Single Moms: the New “Earth Shakers” of American Politics
While Rick Santorum whaled against single mothers and heaped blame on them for all the illnesses of our country, Barack Obama is taking the opposite approach. He relates to how he grew up under the care of a single mother and is pushing for policies that are distinctly pro-mothers.
And why wouldn’t he when there are more than 10 million single mothers across America?
They were part of a crucial line of supporters for Obama’s victory in 2008 and defeat in 2010. Even the 2010 victory for the Republicans came when "they finally appealed to and captured women’s votes in decades" – a group often neglected by Republican policies and targeted by conservative rhetoric.
Single and unmarried mothers play an increasingly progressive role in America’s politics as they realize that their voices are resonating increasingly louder in the country. The health benefits and freedoms of women coupled with the economic slump pressing down on them could be just the thing to push them back to the polls in the November elections.
In short, both Democrats and Republicans have to come up with policies that help single mothers.
This is an especially painful pill for conservative Republican candidates to swallow. Following the rhetoric that Santorum used will dig their own graves, yet they cannot help but do so because of their ‘conservative’ values that paint single mothers as the devil incarnate.
And you can bet that the crushing financial effects felt by post-recession America will force many moms previously indifferent to politics to begin looking hard at their options. Being cut off from state and federal assistance as family expenses rise is a volatile recipe to get moms to listen to what the future leaders and lawmakers of our country are saying about them.
With a 10.9% unemployment rating for single moms this May and a 20% drop in income for single parent households from ’07 to ’10, it is easy to see just how much pressure there is for these women to get whatever edge they can get in life.
And that means electing officials who will take better care of them instead of protecting tax loopholes for the rich.