Nov 142004

I’d like to drop politics and the election as a topic, and I sincerely hope you’ll see less of it here, but the things going on now have the potential for an on-going impact on our day to day lives. So, I’ll continue to monitor Bush Act II. There is much to be concerned about. Bush’s only plan for unity is to "reach out to those who share our views."

I love the on-going claims of a mandate. How absurd. Dick Cheney and the other Rovians (Carl Rove) are like to talk about Bush getting more votes than any other President ever. Of course he did. More people voted than ever, but he won by one of the smallest margins ever. John Kerry also received more votes than any other candidate in American History.

There is also this major claim about "the values vote."?There was little "statistical difference" between the percentage of voters who deemed moral values the top issue (22 %) and those who ranked as their top concern Iraq or the economy/jobs, according to exit poll data. However, being that today’s press is merely the megaphone for the Rovians, they continue to spout the nonsense, since its what they’ve been told to do.

Karl Rove, Bush’s minister to the religious right, succeeded in using fear, division, ignorance and intolerance to convince 59 million Americans that the president would protect them from evil and godless liberals and keep our "Christian" soldiers on the march all over the world.

It worked because, in part, the aura of Sept. 11 still lingers and Bush was more than willing to exploit fear for political gain. More importantly, it worked because Rove and his allies on the religious right — Evangelicals and Catholics alike — were able to so effectively mobilize anti-gay sentiment and make that a more decisive issue than the mess in Iraq and Bush’s horrible record on the economy.

Region and religion are replacing race as America’s great political dividing line and the Republicans were delighted to use video of men kissing in TV spots in key states to inflame anti-gay voters, especially in the 11 states where same-sex couple legal status issues were on the ballot.

Forget about the endless bloodshed in Iraq, the continuing threat of al-Qaeda and the record Bush deficits and reckless Republican spending — the most important issue in our nation is what your consenting gay neighbors do privately and how that corrupts our society.

The "moral values" crowd is energized to smash the wall of separation between church and state and use government to advance their creed and impose their will on all of us. If you don’t believe me, read this letter to Bush on the website of Bob Jones University.

The three persons of their holy trinity of virtue and values are Bill Bennett, Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly — an obsessive gambler, a dope fiend and a barbaric sexual predator, respectively. But that’s OK. They’re not gay.

The anti-gay crusade was critical in Bush’s election and will be a theme the religious right will continue to use to divide people and gain political advantage. Fostering hatred of minorities to control power is a hallmark of totalitarian regimes, and the Red States, as well as some Blue, are flush with this tactic.

I’ve known many regular churchgoers on the religious right claiming to embrace "family values" as they spew homophobic hate and intolerance, praise war and advocate killing all Muslims in the Middle East.

Then I have gay friends — infrequent churchgoers — who shower people with random acts of generosity and kindness, never utter a hateful word and take seriously the commandment to "love thy neighbor."

Bush’s stated opposition to abortion appealed to many "moral values" voters, but mark my words, he will make no effort to recriminalize abortion, and his policies have forced more women into poverty and thus driven abortion rates higher.

Many of our democratic conventions began in the blue states, Yankee realism, common sense and fiscal sanity. Roger Williams founded Rhode Island as a haven for those fleeing religious persecution. In New York, our great diversity instilled a sense of tolerance and inclusion. The peaceful Quakers founded Pennsylvania, and Maryland was established as a colony for Catholics fleeing persecution.

The Upper Midwest gave rise to Lincoln’s ( as opposed to Bush’s) Republican Party and the progressive movement flourished there and inspired great reforms. The people in the Blue States championed public education, libraries, universities and hospitals, trade unions, child labor laws, public transportation, care for the mentally ill, laws protecting minorities and the disabled, open government, women’s suffrage, the abolition of slavery and, God bless them, the repeal of Prohibition.

California is leading the nation in the quest for cleaner air standards and requiring more fuel-efficient cars, in spite of the opposition of George W. Bush’s corporate sponsors in the auto and oil industries.

The environmental movement thrives and makes important strides in Oregon and Washington state, where people are proud to say they’re tree-huggers as they fight urban sprawl and the spread of Bush’s Wal-Mart Nation.

The top 16 states in the nation with the highest average IQs all voted blue, based on measurements in the book "IQ and the Wealth of Nations" by Richard Lynn and Tatu Vanhanen. All 19 Blue States are in the Top 25 and, of course, the bottom 25 IQ states are all red. This is not meant to be smug, but just to point out that, the lower the IQ, the more appealing George W. Bush is and vice versa.

It is time for the true religious leaders of this country to take a stand against the hatred, fear and homophobia being used by the Rovians to win elections in this country. I’ve had exchanges with some of the leaders of the Methodist Church, and I’m afraid many are weak and poorly educated themselves. They certainly don’t want to "rock the boat."

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