42% of Americans identify themselves as born-again Christians, which means that--with few exceptions--42% of Americans hold some very rigid beliefs about gender roles (in which women always come out as inferior), as well as similar, backward beliefs: that it is sinful to be gay, that non-Christians are going to burn in an eternal fire, that the teaching of evolution is wrong, that parents and other caregivers should whip and humiliate children. that sex is inherently sinful, that people should have any type of firearms they want, and that capital punishment is desirable.
Some political analysts like to point out that many evangelical Christians are African American, and my answer to that is, so what? By and large, the African American community holds extremely conservative views about most issues. It is a miracle that African Americans have ever
voted for non-Republicans, given that Republican values mirror their own, and given that the Democratic Party hasn't exactly knocked itself out on behalf of minorities.
42% today will be 50% very soon. One of the hallmarks of conservative, literal-minded religion is conservative literal-minded "patriotism." It really is
about God, gays, and guns to a huge portion of the population, and that portion is growing. Considering that over 40% of Americans have elected not to think, why are liberals surprised that there is a frenzy to elect Bush? Take the other sizeable percentage--it is bigger than you or I want to acknowledge--that doesn't pay any attention at all, the people who don't vote or who assume they should "re-elect" a "wartime" president, and you have practically a shoo-in for the Cheney-Bush presidency.
Add to the mix a Democratic Party that goes out of its way to make sure there isn't a candidate (yes, you may read "Howard Dean" or some other name here) nominated who will actually oppose
the White House, rather than offering a different version of the administration's agenda. To make matters worse, the Democrats offer a nominee who has remained silent about most of the Bush administration's multiple lies, neo-conservative schemes, and crimes against the American people.
Wouldn't it be nice if Kerry were against the war in Iraq?
Or if Kerry, the "environmental candidate," ever talked about the Clean Skies Initiative, the breaking of Bush's promise to change carbon dioxide emmision standards, or his lowering of lead standards, despite all of the lead-related illness among American children? What if he told the American people what a tiny bit of oil they would get by drilling in Alaska's National Wildlife Refuge?
What if he listed all of the citizens who have been rounded up, humiliated, paintball-attacked, and arrested for exercising their right to free speech, or those who have had their cameras seized by police?
What if the Democratic candidate talked about Valerie Plame? Or Sibel Edmonds?
And what if he took the abortion discussion and mentioned the thousands of abortions that have been performed because of Bush's withholding of money from the U.N. Population Fund? Or the thousands of women and babies who have died because of these withheld funds? What if he reminded women that the Bush administration attempted to hide from them information about their rights in the workplace? And that Bush tried to eliminate contraceptive coverage for female federal employees?
What if Kerry reminded the American people that both the Taliban and the Northern Alliance are suppressing women in Afghanistan as I write this?
What if he actually explained to people the difference between "average" and "median" so that people could understand that the tax cut really benefits a tiny sliver of very weathy people?
But none of that is going to happen. Whether the Democrats are trying to lose the election or whether Kerry has just been programmed to be an issue-less robot is a matter of speculation.