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View Diary: Ralph's Gift (380 comments)

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  •  Teasing The Issues Apart (none)
    I think there are two distinct issues here that need to be approached and addressed in very different ways. The first is secular centrists who are uncomfortable with the implied mixture of Church and State, as Tom discusses.

    The other is a direct engagement of socially conservative Christian voters, who broke against us this time, on their own terms in a discussion of the broader implications of Republican rule. We failed on this front in 2004 and we would do well to learn from that mistake rather than focus more animosity on religious Americans. That way lies madness... well, that and continued Republican victories.

    Let me give you an example. My wife's mother and brother live in a West Virginia trailer that is about two steps up from a tar paper shack. She's a Christian and she voted for Bush despite her admission that she could have really used a tax refund, herself, and worries that her son will be drafted and sent to the middle east. Why? "Values." The mantra "it's the economy, stupid" fails to engage voters like this, voters who feel that they have a higher power to answer to. That said, they could very well respond to economic issues that are framed in terms of moral values, using the appropriate language.

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