ELECTION 2012 / Marilyn Katz : On Women Making a Difference

Women win big: Clockwise, from top: Elizabeth Warren, Tammy Baldwin, and Claire McCaskill. Image from PopSugar.

Making a difference:
On women and the election

We are not red states and blue states, we are blue cities (and suburbs) in red states, filled with the young, the diverse, the women — who are the rising tide.

By Marilyn Katz | The Rag Blog | November 8, 2012

CHICAGO — The pundits will spend the next days parsing the strategies of the various campaigns, analyzing the Romney campaign’s errors and the Obama campaign’s smart moves — and all of that will be true.

However, for me, it is the particular efforts of women that made the difference.

Not only were women a decisive voting block, providing Barack with a critical 18 percent gender gap vote, but, from the beginning, we recognized this election as being as much about us as about the President — about our lives, our futures. And as women always do, we figured out what needed to be done and did it.

Thousands of woman have spent the last nine months raising money, knocking on doors, making endless phone calls. They devoured information and became the critical truth-tellers to neighbors, friends, and strangers.

Personally, I am deeply moved by the constancy, energy, and skills of women that not only brought Barack to victory but also Elizabeth Warren, Claire McCaskill, Tammy Duckworth, Cheri Bustos, Tammy Baldwin, and many others.

While the pundits are looking at the electoral map and talking about it as the “new formula for Democratic victories,” I look at it and see the future of America. We are not red states and blue states, we are blue cities (and suburbs) in red states, filled with the young, the diverse, the women — who are the rising tide.

It is to our credit that in the face of billion-dollar super PACS, scurrilous ads, non-stop barrages from the talking heads of Fox News and the ultra-right, and, despite many dark moments, we persevered. We spoke truth and took power.

It’s long been said that “women can make the difference.” And we did.

Also, some reflections on the Jewish vote: Despite unbelievable fear mongering, the tirades and money of Sheldon Adelson and the emails of the Lauders, the Jewish vote has retained its progressive presence, going at least 69% for Obama. As important, 70 of the 71 J Street-endorsed Senate and Congressional candidates won their elections.

These are good “facts on the ground” for encouraging a real path for a two-state solution and peace in Israel and Palestine.

[An anti-war and civil rights organizer during the Vietnam War, Marilyn Katz helped organize security during the August 1968 protests at the Democratic National Convention. Katz has founded and led groups like the Chicago Women’s Union, Reproductive Rights National Network, and Chicago Women Organized for Reproductive Choice in the 1960s and 1970s, and Chicagoans Against War in Iraq in 2002. The founder and president of Chicago-based MK Communications, Katz can be contacted at mkatz@mkcpr.com Read more articles by Marilyn Katz on The Rag Blog.]

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