December 20 2013

The War on Men

Charlotte Hays

The Democrats hit upon a humdinger vote getter with the “war on women” meme that kept President Obama in Hawaiian vacations. Never mind that the president’s policies are harming women.

The Obama campaign, however, never hit upon the rhetorical device to sway men. If it were up to the guys, President Obama would be paying for his own airfare to the aloha land this Christmas.

Men voted against President Obama by a 27 percent margin in 2012. Women, on the other hand, went for the president by an 11 percent margin.

Kevin Williamson has an article on what President Obama’s policies are doing to men--and how men are responding. Williamson writes:

Men aren’t buying what President Obama is selling.   

The president’s low standing among the Y-chromosome set, dramatic though it is, is not entirely surprising. He couldn’t close the deal with them the first time around, he presided over an ugly recession in which men were particularly hard hit, and then he presided over a sickly recovery in which unemployment remains elevated and is significantly higher for men than for women. And the labor-force participation rate, in many ways a better measure of employment, has plunged during the Obama years.

Forgot the bicycle helmet, the mom jeans, the wife scolding us about eating our veggies, the fact that he throws a baseball like he should be relaxing with a mug of cocoa in his footie pajamas — President Obama loses points for style, to be sure, but he has a substance problem too.

Unemployment is a special kind of hell…. It is entirely unsurprising that there exists a long-established relationship between unemployment and suicide. Nor is it surprising that that relationship is especially pronounced among men.

Women are having a tough time finding work in the Obama economy, too. According to Williamson, however, women are more receptive to arguments in favor of welfare-statism. That is what the “Life of Julia” infomercial was all about—solving life’s economic challenges by becoming dependent on the government. Of course, in reality, Julia’s life isn’t quite as nice as the Obama campaign portrayed it.

When women become dependent on government, they rely less on the traditional family structure and marriage. Government programs replace the family. Men (and women) intuitively know that. Williamson writes:

 It may be the case that men see Barack Obama as a kind of romantic competitor — not the man himself, but the vision of government he stands for. The more the state steps into the role of provider, the less men have to offer in that capacity. This is especially true of men with modest earnings potential. …

[President Obama’s] vision of the good life is universal kindergarten and universal graduate school, a coddling welfare state, etc., and a gimlet eye cast upon much of what used to be thought of as man’s work: drilling for gas, timbering, mining. President Obama is first and foremost the public face of his own agenda and his own economic record, which is a poor one. But he is also the face of something else, an unbrave new world with little use for men whose Christmas plans do not involve buttonholing family members for precious and grim-mouthed homilies about Obamacare.

Men have been losing ground, Williamson notes, since 1973, when real wages reached their zenith. The Reagan years, with their strong growth, provided a respite in the decline of men, but the Obama years, with a stagnant economy and a president who seems oblivious of whose policies are responsible, have brought us the war on men with a vengeance.

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