In spite of my criticisms and condemnations of conservatives, I still have a bit of a soft spot for them—especially social conservatives—since they’re my people, after all. To this end, I recommend some subversive political maneuvering as it relates to this:
A second, much larger group of single women don’t hold college degrees and are much harder to pin down. Even on Rush Limbaugh, these women could probably go either way. They are not necessarily progressive and definitely not feminist. These women are not unmarried because they don’t believe in family values. As Harvard sociologist Kathy Edin has pointed out, single women with less education are quite idealistic about marriage; the problem is that many men in their demographic just don’t measure up, especially in a recession, when so many men without college degrees are out of work.
When sociologists fret about marriage disappearing, this is the class of women they are talking about. Their divorce rates have stayed as high as they were in the 1970s and increasingly they tend not to ever get married at all, and tend to have children and raise them alone. They may think like Republicans but they live like a Republican’s parody of a Democrat. They struggle financially, and living alone has given them a kind of “ambiguous independence,” as Edin likes to say. As heads of their own households, they may not like being told, say, how to conduct their sex lives. “I personally have come to the conclusion that jobs and the economy are the most important issue to these women,” says Michelle Bernard, CEO of the conservative Bernard Center for Woman, Politics, and Public Policy. “But only when questions of individual liberty are not at stake. When someone starts referring to them as ‘sluts’ and no Republican comes out to say this is none of government’s business, then you’ll see them flow the Democrats’ way.”
As it relates to the issue of government-provided contraception, I think conservatives should let the issue go and tacitly support it because, let’s face it, the people making the loudest demands for free birth control are liberals. And if they don’t want to have children and raise another generation of leftists, then why should conservatives stand in the way of this choice?
Now, there is potential objection to the general tendency of leftists to indoctrinate other people’s children as they receive an education. While this doesn’t appear to actually happen during postsecondary education, it seems to happen during primary education, and potentially secondary education. There is a solution to this, though, and it is called homeschooling. (Of course, the mere concern that leftists will indoctrinate conservative children begs the question of whether conservatism is the superior belief if it is so fragile.)
At any rate, allowing liberals to easily self-select themselves out of the political future while also preventing them from having access to impressionable children may work better in the long run than winning a rancorous debate on whether the government should shell out a couple million dollars on condoms and birth control pills. It’s something to think about. After all, if liberalism is so self-destructive, why not make it easier for it to self-destruct?