“George W. Bush Has Moral Values”
A voter in West Virginia actually said this. He was a lifelong Democrat until 2000, and then: “Bush was a good man and had good morals. I felt he was the better man.” This year — “I don't care for Obama.”
Words like “morals” and “values” have been thrown around so much, they’ve lost whatever specific meaning they ever had. They’ve become completely subjective.
It’s like what they say about pornography: “I can’t define it but I know it when I see it.”
Rightwing think tanks have been very busy over the last few decades. They’ve been manipulating the public consciousness, using the most sophisticated psychological and neurolinguistic techniques available. And it’s worked like a charm.
Thanks to these manipulative techniques, millions of Americans now have negative associations with the word “liberal.” “Liberal” means “soft,” “socialist,” “nanny state,” “well intentioned but fuzzy-headed.”
“Conservative” on the other hand equals “strong,” “upright,” “a pillar of the community.” Think of Ward Cleaver giving a kind but firm fatherly lecture to The Beav.
And the words “morals” and “values” now have a very strong mesmerizing hold on millions of voters. It doesn’t matter that they couldn’t define either of those words to save their lives. They’ve been hypnotized.
When a rightwing talking head utters either of those words, it’s like one of those scenes from The Manchurian Candidate where the subject hears a certain key word and flies into a hypnotic trance, ready to carry out his pre-programmed commands.
There have been numerous jokes and cartoons about Bush and “morals,” where a person admits Bush was wrong about invading a sovereign nation that wasn’t a threat to us, wrong about overturning several decades worth of environmental protections and wrong about waging economic war against the middle class. And at the end he says “but I like him because he has moral values.”
For millions of voters, this is no joke. For reasons they could probably never articulate, they really do think George W. Bush has “morals” and “values.”
Hey, he goes to church, he quotes the Bible from time to time, and he’s never had an affair with an intern (that we know of). So what if he’s killed thousands of American soldiers and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians. Pulling the rug out from under millions of working-class citizens? Taking a shit on the Constitution?
Whatever. At least he has Values.
cross-posted at Bring It On!