Calvin Coolidge on the Women Vote

Coolidge’s daily column “Calvin Coolidge Says” on Oct. 13 1930 commemorated the “tencennial” of woman suffrage. As has been reported in an earlier post, Coolidge had long been a supporter of votes for women, not least because he held the view that women were apt to vote sensibly and conservatively, a view reiterated in the column. No doubt Coolidge would be thrown for a loop by the feminist movement of later decades – and feminists would likely bristle at what might be construed as his reduction of women’s roles to those of mother and homemaker.

We have just completed the first decade of national woman suffrage. Generally it has revealed that while women are not eager for public office they administer it successfully. Not all the claims made about the value they would add to political life have been substantiated. Party alignments have been little changed. If a purification of politics has not yet been perceptible, probably public life was already reasonably clean.

But women voters have had a very considerable influence on party platforms and governmental policy, especially on the humane and social welfare sides. Education is better served. Ten years are too short for final results. The women are particularly effective on the conservative side of affairs. They are still the homemakers. They look to the future. They think of conditions not only for themselves but for their posterity.

The great benefit of their vote will be in bringing to the aid of the State that spiritual support which they have so long given to the Church. They are devoted, steadfast, sensible. They will not follow radical proposals, but will be influenced by moral values. Nothing can be safer for the commonwealth than the informed judgment of the mothers of the land.