September 13, 2019

Sufferin' the Suffrage

A rather bold woman on twitter tweeted:
“I think women’s suffrage was a mistake. As unpopular as it is to say it, women think and therefore vote differently than men. I don’t think the fruits have been good. Furthermore, it’s an unproven assumption that lacking franchise somehow assaults human dignity for either sex...Only a minority of women have an above-average ability to compartmentalize emotions to a high extent when making policy decisions."
Hey nice to hear men are good for something besides opening twist-off cans! (My own specialty.)

Be interesting to study the women’s vote from the time of the suffrage until the present and see how what the score was. Certainly their first pet project, Prohibition, wasn't a good start.

Of course the difficulty in rating would-be presidencies is that it requires a counterfactual, which is Latin for "nobody knows".  But since I'm a blogger, and thus unpaid to have opinions, I will fear to tread there.

Women liked Herbert Hoover in ’28 over Alfred E. Smith (Hoover being the enthusiastic Prohibition candidate). Roosevelt in ’32, ’36 and beyond. Ike in ’52 and ’56. Nixon in ’60. LBJ in ’64 and Humphrey in ’68. Carter in ’76, Reagan in ’80 & ’84, George HW Bush by 1% over Dukakis in ’88, Clinton in ’92/’96, Gore in ’00, Kerry in ’04, Obama in ’08/’12, and Hillary in ’16.

Basically I think the elections can be put into two categories: one, defensible (or indefensible) given the lay of the land at the time, and two, whether it was a good decision in retrospect (which requires God-like powers of counterfactual presidencies).

I’d say Kerry in ’04 was defensible but not a good decision. Defensible because Bush deserved to be fired based his failed Iraq bet. Reagan and HW Bush were obviously good choices. Humphrey in ’68 defensible, and Ike and Nixon reasonable or defensible.

So of the 22 elections, about half are defensible, and 6 or 7 out of 20 were correct in hindsight. (Two elections, ’60 and ’68, I'm unable to say with certainty if the right choice was made even given hindsight.).

I’m not sure 22 elections is a big enough sample size but certainly the trend of late is bad.

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