Cosmopolitan magazine recently pledged a political marketing campaign. The intention - to evoke women to get involved in the upcoming mid-term elections. Resoundingly, Fox News and conservative pundits felt they had been blacklisted by the "liberal media" political conversation, and ultimately official endorsement. As a democratic voter, I give creed to Republicans grievances, at least on the surface.
Republicans are correct (as of this print) that #CosmoVote has not endorsed a conservative candidate running in the 2014 mid-terms. And yes, it would seem the campaign has sided with the interest of liberal candidates. The magazine has stated the purpose of the campaign is too spearhead issues of importance to women like, the economics of reproductive choices and closing the income gap. Specifically they would "be looking at candidates' positions on abortion rights, and we will endorse politicians who trust women to make their own reproductive choices. We also know that contraception is an economic issue — it's a tool that enables us to pursue our education, succeed in the workplace, and support ourselves and our families, and still enjoy happy, healthy sex lives."
From this statement only, it seems plausible that Cosmopolitan magazine political campaign intention was not to deliberately support liberal candidates only. The intent instead, was to endorse candidates that are qualified to the criteria juxtaposed on polling, feedback, and issues currently addressed by the magazine. Yet this explanation still did not satisfy the conservatives - it cemented the outrage instead. Republicans charge of tyranny was here still. It being clear they disagreed with the magazines criteria of being in support of birth control and a pro-choice agenda. Republicans insisted they were purposely excluded from #COSMOVOTE from the get go.
But maybe, just maybe the lack of conservative representation is that republicans rarely promote pro-choice candidates themselves, much less tie reproductive rights to economic freedom. No different than the Democratic Party excluding the endorsement of pro-life liberal politicians and candidates. So why then, the immediate backlash knowing exactly what they were basing their campaign on?
Fox News and other conservative commentators should have cultivated a better way to respond to what they felt was an insult. The better choice would have been to ask the magazine for a more responsible, bipartisan campaign, instead of becoming unhinged and criticizing Cosmopolitan magazine so quickly. Also, it would have been professional of conservative media to allow the magazine to clarify their stance, or even change the criteria. Instead, conservative commentators choose to charge the magazine for having the "audacity" to talk politics. Well, Cosmopolitan has that right. It's called the first amendment and their Constitutional right to free press.
Please know - my response to the outrage is not to belittle conservative commentator's right to be opinionated on the subject. Like I said, I get the outrage, at least on the surface. I'm not in disagreement of conservatives pondering - why only pro-choice candidates? Questioning the magazines reason of eliminating pro-life candidates is not a conundrum; rather it would have incited a thoughtful debate.
Another wise choice of Republicans would have been to spearhead candidates on the right that are pro-choice and running in the mid-term elections. Candidates like Megan Rath of Pennsylvania and Monica Wehby of Oregon -commenting that their pro-choice stance is due to their limited-government philosophy. Or a conservative could have made the statement of, "Whether you decide to endorse the conservative pro-choice candidates or not, we thought we'd inform you that in fact Republicans care about the needs of women too." This could have been cemented by introducing the four Senate Republicans that support over the counter birth control − Cory Gardner, Thom Tillis, Mike McFadden, and Rob Maness.
Instead you decided to accuse Cosmopolitan magazine of belittling women, and charged them with reducing women to their reproductive parts -a charge that is false. The conservative response of disappointment was harsh, sexist, and rudely dismissed Cosmopolitan role in discussing politics. The most sexist was statement saying Cosmopolitan should stick to reporting on make-up, clothing, and how to make your man happy.
The conservative reaction to #CosmoVote was very unprofessional. Next time, "kill'em" with facts, and allow for an open debate. Just as Cosmopolitan magazine has done in response to the backlash. Remember, it's better to be kind, than to be filled with hate. And by the way, Cosmopolitan is still endorsing candidates. Just saying!