Thursday, November 11, 2004

Values Election?

There has been much talk of why voters picked Bush this year and many have been citing the exit polling that resulted in the top issue at 22% that values was the most important issue. I might mention here that exit polls had predicted Kerry would win and many are finding fault with that part of the exit polls, but on the other hand giving large credence and analysis to the values question. Go figure.

Now we have a post election poll that might shed some new light on the most important issues this year. A Zogby International poll found that 33 percent of voters said the nation's most urgent moral problem was "greed and materialism" and 31 percent said it was "poverty and economic justice." Sixteen percent cited abortion, and 12 percent named same-sex marriage.

The poll found that 42 percent of voters cited the war in Iraq as the "moral issue" that most influenced their choice of candidates, while 13 percent cited abortion and 9 percent same-sex marriage. Asked to name the greatest threat to marriage, 31 percent said "infidelity," 25 percent cited "rising financial burdens" and 22 percent named same-sex marriage.

This poll seems more in tune with how I feel except the same-sex marraige threat to marraige. I guess I don't see how a gay marraige as any influence on my "normal" marraige and how it threatens it.

I certainly have a problem with greed and materialism, it is why I have a resounding distrust of corporate America. And I certainly have an empathy toward those who are in poverty and experience economic injustice, I'm closer to that side of the economic fence. I fit right in with the 42% that cited the Iraq War as a moral issue that influenced my choice. I've been against that war since before it was launched for exactly that reason, the morality of killing in a war that I didn't see a just cause of any sort.

I've wondered if we have put too much emphasis on that exit poll and the ambiguous answer of values. I wondered whose values, what values, and the need to define values. I'm guessing that we have many more months of thinking this election over and what it really meant. I think our hindsight is going to have to be from farther in the future. We need more data and discussion, that seems obvious.


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