Wednesday, November 03, 2004

The Values Thing

I hear the pundits asking how "they" (Democrats, press, pollsters) missed the values issue. How people who said they voted on values first voted like 80/20 for Bush.

One thing I noticed before the election much was made about how people answered the question "Do you think the country is going in the right direction?"

Most people answered "No". And it was assumed that was bad news for Bush, the incumbent.

However, the question was far too general. The people asking it and analyzing the answer assumed it meant the war and the world's opinion of us, maybe lack of health care or jobs. Which I'm sure many of the people answering it thought meant, too.

But a whole bunch of other people might be talking about eroding morals, rampant out-of-touch activism, and bigger government. Apparently, a lot more of them thought the question meant that.

And part of it is that tolerence, what conservatives get lambasted on, is a two-way street. The middle of the country, which is still largely conservative and largely Christian -- gets dismissed as "fly over country", hicks, backwoods, rednecks, ignorant and intellectually vaccuous. The condescention from the Left Coasts is visceral, thinly veiled (or unbridled) contempt. Not even remotely tolerant. Patronizing at best. Overwhelmingly dismissive.

And maybe, just maybe, "Fly Over Country" has a right to be a little steamed.

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