- 20 November 2004 by Author 0 Comments
By Richard Larsen,
Published, Idaho State Journal – 11/15/04
With all the discussion surrounding the recent election, some points beg to be clarified. Most pundits are intrigued at the outpouring of support by Evangelical Christians for President George W. Bush crediting the religious movement with the President’s re-election. Michael Moore, the defacto spokesman for the left wing of the Democratic Party has a map on his website that shows the “blue” states seceding from the union and being annexed by Canada, and the “red” states titled “Jesusland.” Such allegations are tantamount to a charge of hijacking this election by a bunch of zealots!
I would submit, however, that the pundits have the “values” issue all wrong. It’s not all us right-wing religious wackos who turned out to vote for Bush. Rather, it was the good, decent people of this country choosing a man of perceived integrity and a values based belief system, over a pompous, grandiloquent Senator who has no core belief system and an ineffectual 20 year career in the Senate to prove it.
In spite of his inadequacies and shortcomings, President Bush appears, and from all first-hand accounts, is genuine. He’s not flashy. He hasn’t the language skills for that. He shows genuine emotion when he speaks affectionately of his wife and family. He manifests equal genuineness as he shows emotion for our servicemen and women. When he says something, it appears to be his thoughts and feelings, not something canned by some sample group somewhere. In other words, his expressions come from his core beliefs, and not from the “wetted finger in the wind” approach to policy making.
Prior to the election, 67% of the voting public indicated that they would prefer to have a drink with President Bush rather than John Kerry. The so-called likeability factor is closely linked with the perception that he’s the real thing. Not a talking tree like Al Gore, nor a windup talking doll like John Kerry.
While talking about the majority of us in the “red” states, allow me a few more observations. First, regarding the issue of same-sex marriage: just because we are opposed to it, doesn’t mean that we’re homophobes or engaging in gay bashing. We just happen to believe that since a traditional marriage, as defined by the dictionary as well as our society, can fulfill all the functions of an adult relationship rather than just some of them, that marriage is just fine being defined as it is. It doesn’t need to change for a few activists. And if it is changed, it should come from the voice of the people, not from activist judges who impose their agendas from the bench.
I have a Chevy Tahoe that I wish was a Hummer. No matter how many times or how many ways I call it a Hummer, it will never be one. It’s still just a Tahoe. Just changing the definition doesn’t make a homosexual relationship a marriage. There are ample rights allowed under current law. There are no hospitals that won’t allow family visits from homosexual partners; no state that wouldn’t recognize a will bequeathing property to a homosexual partner, etc.
If there are inadequacies under the current system, rectify them by other legal or legislative means. Work with the system, don’t try to redefine the very foundation of our culture and society. We on the right are not the ones forcing this onto society. It’s activist judges and about 2% of the population that is trying to cram this down society’s collective throat. Not only does it hurt, but it ticks us off! Don’t try to force this on us, and we’ll be happy enough with you living like you want to. We really are a tolerant group for the most part when we’re not being forced to abandon our mores.
Most of us in the “red” states took umbrage at the English newspaper The Guardian’s headline from November 3: “How can 53 million people be so stupid!” Just because we hold to old-fashioned values of sincerity, genuineness, and integrity doesn’t mean we’re stupid. According to election data, 52% of college graduates who voted , voted for Bush on November 2. Granted, a disproportionate percentage of those with post-graduate degrees voted for Kerry. Proof positive that being educated doesn’t ensure that one is smart. Just don’t fall into the trap of mischaracterizing us as illiterate hicks. Our positions are just as thoughtfully deduced as those on the left. They just happen to be different. It doesn’t mean that we are “unenlightened” or unlearned.
This campaign was particularly vicious. The acrid and vitriolic attacks, particularly from the left were very disturbing. When appellations like “Nazi”, “Hitler-like”, and “liar” are leveled against a decent man it should make all of us cringe, especially when they are directed toward our President. Not only do the references not apply but they show the ignorance of those utilizing them. If such references are being used relative to the Patriot Act (as they typically are), it should be noted that the Act passed the Senate 98 to 1, with one abstention. I guess that makes even John Kerry a Nazi and Hitleresque since he voted in the majority. In the future, lets see if we can hold down the dehumanization and name calling, and focus a little more on the issues, shall we?
It’s obvious that the Patriot Act needs a little fine tuning. There are a couple of points that may need to be scaled back a little. But for as lengthy and comprehensive a document as it is, I’d say the President and the Congress did a pretty good job of trying to protect us better with that legislation. It seems to me that the only ones who really have to worry about the implementation of the Act are either terrorists plotting against our country, or those who have something else to hide. That’s an interesting thought.
I found the left’s reaction to the Swift Boat Vets very telling. For being such advocates for freedom of speech, they surely did all they could to silence those vets. Why is it that freedom of speech can only be exercised if it coincides with a certain agenda? The left is so fond of referring to us on the right as intolerant because we believe in traditional American Judeo-Christian values, while their intolerance for our free speech thunders with reproach and vilification unbefitting their elitist perspective. Latest word is that John Kerry is still considering suing the Swift Boat Vets for their efforts to uncover the reasons why Kerry was unfit for command as Commander In Chief.
These are perilous times. Challenges abound for our national leadership for the next four years. It’s time to cast aside the stereotypes and misrepresentations of the past, and unite in an effort to provide guidance to those who must find the solutions. President Bush loves this country, and would not do anything intentionally to harm it or us. If the founding fathers, with their divergent views on governance, could find unanimity in drafting the constitution, we can achieve the same in resolving our differences for the betterment of our country. Let’s exercise a little faith, shall we?