Thursday: 04.November.2004

Bush / Cheney & Moral Issues

Yesterday's exit polls revealed the #1 reason people stated for voting was "moral issues", and that 80% of these people voted for President Bush/Dick Cheney.

"Morals" by definition are subjective. For example, I am much more offended by the unnecessary deaths of our soldiers in Iraq, than I am by Janet Jackson flashing her boob on national TV (the Super Bowl). But many people who claim to be motivated by moral issues appently have no qualms with the administration's (false) assertion that Iraq definitely possessed WMDs as its justification to invade Iraq.


500 years ago, Erasmus said, "War is delightful to those who have no experience of it." Seems this still applies today to George W Bush, who chose to avoid serving his country in Viet Nam when he had the chance to go there and learn what its like to have bullets wizing by your head. This shouldn't surprise anybody, because he's always been a fortunate son of privilege.

Here in California, there is/was an initiative on the ballot (Proposition 68/70) in which Indians sought more-fair tax treatment. Some might claim I was voting for (immoral) gambling, but I voted FOR the Indians (the measure was defeated anyway) because I feel we (our country) have treated the Indians so badly (the early US government nearly wiped their entire race from the face of the planet) .. that no Indian should ever have to pay another penny in tax the longest day they live. They should be able to attend the university of their choosing .. for free. I did this because I felt it was the "moral" thing to do. If you're interested, I discuss more about this HERE (Did the Native American Indian get Screwed?) and HERE (The Last Samurai & Native American Indians)

My point is that true "morality" is not always simple (gambling vs Indians) .. or at least not as simple as some would like to believe. To be a truly moral being, you need to have all the facts. And this is where I feel some fall short. They seem to have a pre-determined mind set about certain issues, and fail to seek a deeper understanding. And it's this superficial understanding of the issues that leads them to take positions they truly believe are moral, but which, in fact, are not.

I was much more offended by the administration sending our boys to Iraq without the proper equipment (un-armored Humvees, lack of body-armor, night goggles, etc.) than I was if every gay couple in the country were to get married. No soldier has ever died as a result of a gay couple marrying. Even if every gay couple in the entire country were to marry, this still wouldn't cause even a single soldier to shed a single drop blood.

My point is that morality is subjective. I don't think of the Bush administration as moral. Oh contraire. But it is obvious that their brand of "morality" resonates with voters .. (especially with those in "red states", or so it would seem, or at last some of them).

I think some Americans foget (because it's been so long), or would *like* to foget, that Iraq never attacked us (that was Osama bin Laden). Our "war" with Iraq was deemed "preemptive", which means "we're gonna attack you before you attack us". Everyone should be able to see the moral danger in this rational. And the administration rationalized this war by claiming Iraq possessed WMDs (which they didn't). What about the immorality of attacking a nation that didn't attack us? Most people call that aggression. Bush calls it "just".

The Republican right does not have a corner on the "moral" market, altho they obviously think they do. I think that their brand of morality is a false morality, because there are issues far more weighty than Madonna kissing Britney Spears. People are dying every day in Iraq because of lies told by the administration (more lies). If you do the research, you'll find that the administration knew the Iraq-9/11 link never existed, and that they also knew it was unlikely that Iraq possessed WMDs.

Cheney rode that (false) horse all the way up to his debate with Edwards, where he finally dismounted and admitted (on national TV) that there never was any Iraq-9/11 link, and denied he ever took that position. But we have footage of him stating that very point, repeatedly. Polls however, still show that most people (62%) believe there is in fact a link between Iraq and 9/11. Why? Because it's easier for them to believe that disinformation than the (horrifying) notion that their Pres/VP lied to them (so they would be more apt to buy their "reasons" for war).

The adminsitration also knew that Iraq likely possessed no WMDs. However, they "massaged" the data until it looked as if "might/possibly" became "definitely so". I call that lying. And most people feel that lying is immoral .. especially when people die as a result of that lie. People here think the President is (quite frankly) a bold-faced liar. So maybe you can understand our sense of disbelief when voters exited the polling booths and stated their #1 reason for voting for President Bush & Dick Cheney was "moral issues". Seems hypocritical.

So the question we're left with is: Do these self-proclaimed "moral" voters really not know? (un-informed) or simply not care? (support Bush/Cheney despite lies & distortions). Neither alternative seems very attractive. And much of the rest of the world seems to have similar questions.

I can accept just about any reason for voting for President Bush: Kerry was a flip-flopper (he was), or you know where the President stands on the issues (you do). But when I hear "moral issues" as the #1 reason given for voting for George Bush, I feel that these people must be living in a parallel universe, or define morality much differently than I do, because it's difficult for me to fathom how they can view the President and his administration as truly moral.

