Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Mrs. CNB -- The Day After

Another guest blog from the lovely and talented Mrs. CNB (aka looseygoosey):

I'll be honest, I spent a good portion of the morning trying to decide whether I wanted to move to the East or West coast of Canada. However, after thinking about my two precious little boys in their dump truck jammies, completely oblivious to the electoral maps being flashed across MSNBC, I stopped pouting and started thinking about what it will take to win back the Senate in 2006.

My first thoughts were that the Dems have no chance. The religious right is firmly ensconced in the South, and the Dems have been painted as a bunch of traitorous, French heathens who want to defend the U.S. against Osama Bin Laden with spitballs. The more I thought about it, the angrier I became. Why should the right have a monopoly on God? After all, this is the party that gives tax breaks to the wealthy while millions of American children go without health care. Many people on the lefty blogs today have suggested that the only way for the Dems to survive is to move further to the center. But I don't believe that's the answer. What I think is clear though, is that the heart and soul of the Dems message is not reaching the religious right.

Like (I believe) most liberals (and yes, unlike John Kerry, I am proud to call myself a liberal), I came to my lefty beliefs through my faith. Through a combination of middle class Midwestern parents (both Republican), Midwestern values, and a cafeteria catholic (take what you want and leave the rest) upbringing, I came to find that my values were best represented by the Democratic party. I believe that it is wrong to give tax cuts to the rich rather than the poor. I believe that earth is God's creation and that we should do our best to preserve and cherish it. I believe that the US Constitution reflects God-given rights to the citizens of the world and should serve to limit the rights of the government rather than those of the people. I believe that a country should never go to war unless its hand is forced. I believe that it's wrong to lie. I believe that, as a nation, we should be saddened that 100,000 Iraqi civilians are dead.

Are these "liberal" values? Maybe. But I think that they are common values to all those who call themselves "Christians." The Dems would, I think, make great strides in the South if they simply reframed the way they talk about these issues. Although John Kerry's debate performances were impressive, I doubt they played as well in the South as they did with me. I've always been a fan of facts and statistics, but the Bush supporters seem to go more for a good old-fashioned tug-on-the-heartstrings tale than all the facts that Kerry threw out at them. I'm not sure why Kerry never mentioned all the civilian dead in Iraq--perhaps he didn't want to look as if he was criticizing our soldiers. But I think he missed a golden opportunity to turn the attention of the religious right from a petty issue like gay marriage to something much more profound.

100,000 innocent lives lost in Iraq. Abortions tripled since Bush took office. Snowmobile fumes so thick the rangers at Yellowstone National Park have to wear gas masks to work. I would think these issues would resonate with even the most staunchly religious Republicans.

I don't know who the Democrats will chose to run in 2008. I can only hope that it will be someone who proudly talks about the traditional values of the Democratic party in such a way as to show our pride and our faith. How long do we think Barack Obama needs?