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The Conservative Network: New York City’s Republican Women Speak Out

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New York City is still dissecting the results of the recent presidential election here in America. Statistics show that 42% of women voted for Donald Trump. And while many assume that they come from middle America, a network of Conservative women has always existed here too. Elizabeth Baker went to meet them.

Baker 1: New York City traditionally runs blue. And this election was no exception, with 87.2% of New Yorkers voting for Hillary Clinton. But even on NYU’s campus, a group of college Conservatives gathered to welcome their guest speaker for the evening. [13.06]

London 1: I am so astonished that there are so many Republicans at NYU. I mean when I was at NYU and tried to organize a Republican club…. fade out at 9.10] [full clip: 13.99]

Baker 2: About thirty students came out to hear Dr. Herbert London, a Conservative activist and academic, speak. But perhaps what’s most astonishing is that half of the students present were, in fact, women. [10.43]

NYU Student 1: I’ve noticed in a lot of my seminars there’s an effort by the professors to, play peacemakers, or appease [fade out at 6.94]

Baker 3: This student expressed her concerns about the sense of conformity and lack of open dialogue in her college classes. To her – [6.60]

NYU Student 2: People automatically assume you’re not a compassionate person! [4:16] [Full NYU Student clip: 18.05]

Baker 4: Conservative women in New York City are generally thought of as an anomaly. But groups such as the Woman’s National Republican Club have existed in Midtown Manhattan for close to a century – and it’s growing. For young conservative women living in a predominantly liberal city, these types of clubs are generally considered – [15.85]

Choi 1: Safe haven is a commonly used phrase. [3.82]

Baker 5: Meet 33-year-old Allison Lee Pillinger Choi – author of Bleeding Heart Conservatives: Why It Feels Good to be Right, who has served on the board since 2014. But how do Conservative women identify with a party that does not support, or even directly opposes, women’s reproductive rights? Choi explains that for her, it’s a matter of priorities. [19.87]

Choi 2: I think prioritization is one aspect of why a woman would identify as a Republican – the economy and terrorism; those are some really heavy issues that Republican women would probably prioritize. That said, I think it’s inherently sexist for the Left to dwindle down women’s issues to purely sexual matters. [25.14]

Baker 6: Female Conservatives in New York City, according to Choi have created their own Conservative identity, advocating for limited government, meritocracy, and hard work. Yet even some Conservative women are still grappling with the idea of a Trump presidency. Choi, for one, will not disclose whether or not she voted for Trump this past November. [19.05]

Choi 3: Still at this point, people are very emotional, and it doesn’t do anyone any good to know what I did personally. [6.83]

Baker 7: But Choi is a realist, and while expressing her doubts on Trump’s style and messaging, she hopes to see positive change in the next four years. But not all of her friends are as optimistic. [9.36]

Choi 4: I have friends who were never-Trumpers, and they’re… not happy that he was elected. Some of my Republican friends are like, ‘well I guess at least, we’ll get a better supreme court pick than we would have with Clinton,’ and I was like ‘Alright, see, silver lining then.’ [16.94]

Baker 8: But tensions are still high. So while time may not be on the side of these bleeding heart conservatives, Choi still believes that, eventually, open dialogue will improve relations and mutual understanding. For Columbia Radio News, I’m Elizabeth Baker. [13.08]

Elizabeth Baker is a reporter at the Columbia Journalism School. She graduated from Georgetown University with a Bachelor’s Degree in English and Music; you can follow her on Twitter at @ekbaker125


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