Before it fell apart at the weekend, Mike Pence tweeted a photo of the Freedom Caucus discussing the Republicans’ healthcare bill.
Despite the fact that such a bill would cover things like cover maternity, newborn and pregnancy care, not a single woman was visible in the picture.
A similar thing happened back in January, when Donald Trump signed an action banning US tax dollars from being spent on foreign NGOs which promote or perform abortions.
And yet again there wasn’t a single women in the photo, despite it being something that directly affects women.
Many have pointed to this as an example of Trump’s lack of experience and incompetence. Kellyanne Conway was reportedly in the room with the Freedom Caucus, so why not get her in the shot?
They know they are going to face criticism if there are no women, so why wouldn’t they make the effort even if just for PR purposes?
She thinks they are fully aware of how the photos come across – and they are subtly sending a message with them. Say explains:
Mr. Trump promised he would make America great again, a slogan that included the implicit pledge to return white men to their place of historic supremacy. And that is precisely what these photos show.
She says that these photos are intentionally telling the people who voted for Trump – especially the white male voters – that they are keeping the status quo, and keeping women out.
This… Is a choice, and it also sends a message about the party’s values and to whom it appeals. Republicans bank on a white male voter base that is shrinking demographically, yet they are making no real effort to broaden their appeal, perhaps counting on voter suppression to make it harder for likely Democratic voters to cast their ballots, and simultaneously throwing red meat to the men they need to turn out to carry them to victory.
The Trump team is well aware of this dynamic, which is why it doesn’t spend much time worrying about even putting forward a facade of diversity. The great America it promised has white men at the top, and that’s the image they’re projecting, figuratively and literally. It’s not an error, it’s the game plan.
It’s a scary thought.