The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Monday, November 29, 2004

America on Values: Eh.

No matter where you're getting your news, you've heard all about how 'moral values' defined the election. And unless you get your news from Fox, you're aware that the fundamentalist right has been proclaiming a new day for religious law. But as NYT columnist Frank Rich points out, it seems to have taken the British press (again!) to point out what a bunch of hooey this entire theory is:

"It's beginning to look a lot like "Groundhog Day." Ever since 22 percent of the country's voters said on Nov. 2 that they cared most about "moral values," opportunistic ayatollahs on the right have been working overtime to inflate this nonmandate into a landslide by ginning up cultural controversies that might induce censorship by a compliant F.C.C. and, failing that, self-censorship by TV networks. Seizing on a single overhyped poll result, they exaggerate their clout, hoping to grab power over the culture.

The mainstream press, itself in love with the "moral values" story line and traumatized by the visual exaggerations of the red-blue map, is too cowed to challenge the likes of the American Family Association. So are politicians of both parties. It took a British publication, The Economist, to point out that the percentage of American voters citing moral and ethical values as their prime concern is actually down from 2000 (35 percent) and 1996 (40 percent)."

All righty then, mainstream press. I suspect that in lihgt of this info, you'll drop the topic like a hot potato. Right?