By Sharon Jones
Offending minorities was a horrible start to the Republican nomination process. Alienation of the growing Hispanic population would eventually play out as a party nightmare in eventually wooing the quickly growing voter base. Maybe not immediately, but over the long term it wouldn’t be viable for the party. That Trump came on the scene and started that process was one thing. That he has gone on to continually be the epitome of complete misogyny is another entirely.
The Republican Party might have been okay with a small amount of alienation of the second fastest growing ethnic group, Hispanics, in this election cycle, but the minute their candidate started getting called out for his statements against women, things got really touchy. It is a slight problem when a candidate alienates 20% of the party’s voters. When his statements start to alienate 50% of them, the term “screwed” becomes an understatement.
zenruption has previously established that strategically all the Republican Party has left now is capitulation. The only goal they have is to avoid the complete annihilation of the national brand, but it is getting harder daily. As the Utah Republican Party prepares its candidates to campaign away from the connection to Trump, who is viewed very unfavorably among Mormon voters, there is no doubt that such strategy is also being prepared in other states. A smart candidate for office, realizes that their campaign cannot flourish in light of such bigotry and misogyny.
While many conservative female voters wouldn’t entertain the thought of switching party affiliation, is it possible they just won’t show up to vote at all? Conservatives have shown that they can often smooth over disagreeable traits in candidates and their campaigns, but is misogyny the missing piece that finally overcomes what the Trump Campaign’s support from the Klu Klux Klan couldn’t?
Donald Trump’s misogynistic statements aren’t new. Previous comments aimed at Megyn Kelley, Rosie O’Donnell, etc. have attacked everything from looks to body type to menstruation. It is in the continued display of this near contempt for women that Donald Trump has reinforced that it isn’t just a persona, but his honest self. The current attacks of the wife of Ted Cruz represent an even further low in the rhetoric as spouses of Presidential candidates have previously been off limits. That Mr. Trump compares the wife of Senator Cruz to his own based solely on looks, shows the place to which Trump relegates women.
Now state Republican Parties are becoming nervous. It isn’t just that Trump offends the Mormons in Utah or Hispanic voters in California, but now it is coming down to over half of their voting bloc. Even states wherein Republican control has reared its ugly head of discrimination through, so-called, religious liberty laws, can’t affiliate themselves with such conduct.
The Republican Party had started making some in-roads to regaining women voters after the horrific statements made by some Republican candidates in the 2012 races. Most specifically, the statement by Missouri Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin that, “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”, in describing that raped women shouldn’t have access to abortion as a “real” rape would not result in pregnancy. That such ignorance resulted in an outcry is hardly surprising. Now the party finds itself in a position where it might be trying to win back women voters once again. This time will they come back?
The likelihood is that a vast majority of women voters might disappear from the party forever. Once again the statement, “Screw me once, shame on you. Screw me twice, shame on me.”, will fully come into play.
As the party needs to mitigate the impact of recent misogyny, the question at the state level has now become, “How do we show zero affiliation with Trump and still identify as Republicans?”
The answer might be that you don’t.
Sharon Jones is a contributor to zenruption's politics and life sections and has her degree in political science. She strongly believes this Presidential race will be a defining moment in U.S. history.
Feature photo courtesy of Flickr, under Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial license