I Must Chime In...
The new conventional wisdom is that GW Bush won the election because he stood for "moral values" which jibe with the thinking of most Americans. This of course, also explains Barak Obama over Alan Keyes, but I digress. Before the remaining six democrats become Born Again in an effort to save their sorry hides, I really must protest.
Yes, Bush is a man of his word, steeped in faith, and honest to a fault. Yes, these character traits are very attractive in a man who leads the most powerful country on the planet (as an aside, remember GHW Bush's remarks about character vis-a-vis Bill Clinton, and you'll see why it's important). However, from what I remember hearing in all the nonsense leading up to the election, one thing stands out clear:
"Black Americans care very deeply about the issue of gay marriage. Bush might make some hay out of this." Or words to that effect. One example of how a social/morality issue may have affected the election. I believe I heard this from 220 republican talking heads and Dick Morris.
On election day, Blacks still voted for Kerry 89% to 11%. Apparently, Bush's moral standing had nothing to do with their choice. Hispanics still went 55%-45% for Kerry, which is a net gain for Bush over 2000, but that probably had more to do with immigration issues than it did morals.
However, because gay marriage amendments in 11 states won by Bush coincidentally all failed, one makes the hasty conclusion that morality was a factor in his victory, and therefore, there is this huge evangelical movement out there waiting for payback.
I beg to differ.
The reason Kerry lost was because he was a rotten candidate. He never explained anything. He never presented any facts. He picked a toad as his running mate. His wife had conveniently misplaced her swastika, but continued to talk like a Nazi anyway. He offered only gainsaying and no new options. He offered everyone free everything and simply forgot the part about how to pay for it ( he remembered --- "I will raise your taxes" is what killed Mondale). His demeanor was such that one got the idea that he was a dour, but kindly headmaster, having a go with the kids becausae he was obligated to. Add to the mix his treason, his lack of accomplishment in 20 years in the Senate, his inability to seem human (except in his concession speech), and one can only reach the following conclusion: Genghis Khan with a bad rash would have still beaten Kerry.
Kerry was Gore without the theatrics or hysteria. A cigar-store wooden indian with arrogance.
So yes, there were an awful lot of people who thought morals counted, and certainly a goodly number of them were christians, but, the crux of the matter is that Kerry gave ordinary people the creeps and in the end, could only pander to them. He pandered to the blacks, to the feminists, to the Deaniacs, to the commies in the party, to the French and to Osama bin Laden. He hit every constituency group and forgot the rest of us, except to call us names or lie about us. A rotten candidate with no plan but a good line of bullshit is not going to win very often. Bill Clinton (twice) was an anomoly --- Ross Perot made him and he should never forget it.
Still, Kerry pulled in 54 million votes and that should tell us all something. It tells me there are still vast masses of people in this country that are ripe for the picking. If they bought Kerry, there's no telling what else they might buy. So I'm gonna start me an internet real-estate scheme to sell beachfront property in the Slovak Republic. I'll probably get Heinz-Kerry rich, too.
But one can see the lines being conveniently drawn already: rabid left-wingers vs. Christians. I would remind Terry McAuliffe (if he still has a job as of this writing) that Rome too set itself up against a religion and it lost as well. That was not because of Rome's inherent weakness but rather because it misjudged the simple appeal of the faith and it's creed. But, if you're content to reflexively and uncritically find a scapegoat, rather than do the hard thing and look at yourself and your own beliefs, that's fine with me. You'll continue to go down to defeat and I'll continue to laugh.
The issue wasn't morailty. The issue was you stuck the wrong man up there.