Thursday, November 11, 2004

Dissecting the "Moral Values" Vote

I read a recent article on Slate trying to claim that moral values did not drive the presidential election's final result. The article is entitled "The Gay Marriage Myth: Terrorism, not values, drove Bush's re-election", and is available here:

I'd like to refute that claim. In fact, Bush won only with the combination of those two issues. Without the Moral Values issue, Bush would've lost this election hands down. That is also true with the Terrorism issue -- 9/11 was a blessing in disguise for President Bush -- it won him a re-election, and it gave him an excuse to wage the most regrettable of wars -- not to mention the passage of the USAPATRIOT act, which was a travesty in itself.

Anyways, here is my Analysis, based on CNN's Exit Polls

Here are the current unofficial results:

59,459,765 - President Bush (51%)
55,949,407 - John Kerry (49%)

115,409,172 total votes

Kerry had close to a 50%+ lead in each of the following categories:
  • Economy/Jobs (80% - 18%) (20% of Vote)
  • Iraq (73% - 26%) (15% of Vote)
  • Health Care (77% - 23%) ( 8% of Vote)
  • Education (73% - 26%) ( 4% of Vote)
Bush won the election on three categories, and basically carried the election on the issues of terrorism and moral values:
  • Moral Values (80% - 18%) (22% of Vote)
  • Terrorism (86% - 14%) (19% of Vote)
  • Taxes (57% - 43%) (5% of Vote)

Moral Values (22% - Approx. 25,359,017 Votes)

80% Bush (Approx - 20,312,014 Votes)

18% Kerry (Approx - 4,564,623 Votes)

If we eliminate the effect of the "Moral Values vote", Kerry wins the vote by a 13.5% margin.

Kerry - 51,384,784 Votes (56.7%)

Bush - 39,147,751 Votes (43.2%)

90,532,535 Total Votes

Terrorism (19% - Approx. 21,927,743 Votes)

86% Bush (Approx - 18,857,861 Votes)

14% Kerry (Approx - 3,069,884 Votes)

If we eliminate the effect of the "Terrorism Vote", Kerry wins by a 13.1% margin.

Kerry - 52,879,523 Votes (56.5%)

Bush - 40,601,904 Votes (43.4%)

93,481,417 Votes (13.1%)

So, we can see that in either case, if we remove one of the two major trump issues for Bush, Kerry wins the election handedly. For whatever reason, these two issues were "trump cards". It still strikes me as very strange that the people voting for "moral values" do not see the contradictions in their vote. The people sitting "moral values" are primarily white evangelical/born again voters (23% of vote, which went 78% Bush/ 21% Kerry) These people voted for Bush because they felt the alternative, John Kerry, represented morally reprehensible values -- support for gay marriage and abortion.

The problem is that this election wasn't supposed to be about abortion and gay marriage. The abortion issue was decided in 1973. If you look at the exit polls, a slim majority of American (55%) support either gay marriage or gay civil unions. This election was supposed to be a referendum on President Bush. The Bush Administration knew they didn't have a leg to stand on, so they somehow turned the election into a referendum on John Kerry.

Since we're discussing moral values, let's look at a few bible verses:

Matt.22:36-40 - Master, which is the great commandment in the law? (37) Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. (38) This is the first and great commandment. (39) The second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. (40) On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Matt.7:12 - "In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

John 8:7 - He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.

Matthew 7:1 - Judge not, that ye be not judged.

Matthew 7:2 - For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

Luke 6:37 - Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven

Okay, so far we've established that it is not the Christian's place to judge the actions of others. According to the bible, judgment should be left to God. As the statement "let he who is without sin" implies, we all have our own faults, so why should we legislate laws that forbid certain actions simply because one's faith dictates that such action is immoral. The bible also forbids a lot of other issues:

Deuteronomy 14:4 - These [are] the animals which you may eat: the ox, the sheep, the goat,the deer, the gazelle, the roe deer, the wild goat, the mountain goat, the antelope, and the mountain sheep.

Deuteronomy 14:21 - You shall not boil a young goat in its mother's milk.

Should we make these into campaign issues in the next election. Of course not. Some people may choose to abide by these teachings, but there is no reason to legislate these issues. The issues of gay marriage and abortion are extremely personal issues -- they do not affect the people who are voting on moral grounds in any way. Moral issues and practices presented in the bible are between that person and God.

Let's look at a few more verses:

Exodus 20:16 - Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.

Exodus 20:13 - Thou shalt not kill.

Deuteronomy 14:7 - If there is among you a poor man of your brethren, within any of the gates in your land which the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart nor shut your hand from your poor brother, 8 "but you shall open your hand wide to him and willingly lend him sufficient for his need, whatever he needs

These are also moral values. The bible teaches very strongly about helping others, and not shutting the door on those in need. In the United States, there are 44 million people without health insurance, millions that are unemployed or underemployed, and many million homeless. Does it look like the Bush Administration is going out of their way to help these people out?
The war in Iraq -- I've stated it before, as you've read many times on my blog before. This war was an illegitimate war, waged on false pretenses. The Bush Administration has lied through it's teeth time and time again. So, tell me again, what moral values were you voting for?