Political Consultant Nachama Soloveichik, Vice President of ColdSpark Media, sat down with JW Magazine to discuss her conservative identity, why she votes, and why it's important for others to do so as well. Part of our #VoteLikeAGirl series, the following is an edited version of our conversation.
Q: Why do you vote like a girl, which is to say, why are you a woman who votes?
A: I would say I vote like a human being. I think the only way for anyone who cares to change what’s happening is through the political process. This is a democracy, thankfully, and so the best way to do that is to vote for the people that you think best fit your vision for the country, the state, the town or the city you live in.
It’s not just big issues like what’s happening in Iraq or Iran or Afghanistan. Almost every little thing that happens in our daily life is determined by public policy. So if you go to the grocery store and there’s a higher sales tax or there’s a tax on the bags that you get, those things are determined by the people we elect. So if you are happy about those policies, then you should keep voting for those people, and if you’re not happy, you should change who you vote for.
Q: We hear that young people aren’t voting or they say they’ll come out and vote and then they don’t. Why are young people choosing not to vote?
A: I remember when I first started working and I got my first paycheck and I said, “Oh my God, where did all my money go?” And so, I think the more you get out into the world and the more you work and the more you see how public policy affects your daily life, the more invested you’ll be and the more you’ll care. I can see how younger people would be more focused on the here and now and not about what’s going to happen 10 or 20 years down the line.
It’s also possible that some people are turned off by the political world. Politics is very different from policy. I work in politics. I happen to enjoy it, but some people are turned off by the constant back and forth, the constant attacks, the negative ads. This is the system we live in. So if you care about the policies that come out of the political elections, then the only way to do anything about them is to vote.
Q: Are there issues that you’re worried about in this election, that you think young women in particular should be concerned about?
A: Most people assume that young women are Democrats and that they care about Democratic issues. I can’t speak for young women at large. I can only speak for myself. The issues that I care about are security-related. Those have been dominating the news cycle. I also care about the size of government and how it affects our economy and economic growth. At the presidential level I think those are the two biggest issues, but the beautiful thing about a democracy is that everyone gets to vote on the issues they care about. So if you’re really gung-ho about global warming or what your post office is named, that can be the issue that gets you off the couch to pick a candidate. The most important thing is to find out what the people you’re voting for actually stand for, to do the research so you can make an educated decision.
Q: So you are a conservative, which is somewhat atypical of women, especially unmarried women. Why do you vote and identify as a conservative?
A: I would say first of all, I’m a conservative before I’m a Republican. I view those as two separate things. Ideology and party structure are not always the same. I’ve always been a conservative. I don’t have a lot of faith in large, oversized government. I believe in the power of free markets. I believe the best way to create economic growth, to grow the economy and to create jobs is through a less heavy-handed government. This encourages the free market and puts our faith in the power of people and people’s natural entrepreneurial skills and creativity. I think Americans are awesome. We have an amazing ability to produce and to create and to come up with new ideas and to employ our fellow Americans, but sometimes government gets in the way.
I would also say that on national security issues, some conservatives tend to take a more “hawkish” view, especially today with everything that’s going on in the world. I would definitely put myself in that camp. You know, not to be too obnoxious, I think the other side tends to be a little bit naïve about our enemies. I have less trust in bad people to do the right thing. I think the most important thing the federal government can be doing is to make sure that we are safe and secure.
Q: Does your identity as a Jewish woman factor into your interest in voting or your political views?
A: I don’t actually think so. I like to think of myself as an individual. I don’t like people putting me in boxes, and I don’t want to put other people in boxes either. There are obviously some issues I think I care about a little bit more because of my Jewish background, Israel being the primary one. Typical “woman issues” tend to be family-related things, abortion, things that pertain uniquely to women. I happen to be pro-life, so I guess that puts me on the other side of that issue. I don’t have family yet, but I think that both men and women should care about family issues. I don’t view those as uniquely women’s issues.
Everyone should decide on the issues that they most care about. Every single person is going to be unique. How you vote is going to be a compilation of whether you’re a woman or a man and whatever race or religion you are; of how you grew up, how you live now, what job you have, what you care about, what you want to be 10 years down the line and what’s happening in the world. As long as you do the research and figure out what you care about and who best represents it, that’s the great thing about democracy.