Warren G. Harding Wednesday: Was women’s suffrage really such a great idea?

1920 Voting Ribbon

True story:  Warren G. Harding was the first US President elected after the 19th Amendment gave women the right to vote.  He was elected on November 2, 1920, just 76 days after the amendment received the final state ratification required for enactment on August 18.

Don’t get me wrong, I think women’s suffrage is a swell idea.  I myself have exercised this right in every Presidential election since I’ve been of age.  But I have to wonder what the earlier members of my gender were thinking.  I mean, generations of women had to work and fight for over 70 years for this basic right, and once they finally get it, they elect…Warren G. Harding?  Really, ladies?  This is how you want to demonstrate to your country and the world that you should be trusted with the responsibility of helping to choose our nation’s leaders?  Really?

I do sometimes like to joke, facetiously of course, that Warren G. Harding’s election is proof that women should not have been given the right to vote.  However, women in 1920 didn’t vote all that differently than men, so even if the 19th Amendment wasn’t ratified in time for this election, our country’s men would have made the same bad decision without the assistance of the fairer sex.  Warren G. Harding won by a significant margin, and as you can see by the electoral map, candidate selection was decidedly regional.  Democrat James M. Cox won most of the South, and Republican Warren G. Harding took everything else.

Interestingly enough, Warren G. Harding was a sitting US Senator when the 19th Amendment some up for a vote in Congress, meaning he had an opportunity to weigh in on its passage…but he was not present, and did not cast a vote.  Even so, he was known to be moderately in favor of granting women the right to vote.

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