Whoever heard of a moral values question on an exit poll? boifromtroy wonders if the question wasn’t planted in order to pre-write an “explanation” for an unthinkable Bush re-election. (Let’s blame the intolerant Christians who hate the gays and want to put them in concentration camps!) I think he’s on to something. I also think the press and the Democrats will be haplessly narrow-minded when they try to “interpret” what exactly what those Bush voters meant by “moral values” or how the question might have been interpreted. Just judging from my own perspective, had I encounted an exit poll asking me if “moral values” was a factor in voting for President Bush, I would not have really thought about gay marriage or abortion (these are not things I spend much time obsessing about, normally, because I know they are not issues that are going to be resolved any time soon – not in this presidency, perhaps not in the next, either) I would not have thought about being forced to view Janet Jackson’s sadly spangled, sagging breast against my will. Remarkably, her breast hasn’t popped into my mind in all these months.
But I might very likely have thought about other moral values, which include being honest about situations and dealing with them in honorable fashion. Being honest that we are in a war is a moral value. Working for the freedom of others and the safety of our nation is a moral value. Having a vision that includes not simply “getting along” with Europe but even saving it from itself, is a moral value. President Bush has those values. He has that vision. Go read his Three Pillars Speech given at Whitehall in November of 2003 (I’ll bet you’ve never heard of it, much less read it) READ it, and then tell me how “eeeevil” and “murderous” Dubya is. The US press barely covered the speech; C-span never, never re-ran it, but it is visionary – and it’s a vision for the whole world – a world where the Middle East is finally freed from the 8th century and brought into the 21st, and into the marketplace of both goods and ideas. It’s a vision that prevents Europe from eventually becoming Eurabia, that prevents Ottawa from falling to Shari’a law, and a vision which is willing to entrust to the Arab world and the followers of Islam the gift of Democracy, which – as Churchill noted – is not the greatest form of government, only the best we have.
A question of moral values resonates with me on many, many levels, and I’m sure it does so with others. I can understand why the press and the left “need” to “explain” President Bush’s re-election, and that they “need” to find the most bigoted explanation they can, but they are making a grave, grave error if they try to equate nearly 60 million votes to the preferences of uneducated rubes. And it is an error that will sink them.
UPDATE: The Backseat Philosopher (love that name) has a really excellent essay and some good advice for the Democrats. Read. Enjoy. I hope the Democrats heed it.