Peace through victory - the American way.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

All about the morals or all about the forward strategy of freedom?

Much has been made since the election about the importance of moral issues to Bush voters. The analysis is based on the exit poll that shows 22 percent of voters identified moral values as the most important issue in the election.

Of the 7 choices given to voters in the exit poll moral values received the most votes. It is significant that 80 percent of these moral values voters voted for Bush and 18 percent voted for Kerry. However, a closer look at the exit poll suggests that national security was the most important issue to more voters and the relationship between Iraq and the war on terrorism was decisive.

National security was not listed as a single issue in the exit poll. Instead, the poll listed Iraq and Terrorism as separate issues. Nineteen (19) percent of voters chose terrorism as most important and 15 percent chose Iraq. Thus, 34 percent of voters chose national security issues as most important in the election.

Looking within these numbers 86 percent of the terrorism voters went to Bush while only 26 percent of the Iraq voters went to Bush. These numbers suggest that Iraq voters are concerned about the Bush administration's handling of the war there whereas terrorism voters are satisfied with the Bush administration's handling of the war against terrorism. The Iraq numbers reflect significant dissatisfaction with Bush's performance in Iraq. This is borne out by another question which shows 52 percent of the voters think things are going badly for the US in Iraq and of those voters only 17 percent went for Bush.

Yet this dissatisfaction with performance does not appear to be determinative. Another number suggests what was determinative among voters concerned over national security. A constant mantra of Democrats in this election was that Iraq is a distraction from the war on terrorism. This Democratic position turned out to be fatal to their chances for power since it placed them in opposition to what most American voters believe. When asked whether the Iraq war is part of the war on terrorism a strong majority, 55 percent, said it is. Despite voters' unease with the conduct of the Iraq war, Bush took 81 percent of "Iraq is part of the war on terrorism" vote while Kerry took 88 percent of the vote of people who think the Iraq was is a distraction.

So, were voters just stupid? Everybody knows that Iraq had no links to Al Qaeda or to 9/11 and voters themselves believe things are going badly in Iraq, yet those same voters put Bush back into office. With respect to the first point, Iraq's relationship, or not, to Al Qaeda or 9/11 is not what makes the war there part of the war on terrorism. Instead, Bush voters recognize that overthrowing fascist regimes is a good thing, and where it can be done, it should be done. And in this case, overthrowing fascist regimes is part of a "root causes" approach to fighting terrorism. Blue county voters can't seem to comprehend this, but Bush recognized this long ago, and red county voters are on the same page as Bush on this. This is why red county voters gave their vote to Bush; they understand that the Iraqi liberation is part of the war against terrorism, and why should they give their vote to a candidate and a party who don't embrace this strategy.

Moreover, we now have some evidence to back up the strategy of overthrowing dictatorships in order to fight terrorism. A Harvard study shows that terrorism is reduced in countries that are free.

Let the liberation continue.



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