I just got off the phone with Michelle Obama (well, umm, a conference call along with thousands of others) where she emphasized why it was so important that women vote next week in the midterm elections. Along with other major players in the Democratic party (Donna Brazile, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and actress Kerry Washington), the First Lady reminded women on the call why not only our vote is important, but our voice.
Obama summed up the call to action by explaining, "If you need a job done well, you give it to a woman."
Perhaps she should have added a Democratic woman. Because this call was all about explaining why women should check the box next to the "D" next Tuesday.
As a Democrat, I do often have a hard time understanding Republican women. It seems like in many instances, they are voting against their own interests and the interests of their families.
One striking example given on today's call was the signing of the Lilly Ledbetter Act for Fair Pay when Obama first took office. As 90% of the Republicans voted against giving women adequate recourse for pay discrimination, I think, Why do these people hate women?
Additionally so-called family issues usually concern women more often (and men who are truly involved in their home life). The Democratic majority has made some strides in guaranteeing health care for children with pre-existing conditions, as well as making health care affordable for families. Republicans want to get rid of that, leaving families in the lurch if they are not provided with health insurance through work or cannot afford to buy it on their own. How could a woman get behind that?
This call was clearly not for people who are passionate about these issues and already voting; it was to reach those who voted in 2008 but are falling into that enthusiasm gap we keep hearing about. Michelle Obama's answer to the cries of, "Where's our hope and change?" was to take a look at the big picture. Obama wanted to inspire those of us with phones glued to our ears with the following:
You can't vote once and hope for change to happen. You've got to vote every time.
Our campaign was never about putting just one man in the White House. His election to the White House was about building a movement for change, millions of voices strong.
Your one-on-one conversations matter. Talk to your family, talk to your neighbors. It matters.
My husband can't do this alone. And we need strong women, like all of you, to make that happen.
I, for one, was inspired. And now must find out if my mother is voting next week.
Are you going to vote on Tuesday?
Image via The White House