...in the bottom drawer
I knew I'd lose it so I put it in a safe place, and now I can't remember where it is.

currently stashed in: Cheshire Street, London
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November 03, 2004 || 4:40 am

Florida to Bush. Vodkapundit has most of the other swing states trending Bush. Although we all like to be optimistic, it looks like I could go to bed and wake up to the same old depressing government.

In talking to people here, and reading the web, the biggest single reason for this, which is hard for a European to come to terms with, is that people here vote not on politics, but on morality - as the most important issue poll shows. Devout Christians who disagree with Bush on every other issue will vote for him on the basis of the abortion issue alone. People frequently say they will vote for Bush because he is a Christian, so he will uphold the morality of the nation. It has absolutely nothing to do with Iraq, domestic policy, or any sort of policy at all. And absolutely nothing will change their minds on this.

You only have to look at the vast swathes of red on the map, covering the Mid-West and the South, to see how much of the country (and it is the country, the rural areas) hold to these sentiments. Ohio, the swing state, voted overwhelmingly against gay marriage. We may talk about the 'religious democracy' in places like Iran, but the religious dimension to politics here is as strong, especially in places like Alabama. This is in no way a secular society, however much the liberal pundits in the big cities may like to hope it is. The goggle-eyed amazement at the peculiarities of the 'religious right' (in Guardian terminology) should not pretend that this is a wacky minority - it is the way everyone outside the cosmopolitan centres of New England and the West Coast lives their everyday lives.

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