Monday, January 28, 2008

One Path to the Presidency

By Gordon E. Finley, Ph.D. is Professor of Psychology at Florida International University in Miami. His faculty web site is:

Both leading Democratic candidates repeatedly have emphasized “change” as a core theme in their campaigns for the presidential nomination. They talk of changes to improve the lives of women, Blacks, Hispanics, and children -- but I still am waiting to hear what changes they have in mind to help me, other white men, and boys specifically.

In October, 2007 David Paul Kuhn published The Neglected Voter: White Men and the Democratic Dilemma. The most important statistic in this book is that white males constitute the second largest voting bloc in America: “They [white males] make up between 36 and 39 percent of voters, roughly five times more than Hispanic male and female voters combined. White women are about a 5 percent larger voting bloc than white men…” (p. 6).

Listening to the acceptance and concession speeches following the Democratic primary in South Carolina last night, I heard no candidate speaking to us. Not surprisingly, Kuhn argues, white men vote Republican. Democrats seeking to win big on Super Tuesday next week might well want to begin by reading Kuhn’s book today.

To help them along, here are three critical issues for men. The first is job outsourcing and the economy -- focusing on jobs for men as well as jobs for women. The next is divorce and child support. The biggest negative consequence for men of past presidential pandering to the women’s vote is that federal law now funds the divorce and domestic violence industries that separate fathers from their children and transfer wealth from men to women. To regain the male vote of all racial and ethnic groups, Democrats must come to value boys and men, support marriage, discourage divorce by leveling the legal playing field, and encourage father-child relationships.

If this does not constitute change, I don’t know what would.

The third and most important long-term issue is the boy and man crisis in education. As widely documented, in K through 12, boys are losing ground to girls on virtually all indices. At the undergraduate, level men constitute at best 40% of college students, and at the graduate and professional levels they constitute distinct minorities in most fields.

What boys need is a massive change in social attitudes giving them the same kinds of social support and encouragement now given to girls. At the federal level, boys also need the same kinds of interventions designed to remedy and enhance educational attainment currently offered to girls.

So, what’s all this got to do with the path to the presidency in 2008? In my view, just as candidates began attending to the needs, wants, and aspirations of girls and women in the 1960’s, so too today, do candidates need to attend to the needs, wants, and aspirations of boys and men not only if they wish to win the Presidency – but far more importantly – if they wish to improve the quality of life for all citizens in 2009 and beyond.

1 comment:

KARMA said...

I am woman, hear me roar with bad breath pwoooooor
In numbers too big to ignore massed produced lemmings that hitler would adore
And I know too much to go back an' pretend, silly males inventing technology to cause more pain...
'cause I've heard it all before
And I've been down there on the floor
No one's ever gonna keep me down again

Oh yes I am wise to the anti-male media and legal system
But it's wisdom born of pain in the butt when I through middle-class bratty tantrums
Yes, I've paid the price but the males will pay many times more
But look how much I gained about 100lbs now I have him trapped
If I have to, I can do anything to get my back
I am strong (strong)
I am invincible (invincible)
I am woman

You can bend but never break me unless you are good looking then you can take me
'cause it only serves to make me
More determined to achieve my final goal
And I come back even stronger
Not a novice any longer
'cause you've deepened the conviction in my soul


I am woman watch me grow
See me standing toe to toe
As I spread my lovin' arms across the land
But I'm still an embryo might mutate it's hard to tell
With a long long way to go when really know what I want
Until I make my brother understand he is a piece of crap

Oh yes I am wise in my own mind
But it's wisdom born of pain oh poor me
Yes, I've paid the price
But look how much I gained in weight
If I have to I can face anything as long as I have a male blame
I am strong (strong)
I am invincible (invincible)
I am woman
Oh, I am women
I am invincible
I am strong

I am woman
I am invincible
I am strong
I am woman