Column: Breaking from tradition

While there are few certainties in life, we know one thing for sure: the stakes of the upcoming presidential election are incredibly high. President Bush and Senator Kerry have offered the American people two vastly different visions of America’s future. The man elected in November matters; he matters to us as Americans, and he matters to us as women.

We are students. We are sisters and daughters. Many of us will be wives and mothers. We purchase 82 percent of all household products and services. We make the majority of healthcare decisions for our families. We are CEOs and small business entrepreneurs opening our doors at twice the rate of men. The role of women in America is more diverse than ever before, and America stands to gain from women’s myriad of accomplishments.

Since the Republican National Convention, polls have shown a dramatic shift among women toward President Bush. This shift stands in stark contrast to the 2000 election, in which Vice President Al Gore enjoyed widespread support from American women. Democrats must face reality. They can no longer count on the unconditional support of women. This will have obvious ramifications in November, but until then, the more important question is why are women abandoning the Democratic Party?

Quite simply, women can no longer be dismissively categorized into one flawed stereotype; the supposed “women’s vote” is a relic of yesterday’s politics. Senators Kerry and Edwards are still pandering to women by focusing on a few clich?d “women’s issues,” while Bush realizes every issue facing the nation is a women’s issue. Yes, we are concerned about American education and, of course, we care about healthcare and equal rights in the workplace. The president, however, understands that women also share concerns about the security of our nation, the economy, and a wide range of public policy issues – that is why “W” Stands for women.

As the president has made unequivocally clear on the campaign trail, Sept. 11 profoundly changed his view of the world, and his strategy to combat terrorism: “The terrorists who threaten America cannot be appeased – they must be found, they must be fought, and they must be defeated abroad,” he has said. Similarly, so too have the political priorities of women shifted. No longer can charisma or empty platitudes earn a woman’s vote. We look for substance, we look for consistency and we look for a strong leader capable of effectively fighting the war on terror. Senator Kerry is not prepared to meet this critical challenge, as evidenced by his weak record on defense in the Senate and his uninspiring performance in the first debate.

Believe it or not, there are young women at this very left-leaning university who openly support President Bush. Junior Rebecca Kaczkowski said she’ll be voting for President Bush this November. “The stakes are just too high. I want to be a mother someday, and I want to know that the world will be a safe place to raise my children. I know President Bush is watching out for America’s future, and I don’t trust John Kerry to make sound decisions,” she said.

Kaczkowski is surely not alone. Join her and nearly 300 other GW women in giving President Bush four more years.

-The writer is GW co-chair of ‘W’ stands for women and is the political affairs director for the College Republicans.

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