At Smart Girl Politics Action’s fourth annual Smart Girl Summit Friday, Hicks, spoke on a “War on Women” panel about the disconnect between women and politics.
Hicks sought to dissolve the widely-held notion that conservatives are at a disadvantage with women because women are likely to lean Democratic.
“I think we need to recognize that women do not love to be labeled. They don’t want to be labeled conservative or liberal, Republican or Democrat,” Hicks said in a one-on-one interview with Red Alert Politics. “They really like idea that being independent or being moderate they think that’s a higher compliment to themselves, they don’t like labels.”
Thus, Hicks says, conservatives would have an easier time recruiting women to the movement by dropping the left-right paradigm when discussing the issues and “just straight talk to women about the issues they care about and what are the solutions that we have that might make sense to them.”
Likewise, she said she thought if women were better educated on the issues they would be more likely to move away from so-called “centrist” or “moderate” positions.
“They seem to think it sounds better to identify themselves a centrist or something, but honestly I think a lot of the time it’s because people haven’t done enough research so that they actually have an opinion one way or the other,” she posited. ”And if they had the time or the patience or the interest to really look at an issue they would discover, ‘maybe I’m a really pro-business person. I really think free enterprise is the way.’ ”
Hicks who has four college age children said the economy is one such issue that all people – and young people in particular – are concerned about. The main issues on young adult’s minds are “How can I get a job? Where will I live? Will I be able to afford to live in the city I want to live in? Will I have to settle for going someplace I wasn’t planning because I couldn’t get a job where I wanted to go? Will I be able to afford to get my own apartment or will I be stuck living with roommates?” she said. ”These are the things people care about, the day to day things.”
Hicks said she doesn’t blame young people for being concerned about the future and whether the same opportunities will be available to them as past generations.
“They’re fearful of my generation, who is going to leave them dry and in the wrong direction, ” she said. “I do think that we need to be responsible, my generation of politicians who are in power now. They have to be responsible to leave opportunity open for young people.”
Francesca Chambers contributed to this report.