With the exit polls projecting an electoral landslide for John Kerry, the shocking night of Nov. 2-3 appears to have unhinged much of the American Left.
In a post-election essay, “The Unteachable Ignorance of the Red States,” novelist Jane Smiley rants: “Ignorance and bloodlust have a long tradition in the United States, especially in the red states. … The history of the last four years shows that red state types … prefer to be ignorant. … They are virtually unteachable.”
Yet, Smiley assures us, the ignoramuses of the Right will get it all back: “(W)e have to remember that threats to democracy from the right always collapse. Whatever their short-term appeal, they are borne of hubris and hatred, and will destroy their purveyors in the end.”
Here is Washington Post columnist E. J. Dionne:
“We are aghast at the success of a campaign based on vicious personal attacks, the exploitation of strong religious feelings. … And we are disgusted that an effort consciously designed to divide the country did exactly that.”
Here is The Nation: “The checks and balances on presidential powers contemplated by the country’s Founders are in tatters. … Roe v. Wade and a host of other protections of basic human rights are at risk. Bush is bound to try to assist the Christian right in its fantastical efforts to ‘Christianize’ public institutions.”
In these passages one detects a fear and loathing, a culture of contempt on the Left that their opponents are all blinkered and brutal bigots. But if liberals, reincarnated as “progressives,” so despise the Right, they need to understand why the Right is rejoicing every bit as much in their humiliation as it is in Bush’s victory. As Jimmy Breslin titled his book on Watergate, this election was When the Good Guys Finally Won.
Smiley says the appeal of the Right is rooted in “hatred.” But hatred of Bush was the most powerful animus of 2004. The Windsurfer — whether on his snowboard or his $5,000 bike, or out killing poor geese in his “camos” — evoked not hatred but derisory laughter.
Dionne says conservatives sought to “divide the country.” But is that not what an election is about, dividing the country?
“A division of the house,” as it is called at the Oxford Union, takes place after each debate. One side leaves the room, the other remains, the votes are counted.
E.J. talks about the Right’s exploitation of religious feelings. But it was not the Right that put gay marriage on the agenda. That honor goes to the kooky jurist in Kerry’s home state, Chief Justice Margaret Marshall, who ordered the legislature and governor to hand out marriage licenses to homosexuals. Marshall inspired Mayor Gavin Newsom of San Francisco to hand out licenses to lesbians and gays in violation of a law that had passed two to one in a state referendum. Even Barney Frank urged Newsom not to break the law.
To defend their society from a Supreme Court that had just declared sodomy a constitutional right — and might impose Marshall’s opinion on us all — conservatives petitioned voters to put on the ballots of a dozen states laws or amendments to ban gay marriage. Then, they went to the polls to approve them in landslides.
How many thrashings will it take to convince the Left that people do not want homosexual couplings treated like traditional marriage?
The Nation talks of the “basic human rights” involved in Roe vs. Wade. But what about the basic human right to life of the 43 million unborn who have perished in the womb since Roe vs. Wade?
Is that of no consequence or concern to liberals and leftists?
The Nation wails that the “checks and balances on presidential powers contemplated by the country’s Founders are in tatters,” as Republicans now control the White House and both houses of Congress. But Democrats controlled the White House and both houses of Congress from 1933 to 1947, from 1949 to 1953, from 1961 to 1969, from 1977 to 1981 and from 1993 to 1995.
Was The Nation fearful, then, for our democracy?
The Nation notwithstanding, it is not conservatives but the Left that has relied upon the least democratic of our governmental institutions, the judiciary, to impose its ideology.
It was an unelected Supreme Court, answerable to no one, that legalized pornography, declared nude dancing protected freedom of expression, expelled God and the Ten Commandments from public schools, declared abortion and sodomy to be constitutional rights, outlawed the death penalty and imposed the idiocy of forced busing for racial balance on entire cities. No legislature would have dared vote for all this.
The Right does not demand that the children of atheists be made to recite prayers or pledge allegiance to the flag in public schools. They only ask that their children be allowed to do so.
Whether Bush deserved re-election may be debatable, but last Tuesday, our “progressives” certainly got what they deserved.