Thursday, November 04, 2004

Thoughts on the election

On a relatively serious note, the liberal national pundits have now turned to the obvious explanation for Bush's win: evangelicals turned out in huge numbers. The number of people who put "moral values" as their most important issue totally shocked exit pollsters. One really interesting tidbit was that this was also listed as the most important issue (or tied for it) with the youngest voter block (18-29). Redeem the Vote and other campaigns must have been very successful.

With this being a plausible explanation for the victory, said pundits are now casting it in evil, sinister terms. They take the fact that all 11 same-sex marriage bans passed overwhelmingly, and then talk about the fact that Karl Rove ("Bush's Brain") successfully "used" same-sex marriage as a "wedge issue" to motivate "fundamentalist" voters. The more socially liberal of them, such as Andrew Sullivan, who happens to be gay, talk about how one should expect such politics of hate and division from Bush.

I find it tragic that these people can't understand that a large portion of the nation has a worldview where marriage has a specific constitution, such that it can't/ought not be anything but a man and a woman joined for life, and are simply acting to protect what they find fundamental, without any malice for homosexuals (though I'm sure with annoyance at their activism, which they feel is impinging on their own values). Sure, there are people out there who irrationally hate homosexuals, but the vast majority of Christians are not among them, I think.

I'm also frightened by the response people like Sullivan advocate because of their desire for the legalization of same-sex marriage, and their knowledge that the vast majority of the country is not ready for it (even California voted against it overwhelmingly 3-4 years ago). Sullivan advocates a federalist strategy, letting the states decide one by one what they want to do. While I find federalism attractive in a lot of contexts, I'm frightened by a future where the country divides even moreso into radically conservative and liberal enclave states. This strikes me as the kind of Balkanization of our country that could doom our union somewhere down the line. Learning how to live together with deep moral divisions is radically difficult, and I'm skeptical of a truly pluralist society, not because I don't think it would be good, but because I wonder if its possible. But the alternative to trying to live together is much scarier to me.

Blog Long Dead

How very embarrassing. I last posted in August? Oh boy. Well, I certainly can't take the name "blogger" yet. Heck, I've read a plethora of infuriating Andrew Sullivan columns since then, and still haven't posted.

I solemnly swear to post at least twice a week, so help me God. Or may I grow a third nostril.