When it comes to women’s issues, it’s time for our party to get its act together.
If the Republican Party is listening to women, it’s not hearing what they have to say. If we’re not listening, we can’t ask the right questions. If we’re not asking the right questions, we’ll never get the right answers.
It’s as simple as that.
In the last election, Mitt Romney held a 54-46 percent lead among men, but Barack Obama won because 56 percent of women voters were behind him. In 2008, Mr. Obama beat John McCain with 57 percent of the women’s vote.
We can’t allow this to happen yet again. With Hillary Clinton as the likely Democratic Party nominee, it will be even harder to fight for the women’s vote in 2016, which means we have to pull out all of the stops to win their support.
How can we make this happen?
The first thing is to destroy the myth created by the Democratic Party that the Republicans are waging a war on women. Women care about the economy, family and what the future holds. Those are our issues, but we’re doing a lousy job of articulating the message. The Democrats talk about reproductive rights, but they’ve got nothing real to offer women.
We have a strong story to tell, and we need to tell that story forcefully and lay out real specifics of what we will do.
What women really want is the opportunity to compete fully and freely in the workforce and the peace of mind that their children are being taken care of in their physical, emotional and educational needs.
What I am proposing, therefore, is a “Republican Women’s Platform”:
1. Day care: We need companies to be incentivized to provide day care, nutritional care and medical care to the children of working mothers. All companies over 50 employees need to provide these services. The cost of such services should be subsidized by tax breaks covering close to 100 percent of all reasonable expenditures.
2. Government-backed entrepreneurship: Why is this a women’s issue? Simply because women start new businesses at a rate double that of their male counterparts. I’m not asking for huge infusions of money, just the removal of the regulations that inhibit all entrepreneurship.
3. Personal safety: The level of domestic violence in this country is unacceptable. The only thing worse is the way law enforcement deals with it. It is never acceptable to strike a woman. Assaulting a woman needs to come with an automatic jail sentence. When the sentence is over, there should be a permanent restraining order.
4. Regulations on popular culture: Those on the left can’t have it both ways. They claim to be supportive of women and women’s rights, but they allow — through misguided notions of free speech — a culture that poisons people’s minds against women. They condone a movie industry that disrespects women. They don’t question video games where women are used as sex objects, then assaulted and even killed. These are the games shaping the minds of adolescent boys.
5. Regulations on campuses: Rape on college campuses has become an epidemic. Those who perpetrate these crimes are rarely penalized. As the party that supports women, Republicans have to support the most stringent sentencing in these cases. This isn’t “boys being boys.” This is young men raping young women.
6. Homelessness: We cannot be the party that stands by as women and children are homeless. When children aren’t getting food, medical care or education, they fall into a hole from which there is no recovery. We can’t bring up a generation of children who have no chance of succeeding in life. We must fund the staffing and facilities necessary to put these young mothers on their feet.
I know people will say this platform calls for the expenditure of a significant amount of money at a time when we have enormous deficits. In reality, the money is already there but is being wasted on pork. We need a major shift in our priorities. Take what we’re spending on worthless government projects and invest it wisely, and you will see a whole new America.
• Georgette Mosbacher is the CEO of Borghese, Inc., serves on the board of trustees of the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, is chairman of The Green Beret Advisory Board, and the founder of the New York Center for Children.