I was discussing politics with a group of people the other day when a middle-aged woman told the group, “All of this talk about the war is meaningless. The tax talk doesn’t matter. If our country does not have a strong moral base, God will not have us under his protective covering. If we spit in God’s face with the removal of prayer from schools, the legalization of abortion, and destroying the sanctity of marriage, why would God favor our nation? If we do not have God’s favor, we are nothing as a nation. I’ll never vote for a man that isn’t disgusted that thousands of babies are being killed in this country every month.”
In a CNN exit poll taken for the 2004 presidential election, they gave six options for which issue was most important to the voter. These issues were: health care, Iraq, the economy, morality, education, taxes, and terrorism. Morality was the number one issue that influenced the election with 22% of the voters. If you look over the history of elections, a twenty-two point swing usually affects the outcome of an election. Obviously it would not affect every outcome, but if you look in this particular instance, 80% of the moral issues voters cast their ballot for Bush. If you take out those voters, it’s a landslide victory for Kerry. For perspective, the area that was second most important to voters was the economy with 20% of the voters; 80% of that portion voted for Kerry. This is how many elections are decided all throughout the government, not just the presidential election.
These are the people that don’t have to pay close attention to the election. They don’t need to study the nuances of the stances of different candidates. The only issues that they care about are extremely easy to find out. A large portion of this moral issue faction are the extreme voters who will never cast their ballot for someone who is either for or against abortion, gay marriage, cloning, stem cell research, animal rights, homosexuals in the military, gun control, death penalty, etc.
I’m not going to disparage the moral values of others. It is a good thing that people care about social issues. People can believe what they want and if there are ever enough of them that vote in such a way that my life is greatly impacted in what I feel to be a negative way, I’ll find somewhere else to live. That is supposed to be the point of a republic.
My problem is that somehow political parties have melded a certain set of moral values with fiscal and war values. Why is it that a majority of fiscally liberal politicians are for more gun control? Why is it that almost all fiscally conservative politicians are against the legalization of abortion? I cannot find a logical link as to why these moral and fiscal values would be linked.