Women's March Is Reinforcing Divide, Critic Says
SCOTT SIMON, HOST:
The Women's March is underway in Washington, D.C., and a number of other cities around the country. And while many people have turned out, there's some concerns about what the effect of the marches might be and if they include enough viewpoints. Kay Hymowitz has some of those concerns. She is the William E. Simon fellow at the Manhattan Institute. Thanks so much for joining us.
KAY S. HYMOWITZ: Good morning, Scott.
SIMON: You've expressed some misgivings about the march. Let me get you to share those if you could.
HYMOWITZ: Yeah. Well, this election exposed a Grand Canyon-sized divide in the United States. You've already been talking about that on this show this morning. Aside from the very endearing odd couple that you just interviewed, we are really hostile strangers to each other divided by geography. We're divided by class. We're divided by education, by culture, by where we get our takeout coffee, by what cars we drive, et cetera. And I think the march poses the danger of reinforcing and perhaps even widening that divide. I know that the organizers have a very different way of talking about the march. They keep using words like inclusive and solidarity. But I find those words very hard to square with the fact that 4 in 10 women voted for Trump, 53 percent of white women voted for Trump.
The media often leaves the impression that Trump was elected by white man and heavily opposed by women, but it's simply not true. And if you - you know, something that I came across recently that kind of surprised me, there's actually a much larger divide among women than there are among other identity groups. So, for instance, blacks voted for Clinton 88 percent - by 88 percent. Sixty-six percent of Hispanics, 65 percent of Asians voted for Clinton. That was only true of 54 percent of women, and that's less than the number who've - or percentage of women who voted for Obama and Bill Clinton. Now, that's certainly not the impression that we've been given.
SIMON: Now, for context, I gather you weren't a Trump enthusiast, let me put it that way.
HYMOWITZ: Far, far from it, and after yesterday's speech, even further away (laughter) from it. However, I do - I am very concerned about this divide that I'm talking about. I made it a hobby, really, to try to understand what was happening, how it was that I could look at a man like Trump and think he was completely disqualifying - disqualified for office and other people could find him - could get very excited about him. So I think that behooves all of us well, given this divide, which by the way is infecting countries all over Europe as well. There's a big gap between - in thinking between people who might have been winners in globalization and those who are often described as losers. So I think that, again, it really is an important thing for us to be thinking about what's going on here. It's not to say you shouldn't oppose some of or a lot of Trump' more outrageous vulgarity and rudeness, which by the way extends far beyond women, and many of his policies, I think we should.
SIMON: Yeah. In the minute we have left, forgive me for resorting to this phrase, but what do you - what would you suggest to heal that divide? Or is it, as some people have suggested, is it a time for people to take sides?
HYMOWITZ: Well, you know, they're going to have to take sides. There really are genuine disagreements. But one of the problems I think and one of the reasons we can't really have sustained discussions about this, or the courageous conversations that one of the organizers referred to earlier, is that it is so easily - so easily sparks accusations of racism and bigotry. You know, there's a big - there's...
SIMON: Just have a few seconds left, Kay.
HYMOWITZ: OK, a lot of space between David Duke and an open-borders person.
SIMON: Kay Hymowitz - she's the William E. Simon - no relation - fellow at the Manhattan Institute and author of the book "The New Brooklyn: What It Takes To Bring A City Back." Thanks so much.
HYMOWITZ: Thank you, Scott
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