State of Women

The McLaughlin Group provides entertaining and opposing viewpoints of our political state. Unfortunately the extremism of some guests is at times laughable, incredulous and insulting. Fortunately, in today’s wonderful world one can quickly find an official record of views stated by silly people — yes, silly is being nice. So I present to you a re-cap of statements by Pat Buchanan regarding the role of women leaders in politics.

The group discussed the growth of women in our political world noting that Scandinavia has the highest percentage of women in national political roles. North and South America, along with Europe, were next in line with half the representation by women.

Mr. Buchanan made pretty clear in this discussion his view of women. In answering an “exit question” on when women will hold a majority in the U.S. Congress, Mr. Buchanan states, “Not in my lifetime, thankfully.”

This seemed an incredible and dumbfounding statement that surely could not be topped, but unfortunately he continued revealing his take on the ability of women.

Mr. Buchanan did put forward that he feels women will hold a majority role in congress by 2050. As we already know this is not to his liking. The group discussed some of the issues that may be limiting the expansion of women in leadership roles. This talk was capped by yet another head-shaking revelation from Mr. Buchanan.

“The rise of women to power in a civilization is very often the mark of its decline.”

On its own this is a strikingly sexist and elitist remark. Ms. Eleanor Clift did try to offer some context in which Mr. Buchanan’s view might have some relevance. Ms. Clift mentioned in amazement how Mr. Buchanan is talking “about women contributing to the decline of society.”

Mr. Buchanan replied, “I’m saying it’s a mark of the decline of a civilization.” Ms. Clift shot back, “That’s only because the men have done such an awful job and are turning over the really tough problems, like overheating planet, to women. That’s the only way I would back up your theory at all.”

I’m not sure continuing discussion on the topic with Mr. Buchanan would have been worthwhile, his few statements show only too clearly his lack of respect for women. I have to wonder where he falls on the rights of women to vote, own property and have equal rights. This should not come as a surprise from a person with his political views but it is amazing to see the blinding superiority one must feel to actually express these feelings on national television. If this is how Mr. Buchanan feels about the role women can play in our world, I don’t have much hope that anyone else not to his liking rates any better.

This discussion occurred only two days after our celebration of independence. This perhaps encouraged Mr. McLaughlin to remind the group that “Abigail Adams told her husband to see to it that the Constitution provided equal footing for women.” As one guest noted, Mrs. Adams was “scoffed” by her husband, John Adams.

The McLaughlin Group (July 6, 2007)
Transcript, streaming video

Abigail and John Adams Correspondence
Relevant summary

Complete references: Massachusetts Historical Society — Adams Family Papers: An Electronic Archive.

  1. Letter from Abigail Adams to John Adams, 31 March – 5 April 1776 [electronic edition]
  2. Letter from John Adams to Abigail Adams, 14 April 1776 [electronic edition]