UPDATE: I have CLOSED the "Comments" section to prevent blog spamming. You will not be able to enter any more comments.

Posted by Rad at November 4, 2004 07:23 AM


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If you listen to the speech Kerry gave yesterday in Boston, you'll hear him say that during his travels around the country, he's found the people he visited were "not only great, but *good*".

At first that sounds backwards. But I think what he meant (in his subtle New England way) is that the people who voted for him are "moral" too.

Posted by: Mitch at November 4, 2004 07:53 AM

There does seem to be a cultural divide between red & blue states that falls along geographic boundaries. Bad for you is that there are more red than blue. All politicians lie. It's their nature to "massage" the truth.

Posted by: Padre at November 4, 2004 08:10 AM

There is no doubt that morality means different things to different people, and that things are not always as they seem, morally speaking . The Catholic church is a good example, with the child sexual abuse scandals. The priests certainly seemed like fine, moral people, and most of them are, but obviously not all of them.

Posted by: Wilson at November 4, 2004 08:32 AM

"if you tell a lie long enough, people will eventually accept it as fact."

Didn't Hitler say that?

Posted by: Nostradamos at November 4, 2004 08:34 AM

They claim to value life and then lay waste to 100,000 civilians in Iraq, so many that they can't even keep count, nor do they even try to or care to. We continue to fight a war that we can't justify in their country, even though the Iraqi people had nothing to do with 9/11. It makes me sick.

Posted by: Charolotte at November 4, 2004 09:03 AM

"So the question we're left with is"

I know some of these people. They truly do not know. But I think that if they did, they wouldn't believe it. And even if they did, they wouldn't care, because their moral agenda is narrowly defined (abortion, gay marriage, prayer in schools, etc.).

Posted by: Lefty at November 4, 2004 02:38 PM

The above link shows what Bush doesn't mention about Iraq..Do a web search to see how many of the Bush staff or appointees ever served a day in the military, or a combat zone..See how many of the right wing radio talking heads ever served..

Posted by: rle at November 4, 2004 04:55 PM

You cannot imagine how many people vote based solely on abortion. Millions of people who would've loved to vote for Kerry, because of the President's stance on the war, voted to re-elect the president because their conscience wouldn't let them vote for Kerry due to his stance on abortion. Whether you feel this is right or wrong, dems da facks.

Posted by: Max at November 4, 2004 06:07 PM

Max is right. The moral vote wasn't for George W Bush per se, but rather for the unborn babies. If Kerry would've modified his position, we would've voted for him.

Posted by: Ironsides at November 4, 2004 07:47 PM

My neighbors are seriously considering moving to Canada or Australia.

Posted by: Jimmy Johns at November 4, 2004 09:42 PM

Your president seems intent on marching toward doomsday, and taking the whole world with him.

Posted by: El at November 4, 2004 10:15 PM

History has shown, time and again, that a backlash usually follows swings in idealogical extremes such as you see under the Bush administration.

Posted by: Schultzy at November 4, 2004 11:31 PM

I don't see how gay marriage trumps the handling of the war in Iraq.

Posted by: Viktor at November 5, 2004 10:59 AM

I am not from America. But I can tell you that this election was followed with interest by just about everyone I know. The fact that another countries presidential election can cause so much of a stir around the world is testiment to America's power. I can also tell you that most of us where not looking to see Bush back in power. I feel great trepidation to have a warmonger back in power.

If I were allowed to vote in America, especially with a moral concience, there is no way I could vote for such a man with those morals. How can he be so opposed to abortion, which essentially can be considered (by those who think this way) to be the death of a person, and yet support death and destruction (aka war). Does each soldier's life mean less then an unborn babies? Should they not both be considered equal?

It seems to me that America has it's priorities wrong (although Howard got back in, so maybe Australia does too). It's just a shame that Bush, who has lowered public opinions worldwide about America, is back in power.

Posted by: Jezza at November 7, 2004 05:46 PM

Check out this correlation between average state IQ and voting:

Posted by: RJ at November 11, 2004 08:16 PM

I see that RJ is spreading his bogus, discredited information about IQ in the various states in every forum he can. The truth will out, RJ. Snopes says this is false. Why would anyone think that a bell curve distribution, like IQ, would show geographical variances of the magnitude listed on that chart? Maybe the gullible would.

Oh, and if you look at Iraq, terror and security as a single issue (and I conjecture they were in the minds of most Bush voters), that was the Number One issue, Rad - not "moral values."

Posted by: David Loewe, Jr at November 12, 2004 08:56 PM