Those 'Moral Values' Voters The Left Coaster
There will be many studies in the coming weeks and months about the flood of voters who were led from the pews to the polls by their pastors and the White House to vote for George W. Bush over John Kerry because of âmoral values.â We will also see analyses and op-ed pieces that discuss to what degree the Democratic Party should embrace faith, religion, and the concerns of these moral values voters in its ideology in the coming elections in order to stay a viable opposition party.
As Josh Marshall argues, what the White House has done is turned our government into a parliamentary state, where the party in power controls all the organs of government through tight discipline and a major media machine, and all the Democrats are left with is to form an opposition party led for a while by a capable DNC leader, and in my mind, an opposition Cabinet that can articulate policy alternatives to what will be ordered from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in the weeks ahead.But aside from the governmental mechanics that currently favor Bush and how the Democrats should respond to this landscape, I think it is critical for Democrats to come to understand the typical moral values voter(s) that came from the pews to the polls to bury John Kerry by over 3 million voters. I say this because Democrats need to understand their alleged problem before they decide how to deal with it.
One great way to understand the mindset and values of these voters is to read the excellent piece in todays Washington Post by David Finkel entitled in a Stepfordlike way Its a Victory For People Like Us. Finkel does a profile on a couple from Ohio, Cary and Tara Leslie, who have three small children and probably more on the way. Cary has already suffered economic hardship during Bushs first term, to the point that he now has a second job delivering pizzas on the weekend while his wife stays at home full time taking care of the kids and home schooling the oldest one, a five year old. They dont hold Bush responsible for anything, and believe that they are responsible for themselves, not the government. They believe in a life of moral absolutes, and think that it is enough to know that Bush prays every day. And of course they get their news from Fox and talk radio.