By Elizabeth BeShears
Much to do has been made over the last several days in the wake of Donald Trump’s evident coronation as the GOP’s 2016 nominee about how he has a lot of ground to make up with certain groups.
Hispanics, Latinos, and African Americans are deemed unreachable due to his previous statements on race and the perception, fair or not, of the Republican party’s recent history with minority groups.
While Trump promises he will make up ground in some of these demographics, there is one group in particular whose importance is so enormous it dare not be understated. It is this group whose derision GOP and Trump loyalists fear. A group the Republican Party has already been losing steadily for years; a group that makes up roughly half of the population and even more of the voting electorate.
That all important group is Women. And I’m here to say this woman will never be wooed by the Republican Party into voting for Donald Trump.
Let me be exceedingly clear here: I have absolutely no intention of voting for Hillary Clinton.
Lucky for me, living in the Yellowhammer State I don’t have to make the choice between the lesser of two evils—my fellow Alabamians will choose the Republican regardless of whether he is evil or not.
No, my refusing to vote for Trump does not equate to a vote for Clinton.
So how could Trump “win over” women? Sweet-talking won’t work; he has too extensive of a history lambasting women, treating them as beneath him in his business and his personal life.
I am not an object to be won, and neither is my vote, but Trump and the Republicans now backing him view both as their right simply because I am a woman who has historically picked the candidate with an R beside their name.
Conservative women, if they truly believe in limited governments and economic freedom, aren’t going to be seduced by promises of goodies. Promises of mandatory maternity leave, more aggressive affirmative action, and free healthcare won’t turn conservative women out to vote, and the liberal women who desire such expensive government programs are likely voting Democrat to begin with.
I can’t, and won’t, look past his past, and I’d hazard a bet that most women won’t either.
In fact, recent polling shows nearly half of Republican women won’t.
Thus far, the importance of “party unification” and loyalty have been the most prevalent arguments from “leaders” and politicians—just this morning I received mass emails from ALGOP chairman Terry Lathan and Alabama Congressman Bradley Byrne, insisting Republicans unite behind the presumptive nominee.
Granted, it is Chairman Lathan’s job to promote the Republican Party and its nominees, regardless of her own beliefs or gender, but it is still disappointing to see this narrative be so quickly embraced despite the fact a majority of Alabama Republicans voted for someone other than Trump in our state’s March 1st Primary.
Which brings me to my final point: why would I sacrifice my values for a group of people who have shown they care little for them?
This year alone Republicans in the State Legislature struggled to find the votes to ban dismemberment abortions, backed a significant gas tax increase, and attempted to collect mounds of data about our children.
Don’t even get me started on the ethical, moral, and legal problems which seem to follow around our “family values” elected leaders.
So, no, my vote cannot be pleaded, begged, or bargained for, and neither can those of the millions of women who will likely choose another person’s name on their ballot in November, or none at all.
Best of luck without us, GOP.
Elizabeth BeShears, the owner of BeShears Solutions LLC, is a freelance writer and communications professional based in Birmingham
This Op-ed first appeared at al.com