Molly Worthen in Slate does a workmanlike job of setting forth a point that isn't really new but is rarely so well documented: women are natural conservatives. Well: if not "women," per se, then (quoting Worthen) "flinty working women," as exemplified here by Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin, with a lineage that goes straight back to Phyllis Schlafly (who, I am somewhat surprised to learn, is still mixing it up). All of which supports an intuition I've tried to articulate for a long time: women live in a world of maintenance, where there is a premium on continuity and order, and little or no enthusiasm for discontinuous risk. It is men, after all, who ride the rails or spend two years before the mast or make war on Lesser Breeds before the law . I think Worthen is also talking about married women, who do, after all work, and may, perhaps, qualify as "flinty." At any rate that seems to me part of the point: women end up holding it all together, including that lunkhead of a husband (think Marcus Bachmann, think Todd Palin)--or is it the point that we are all lunkheads?
Like I say, I can hear a coherent story here. Look,we work hard,we hold it all together, our lives have meaning. It's in many ways an appealing story, with one glaring reservation. That is: the whole enterprise seems to me to be driven by a head of anger as strong and forceful as a steam boiler. I can't believe it is all the fault of the (alleged) crime of Obamacare, and apparently it cannot be ascribed to the lunkhead husband. So where, exactly, does all that anger come from?
Update: Have been advised I use the word "lunkhead" too often. Okay, Doofus. And, Scrooge, it may not be what Orwell meant, but it's what I mean.