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Over the past 30 years I've heard a lot of pious baloney about traditional values voters in those so-called Red States. A lot of pious baloney. This faux morality, for the most part, hasn't been touted by your average Red State citizen. Rather, pious baloney has been served up, mostly, by Republican politicians, their enablers, and the "Moral Majority" types like the late Jerry Falwell, Ralph Reed, Gary Bauer, James Dobson, and Ohio's own Ken Blackwell.
The theme of these "values" spokespeople has been consistent. America is morally depraved, our national culture nearly as bad as ancient Sodom and Gomorrah, and if we don't wake up and smell the brimstone, god will be left with no alternative but to withdraw his "protective hand" from the United States.
The "values" portion of the "traditional moral values" message has always been about abortion, embryonic stem cell research, gay rights, unwed pregnant women, pornography, and "protecting" heterosexual marriage.
The NY Times put up a new chart the other day that all "traditional moral values" proponents need to consider.......
Now, I realize that statistics and data can be made to fit pre-existing biases.....I know that. And, after all, it's the New York Times.....whose headquarters Anne Coulter lovingly wished had been hit on 9-11 instead of the Twin Towers. But it's also the same "liberal" NY Times which helped Bush/Cheney immensely in their fraud-up to Iraq. It's the same NY Times who helped Bush/Cheney coverup their illegal wiretapping of Americans, refraining from printing the story for one full year.
According to the chart, divorce rates, teenage birthrates and online porno subscription broadband usage rates are the highest in states where voters chose John McCain over Barack Obama. The Red States. The states where we have been told for decades that a majority of "traditional moral values" voters reside. States not to be mistaken for the godless (and thus immoral) regions on both the east and west coasts.
I think it's important to note that the Mormon state of Utah, followed by Sarah Palin's state of Alaska, top out the porno-usage states.....and if there's a crisis threatening "traditional marriage" in the country, the biggest threat is seen in the states whose political and religious spokespeople bash the "non-traditionalists" the loudest, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi.
This chart should be a wake-up call prompting a bit more self-awareness and reflection.....a call to humility. America is not sharply divided into two groups of states, one group full of morality, one group possessed by Satan. There's no geographic portion of the country which represents "real America" and one that represents some fake America.
It's time to retire the phrase, "values voters". It has no purpose other than to divide us along, as we now see, completely fictitious moral demarcation lines.
We are one country, the United States of America. Our national political discourse should reflect that fact.
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