G.L.Piggy [at] gmail.com
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Hanna Rosin has a piece up at Slate about the rise and electoral importance of the single-woman voter – dubbed “swingles”.
It’s telling that there are never any write-ups on single or married men voting cohorts. I don’t say this as some sort of argument against a journalistic double-standard. But the fact that men’s voting decisions are less swayed by their marital status suggests that men are also less economically dependent – either on a partner or the government which serves as a partner-by-proxy. So to focus on either married or single women as bellwethers of an election is to focus on which support structure women happen to favor.
The single female libertarian is a unicorn (mostly, NAWALT). So some talk about the married woman voter cohort and some focus on the single woman married cohort. These cohorts shift in size depending on exogenous factors – the economy, the cultural milieu, and the level of government supports – but the general trendline is towards greater government expenditure – a Pandora’s box which was unleashed with women’s suffrage. Rosin writes:
Actually, Feehery’s folksy advice [for men to listen to their wives when casting their vote] is outdated. These days your daughter, or even your mistress, is the better campaign target. As married women split their votes about equally between Democrats and Republicans, they are fading into the electoral woodwork, while single women are doing what only single women can do: switch alliances, hold out for the best deal, express their outrage by suddenly going cold on a candidate who has irritated them and then warm up quickly to a new one who makes a better offer.
Straight from the horse’s mouth (is that misogynistic?). You’ll rarely find men casting their votes based upon “the best deal” that they can get. Men place more of a premium on autonomy and independence. Rosin continues:
The single woman, or “swingle,” as pollsters are now calling her, is already one of the largest voting blocs at 55 million, and that number is growing by almost 1 million voters a year—faster than any other group of voters broken out in the polls. Last year, single women made up one-quarter of voters overall—about the same number as self-identified white evangelical Christians. And if Obama’s strategy for courting these women works long term, pollsters say, single women might actually become the Democrats’ equivalent of the evangelicals—a reliable base for future elections.
This should frighten any small government type – from social conservatives to economic libertarians to men who decry the progress of social engineering which is making a large swath of men obsolete. For all the talk about Charles Murray and his book, our society will bifurcate into women who marry men and raise solid families and women who don’t marry but still try to raise a family. The final outcome isn’t the End of Men – it’s the End of the Underman. The alpha male will thrive.
If women are somehow geared towards this support instinct – if any economic or political choice is made not with autonomy but with support and security as the highest goal – politicians will always support women’s issues, the narrative will be crafted to favor the women’s viewpoint, and money will be spent to fund women’s needs over all else. The rise of the “swingles” is both a cause and an effect. The mere fact that swingles have political power is an effect of women’s suffrage, and it will be the cause of even more swingles who vote the same way and vie for the same political handouts.
We hear about how women are independent beings and such, but the Sandra Fluke affair shows that women are not as independent as feminists would like them to be (though, to be fair, the media has mischaracterized just how much women side with Obama and Fluke; many women favor autonomy – just not nearly as much as men). They need others to provide the supports for their lifestyle, well-being, safety, and comfort. Historically, husbands, fathers, or community elders fulfilled such duties, but the government increasingly crowds out the men who fill those roles.
The Constitution was meant to curb something like this – a special interest group getting ahold of the purse strings – but the thickness of it’s exoskeleton was overestimated. It has been chewed through and rampant democracy in a buoyless sea will toss us where it may.