Saturday, November 06, 2004

Mythology of Morality

So, maintaining this religion theme, here is something good I saw on Daily Howler:

From an email to Eric Alterman - ". . . So why did I vote for Bush? I am a born-again Christian, my faith is critically important to me. As long as the Democratic Party, and/or those people who purport to speak for it, belittle my beliefs, dismissing them out of hand, and address me publicly as intellectually challenged for holding to the faith of my fathers, you will never get my vote. How can I trust your party to lead me when you so obviously (and vociferously) denigrate those values I hold most dear?"
How indeed. Even when this writer disagreed with the war, and pretty much everything Bush wants to do. But let's look at this writer's charge more closely:
"The reader says the Democratic Party and/or those people who purport to speak for it has engaged in this behavior.
Let’s ignore that expansive escape clause and think of the Dem Party proper. We think it’s time for readers like this to name the names of actual Dems who have actually belittled them in this manner. Who exactly “addressed him publicly as intellectually challenged for holding to the faith of his fathers?” Was it Southern Baptist Bill Clinton, from Hot Springs, Arkansas? Was it Southern Baptist Al Gore, from Carthage, Tennessee? Was it Jimmy Carter? Was it Joe Lieberman? Was it John Edwards, from the reader’s own state? Or was it French-speaking John Kerry himself, the haughty man who dares to wind-surf? If so, when did this insult occur? When exactly has any Dem leader ever behaved in the manner described? When exactly did the Dem Party belittle the reader’s religious beliefs and “address him publicly as intellectually challenged?” When exactly did this occur? Or did it really occur in a dream? Or perhaps in a rant on talk radio?"
Sorry to belabor this point, but there is a lie being perpetrated continuously by the right and because the Democratic Party is weak (its own fault and hardly deniable) it has not had a good way to combat this.
I will say that the DNC needs to move out of D.C. and it needs to get better leadership. Once the Dems get their platform and their language down, those criticisms lobbed by the right can be combated.
The idea of the liberal elite is an old one, and is tied in to the idea of a liberal media. Well, the media is not liberal and the half of the country that voted for Kerry would probably not be described as "elite."
We can't just flail our arms and say, "No, no, no - what they say. . . it's not true!" As I've said, it's time to stop being reactionary and time to start putting forth a positive agenda that is inclusive. The Dems can do this without sacrificing values, without moving further to the middle. Quite the opposite, actually. Embracing faith, morality, spirituality, should never have meant moving toward the Republican side. That trap was laid by the right and the Dems fell pray to it, watering themselves down.