I almost never write about political issues because to be quite frank, politicians infuriate me. Don't get me wrong, I pay attention to politics. I vote. And I understand that there are distinct differences in the ways that politicians and their policies will affect my family. But I'm not naive enough to think that any one candidate is the path to a greater America any more so than the other is the path to her destruction.
Politicians and their pundits aim to divide Americans into "categories." Men vs. women. Black vs. white. Working mom vs. stay-at-home mom — and so on and so on. It's easier for them when we fight amongst ourselves over talking points rather than ever really discussing the issues that affect our lives. We're so busy regurgitating impassioned talking points and trying to discredit the other sides regurgitated talking points, that we never really understand the issues at hand.
This point hit home in a major way last week when Democratic pundit Hilary Rosen told Anderson Cooper on CNN's "AC360" that she thought it was wrong for GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney to be using his wife as his guide to women's economic struggles when Ann Romney "had never worked a day in her life."
Oh boy. Rosen's comments flew around the Web faster than you can say "mommy wars." In the blink of an eye, the Twitterverse exploded with comments from stay-at-home moms, working moms, working-at-home moms and every other mom in between about whether or not moms who work outside the home or moms who stay at home work harder. In this Sunday's Washington Post I read no less than four articles condemning Rosen for her comments.
But this is what I find so infuriating. Did Rosen actually mean to say that Ann Romney, who raised five boys as a stay-at-home mom had never worked a day in her life? Of course not. But as a political pundit, she should have known better. Those were her words and they sparked outrage that has drawn attention away from her point.
You see, Rosen's comments were actually a rebuttal to Mitt Romney's claim that women have lost more jobs under President Obama than men. Mitt Romney went on to say that his wife has been talking to women around the country and that this is an issue that concerns them. That women have lost more jobs than men under Obama. Not whether or not moms who work outside the home work harder than those who stay-at-home.
What Rosen should have said is that Ann Romney, who has never worked in the workplace a day in her life, should not be advising her husband on the issue of women in the workplace. Those three words would have made Rosen's statement's clearer and possibly more accurate. But she didn't use those three words. And because of her omission, the news stories of the day are filled with regurgitated talking points poking the embers of the mommy wars rather than discussing whether or not women in the workplace really have lost more jobs over the last four years. And if so, what anyone intends to do about it.
This is the question that I would like answered.
Isn't is time we stopped bickering and asked for answers to the real questions?