America the purple

by on November 8th, 2004

America the purple

A sweet victory, a tough loss

“A politician who had laid the foundation of his career in the rural Bible belt of Texas, Bush finished the building project on Election Day. “Moral values” was, perhaps surprisingly, the voters’ top concern—and of those who said so, an astonishing 78 percent supported Bush. Nearly as many voters described terrorism as their leading concern. ”

George W. Bush can’t be a unifier. His election campaign focused on one of the most polarizing issues in any society – religion. Moral issues, which respected exit polls (oxymoron?) tell us, were what voters took to the polling place with them.

In other words, Bush’s morals match mine and mine are better than yours.

It’s dangerous ground.

The election rallied both parties’ bases effectively. But the Republican base is slightly larger than the Democrats’. Game over.

Meanwhile those in the middle have nothing to cling to. These people can’t be pigeon holed into a voter demographic. They aren’t all moms with children playing club soccer and they likely all don’t watch NASCAR.

The big loser of this election are those in the middle who would have voted for John McCain, R-Ariz., in 2000 and if U.S. Sen. elect Barack Obama, D-Ill., was on the presidential ballot this year, they would vote for him.

Those in the middle had no incentive to vote and likely voted for a lesser of two evils.

There was no excitement for folks in the middle unless you were a voter in Wisconsin, Ohio or Florida where the candidates made frequent visits. Those in the middle had little reason to vote because neither Kerry nor Bush could highlight their differences. Both were elites, both Yale Skull and Bones grads and both were essentially groomed for the job at a young age. Americans in the middle can’t relate to that.

If candidates continue to reach out to their bases and ignore the majority of Americans who typically don’t lean to the left or right a stronger third party could emerge.

Nathan E. Bloomquist