The Day After – A Post Mortem

politics Add comments (11)

USelection04-horiz.jpgI’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).

Post by ILO on 11/03/04 at 2:30 pm
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11 Responses to “The Day After – A Post Mortem”

  1. Chad Belicena Says:

    I do agree with the topic and issue posted above. It appears to me that the Democratic Party did not put up a strong candidate to beat “W”. I had a feeling that “W” was going to win this election, but not really surprise by the fact that this country is very much divided. What amazes me is the fact that most voters in Middle America voted for this guy because they viewed him as a “moral leader”. What is moral about him and how do you define morality?
    I don’t think that invading a country for oil and forcing our beliefs to the people is a moral thing. I don’t think that sending our sons and daughters to war for nothing but their selfish motives is a moral thing to do.
    But, I guess they believe that he is a moral leader because he is opposed to gay & lesbian marriage. Yes, it is not a new thing and I am expressing what most people already know by now. Middle America is NOT ready for this to happen, they latch on to religious beliefs so they can put a STOP to this! Several states have entered initiatives to ban not only gay marriages but also civil unions. Someone should submit an intiative to BAN divorce if they really want to preserve the sanctity of marriage. Senator Kerry, in his concession speech toady, said that WE have to support our President so we can move this country forward and I think he also enumerated several examples why he believes that this country is moving forward, BUT equality for ALL is not one of them. How could WE as a country be moving forward with BIGOTRY & PREJUDICE in our hearts??
    My message to the our dear parents out there: I guess with “W” in office this next 4 years, reinstating the military draft is not far behind…isn’t it? Just something to think about.
    Thank you for reading my comment and for giving me the opportunity to speak my mind.

  2. Maning Says:

    The electorate has given the incumbent another four years based on what the exit polls says: moral values. It scored higher than the president’s handling of terrorism, the war on Iraq or the economy.

    We are living in dangerous times.

    What does this say? Never mind if we have over a thousand soldiers die in a war that was mismanaged and misdirected, we have to have moral values back in the White House. Never mind if we continue to have tax cuts and increase government spending which hurts the economy on a long term basis, we have have moral values back in the White House. Never mind if Osama Bin Laden, the man responsible for the 9/11 attacks, is still at large and capable of attacking Americans again, we have to have moral values back in the White House. If we have this, we will all be fine.

    We are living in dangerous times.

    Several states voted to ban gay marriage. I also believe it was a huge factor for the incumbent’s re-election. While I respect the people’s will on this matter, I also believe that it should not have been a political issue because as far as I am concerned, it is NOBODY’s business but the gay couples who decides to marry themselves. Why should somebody’s happiness and commitment be an issue on the ballot? How does a gay couple’s decision to marry be a heterosexual issue? How does it affect their everyday lives? Yet, The President has raised the issue to the political level based on his evangelical beliefs by asking Congress to amend the constitution to ban gay marriage forever. The evangelical base of the GOP which gave the incumbent this election very much overwhelmingly supported this. A new wave of bigotry and hatred is happening in this country as we speak.

    We are living in dangerous times.

    This maybe far fetched but hey, I am exercising my right to free speech. As it may be wonderful to know that people re-elected the President for his “moral values”, I fear that this message is read wrong. Take note, the administration claim we are at “war on terror” and the incumbent invaded Iraq and got Saddam out as part of this “war”. The President also emphasized that he is a devout Christian and his decisions are “channeled through him from God”. Invoking this statement, while conducting a war on terror and invading a Muslim nation will, I believe, send wrong messages to the disgrunted people of Iraq where it’s now a haven for Islamic extremists and recruiting ground for the Al Qaida network. The entire world of Islam will therefore think this is a war of Christians against Muslims. The same message in the context of “moral values” was delivered to the same evangelical base of the GOP who was responsible in giving this administration another four years.

    I pray to God, not as a Christian nor Muslim, that this is not true. If there is even the slightest reason to believe it…

    We are indeed living in dangerous times.

  3. Mark D'Elicio Says:

    I appreciated your well-thought and moreover, well-articulated analysis of the election. You did not resort to the usual diatribe that we have heard for months from Michael Moore, Al Franken, Howard Dean, Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins. Sadly, the comments posted fell right back into the trap that may have been a significant cause of Senator Kerry’s loss. Fact: 45% of Hispanics voted for President Bush. Fact: 25% of Jewish voters cast their ballots for President Bush. Fact: 23% of gay voters went for President Bush. In 2000 President Bush received barely 10% of the vote from these three groups. What is my point? My point is that once again, I read pious comments about “Wars for Oil,” and the bigotry and hatred of the “religious.” These screams of intolerance laced with intolerance do not cut it for me. It is hypocritical to ask for tolerance when one is intolerant. In an article I recently posted, I begged the Democrats to allow God back into the party. They have become so intolerant of people who believe in God and follow a religion that they are isolating a huge portion of the American public.

    Instead of condemning one platform, why not create one of your own? This was Senator Kerry’s probelm…no one really understood where he came from. Do your commenters realize that Kerry stated he would have stayed in Iraq and won the war? Do they realize that he went on record saying he was against gay marriage? Do they realize that the only person on either ticket who said the government should stay out of it and let people do what they want was Vice President Cheney?

