Thursday, November 11, 2004

It keeps coming back to me that the people I accused of arrogance in my last YDN column have in common: they all admit that I probably made my elective choice intelligently, but that the majority who voted for President Bush probably did not. There are some serious flaws behind this logic that I feel compelled to address.

The first is the obvious statement that a majority of red-staters are uninformed. The fact of the matter is, they are informed. They know about the two candidates, and they voted for the candidate that best matches their beliefs. It's simply inaccurate to say they don't know who they were voting for. But that's not what the individuals who've responded to my column are trying to imply—their true opinion is that the reasons why these red-staters knowingly support President Bush are invalid. They believe that voting for a man because his faith matches yours is invalid. They believe that thinking the Iraq War was justified is invalid. They believe that opposing gay marriage is invalid. And what they don't realize is that this is exactly what I'm calling arrogance.

People who lack faith are unable to understand what it is like to live a life based on your beliefs of heaven and hell, God and Satan, good and evil. They say you have to be able to separate that from your relations to government. As John Kerry says "you can't legislate based on your own articles of faith." Now maybe he can make that distinction. If so, I commend him for it. The problem is, everything I do is based on a cost/benefit analysis relating to my faith. Am I doing the right thing? Am I helping people that need help, or hurting innocent people? Are my actions condoning an act I know to be wrong? None of this can be separated from issues like abortion, the environment, welfare/poverty issues, healthcare, foreign policy, etc. And I don't buy it that John Kerry can separate them either. (In other words, I think he likes to call himself pro-life so that he can keep pretending to be a Catholic man of faith, while in reality he is pro-choice, and refuses to follow any of the basic tenets of Roman Catholicism.)

I received a comment just today that listed a bunch of reasons red-staters voted for President Bush which were "clearly false," according to him, but are, in reality, opinions that have not been invalidated as he would like to claim. Saddam was known to have friendly interactions with Al Quaeda. Saddam was known to have WMD whose destruction he never accounted for as the UN told him to. Saddam was known, and has now been shown, to have multiple WMD research programs, which have increased exponentially under the sanctions. Saddam was known to have tortured and killed Iraqi people for opposition to him, and Kurdish Iraqis simply for being Kurdish. Saddam was known to constantly threaten the United States and Israel, including paying the families of murderous Palestinian suicide bombers. The sanctions, which the left now claims were containing him, they opposed at the time, and were crumbling around the world. Under these circumstances, whether he already had WMD or was still pursuing them doesn't matter. He was pursuing them, and the instant he had them, he'd have the capability to release them to Al Quaeda, or any other terrorist network, and we'd never know until they were used. We had to go in, and supporting the man who did isn't an ignorant view. Sure, thinking Saddam ordered 9/11 is misguided. But I promise you, it is a small minority of Bush voters that believe this.

Opposing the "right" to same-sex marriage cannot be shown to be wrong, or uninformed or not. It's easy to claim that homosexuality is a natural aberration from more typical sexuality. I happen to agree with that fact. But to claim that those who think the opposite are wrong, or uninformed, is arrogance, pure and simple. The fact is, we don't know what causes homosexuality, and it's entirely possible that it is some sort of curse, or sign of Satan. I think these ideas are absurd, but that doesn't mean I can treat the people who believe them as such. Liberals, on the other hand, are so certain that they're right, that everyone else must be uninformed.

The simple fact is that, on all of these issues, we don't know. Nothing can be proven one way or the other on any of them. And yet, the liberals that surround me use them as a basis for illustrating that their choice for John Kerry was more valid than the more common choice made for George Bush. There is no room to consider that they are misinformed, of course. Well, sorry guys, but in the words of the great Eric Clapton, "Before your accuse me, take a look at yourself." If people in middle America have been so mislead, how can you be so sure that you are properly informed?

More than that, let's look at the people who voted for John Kerry. Let's look at that county map and see how purple every single county is, and realize that the John Kerry voters live and work right next to the George Bush voters. Then, let's look at the mining towns in the upper Midwest. The ones that are strictly blue. Clearly mining towns are full of highly educated, well-informed voters, right? Must be, since all John Kerry voters validate faith in an informed American public, while George Bush voters are uninformed and destroy the validity of the system.

The simple fact is, neither party's candidate was more qualified to be President, and neither choice represents a larger information set than the other. The only thing we can conclude from this election is that more people chose George Bush.

OH. And if you're planning to point to that IQ study claiming that the blue states have a higher average IQ than the red states, take a look at this (via James), which shows that the idea that blue-staters have higher average IQs is a mere Democratic urban myth.

UPDATE [11/12/2004 - 1:24]: For more on the same topic, you should read this from OpinionJournal's Taste Page.

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