Townhall Magazine Out of Touch with Everyday Moms
Many GOP establishment party activists have pointed out that Obama has waged war on moms, apple pie, and our American way of life. So why are we fighting the liberals' underdog narrative with decidedly non-underdog women on the cover of Townhall?
I sighted an online promo for the latest Townhall Magazine cover story: "Defending Mom," out just in time for Mother's Day. It features nine women the author deems "world class ambassadors of conservative principles." There's a governor, a reality TV star, a wife of a presidential candidate, a philanthropist, and a publisher's daughter, to name a few. The author, Elisabeth Meinecke, states, "As conservatives, we know these women as leaders in our communities, heroines in our culture, and most likely veterans of epic battles on topics ranging from curfews to cash."
If, as the promo writer declares, "conservatives believe Motherhood is as empowering as any top job at a Fortune 500 company," then prove it. Why not choose everyday moms if that's the "most important job of all"?
I have nothing against successful, high-profile, "world-class" women, but six months ago, befuddled conservative pundits, pols, and commentators wondered out loud how a man they convinced us was "electable" couldn't beat a failed president that had almost 8 million less votes cast for him in 2012 than in 2008.
Most agreed that the Republicans have a huge messaging problem. Despite Obama's crushing economic policies, corporate cronyism, and scandalous cover-ups over the last four years, Romney's advisers were unable to counter the Democrats' message on women and the economy.
Back in January, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana bluntly told Republicans to stop sending "a not-so-subtle signal that the focus of our country is on the phony economy of Washington -- instead of the real economy out here in Charlotte, and Shreveport, and Cheyenne."
And yesterday, Eric Cantor of Virginia, in a speech to the Ripon Society, asked, "What are we doing for that assistant manager of a fast food restaurant? What are we doing for single moms who are waking up in the District of Columbia this morning and facing the fact that their kids are going to schools that can't even provide a safe place for these mothers to leave their kids, let alone get an education?"
On top of the 2012 debacle and after admonitions from GOP leaders, Townhall wants to ignore commonsense advice. Instead of heeding the call to think outside the box, the magazine showcases Ann Romney and others like her as the ideal of motherhood. They may be great moms, but who cares? Time for puff pieces on fashionable, high-profile stars has long since passed.
The Russian writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn zeroed in on the consequences of going along with fashionable trends in ideas and thoughts especially in perilous times, and ignoring those in the trenches.
There is a dangerous tendency to form a herd, shutting off successful development. I have received letters in America from highly intelligent persons, maybe a teacher in a faraway small college who could do much for the renewal and salvation of his country, but his country cannot hear him because the media are not interested in him.
This gives birth to strong mass prejudices, blindness, which is most dangerous in our dynamic era. There is, for instance, a self-deluding interpretation of the contemporary world situation. It works as a sort of petrified armor around people's minds. Human voices from 17 countries of Eastern Europe and Eastern Asia cannot pierce it. It will only be broken by the pitiless crowbar of events.
Townhall and other conservative venues need to stop living in la-la land. There are a whole slew of traditional lower- and middle-class mothers, in the workplace and at home, who are feeling the full brunt of establishment candidates like McCain and Romney. They have no claim to fame except deciding whether to buy brand-name Cheerios or the less expensive Tasteeos. They won't ever be invited to speak at their college alumni dinners because they don't have an exciting success story outside being a mom.
Let's start fighting fire with fire. Obama has instigated an economic and social war on American mothers, and the best Townhall can do is ignore the unsung mothers and close ranks? Instead of profiling women we can all relate to, the ones with no determining influence in the public sphere, they go with the fashionable herd. The magazine's editors, like Romney's advisers, blew it.
Just because the left controls the media and the message, that doesn't mean that Townhall can't change up.
Conservatives and liberals may have sharp lines of distinction on social issues, but being able to bring home a paycheck to house and feed our families without being taxed into poverty is one issue that could potentially bridge the gap. Sure, it's a long shot that we could win over the ones craving their next government fix or going gaga over free contraceptives, but it's better than doing the same losing thing over and over and expecting a victory.
Townhall should have put women on the cover (not inside) who represented the majority. The ones up at dawn, cooking breakfast for the family, getting their kids off to school, throwing in a load of laundry, cleaning up, and readying themselves for work.
And they do all of this as Obama is pulling the financial rug out from under them left and right.
Huge grocery bills, pay freezes, layoffs, sky-high health insurance premiums, increased payroll taxes, adult kids moving back into the rooms they shared as toddlers, corporate greed out the yin-yang, and dried up 401(k)s are just a few of the everyday realities facing average mothers.
Sandra Fluke may be a joke to most conservatives, but the unglamorous law student appealed to the "in" crowd that gets its cues from mass market media. The left knows there are a heckuva lot more women who look, live, and sound like Fluke than the alluring and/or powerful women writing and posing for Townhall.
In a less threatening political climate, a magazine heralding well-to-do conservative moms wouldn't be a big deal -- but these are not normal times. Obama has ushered in a gussied up version of a third-world country where mothers, as the hubs of their families, will have to figure out ways to survive not only the cultural war, but the economic one. The dire situation facing cash-strapped moms continues to escape the young, smart, but often out-of-touch editors like Elisabeth Meinecke.
"Fashion journalism" promulgates a herd mentality that shuts out important voices from being heard. Unfortunately, conservative media, our main defense against the onslaught of leftist propaganda, has not been immune to the social conditioning that leads its managers and editors to stick with the familiar paradigm, despite the fact that Rome is burning.
Read more M. Catharine Evans at Potter Williams Report.