    Regarding the comment about the President’s decisions being “channeled from God,” it was actually Senator Edwards who made the infamous channeling comment.

    Regarding the comment that it was an evangelical base that re-elected the President, study the results. It was the huge increase in Hispanic support for the President that delivered over 3 million votes to him – enough to win. By the way, did you know that most blacks are fundamentalist Christian? Most of them are Baptist. I never hear you criticize them (perhaps because they tend to vote for the Democrat or because it is not P.C. to say anything negative about black people).

    Regarding the comment “I don’t think that invading a country for oil and forcing our beliefs to the people is a moral thing. I don’t think that sending our sons and daughters to war for nothing but their selfish motives is a moral thing to do,” this is taken right from the Terry McAuliffe speech book. First of all, the war has not been fought over oil, as is obvious by the price of gasoline at the pump. Second, name these “selfish motives” that you throw about so loosly because I do not know of them. As for forcing our beliefs on others, isn’t that what you are trying to do in your comment? You say I HAVE to support gay marriage because YOU want me to. That is forcing a belief. Be consistent. Do you think that the “religion of peace” is not trying to force itself upon non-Muslims? Do you know what happened in Russia?

    Again, I commend you on your excellent interpretation of the election. To the commenters all I can say is that by being intolerant you will only turn more people away from your point-of-view.

  4. Brian Chen Says:

    One simple concept!

    If you still think USA is a free country then u should know it is wrong to regulate who you should marry or not. If you are a bible beliver then American shouldn’t divorce and use birth control.

  5. Mark D'Elicio Says:

    Another Simple Concept!

    There over 180 countires in the world. Only 2 recognize the legality of gay marriage (per se). One of the two is now considering deporting Arabs (against their will) from their country. The second says it’s ok for gays to marry but it is not legal for them adopt children.

    I guess the “freedom” of which you speak has its flaws doesn’t it?

  6. Brian Chen Says:

    Re: Another Simple Concept!

    So you think that is all right ? Two wrongs doesn’t make it Right. Why USA couldn’t join those two countries? Don’t try to make others look bad to show you are good.

    If people just take whatever goverment told them then please relocate to Singpore.

  7. Maning Says:

    I applaud Mark’s calculations and specifics on the incumbent’s electoral victory. In my point of view, the people has spoken, the President won fair and square.

    I also agree that the Democratic Party did not have a solid platform against the current administration. I believe the Democrats should regroup and focus on the next general elections in 2006. I believe before bidding to regain back the White House, they must win back the South and regain control of Congress. Kerry’s defeat is water under the bridge now and we must look into the future.

    Despite of this, I am still leaning towards the views of the Democrats and I am still weary of the war on Iraq. I still believe the administration did the wrong thing of invading a country because of the intelligence which was proved later on to be false. Because of this, I believe over a thousand of our precious young men and women died there for nothing. It just added to a number of casualties in the 9/11 attacks.

    I have yet to believe in this administration, which now can claim to be duly-elected. I am open to this option because I trust the will of the people. Their first term proved to be a disaster. Their second term I believe, is a new beginning. I will be here waiting. In the meantime, I go on with my life and believe in what I think will benefit me as a human being.

  8. Mark D'Elicio Says:

    My final comments on the latest comments and then I’ll go away:

    To Maning: Thank you for your very reasonable and optimistic response. I applaud you for maintaining your point of view and respect your preference vis-a-vis political party. After all, it is differences of opinion that get things going. What I most appreciated was the apparent fact that in this post you wrote from your own heart and did not fall back on utilizing the “talking points” of others. Once we realize that we cannot simply chant “mantra” and rather should formulate our own positions based on our own research and beliefs, then we will have more open and honest debate. Again, I thank you.

    To Brian: If Singapore has no homeless beggars accosting me at every turn, if it has no crime and most of all, if it has no gum chewing, then maybe I should live there! Anything after all is better than Canada (another country that has not jumped on the “gay marriage” bandwagon).

  9. Brian Chen Says:

    To Mark, Did I say “GAY MARRIAGE”? Singapore only ban gum chewing and you wouldn’t take it then you should take USA told you who you should marry to? Please, be logic. If GOD knew American twist his words like this then shame shame to hell.

  10. Mark D'Elicio Says:

    The progression of events related to the original column has been interesting to say the least. I fear that we who have posted comments here may have severly denegrated the original point of the opening column. We began with a very heartfelt, reasonable and fair analysis of an election result and have evolved into a partisan bickering over a single issue. Nothing happens in life for only one reason or another. Everything and every aspect of life and its events are multi-faceted. We seem to have lost that understanding here.

    I thoroughly enjoyed our rounds of “debate” and wish to thank our Blog Host for allowing us to post here. But I think that I we contunue down this one-issue, rhetorical path, we will lessen the original message and I would not want that to happen to such a kind host.

  11. Brian Chen Says:

    So Mark! What did you just write “My final comments on the latest comments and then I’ll go away” If you can’t even keep your own words then how could you try to make people to believe or even trust you?

    Am I right? Yes, “Nothing happens in life for only one reason or another.” but ignor is.

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