Remember when “The View” hosts lambasted Donald Trump, just two months ago, for making comments about Carly Fiorina’s appearance in Rolling Stone magazine?

I do. They were right to stand up for Carly.

So what happened last Thursday, when “The View’s” hosts – Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, Michelle Collins, Paula Faris and Raven-Symone – went even further than Trump, saying Carly’s smile "looked demented" during the last Republican presidential debate? Co-host Joy Behar stooped so low as to say she wished "it was a Halloween mask. I’d love that."  

Their hypocrisy is astounding. The episode could have been a clip from “Mean Girls.” But instead of a high school cafeteria, the setting was a live, nationally televised panel discussion on ABC.

If women can’t civilly disagree on issues and, instead, descend to schoolyard name-calling, if they can’t show simple respect to other women, how can we expect men to do the same?

If women can’t civilly disagree on issues and, instead, descend to schoolyard name-calling, if they can’t show simple respect to other women, how can we expect men to do the same?

 

How does Carly Fiorina respond? She declares she’ll sits down with them anyway. This is why she has staying power as a presidential candidate.  She has courage and class.

Carly is slated to appear on “The View” this Friday to face the five co-hosts in person. She called them out over the weekend on "Fox News Sunday" telling host Chris Wallace, “Conservative women from Sarah Palin to Michele Bachmann to Carly Fiorina are long used to this. It will not stop me. It will not scare me. Let’s see if the ladies of ‘The View,’ if I come back on again, have the guts to say that to my face.”

She doesn’t want an apology, she wants an honest discussion of issues on which women take a wide variety of positions.  She wants a meaningful dialogue based on mutual respect.

You would think the women of “The View,” so forthright with their opinions, would be able to muster some respect for the first female CEO of a Fortune 20 company, a breast cancer survivor, a mother who’s lost her daughter to addiction, and a serious candidate for president who has impressively held her own in shoulder-to-shoulder debates with the GOP’s male candidates.  

It would be far more productive if the women of “The View” would discuss Fiorina’s proposals for zero-based budgeting to downsize government, cutting regulations so more companies can hire more people, reducing the tax code to three pages, securing the border first before doing anything else on illegal immigration, or her four-point specific strategy for dealing with ISIS.  Whether they agree or disagree with her, the end result would be informative.

This will only happen if the women of “The View” want to have an edifying discussion when Carly joins the show on Friday.

Can they handle a successful, poised, thoughtful conservative woman who differs with them on key issues?  Or will we just see another spin-off of “Mean Girls”?

My hope is that “The View” audience will get the substantive discussion they deserve.

Penny Young Nance is president and CEO of Concerned Women for America, the nation’s largest women’s public policy organization. She is the author of the forthcoming book "Feisty and Feminine: A Rallying Cry for Conservative Women" (Zondervan 2016).