Why Kerry Lost

I have heard many people, pundits and bloggers speculate as to why Senator Kerry lost this election. Some on the right have proclaimed that the values he represented were on the fringe of America. I find this argument insulting, 55,738,671 people (or 48% of voters) chose to cast their vote for these values while 59,269,410 (or 51% of voters) cast their vote for the values represented by President Bush. The truth is neither of these sets of people represent a fringe of Americans. To assume that the views of 48% of the population do not matter is a joke so I reject this argument out right.

The view espoused by a frequent out-spoken visitor of this site and shared by many is that Senator Kerry could not sell himself or his views effectively to the majority of America. I also think this reasoning is incorrect. Americans are not stupid, they knew exactly what was at stake in this election and precisely what Kerry represented. The issue was that they were convinced to change their priorities.

The President won this campaign by employing one simple tactic, fear. Fear of terrorist attacks, fear of pointy headed liberals with their fancy words, fear of burning the flag, fear that God will be replaced by science, and most importantly fear of the demise of the “traditional family” at the hands of homosexuals, swingers, hedonists, and all around sex crazed, city dwelling sodomites who would use the “internets” to destroy America if they were not stopped immediately.

While watching the post election wrap up last night on ABC News, Peter Jennings asked George Stephanopoulos to review what the exit polls showed as the issues which drove voters to the polls in Ohio. The number one issue was not the war in Iraq, terror, the economy, or health care, it was “moral values.” Moral values, go figure. This was a direct result of the successful strategy employed by the man the President called “the architect” – Karl Rove. The strategy was simply to drive Evangelical Christians and other socially conservative religious folk to the polls in unheard of numbers by the use of fear. And guess what, it worked.

In Ohio, as well as 10 other states (only one of which, Michigan, voted for Bush), there were initiatives on the ballot to ban same sex marriage. In all 11 states these initiatives passed overwhelmingly (I will speak more on this in another post). In Ohio in particular, had this initiative not been on the ballot I promise you it would not have been a contest, but it was and that drove frightened religious people in droves to the polls to protect their “moral values” and to cast a vote for Bush in the process.

If Progressives wish to take one lesson away from this election it should be that fear coupled with religion trumps all else.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Connect with Facebook