I’ve seen a couple of doom and gloom headlines recently concerning the number of women that may be voted out of Congress this year. Yes, many have been trumpeting the “Year of the Republican Woman,” but if the polls are right, this isn’t shaping up to be quite the “Year of the Woman Politician.” In fact, it’s likely that we’ll experience a net loss of women in Congress this year– down to 80 members from the current 90 – after all is said and done in the mid-term elections. This is the first time since the 1970’s that we’ve been faced with a decline in congressional membership of women, but is this something to really fear?
Some left-wing groups want you to think that. The National Organization for Women (NOW) leadership is in disbelief, claiming that the prospect of fewer women serving in Congress next year is a setback for women’s equality. (Truly, it’s more of a setback for their radical liberal agenda since the most likely female candidates to lose their seats are liberals.) Of the current 90 women members, 69 are Democrats and 21 are Republicans. It’s no secret that there’s a backlash against the party in power, the Democrats, and even some moderate “establishment” Republicans are being ousted in the primaries. Female politicians are not immune from disgruntled constituents, and they shouldn’t be if their legislative record does not satisfy voters.
As The Daily Beast notes, “Women have historically done better in years dominated by Democrats, but the GOP is insisting that its likely success in November will not hurt the cause.” I agree. Americans will not necessarily lose out because ten Democrat women are replaced by male Republican men in the House of Representatives. (Republican women candidates are set to oust some Democrat men in November!) Members of Congress, both men and women, must effectively promote the interests of their female constituents. A true setback for equality would be continuing the bad policy adopted by current members of Congress that is damaging prospects for future prosperity in America.
Women should be serving in Congress in great numbers, but their candidacy should be part of the solution to the many challenges facing our country. To do that, we need to recruit excellent candidates, committed to the cause of promoting liberty and opportunity in America instead of keeping out of touch politicians-regardless of their gender– in place.