Regressive Republicans, as you can tell from their denials, hand-wringing, whining about the big meanies in the mainstream media, and wacky rubber/glue attempts to blame the war on women ON WOMEN, are clearly waging a war on women. #WarOnWomen has become a shorthand for their attacks on the rights of all kinds that affect all kinds of people, including, but not limited to, attacks on reproductive rights.
This is a great explanation of the problems many people of a progressive persuasion have with the term war on women, so let me just insert a big “what she/they said” and move forward.
War on women is catchy, though, and entrenched. It works well for the Twitter, and obviously has Regressives on the defensive. I’m loathe to give it up without a suggestion of how to replace it.
If we’re going to try to change the language of the debate, we’ve got to have something punchy and powerful that immediately resonates with people.
Might I suggest we start talking about the Regressive Republican War on Opportunity?
- Laws that strip health care providers of the ability to provide a full spectrum of reproductive health services rob us of our opportunity to control our health and our ability to control whether and when and how we become parents.
- Supreme court decisions and campaign finance laws that treat corporations as people and money as protected speech by those corporations rob individual Americans of the opportunity to participate in democracy.
- Laws that dictate who can and cannot marry a certain kind of person rob Americans of the opportunity to build strong, loving families.
- Tax policy that favors the wealthiest 1% or Americans denies opportunity to 99% of us who truly drive our economy and fund our democracy with our work and our taxes.
- Laws that mandate which medical procedure a doctor can or cannot use, or what kind of research those doctors can do, rob doctors of the opportunity to make our lives better.
All we ask, after all, is that this be a land of opportunity. A place where all people can pursue their right to life, liberty, and happiness. What could be more American than that?
Other suggestions on replacement language? Do you think progressives can get traction with #waronopportunity?
I think you make the most important overall point here when stating the slogan/phrase should be punchy and powerful. We’ve seen Democratic candidates in the past like John Kerry get criticized for sounding like a lecturer because he did the wrong thing in trying to explain his positions on everything. For the folks that do not pay much attention to elections and politics, the parties need those short and catchy phrases. It’s a sad but true reality but not doing it in the past has hurt Democrats and it looks like they have learned their lesson at this point. Simplicity is just a necessary evil now and for that reason I think the War on Women should stay as is and should be used as much as possible as an issue because of its importance.
And I like War on Opportunity when coupled with some of those factors you point out. Should also be driven home to as many people as possible during this campaign.
Thanks for your comment. Regressive thinking really does lend itself to slogans and sound bites. At our peril, as you point out, progressives get caught up in nuance, which is wonderful and honest and important and which KILLS momentum in the current news environment.
While I dislike the “war on” mode of communication, and want to be inclusive in my language, I’ll keep using war on women as long as it keeps getting my point across and annoying regressives. I’d love to see war on opportunity get some traction. What other phrases should we be using?
I’m not exactly sure how I would phrase it but seeing more emphasis on something to the effect of a war on education or a war on intellectualism would be nice to see. I know it’s out there a little but not enough. It’s one of the things I’ve never really understood in politics and have always been startled by the fact that conservatives have been able to turn this into a talking/rallying point. I think it’s fair to say that by the 1980s (almost certainly earlier) and definitely by the 1990s we knew as a society a college education was going to be the obvious next step for workers and for progress as a whole. Yet the ideas and policies we have seen mostly from the right have been about cutting funding, attacking teachers and their benefits/pensions, and making it harder to obtain education to go along with the attacks on the college “intellectuals” (professors) they see as wrong headed liberals. My opinion would be if we were a truly rational society, we would have seen the writing on the wall back then and made sure college was accessible for everyone and the idea of cutting would have never entered the conversation. The debate on education should always be about what needs improving and what can be created and not what needs to be destroyed. If intellectualism had not been so demonized by the right, we would be discussing the best ways to exchange innovative teaching techniques across the country and improving access to computers and the Internet and not seeing people rally around the idea of cutting the Department of Education. It’s always been a very bizarre debate for me to watch.
I love this so much. I don’t really have much to add but just wanted to say that.
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