Towards A Good Samaritan World

Thursday, November 04, 2004

THE "VALUES" SPIN (I'M NOT CONVINCED)

I think I detect the beginnings of the face-saving spin on this election, generously supplied to the Democrats by the MSM: it's just a reaction against gay marriage.

Maybe.

But I don't think the evidence is convincing. Here's a blog post from BoiFromTroy exploring what are "moral values?" (Hat tip: Glenn.)

The media has decided that George Bush was elected because, despite 20% of the electorate--ignorant flyover folks to be sure--decided to ignore the funerial economy and the terrible war in Iraq and how George Bush let the terrorists attack us, then flew Osama's family out of the country, and how he sat around reading 'My Pet Goat', and decided to vote on "Moral Values".

I believe this was a predetermined result that is being taken out of context. As I mentioned before, questions of "moral values" were not included in previous exit surveys...so there is a reason it was included...perhaps because the media had already written the storyline that if George Bush wins they would blame it on ignoramus evangelicals?


I've suggested to colleagues that "when people say moral values, they mean you should stand on your own two feet and not rely on government handouts." They chuckle and say no, people just hate homos. But is there really evidence for this?

It's true that gay marriage was on the ballot in a lot of states, and was rejected. The claim is that Karl Rove put it on the ballot to attract evangelicals to the polls to oppose it. But 1) a lot more people voted against gay marriage than just evangelicals (I know this because more people voted against it than are evangelicals; but I'd also be interested to see if some evangelicals voting against the marriage amendments), 2) do we really know that the gay marriage amendments increased turnout? I would think voting for the president was an important draw; 3) I'll bet a lot of people split their tickets, voting against gay marriage but for Kerry, 4) Kerry was against gay marriage, so it doesn't make sense to punish him just because gay marriage is on your mind.

There was a far more important "moral values" issue in this election: how strongly are you against totalitarianism? Bush was clearly against it. Kerry would have left Saddam in power. That sounds pretty immoral to me. Kerry "stole the honor" of many of his fellow veterans, too, calling them-- and himself!-- war criminals. Isn't that a "moral values" issue?

I wrote in an earlier post that

The problem is not that Kerry flip-flops. Flip-flopping can be good. Clinton's post-1994 flip-flop was the making of his presidency. But Kerry flip-flops on issues of conscience. Or rather, on what are issues of conscience to other people. I'm waiting for evidence that the word "conscience" can be applied to Senator Kerry.


So I was hot under the skin with Kerry a couple weeks ago on the basis of "conscience." And it had nothing to do with gay marriage.

1 Comments:

  • I agree with your doubts. For one thing, I voted for Bush and against the GA gay-marriage ban. (A nasty bit of work. For one thing, it's a long proposal with several clauses, but the question listed on the ballot was very simple - and misleading.) I know several other people who did too.

    For another, I can't help but think a lot of people did some very complicated thinking on this election. If a person truly believes that the attack on Iraq is unjustified, then of course they are going to vote against Bush on moral grounds. Considering that I'm pretty much a raving pacifist, it was a hard blow for me to look at our history since 1991 and conclude that Bush was taking the best of a lot of poor options by pressing the Iraqi war - but that was my eventual conclusion.

    I suspect that having the marriage question on the ballot split this issue from the presidential election in those 11 states. It became possible to vote directly on the issue rather than try to address it through one's choice of a candidate. To that extent, it may have helped Kerry in some states rather than hurting him.

    My guess is that within five years we'll have some sort of civil marriage option for same-sex couples. The visibility of same-sex couples with children has changed people's perception of the issue in GA.

    By Blogger MaxedOutMama, at 6:29 PM  

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