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November 12, 2004

Who's Voting on Values?

Charles Krauthammer debunks the "Angry White Christian" theory of the election.

Andrew Stuttaford makes a point that I think needs further exploration:

Amid all the weird, wild wailing in Manhattan, amid the hot air and hysteria in Hollywood, amid all the crazy-lady shrieks of mainstream-media anguish (yes, Maureen, I'm talking about you) and the banshee howling of liberal complaint, Americans heard one overarching theme from the disappointed and distraught left β€” one meme, one fear, one insult that finally spoke its name. Jesusland (that's what they call it now) had won.

The left likes to imagine that the right votes almost exclusively on these irrational culture-war issues.

But read the words of the left. Look at what seems most hateful to them-- not the War in Iraq, hated though that is. Not Bush's stand against increasing the minimum wage. Not partial privatization of Social Security. Not the so-called "jobless recovery."

No-- it's that "Jesusland" won the election.

Recall that Clinton was never popular with the left until he traded DNA with an intern.

Who, precisely, is voting on "values"? Who is animated chiefly by their idiosyncratic (and irrational, or at least not logically proveable) beliefs about what sort of sexual climate is best for us all?

The left is voting on "values," too. In fact, sometimes it seems hard to discern what the hard left is interested in apart from the culture war. They have values they cherish and seek to evangelize to the nation through politics.

Guys-- you can't whine endlessly about gay marriage and The Passion of the Christ and how uptight this bourgeois country of ours is (gee, it's practically 1952 again!) and then sit there and critique your opponents for voting on "values."

You're voting on values too-- or rather for the rubbishing of them.

Some people are voting for Jesus, yes. But can you really deny that many of you aren't voting on your hatred of Jesus-- and your obsessive desire to see the hated religion Christianity once and for all branded an antisocial cult?

I had a funny argument one time. I think liberals make this argument constantly.

A guy was saying we shouldn't have a flag-burning amendment, because "it just doesn't matter either way." There were more important issues, he asserted.

Fine, I said. If it doesn't matter either way, stop opposing it, let us pass it, and then we can deal with these more important issues of which you speak.

No, he said. It's unconstitutional and bad for the country.

I thought it "just didn't matter either way"? I queried.

It doesn't matter, he reasserted. It's a non-issue.

If it's a non-issue, I patiently re-explained, then you ought to be neutral about whether we have a flag-burning amendment or not. Obviously, you have a strong opinion on it, so stop claiming that you "don't care either way." You do care-- passionately. You're using this "who cares?" claim -- a false claim, by the way-- as a way to denigrate your opponents for bothering to care, while refusing to admit that you care just as much as they do.

But I don't care, he told me once again.

Then let it pass, I suggested once again.

No, he said firmly. It's unconstitutional and will bring this country back into the dark ages.

And on. And on. And on. And on.

I don't understand how the left can continue to delude itself that these issues are "irrelevant" and "not even things we should be discussing" when they are clearly, themselves, so animated by these issues.

They have very firm ideas on what "values" this nation ought to embrace. They're just not willing to discuss what those values might be-- at least not publicly.

Hence, the perpetual claim that these issues are beneath them and of little concern to any enlightened person. And yet they're what they vote on, cycle after cycle after cycle.

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posted by Ace at 01:21 PM

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