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Memorializing Intelligence

Conservatives Have the History of Championing the Female Mind

Originally Published on January 19, 2022

Following the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in 2020, the emotional impulsivity of liberal America was fervent across both mainstream and social media platforms.

While logically-minded Americans have become accustomed to these knee-jerk reactions of panic and conjecture, the frustration and gnashing of teeth remains an instinctive response to the behavior of radical leftists.

The loud and sometimes violent behaviors of democrats toward the Supreme Court at the time were tethered to the unsubstantiated belief of American progressives, that the placement of a conservative judge on the Supreme Court would set back women’s rights. The hysteria was somewhat ironic when it was another female candidate, Amy Coney Barrett, who was nominated and confirmed as the justice who succeeded Ruth Ginsburg.

That was not of consequence to those with intellectual dishonesty, however. Barrett was slandered and dragged through the coals, because for those who are averse to facts it was another gut-punch reminder of the heights conservative women have achieved without the need for chaotic objections and taglines.

Let us consider the question that is implied by the progressive argument, in an attempt to play devil’s advocate. Are the left ends of our political system justified in their fears of what they continually lament as a conservative crusade against women? Is there a history of conservative behaviors to objectify and subjugate women to a lesser rank or status in America?

Not hardly. History would prove quite antithetical, in fact.

The very first woman elected to the office of mayor in the United States was Susanna Salter, who was elected mayor of Argonia, Kansas in 1887. She ran under the Prohibition Party, a right-wing party that represented itself as socially conservative with a close affiliation to the Christian Right.

In 1894, the first three women elected to a state legislature in the country were all conservatives. Clara Cressingham (R), Carrie C. Holly (R), and Frances Klock (R), were all elected to the Colorado House of Representatives. 

In 1900, Frances Warren of Wyoming became the first woman delegate to a major party convention, when she was appointed to the Republican National Convention.

In 1916, Jeannette Rankin, a Republican from Montana, became the first woman ever elected to Congress. She served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1917 to 1919 and again from 1941 to 1942.

In 1924, Bertha K. Landes, Republican city council president at the time, became acting mayor of Seattle, the first woman to lead a major American city. Two years later she was elected mayor in her own right in a campaign run entirely by women.

In the same year, Cora Belle Reynolds Anderson (R) was elected to the Michigan State House of Representatives, the first Native American woman in a state legislature.

With her appointment to the West Virginia State House of Representatives, in 1928, Minnie Buckingham Harper (R) became the first Black woman in a state legislature.

In 1933, Minnie Davenport Craig (R-ND) became the first woman to hold the position of speaker of the House in a state legislature.

In 1948, Margaret Chase Smith (R-ME) became the first woman elected to the Senate without having first been appointed to serve. Smith had first come to Congress when elected to fill her deceased husband’s House seat; she went on to be elected to the Senate in her own right. With her election to the Senate, Smith also became the first woman to serve in both houses of Congress. 

In 1955, Consuelo Bailey, a Vermont Republican, became the first woman ever elected lieutenant governor of a state. In that role, she served as president of the state Senate. Since she had previously served as speaker of the state House of Representatives, she thus became the only woman in the country ever to preside over both chambers of a state legislature.

In 1967, Senator Margaret Chase Smith (R-ME) became the first woman to serve as the Senate Chairperson.

In 1981, Sandra Day O’Connor, a former Republican state legislator from Arizona who had served on a state appeals court, was appointed by President Ronald Reagan as the first woman ever to sit on the U.S. Supreme Court.

In 1983, Vesta Roy (R-NH) became the first woman to hold the position of president of a state senate.

In 1985, Arlene Violet (R-RI), a former nun, became the first woman elected as a state’s attorney general, serving from 1985-87.

In 1989, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Florida Republican, became the first Hispanic woman and first Cuban American to be elected to Congress. She was elected in August 1989 in a special election and continues to serve.

In 1992, Althea Garrison (R) was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives, becoming the first transgender or transsexual person to serve in a state legislature in the United States.

In 1994, Olympia Snowe (R-ME) became the first woman to have been elected to her State House, State Senate, U.S. House and U.S. Senate.

In 2001, women saw a number of firsts. Elaine Chao became the first Asian American woman to serve in a presidential cabinet when she was appointed Secretary of Labor by President George W. Bush. Gale Norton became the first woman to serve as Secretary of the Interior, appointed by President George W. Bush. Norton was the first woman elected as Colorado’s Attorney General and served that position for two terms. Ann Veneman (R) was appointed by President George W. Bush to be the first female Secretary of Agriculture. She had previously been the first woman to serve as Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture.

Still in 2001, Christine Todd Whitman (R) of New Jersey became the first female former governor to serve in a presidential cabinet-level position when she was appointed administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency by President Bush. She had been the first woman elected governor in New Jersey and served two terms in that position. Condoleezza Rice became the first woman to hold the post of National Security Advisor (formally known as Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs) when she was appointed by President George W. Bush. In 2005, Condoleezza Rice became the first Black woman to serve as U.S. Secretary of State.

In 2011, Two women of color, both Republicans elected in November 2010, took office as governors, the first women of color chief executives in the country. Susana Martinez, a Latina, became governor of New Mexico, and Nikki Haley, an Asian American, became governor of South Carolina.

Most recently, Winsome Sears, an Jamaican immigrant, became the first female Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, in January 2022.

Ronald Reagan was the first President to write a proclamation declaring Women’s Week in the United States, in 1981. In 1987, he would become the first President to write a proclamation declaring March as Women’s Month.

If we consider the opportunities for women who didn’t move up through politics, four of the top five wealthiest women in the world are Americans, and three of those four, Alice Walton, Julia Koch, and Jacqueline Mars are conservatives.

How about wage disparity, which is so often invoked by liberals as the gatekeeper by which we measure equality in America? Over 40 years, the progressive administrations of Carter, Clinton, and Obama were only able to close the wage gap by an unimpressive 5.9% in their 20 combined years in office.

By contrast, the conservative administrations of Reagan, Bush, & Bush closed the wage disparity by 14.4% over the combined 20 years of their administrations.

It should be noted that those figures represent a broad brushstroke of all people in the workforce, no matter the job, location, skill set, qualifications, or specificity of tasks. This is called an “uncontrolled” measure. When you measure women against men in a “controlled” metric, where they median salary for men and women with the same job and qualifications, the number is 98 cents to the dollar. Almost no disparity.

There’s another side to this manufactured hysteria by Democrats that gets little mention. Two legislations to the matter are already on the books. The Equal Pay Act of 1963 was produced and passed by majority-Democrats in both the Senate & the House. It was signed into law by a Democratic President, JFK.

The Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 was produced and passed by majority-Democrats in both the Senate & the House. It was signed into law by a Democrat President, BHO.

Are Democrats merely perpetuating their virtue signaling, or are they admitting that both of their previous attempts at this failed? They surely have not produced results, at least not at the hands of the Democrats. Either their attempts are merely for show, or it’s only the Republicans who’ve taken the matter seriously enough to put the Democrats’ words into actions.

Democrats and the Hollywood clan of unhinged celebrity activists have done more to fuel the flames of a false narrative than they have to bring results to a cause they pretend to care about.

They could take a lesson from conservatives, who are results-driven and value critical thought over emotional arguments that are impulsive, inaccurate, and counterproductive. Conservatives who, throughout the past 150 years, have continued to elevate women to the highest ranks of opportunity in America.

(The above article has been republished from my Substack newsletter. You may subscribe to my exclusive Substack content here.)

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