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Friday, December 17, 2004

Was the election really about sex?

Okay, We Lost Ohio. The Question Is, Why? (washingtonpost.com)

Several news stories following the election suggested that it was the "moral" component, i.e., America's obsession with sex and sexual orientation -- violence and war seem never to approach the radar screens of the "moralists," -- that cost Kerry the election. The reports of the overwhelming success of anti-gay marriage amendments seemed at first blush (pun intended) to validate this position.

Recently, though, pollsters have begun to discover that terrorism was an issue of far greater significance for voters, and, I suspect, it was Kerry's inability to divorce himself from Bush on this issue or failure to define a better strategy that cost him the election. Rosenthal's analysis of the Ohio voter patterns bears this out. The Bush strategy of keeping us afraid was a very effective one.

Let's hope that legislators will not act on the wrong signals when making new legislation. The fact is that Americans may not be as concerned about "moral" issues as they might have thought. What we really need is a debate on what constitutes morality. Many people I have listened to seem to mean only sex and taxes (!!??) of all things. It's time to broaden the perspective to include a discussion of bombing.
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