Republicans explain to non-Republican women how they are wrong to be non-Republican women. The tl;dr is that all such women are 35 and single and therefore in a deep funk of self-loathing because they know they should be married; if they were Republicans they would be married. It’s hard to see a flaw, isn’t it.
R.R. Reno, editor of First Things (a journal that promotes “economic freedom” and a “morally serious culture”), published a very helpful essay illustrating how this fresh new strategy might work in practice. Reno begins his piece with a richly-drawn portrait of a hypothetical female Democratic voter: She is a “single, 35-year-old McKinsey consultant living in suburban Chicago who thinks of herself as vulnerable and votes for enhanced social programs designed to protect against the dangers and uncertainties of life.”
(Reno does not specify the number of cats she owns, but for the purposes of this discussion, let’s assume the answer is “several.”) Reno speculates that this woman (whom he has invented and preprogrammed with opinions) feels “judged” by a Republican platform that opposes gay marriage, because “she intuitively senses that being pro-traditional marriage involves asserting male-female marriage as the norm—and therefore that her life isn’t on the right path.” So she votes for the Democrat, who does not appear to be “intolerant” of her lifestyle.
Mistake mistake mistake! She should totally be voting for the Republican, because then she would be the kind of person who pursues the norm, which (as we have just been told) is male-female marriage (never female-male marriage of course). Pursuit of the norm=capture of the norm provided you’re a Republican, because nobody is a Republican who doesn’t do whatever is the norm.
This woman is suffering from “various kinds of personal unhappiness related to the lack of clear norms for how to live,” Reno writes. She secretly “wants to get married and feels vulnerable because she isn’t and vulnerable because she’s not confident she can.” And so, actually, she should support the party that wants to force people into traditional marriages, thus improving her chances of getting married herself. (Perhaps she can marry a gay man?) If only our hypothetical cat lady could get on board, she would get a husband, the Republicans would get another married woman to add to their key demographic, and gay people would get totally screwed. (Yay?)
The cats of course would be turned into cat soup.