I’m not really suprised that Bush took home the coveted prize as I feel it was the Democrat’s race to lose. In putting up a candidate that refused to define himself, the Democratic ticket was vulnerable to this outcome. I think they also over-estimated the importance of the war among voters.
I was however surprised by the strength of Bush’s evangelical base, buoyed by such issues as stem cell research, abortion, and particularly gay marriage. I think this is key. Eleven states on Nov 2 passed resolutions to ammend their constitutions to ban same sex marriages (list at the bottom of this post), and Ohio in particular went as far to ban civil unions. I feel strongly this was a central issue to many of those who voted for George W. Bush. Exit polls seemed to indicate that moral leadership and the economy rated more important than the war in Iraq and more broadly the war on terror. I think it is safe to say that mainstream America is simply not ready to accept homosexuality, rooted either in their faith or their homophobia.
While discouraging, it’s not suprising that this happened. Gay activists (and certain mayors) pushed so hard for this equality that it backfired. You can’t force something like gay marriage — no matter how reasonable or fair-minded the argument — down the throats of people who barely tolerate homosexuals in the first place. Many of which would prefer to have us shipped off to some island (and those are the nices ones) then deal with us walking down the aisle, revering that which they frequently take for granted.
But please don’t get the wrong idea. I’m all for gay marriage, or gay civil unions — which ever gives us the same rights and privliges as heterosexual couples without jumping through hoops and causing undue financial stress. I just feel there is a right time and place for these things, and doing them in climate that is condusive to change. The climate during a war, is not one of them.
Only history will tell if the strong push for gay marriage ultimately tilted the election one way or the other. It would be presumptious of me to declare that. But I do know that I don’t feel quite as safe today, as I did yesterday.
States Banning Same Sex Marriage on Nov 2:
Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon and Utah…
which join existing states…
Wisconsin, Kansas and Missouri (please let me know if I have missed any).