"There is always a philosophy for lack of courage."—Albert Camus

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Two Americas, All Right

James Bone of the Times of London notes that the "gay poll was the key" in Bush's win in Ohio:

"The crucial factor, it emerged, was the referendum on gay marriage which was going on at the same time as the Presidential election, the Senate race, and votes on numerous other issues," Bone writes here.

Mr. Bone states, "Christian conservatives turned out in their tens of thousands to back a ban on gay marriage in the state of Ohio, and it was this, coupled with Mr Bush's strong showing in rural areas, that gave him an apparently invincible lead in the crucial Midwestern state."

It is clear, in fact, that such referenda were an important factor in the Bush victory nationwide. Many polls (for whatever they may be worth) show that a plurality of voters yesterday stated that the most important issue for them was gay marriage, and President Bush won among these voters by about four to one. There were votes on the issue in several of the swing states, and turnout among evangelical Christians was much higher than in the past few elections.

That was the deciding factor in the presidential election, right there, and rather unexpectedly for most of the press, judging by the relative paucity of media attention to the gay-marriage issue in the days before the balloting, with Iraq and the economy of course as the main areas of discussion.

Look at the map of red and blue states indicating support for the Republican or Democrat candidate, respectively. There are indeed two Americas. One believes strongly in one set of values, the other just as firmly adheres to a quite contrary view of the world.

The Republicans have their side staked out and seem fairly comfortable with it, despite some internal divisions—but the Democrats seem increasingly uncomfortable with theirs. African-Americans, suburban mothers, and union members, for example, do not share most of the values of the farther-Left side of their party. The three former groups adhere to the Democrat Party mainly for its traditional championing of the underdog, and they are by no means in it for a radical transformation of the American mind and society.

That tension seems likely to remain until these persons either leave the party or take it over.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"The crucial factor, it emerged, was the referendum on gay marriage which was going on at the same time as the Presidential election"

It seems all the GOP needs is a referendum concerning the liberty and equality of gay people every four years, and the good decent folks will vote for the GOP's candidate no matter what.