November 04, 2004
Losers' First Reaction: Bigotry
Bitterness and vitrol from the Left became bigotry toward Christians. I'd like to think that such mean-spiritedness rests solely with pundits and webloggers. Unfortunately, I saw an ugly side to my Kerry-supporting co-workers today. One person declared "crazy people" were the ones who supported the state referendums defining marriage as between a man and a woman. Two others joked that Bush voters had to pray in the voting booth before making their pick. All these people don't understand the role of faith in many people's lives. Red staters have found a way to allow both reason and religion to co-exist.
Garry Wills derides Red Staters as those who believe more in the Virgin Birth than Darwinian evolution. He thinks they have abandoned the Enlightenment. He tries to make it appear the rubes that voted for Bush believe the world is flat and the earth is the center of the universe.
What does he base this on? An exit poll where 22% of respondents said "moral values" were the number one concern on their minds. For Wills and the Left that means gay marriage. However, that term is very nebulous. Truthfulness and integrity are also moral issues and they were part of the messages of both campaigns. Kerry Edwards relentlessly accused President Bush of misleading the nation into war. The two Johns also pounded on the administration for favoring the rich over everyone else. The anti-Bush 527s used plenty of moral imagry. They didn't think the President was wrong on Iraq and other issues. Rather, he was evil. The President in turn used his character as an advantage. Bush blasted Kerry on his flip-flops and vacillations. Bush questioned Kerry's integrity. Did Bush's faith and moral appearance play to his base? No question. Is that what decided the election? We don't know yet. Michael Van Winkle concurs: "we don't know what 'values' means [to] those few respondents." [That means I'm not leaping to Joe Carter's conclusion that this election was a "wake-up call" to the rest of America that isn't evangelical.]
Mark Hasty has some good thoughts on how the Democrats can win over "Red America." I want to add another. Demeaning and belittling those who voted another way from you will not make them as open to you in the next election. It's stupid to insult those you're trying to persuade. It also doesn't follow the fine example John Kerry set in his concession speech:
We are required now to work together for the good of our country. In the days ahead, we must find common cause. We must join in common effort without remorse or recrimination, without anger or rancor. America is in need of unity and longing for a larger measure of compassion.
I admit I've been gloating, but I've kept it to my Bush-backing friends. It's not that I'm better than anyone else. I just know I wouldn't want that done toward me if the tables were turned. My guide I fail often is the Golden Rule. Nashing of teeth is all right. Just realize we're all still Americans and (baring any succession) are stuck with each other.
"The Liberal Elites Really do Hate the Rest of Us"