Thursday, November 11, 2004

"So it comes to this: culture displacing the state."

As you could easily surmise, I take a predominantly cultural view of history - including war (Charles Olson: "So it comes to this: culture displacing the state."). The best & truest wrap up of the recent election I've read is by Frank Rich, On 'Moral Values,' It's Blue in a Landslide in the Arts section of the New York Times, which I strongly urge you to read (perfect opportunity to register for the free online edition). His is not an insulated New York perspective; what he critiques is usually what every American can see. Rich doesn't have to twist & skew poll results; the Nielsen Ratings, Billboard Charts, Amazon's Top Sellers in books, & corporate media news in the Wall Street Journal tell us every day what American moral values really are. But these excerpts:

"The 22 percent of voters who told pollsters that "moral values" were their top election issue - 79 percent of whom voted for Bush-Cheney - corresponds almost exactly to the number of voters (23 percent*) who describe themselves as born-again or evangelical Christians."

"When the No. 1 "moral values" movie star, Mel Gibson, condemned the Schwarzenegger-endorsed California ballot initiative expanding and financing stem-cell research, the governor and voters crushed him like a girlie-man. The measure carried by 59 percent, which is consistent with national polling on the issue."

* I've seen this as high as 33% in some polls, but it doesn't matter. The inability of the Christian right to organize successful boycotts proves that a percentage of Evangelicals routinely lie to pollsters about their personal tastes, habits & sexual activities.

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"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." Thomas Jefferson

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