How Republicans Hurt Themselves Their Hard-Line Stance on Issues Important to Women Will Likely Cost Them the Election

By Harsch, Joseph C. | The Christian Science Monitor, November 5, 1996 | Go to article overview

How Republicans Hurt Themselves Their Hard-Line Stance on Issues Important to Women Will Likely Cost Them the Election


Harsch, Joseph C., The Christian Science Monitor


I HOPE that my Republican friends understand what is happening to them on election day - so that they can avoid a similar fate at another time.

The key is the gender gap. All across the country women are against the Republican Party and in favor of the Democrats by a margin that varies from 2 percent to 10 percent but is consistent from California "to the New York Island." Everywhere men may favor President Clinton over Bob Dole by a narrow margin or not at all. But everywhere the polls show women decisively in favor of Mr. Clinton and the Democrats.

The reason is simple and obvious. In the past two years the GOP has maneuvered itself onto the wrong side of issues that matter to women. Every woman was, is, or might be a mother sometime. Mothers care about what is good for their children. They want to look ahead to conditions that will make for a safer, healthier, happier place for their children. Clinton is preaching new legislation to keep cigarette advertising away from schools in an effort to reduce the number of children who every year become nicotine addicts. Republicans have been resisting restraints on nicotine advertising. Clinton has helped pass the Brady Bill and resisted Republican efforts to repeal the ban on assault guns. Republicans have resisted all forms of gun control. The Gingrich Congress has cut back on funds for federal meat inspectors, in spite of a recent case of meat poisoning of children in the Northwest. Democrats have resisted reduction of the number of federal meat inspectors. Republicans have been trying to cut down federal rules and regulations aimed at providing clean air and pure water. Clinton has been defending those rules and regulations. The Gingrich Republicans have been attacking the whole body of rules, regulations, and laws that are designed to protect the environment. These things are important to any mother. A mother wants her children to be safe from guns on the streets and to have clean air to breathe, pure water to drink, and safe food to eat. The Republicans have been threatening clean air, pure water, safe food, and safe streets. Moreover, fairly or unfairly, the Republicans are widely suspected of wanting to cut down both Social Security and Medicare. Mr. Dole denies he would do so and points out, correctly, that he took part in the reform of Social Security to give it longer durability. …

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