Next up: The Pure Food and Drug Act?

30 09 2009

So what do conservatives have against the landmark achievements Progressive Era? Apparently everything, as John Debyshire of the National Review has now decided that he is against female suffrage. The radio transcript and summary is at Think Progress:

COLMES: We would be a better country? John Derbyshire making the statement, we would be a better country if women did not vote.

DERBYSHIRE: Yeah, probably.

Derbyshire reasoned that we “got along like that for 130 years.” Colmes countered by asking if he also wants to bring back slavery. No, Derbyshire responded, “I’m in favor of freedom personally.” Colmes noted that freedom didn’t extend to women’s right to vote, however. Derbyshire said, “Well, they didn’t and we got along ok.”

It’s one thing to attack the Progressive Era in general, especially if you want to take cheap shots at Margaret Sanger (or anyone else who’s still controversial), but when you start attacking the foundations of democracy itself you look really out of touch. White men got along when women didn’t vote, but denying the vote to women on the basis of gender is why most women didn’t get along well at all (since it took the vote to get the kind of legislation passed that improved the status of women in society the most).

What I can’t get over though is just how politically stupid this argument is. Just because women are more liberal than men now doesn’t mean they always will be in the future. Of course, supporting the removal of their franchise certainly isn’t going to bring converts to the conservative cause.

If Derbyshire wants to offend half the population that’s his right, but I say why not go for everybody? 100% of the population eats. Therefore, I can’t wait to see the conservative case against the Pure Food and Drug Act.


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