VikingSpirit finally grasps why Ken Blackwell went down in flames.
One of the major reasons I think we lost on national, state, and local levels is because of our party and many of our candidates embracing the religious right and extreme views on social issues. Some great exampes are Rick Santorum in Pennsylvania, Jim Talent in Missouri, and Ken Blackwell here in our home state of Ohio.
He goes on to explain a few positions (stem cell research and gay rights, specifically), and the close ties to the Religious Right, that has cost the party moderate voters. And he’s right. Let me explain how.
- Only 35% of independents feel gay people should be denied legal partnership recognition.
- Independents support federal funding of embryonic stem cell research 54% to 34%.
- Just 34% of independents would categorize themselves as “pro-life”. And of all voters, they feel it’s a national issue (rather than a state-by-state one) 55% to 39%. Independents tracked Democrats almost exactly in opposition to the South Dakota abortion ban (27% for, 67% against).
But, it’s not just those “religious right” issues. Americans support liberal ideas for competent government too:
- Americans feel Republicans are “more financially corrupt” than Democrats 40% to 15%, with 30% claiming “same”, and 15% “unsure”.
- Americans feel Democrats will do a better job standing up to lobbyists and special interest groups 46% to 27%
- 25% of Americans feel health care costs are the most urgent health care problem facing this country. 17% feel it’s health care access.
- 60% of Americans disapprove of Bush’s plan to privatize Social Security. 48% to 31%, Americans trust Democrats over Republicans when it comes to making the right decisions about Social Security.
- 80% of Americans feel it’s our government’s responsibility to ensure a decent standard of living for the elderly.
- 2/3s of Americans feel that the wealthy are paying too little in taxes. 70% feel the same way about corporations.
- Despite some slick propaganda from the far right about the Estate Tax, Democrats hold a 35% to 29% edge in voter trust when it comes to doing “a better job on taxes“. (Frankly, it’s astonishing how well things like abolishing the Estate Tax and implementing a flat tax rate poll, given these last too factoids. Republicans are master propagandists.)
- 71% of Americans are more concerned about how their taxes are spent – just 12% are more concerned with the amount they pay.
- By a better than 2 to 1 margin, Americans consider balancing the budget more important than cutting taxes. Just 44% feel balancing the budget is more important than education, health care, or economic development.
I could go on, but do I really have to? Americans clearly prefer the liberal vision of competent, responsible government that serves the people who elected it, rather than an elitist government that caters to special interests.
It’s just a matter of finding competent salesmen to counter right-wing propaganda. Barack Obama looks promising on that score.