The nine Republican women in the U.S Senate and 13 in the House of Representatives have blindly followed President Trump off a political cliff. They have not raised their voices as the party has become one that’s increasingly unpopular with, and hostile to, women. This phenomenon came yet again into clear view this week when Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) verbally assaulted Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), calling her a “fucking bitch” as she was walking up the steps of the Capitol.
That happened to be the same day that the white men of the House GOP Conference ambushed Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), the only woman in the party’s leadership, for not supporting Trump enough (she actually dared to agree with Doctor Anthony Fauci about the need to wear masks). And that also happened to be the same day that Trump offered his well wishes to Ghislaine Maxwell, a woman who was a close associate of Jeffrey Epstein and is herself an alleged sex trafficker of young girls.
The Trump-led brigade of angry white males has circled the wagons, and women—including those in their own party—often seem to be targets. One reason for the silence or complicity of these Republican women may be that they are trapped in a party that does not elevate women, support them in primaries, or develop them as leaders. Out of 126 elected women in the U.S. Congress, just 22 are Republicans. Or perhaps these white women — there are no Republican women of color serving as lawmakers on the Hill — are part of the “silent majority” of white women who supported Trump in 2016. That in and of itself tells a story of a Republican party out of touch with 2020 America.