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Sunday, April 24

The more females in U.S. politics, the more Americans view politicians as corrupt

On April 16 John Batchelor interviewed Ellen R. Malcolm, co-author of When Women Win: EMILY's List and the Rise of Women in American Politics. EMILY is an acronym for the sentence "Early money [for political candidates] is like yeast." John's questions for Malcolm gave no hint of the downsides of the amazing success that financially well-off feminists achieved at bringing gender equality to U.S. politics. But then the downsides are evident to any American who's been paying attention.

One downside is evident even to those who pay little attention:  As the decades have rolled on Congress increasingly became America's most disliked institution, until things reached this desperate state last year:
Majority of Americans See Congress as Out of Touch, Corrupt
September 28, 2015
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- However the likely drama over how to fund the government past Sept. 30 unfolds, most Americans appear to have little faith in most lawmakers to do the right thing. 
Majorities believe that most members of Congress are "out of touch with average Americans" (79%), "focused on the needs of special interests" rather than the needs of their constituents (69%) and corrupt (52%). Americans are less critical of their own representatives, but substantial percentages say their own member of Congress is out of touch (48%), focused on special interests (47%) and corrupt (32%).
These results come from Gallup's annual Governance poll, conducted Sept. 9-13. By any measure, Congress is not a popular or trusted institution among Americans. The body's current approval rating, 14%, is typical of its ratings over the past several years. Earlier this year, Gallup found that fewer than one in 10 Americans (8%) have a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in Congress.
Traditionally, Americans have been less critical of their own members of Congress, but last year the percentage of U.S. adults saying their own representative deserved re-election dropped to a record low.

Bottom Line
Majorities of Americans view most members of Congress as corrupt, beholden to special interests and out of touch. This is not new and perhaps not even surprising, given the low esteem in which Americans hold the institution. But this cynicism is beginning to influence Americans' views of their own federal representatives, not just the national legislature. Record or near-record numbers of U.S. adults say their local representative is out of touch and focused on serving special interests rather than their constituents.
Now there are different ways female politicians can spin the Gallup findings:
  • They can say they never promised to be more capable or less corrupt than male politicians, just that there should be an equal number of corrupt and incompetent males and females holding political office.
  • Female politicians could demand that they gain the majority of political offices in the country as the only way to counter bad male politicians. They could even ratchet this demand to 100 percent, with the problem being what they'll do if corruption and incompetence stay the same or worsen when no males hold political office in the USA.
There is also the rational approach: trying to understand how a democratically-elected government in a republic got to be as corrupt and incompetent as one run by a tyranny. I don't think it takes much digging to see how this came about.  

You see these weren't only feminists who started EMILY's List; they were largely "Liberal" Democratic feminists -- many outright Socialists. So their idea of bringing gender equality to political elections included backing female politicians who'd carry forward what could be called nurturing government. Its detractors called it the Nanny State; in answer, supporters pointed to West European countries that had successfully created all-encompassing nurturing programs.

The supporters didn't mention that European governments could to some extent afford the programs because American taxpayers were shouldering the lion's share of Europe's defense-spending burden. Such discussion was verboten in public in the USA in those days because it implied criticism of NATO.

They also forgot to mention that the populations of individual West European countries were tiny next to America's. This meant the Europeans didn't have to go hundreds of billions into debt to sustain nurturing government, whereas Americans did.

It also meant that the United States began getting away with the impossible -- carrying Europe's defense burden while at the same time vastly expanding its own nurturing government programs. There was only one way to keep doing the impossible: kite checks, in effect, in larger and larger amounts at a faster and faster pace. 

In other words the American federal government began greatly abusing the U.S. dollar's reserve status and in the process becoming dependent on governments that actually aren't U.S. friendlies -- Al Saud and China's, notably.        

Something else was going on as EMILY's List got more and more Democratic women elected to seats at the state and federal levels: corruption and waste skyrocketed as nurturing government programs that female electives pushed through got unmanageably large. As consequence American government, and indeed American society itself, was taking on the behavior of a banana republic.

