2004 Election. No one wins.
The exit polls tell an interesting tale. Let's look at the answer to the question, "What is the most important issue in this election?"
So 22% of the American public felt that moral values were more important in choosing a President than economic policy, the war that is daily claiming both Iraqi and American lives, health care, taxes, and education. What is meant by "moral values?" The major issues that fall under this heading are abortion, gay marriage, and separation of Church and State. For clarification, Bush is AGAINST abortion, and AGAINST gay marriage; his views on separation of Church and State are hotly contested. Kerry is FOR abortion, FOR gay marriage (actually he is AGAINST Federal regulation of marriage), and FOR separation of Church and State.
The following table shows how the voters who answered the above question voted.
|Moral Values (22%)||79%||18%|
|Health Care (8%)||22%||78%|
Of the 22% of voters who felt that moral values were most important, 79% voted for Bush. What this DOES NOT mean is that ALL voters think Kerry is amoral, it only means that to people who thought morality was more important than any other issue, most of them choose to vote for Bush.
Moral values were the republican smokescreen. They were a way to get people to vote with there emotional impulses instead of their intelligent thinking. By getting issues such as gay marriage on the ballots of swing states, they were able to get the normally apathetic Evangelical Christians at the ballot office, voting Republican across the board. By using states issues, they were able to influence the Federal election.
Let's look at how much control the Federal government has over these issues. The Federal government has moderate control over abortion. Excepting some laws to ban specific types of abortion, most of the Federal control is from the Supreme Court. The states also have moderate control of this issue. The Federal Government has very little control over gay marriage. Because of the many varied viewpoints in state laws and constitutions, the Federal government would need a constitutional amendment to do anything about this. They would need a two-thirds vote in house and senate to ratify it. I don't think it will happen. Besides, although it goes with the Republican's traditional moral code, it goes against the Republican policies against big government (it would be taking away a power from the states). As for Church and State, the Federal Government is only given as much power as we allow.
Now how about other issues? Economy? Jobs? Education? Health Care? These are issues that the Federal government has SIGNIFICANT control over. And yet, these are not what the American public was thinking about as the dusted the chads away from their ballots. The polls show that those who thought that these were the most important issues voted for Kerry.
Overwhelmingly for Kerry.
The American people were misled. The smokescreen worked. And now what are the consequences? Will Bush look at the poll numbers and say, "Wow, the people have said that they wanted my morals, but Kerry's economy?" No. He will say that the American public, by re-electing him, has MANDATED that he continue with his economic, educational, and health care policies. And this is just not true. Saying a 51% to 48% win is a mandate is just stupid. If anything, it is a call for more moderation, for more research, and for more caution.
President Bush, now that the American people have elected you because of your "morals," please exercise enough morality to listen to the people, and do what they say.