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Trump Is Right About Paid Maternity Leave

• September 13, 2016 10:35 am

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Seriously, folks. For a long time I have thought nothing too bone-headed for the Republicans, the party of the 47 percent who, with one or two exceptions, ran this year on "lower taxes" and "entrepreneurship," slogans not very much beloved of the unemployed or those lucky enough to be enjoying stagnant wages, higher costs of living, and various other boons. (Hint, #GOPBROS: If you want the Facebook billionaire vote, you have to get behind gay marriage too).

The responses to Trump's plan to mandate six weeks of paid maternity leave I saw this morning did nothing to change my mind. When I scan Twitter and see conservative journos and consultants and think-tank types decrying this as "a betrayal" on the part of Trump—and even "socialism"—I can't help asking, "How many of you have wives who work at CVS?"

Please explain to me what the "real" objection to this policy is. Whose welfare are we looking out for here? That of CVS? The poor small business owner—buzzword!—whose operations are either so small that things will go under if a single female employee needs time off to take care of her baby or so large that it will be impossible to find an adequate substitute for two months? My guess is that this is pure ideology utterly divorced from concerns about electoral efficacy, to say nothing of the common good. These are the same people who, with the support of virtually no major constituency, including the one that puts them in office, play footsie with the idea of phasing out entitlement programs.

One of the most consistent criticisms of Trump's campaign from within his party is that he is not serious about policy. Sure. But it's as true of him as it is of many of his critics. Paid maternity leave, a humane and inexpensive provision available to women in virtually every other country with a developed economy that is favored by a majority of Americans, Republican and Democrat, should not be a controversial issue in a political party that calls itself pro-family—unless, of course, you think "Not actually thinking it's okay to chop up babies and sell them" is exhaustive of what it means to be "pro-family."

In which case, see below.

Published under: Donald Trump