“So far this year, Republicans in Congress have blocked or voted down every serious idea to strengthen the middle class — not ideas that are unique to me…But the Republicans have said no to raising the minimum wage, have said no to fair pay. They’ve said no to extending unemployment insurance for over 3 million Americans looking for a new job.” – Barack Obama, July 1st, 2014
Monday’s Supreme Court ruling, which favored Hobby Lobby, brought about a tidal wave of angst from many of my peers, and all day, I heard dozens of arguments as to why the Supreme Court had failed American women. None of these arguments, however, had any merit. Most were based in a failure to understand the core reasoning behind the ruling. Most of the arguments weren’t even what one could call an argument—they were simply ignorant comments made in outrage.
Yesterday, after reading some of Obama’s remarks from the speech I quoted above, I began to think about just how much the world is governed by ignorance. The entire liberal argument regarding the Hobby Lobby case is based in a complete misunderstanding of the right to religious freedom, and how much discretion the government has in imposing on our liberties. In addition, ignorance even pervaded the understanding of the facts of the case itself. I heard complaints that the Supreme Court had given businesses the right to impose their religious beliefs on their employees.
Obama can say things like “Republicans said no to fair pay,” and people just eat it up. The establishment media reports what Obama said, they agree, and offer up their one-sided opinions, and the low-information voters (see: most voters) live their lives believing Republicans to be these cold-hearted, ignorant beasts. All they know is that Obama is this wonderful guy who’s just trying his darnedest to help the little guy, and the Republicans are the evil enemy lurking in the background, doing everything they can to destroy the black man in the White House, all while lining their pockets.
Let’s take a look at this Paycheck Fairness debate. The Democrats claim that women only make 77 cents for every dollar a man makes. While this statistic is true in the most literal sense, it has been disputed due to its lack of any kind of nuance regarding the issue of paycheck fairness. Even liberal commentators have come to see this. The very liberal Daily Beast ran an article analyzing the alleged wage gap, and came to the conclusion that the major reason behind any gap is based not in gender discrimination, but in the career choices made by men, and women. In short, men often choose the most remunerative majors in college, such as engineering, while women often choose some of the least remunerative majors, such as counseling psychology, and education. These choices lead to very different careers, in terms of wages, but the left doesn’t want to delve into such details because it would hurt their agenda. Read the full article to get a better understanding of the entire concept.
To combat this alleged wage gap (based on a notion that has been shown to be invalid), the Democrats proposed a paycheck fairness act, which would amend sections of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. The contention was that these amendments were necessary to combat wage inequity. Now, if you listened to what Obama had to say on Tuesday (without any further analysis), you would believe that the Republicans were monsters, denying basic fairness to women. But let’s—GASP!—take a look at the other side.
One of the proposed amendments would eliminate a cap on punitive damages against businesses found guilty of gender-based discrimination. Republicans saw that as incentive for trial lawyers to game the system, and use unfair lawsuits to line their pockets. These lawyers could rake in massive amounts of money off the backs of women. Additionally, Republicans balked at the bill because the Democrats wouldn’t even consider any amendments to it.
According to The Hill:
“Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) was one of several senators who wanted to offer amendments. His would have allowed private sector workers to use comp time as flexible credit hours during the workweek rather than just being paid overtime.”
Senator Angus King (an independent), brilliantly, and directly summed up the argument against the bill, saying:
“The way to narrow the wage gap between men and women includes facilitating more family-friendly workplaces, which will allow women to stay in the workforce if they choose to have children; encouraging more girls and young women to pursue higher-paying professions, like science, engineering, law, and medicine; and improving the earning potential for low-wage workers, who are disproportionately women.“
There was a clear line of reasoning behind the Republican opposition to the bill, but once again, if you simply listened to Obama, and his media parrots, you would have no idea why the Republicans voted “No.”
Unfortunately, a large portion of the voting public doesn’t care to understand the side of the argument that the media fails to report. They don’t care about analyzing the details to come to a reasoned conclusion; they simply want to feel angry, and righteous. In their eyes, the Republicans are awful human beings because, as Obama put it, they “…said no to fair pay.”
Ignorance is ruling this country. The Hobby Lobby case, as well as Obama’s remarks, have just reminded me how little we Americans care about the truth.