12/27/2013 04:43 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

The Talking Cure for Republicans


Republicans are hoping their resolutions for a 2014 new year will set up a happier 2016. To accomplish this they are making big "old boy" changes. The GOP has accepted they have a woman problem.

They unleashed a training agenda to help their members learn how to talk to women. On the surface this is sounding as though the Republican Party has joined some new age "Kumbaya" movement. This could be positively transformational.

Let us, for argument sake, accept that words create reality and what one speaks about, colored by their choice of words, directly reflects on their inner sensitivities. It becomes logical then to assume that one's behavior is very likely to correspond to their thinking and feeling. This is a "think, feel, act" therapy paradigm of cognitive human psychology. If one desired to bring about personal transformation because of dysfunctional behavior they would begin by altering how they think, which would be a change in the words they spoke to reflect on changing feelings and reality, ultimately causing a change for the better in behavior.

My guess is that most of us would agree that actions are more dangerous, hurtful and problematic for society than are words or feelings. This is why laws target protecting society against overt behaviors labeled illegal. Which is also why women are turning away from the GOP.

It's not just because of what they hear, but also due to a real fear of GOP behavior in the form of legislation that wages war on them. Given the facts that Republicans have a serious problem attracting the trust and votes of women lately, it is understandable that the GOP's "talking cure therapy" for its members on how to talk to women makes sense to them. It does not necessarily reflect a real investment into the "think, feel, act" paradigm. The GOP is hoping that if they just sound different, women voters will once again tilt their way, and improve the GOP electoral map.

But is the GOP's "talking cure" simply a sound bite ploy lacking substance to support the therapeutic goal of changing real behavior? Can the rightwing religious conservative Tea Party-backed candidates intrinsically adopt new language and change their legislative behavior away from the war on women and give the "talking cure" honest time to effectively transform the GOP psyche? If a "woman's intuition" exists then the GOP's "talking cure" will be seen as the political ruse that it is. Women know how hard it is to change men's behavior and that words do not speak louder than actions.