Charles Krauthammer can read my mind!
He picks up where David Brooks and Slate left off regarding the how the media are trying to spin the “moral values” vote that came out this month for the President:
IN 1994, when the Gingrich revolution swept Republicans into power, ending 40 years of Democratic hegemony, the mainstream press needed to account for this inversion of the Perfect Order of Things. A myth was born. Explained the USA Today headline: “â€˜Angry White Men: Their votes turned the tide for the GOP.” *snip*
Plus ca change … Ten years and another stunning Democratic defeat later, and liberals are at it again. The Angry White Male has been transmuted into the Bigoted Christian Redneck.
In the post-election analyses, the liberal elite, led by the holy trinity of The New York Times — Krugman, Friedman, and Dowd — just about lost its mind denouncing the return of medieval primitivism. As usual, Maureen Dowd achieved the highest level of hysteria, cursing the Republicans for pandering to “isolationism, nativism, chauvinism, puritanism and religious fanaticism” in their unfailing drive to “summon our nasty devils.”
Whence comes this fable? With President Bush increasing his share of the vote among Hispanics, Jews, women (especially married women), Catholics, seniors and even African-Americans, on what does this victory-of-the-homophobic-evangelical rest?
Its origins lie in a single question in the Election Day exit poll. The urban myth grew around the fact that “moral values” ranked highest in the answer to Question J: “Which ONE issue mattered most in deciding how you voted for President?”
It is a thin reed upon which to base a General Theory of the â€˜04 election. In fact, it is no reed at all. The way the question was set up, moral values was sure to be ranked disproportionately high. Why? Because it was a multiple-choice question and moral values cover a group of issues, while all the other choices were individual issues. Chop up the alternatives finely enough, and moral values is sure to get a bare plurality over the others.
Go Charles Go! Again, when the mediots tell you that the bigoted homophobic vote came out en masse for the President this month, don’t believe a word of it.