By the turn of this century Americans -- both men and women -- were recognizing that the U.S. Congress had turned into a juggernaut. The systems set in place to monitor the Congress were overwhelmed by the enormity of the task. The electorate's trust in elected officials plummeted. The Tea Party movement, created in a part in the backlash against government corruption, was chewed up by the system it was supposed to fight once it got to Washington.

If it had ended there, one could wring a simple moral from the story:  What EMILY's List proved beyond a shadow of doubt is that when it comes to the quest for worldly power there is absolutely no difference between the male and female psyche. Both are equally capable of treachery and betrayal of the public trust; both are equally adept at keeping silent to protect a corrupt system that keeps them in power.  

But the story didn't end there. Check kiting wasn't enough to sustain the nurturing society in America. A giant defense industry had to be created to reliably bring in large amounts of tax revenue. This wasn't terribly hard during the Cold War but once the Soviet Union dissolved a long-running conflict had to be scared up to justify the continued existence of the industry -- and from the European side, to make sure the U.S. continued to fund NATO.

And so for me, at least, it came down to a day in August 2008 when I typed with shaking hands, To any and all U.S. forces in Georgia: STAND DOWN before publishing the post at my blog and babbling a prayer to God to save us all.

I still remember then-SecDef Bob Gates saying to a reporter a short time later that the U.S. wasn't going to start World War Three with Russia over the issue. But you do not want to think about how close we came to a nuclear confrontation with Russia over South Ossetia -- a place most Americans had never heard of before and couldn't find on a map.

Meanwhile nurturing government in Western European nations had evolved a dependency society that couldn't even be bothered to procreate enough to sustain itself. This led to massive influxes of foreign work forces that formed an angry permanent underclass which resisted assimilation. On top of these external migrations came massive, rapid internal migrations as the European Union became borderless. All this migration was encouraged and supported by cradle-to-grave state benefits. 

By the start of this decade it was clear that despite arguments to the contrary from American Liberals and self-termed Conservatives, U.S. society was following Western Europe's trajectory. 

It's a trajectory that so greatly overwhelms resources, honest and capable government becomes impossible. So American female politicians and the EMILY's List donors can easily defend themselves against the charge that U.S. politics has become more corrupt because women joined the political ranks. But the women who propelled other women into political power in the USA should acknowledge that they got away with expanding an incredibly destructive social agenda just because they were using female politicians to do this. 


From book review at Amazon site:

When Women Win: EMILY's List and the Rise of Women in American Politics by Ellen R. Malcolm and Craig Unger

Malcolm, the founder of EMILY’s List, delivers a lively, fast-paced history of the influential political action committee that helps elect pro-choice, Democratic women. Drawing on interviews with Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Elizabeth Warren, and others, she highlights the organization’s impact on elections over the past 30 years, most notably by giving selected candidates donations early in their campaigns (EMILY is an acronym for “early money is like yeast”). 

The book covers EMILY’s List’s evolution, since its 1985 founding, from a fund-raising organization to a “multi-pronged, full-service political operation” with three million members that has helped elect 110 Democratic women to the House and 19 to the Senate, including Warren. 

Malcolm also emphasizes the dramatic effect of Anita Hill’s testimony on the female electorate and the importance of women voters to the Democratic Party. The book shows that EMILY’s List’s biggest contribution may be to make women in Congress seem so familiar that voters are now far more likely to judge women on their records and character than on their gender.
—Publishers Weekly

Women have augmented the socialist floodwaters with their basically nurturing nature. Sometimes, like recent libertarian voters, they can provide crucial swing votes as well. The poisonous combination of single mothers, economic decline, and welfare have created a large, committed constituency in favor of the nanny state. The EMILY women also ensure that abortion remains the most precious sacrament of our national life, which ensures that all the pathology that abortion entails is firmly engrafted in our national life. Liberal women have turned against life itself and now, with the ferocious lesbianism and anti-male thinking, a vocal subset of women have turned against their natural allies. As you have pointed out, the fiscal and political consequences of all this are horrendous. This country believes itself to be free and the embodiment of popular sovereignty but we have, rather, an untouchable government fanatically wedded to economic and social decay. A feature of our politics, not a bug.
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