Limited Taxation & Government
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Barbara's Bi-Weekly Column

The Patriot Ledger
Saturday, November 7, 1998

Large Turnout of Female Voters a Scary Thought
By Barbara Anderson

Hey, guys, what were you thinking when you passed the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution? I know I should be grateful for the right to vote, but I have to wonder if it's worth it, with the future of the country at stake.

Hey, ladies, listen up. Or don't, if you're afraid to face reality, which is the point I am about to make, about women and fear.

It's scary, isn't it. Our daddies took care of us, then traditionally our husbands were supposed to step in and take their place. But husbands were a nuisance, expecting so much in return: we had to make their boring meat and potatoes meals, pick up their wet towels and dirty socks, give them total control over the TV clicker. We heard about women's liberation and it sounded good, until we tried it and realized that we'd just liberated ourselves into total responsibility for our own lives!

So we turn to government. Government will take care of us, our children, and our aging parents. Government doesn't have towels and socks, it doesn't change channels, and it eats only tax dollars, which don't have to be sliced, marinated and cooked.

Government leaders, unlike those unappreciative husbands, look into our eyes, hold our hands, and tell us how beautiful we are. Even when we are old and wrinkled, they visit us at the senior center and say "My, you're looking well," even though they have never seen us before and have no basis whatever for comparison. They lie to us with love and compassion. And everything else they do, they do "for the children."

My partner Chip Ford suggested a campaign slogan to get the women's vote for the governor: "Hi, I'm Paul Cellucci, and I'll take care of you." If the governor had listened to him, we wouldn't have had to endure that election night cliff-hanger that had some of us contemplating a leap off a high precipice ourselves.

We recently conducted a research project to determine what creates advocates of limited taxation: what books were read, what leaders admired, that made taxpayer activists interested and informed, skeptical of government, willing to fight for what they believe. The results were inconclusive. So last week I asked one of my own political mentors what makes us different.

His answer, which surprised me, was "genetics: we're born this way." I didn't like that idea at all, until I realized it has nothing to do any kind of master race or particular country: it has to do with an individual's sense of life. Studies have shown that babies are born with an inclination toward a particular disposition: happy, confident, cautious, fearful, we are different even before our environment has its impact on our personalities.

So I reasoned: America, a nation of immigrants, naturally attracted the brave and adventurous from all over the world. The American image of optimism, confidence and friendliness derives from the kind of people who tend to emigrate rather than sit around hoping for things to get better where they are.

These kinds of people come in all colors, from many cultures, from various classes in all our parent countries. A lot of women immigrants shared these characteristics with their men. But others just tagged along, and their type still prefers security to adventure, protection to self-reliance. Many women voters dislike political campaigns. They see passionate debate as "rude" and "disgusting"; fighting, even the verbal kind, makes them nervous. Politics is divisive instead of cuddly. But if we must have politics, let it lead to Big Brother government that will take care of Little Sister.

The women's movement was not a move toward independence; most of its leaders are serious advocates of the nanny state and are happy to remain in a state of perpetual childhood as long as their needs are met. Other women have independently chosen to support the traditional family, seeing it as an alternative to powerful government; or they work outside the home and wonder where their taxes go, just as men do.

Women can be free and equal: we can fly, but that government cocoon has to go. We can all evolve into genuinely self-reliant adults who don't need politicians to take care of them. But until we all do, the words "large women turnout" on election night will still strike fear into my own evolved, confident and usually optimistic heart.

Barbara Anderson is co-director of Citizens for Limited Taxation and Government. Her bi-weekly column is syndicated and appears in the (Quincy) Patriot Ledger, (Salem) Evening News, (Attleboro) Sun-Chronicle and the (Worcester) Telegram-Gazette.

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