Single women make up more than a fifth of the entire electorate. Today, just 20 percent of Americans are married by age 29, compared to 60 percent in 1960. Among this group, there is a lot of interest in the election next Tuesday. The role of single women in the electorate is also the subject of a new book by New York Magazine writer Rebecca Traister (@rtraister), called All The Single Ladies. Traister joined Jim on Thursday night to discuss her book, and how single women are impacting this election.
The women's movement opened up all kinds of new possibilities for women. With so many women living outside of marriage, they don't have to be dependent on husbands. And while pop culture has caught up with this notion, economic and social policy have not. Traister said that those policies are on the table this election.
They discussed Hillary Clinton's 2012 run, compared to the current cycle. Traister said that Clinton was coached last time around not to emphasize the historic nature of the run. She said it turned out to be a miscalculation. This time around, Traister said that Clinton has been a far more comfortable campaigner. She's more herself this time, Traister said. "She's a lot less constrained."
Traister described Clinton as a woman who has functioned in a wholly male world, for so long. She said that Trump makes overt a lot of the attitudes that have been covert in GOP policy. He does it in cartoonish form, she said.
On the political climate today, Traister said that there is tremendous anxiety and resentment about who has power in this country. Traister described the massive shift in power in the country with Barack Obama as president and Clinton as a potential president, and the resistance from half of our country to resist that power.
They also discussed Melania Trump's speech Thursday in the Philadelphia suburbs. Traister said that she dislikes Melania but also feels badly for her. She said Melania has not signed up to be a moral guide, which is what we've expected of our first lady. Traister said that she doesn't think many people relate to Melania. While many people liked Ivanka Trump, Traister said that her popularity has faded because "she's made so little sense on behalf of her father."