual honesty or loyalty to what once seemed to be their principles.
But most seem to feel caught, a bit trapped. Trump, and perhaps their husbands and rabbis, have them in a vise. They know Trump and Pence are not good for them, or their daughters.
After all, the Republican platform that rejects abortion even in the case of saving a woman’s life is completely antithetical to Torah and Judaism. And then there’s Pence, who recently signed into Indiana law that women who miscarry could face criminal charges. As governor he made it mandatory for all miscarried bloody tissue to be either cremated or buried. Or again, the woman would face jail time. (Hard to believe but it’s true. Thankfully, a Federal Judge ruled Pence’s extreme Evangelicalism was on the wrong side of the law.)
Trump, Pence, and the Republicans are profoundly anti-women and particularly anti-Jewish women. But women have been conditioned for so long to put themselves and other women last, it’s simply second nature.
It’s not surprising that they’ll just decide not to prioritize or think too much about how vile they feel when Trump opens his mouth. Rather than have an open mind about Hillary Clinton, perhaps even review her record or policies, they’ll choose to placate themselves with reassurances on Israel, and a few other nebulous promises.
So, they’ll pinch their nose, hold their breath, and cast their vote. Or maybe, just maybe, they’ll think about the experiences they’ve had as women, month after month, year after year, across their lifetime. Maybe, they’ll go into the voting booth and just this once, put themselves first. God knows, if there’s anything to have learned from Trump, that would be it.