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View Diary: Why the "morals vote" didn't cost us the election. (281 comments)

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  •  Sorry. (none)
    My intent was to propose capturing the agenda, if not the terminology.

    Can't think of a good way to fix it, but objection duly noted.

    •  Dan (none)
      My comment isn't really directed at your diary. It's more the issue of the whole "moral values" discussion that is taking place. While I may be in the minority, I simply do not want this to be a part of the discussion; it infuriates me. How do we "recapture" an issue that does not belong in politics in the first place (since in all honesty what's being discussed when this is talked about are people's "Christian values" - twisted ones at that), and which, secondly, is not what the opposition claims it is? That is, "moral values" are just code words for more intolerance and hate.

      Hostage smiles on presidents, freedom scribbled in the subway. It's like night and day. - Joni Mitchell

      by jazzlover on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 09:17:50 AM PST

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      •  I think you're exactly right (4.00)
        about this stuff being codewords.  One thing we haven't touched on in our discussions is how the Religious Right actually privatizes faith/morals as a way of preserving white middle class privilege.  The distribution of wealth in this country is absolutely immoral, but because the discussion of "morality" is led by white evangelical pastors to the exclusion of anyone else, we can't really talk about that issue.

        This is why it's so important for liberals of faith to stand up and not be steamrolled any longer.  Morality should be more than just hate and bigotry, and the place to start that conversation is with us liberal Christians saying to Jerry Falwell and Gary Bauer:  fuck you, you don't speak for all Christians.

        •  With all due respect (none)
          to the faithful (of which I'm no longer one), it seems fairly obvious to me that faith comes to the forefront only when people have no other alternative.

          Social scientists sometimes phrase it as "why man created God", but I'm not that uncharitable. However, religions exists to explain things that science and secularism will never explain - why are we here? what happens when I die? and all of the spiritual (ontological and teleological) questions that simply cannot be answered or really even studied through any other process.

          That said, I doubt that anyone eating a bowl of Cheerios prays with each spoonful that God will protect him and keep him from choking. People who don't have Cheerios pray to get some; people who want to lose weight might pray for the ability to resist another bowl of Cheerios; people of faith may thank God for a bowl of Cheerios. Nobody prays for the stuff they've already got covered, like getting a spoon to your mouth and swallowing without choking.

          So it seems to me that the reason people choose to vote based on faith or values is because the political system isn't providing them the other things they require from the political arena - security, jobs, healthcare, hope, whatever. Particularly for the middle class (I refuse to use the label "working class" - for one thing it's insufficient), the Democrats as much as the Republicans have failed to deliver for them.

          I doubt that corporate CEOs voted based on "values" or faith. We shirk from "class warfare" when it's precisely what we need to counter the manipulation of religious values in the political arena. The GOP has substituted moral values for real, substantive action, and we've acquiesced by failing to provide or even advocate alternatives not for morality, but for real, substantive political accomplishment that people really want.

          Virtue cannot separate itself from reality without becoming a principle of evil.

          by badger on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 10:52:43 AM PST

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          •  You're right in the sense that (none)
            both parties have failed a significant chunk of the population.

            The problem I have with class warfare is:  it doesn't work.  See "What's Wrong with Kansas?" by Thomas Frank.  Those who have been failed are often the quickest to vote their values, not their pocketbook.

            •  Precisely (none)
              Those who have been failed are often the quickest to vote their values, not their pocketbook.

              That in a sentence is what I took several paragraphs to get around to, and that's exactly the way I read Frank's book.

              We need to give them something to vote for other than their values. That would seem to mean addressing the issues of the middle class and turning away from the corporatist, DLC agenda the Dems have largely been following for the last 12 years. That's going to look a lot like class warfare.

              Virtue cannot separate itself from reality without becoming a principle of evil.

              by badger on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 11:45:14 AM PST

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    •  Don't Think of an Elephant (4.00)
      If you want to capture the agenda, you need to start by co-opting the terminology.

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