Political Expediency and Social Change

A recently leaked memo suggested that British Prime Minister David Cameron’s government was not doing well with women voters. As reported in The Economist on Oct. 15, 2011, this finding may account for “a stream of female-friendly policy announcements, including calls for more women on company boards and new guidelines to shield children from online pornography and sexual images in outdoor advertising near schools.”

This may also explain why Cameron is leading where no U.K. government has gone before, proposing that a firstborn daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge “would accede to the throne ahead of any younger brothers.” Changing the rules of royal succession requires Commonwealth approval, so Cameron has written to the 54 members of the Commonwealth of Nations. He calls it an “anomaly that, in an age of gender equality, the monarchy continues to enshrine male superiority.”

One must applaud this royal policy upgrade from the land that brought us the magnificent Elizabeth I and incomparable Victoria.

Across the Pond

Political expediency led to a drastic change in policy in the United States when the Democratic Party committed political suicide in the South by pressing forward with civil-rights legislation, at least in part, because media coverage of church bombings and police attacks on peaceful demonstrators were being widely circulated by world communist leaders as proof that America’s commitment to freedom was a lie.

Political expediency also influenced Ronald Reagan’s decision to kick off his 1980 presidential campaign in Philadelphia, Miss., the site of the 1964 murders of three civil-rights workers featured in “Mississippi Burning,” starring Gene Hackman. The “Southern strategy” was the Republican plan to convert the South from Democratic blue to Republican red, in part by appealing to regional states’ rights history of racism.

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