Sunday, February 20, 2005

Let Them Eat Moral Values!

Immediately following the election, political pundits, particularly those on the left, were scratching their heads trying to figure out why so many Americans voted for Republicans in national and local races, especially when it would be directly detrimental to them economically?

The answer they all came up with is that it all boiled down to the Republicans claiming moral values for the country.

Gay marriage, abortion, God and Country.

In Missouri, where an in-fight raged on between Democrat incumbent Governor Bob Holden and challenger Claire McCaskill in the primary, the Republicans began rubbing their hands together for the coup.

McCaskill won the Democratic primary, and although she prevailed in urban St. Louis and Kansas City during the general election, she failed to connect with rural voters, as did Democrats in most elections in many States.

Democrats failed to ride the theme of social pro-life moral values such as the question of pre-eminent war, giving assistance to the country’s most vulnerable people and raising questions regarding possibly executing innocents in our prisons.

To rural voters’ own economic detriment, they bought into the moral values line and in 100 of 107 counties, voted for Republican Matt Blunt for Governor. In addition, they voted in Republican State Senators and Representatives to back him. Blunt’s current budget proposal in Missouri slashes medical insurance for some of the state’s poorest and other benefits for some of the states most vulnerable-it’s children.

And now, the Democrats, who vowed to tell Republican voters, “I told you so,” could say it with a grin on their faces. And it would be funny, if it weren’t so sad. Children with developmental disabilities will be cut from the state’s First Steps programs and other people who depend on medical aid from the state will no longer be afforded insurance.

Blunt’s response in the media: The cuts are long overdue.

A rural Southwest Missouri couple was recently profiled in The Kansas City Star as being two people who would loose their Medicaid benefits under Matt Blunt’s proposed budget. They voted for him because of his stance on gun control and gay marriage. Now the couple is having second thoughts about voting Republican.

And a Democrat voter’s response: “Maybe the Republicans supposed moral values will save them. God knows compassionate conservatism won’t.”


Blogger Janet said...

Thank you for an in depth look at the moral values issue

3:28 PM CST  
Blogger hooper2 said...

The sad reality is there are limited resources in our world. Someone is always going to get left out. It shouldn't be, though, the children who are in need of help thru no fault of their own.

3:48 PM CST  
Blogger Michi said...

I agree with you completely. As a life long Democrat, I have been disappointed that my fellow Democrats have not been able to make a clear case for moral values----taking care of the poor, the elderly, the sick, the needy; taking care of your world an all creatures in it; protecting the most vulnerable---children, the oppressed, the voiceless---as being at the core of what our party believed. I have also been disappointed by the stupidy of the Republicans who think moral values mean discriminating against gays, refusing to allow women to control their own bodies, and dismissing science from the classrooms and replacing it with theology. Now, with Blunt's budget agenda--and the Bush agenda--the Republicans will have to lay in the beds they made. It makes me very sad, but maybe now everyone's eyes can open to the truths about real moral values.

9:15 PM CST  
Blogger Hawksfriend said...

My heart yearns to see all who need help getting it; yet, my head tells me as one who lives in a state with an incredible medicaid program that is slowly sucking the life from the rest of us who are paying the bill- that it just may not be possible to do this.

9:06 AM CST  
Blogger Patrick said...

I believe in fifty or a hundred years, these moral values people will have been revealed as the frauds they are. First, conservative political operatives have sought repeatedly to manipulate a fundamental stream of American consciousness--that of religious fervor. Second, in doing so, they have fomented what seems, one the outside, like a Third Great Awakening. in fact, over the last thirty or so years, the nation has been turned from a nation of citizens to a nation of individuals who believe everyone else is flawed, evil, or of malintent. Thus, everyone but "me" is in need of strict watch, control, and punishment--in short, "someone" must make "them" behave. Prison, stricter and stricter law enforcement, surveillance, and, now, the help of the supernatural.

While it seems sad and that it will lead to a dead end, the long view is that this kind of thing never lasts long. It dies under the weight of its own contradictions. Sure, in the short term, people will suffer--this is sure, and this is where our work lies. But in the end, the U.S. has already begun to lose the game conservatives want to play so hard to win: Moral values keep foreign investors out of U.S. markets; out refusal to sigh Kyoto has lead other innovators to engage in green tech and increased efficiency while U.S. companies and government toil away at protecting their old, inefficient, dirty ways of doing business; and our religious wars are proving that defense and Medicare don't mix (which is important since most Americans don't make more than 30,000 a year, and already they are learning the difference between a moral value that is neither moral nor valuable and a real moral issue).

It comes around. The footwork needs to be done. The principles of humanity, charity, understanding, and forgiveness have to be spoken, and loudly. But they must always be principles that are human and outside the providence of a particular "moral" system, particularly one so cultural- and racialcentric as the one our president, his neocon friends, and his religious and business supporters espouse.

8:55 AM CST  

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