- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 21, 2004

Over the last eight days I have been interviewed at least 50 times by reporters seeking an answer to the apparently difficult question: “Who are these values voters?” Many of the interviewers have been condescending at best and outright hostile at worst. After 24 years of active political involvement starting with Ronald Reagan’s election in 1980, are America’s political, cultural and media elites really this much in the dark about their fellow Americans who were in church on Sunday, at work on Monday and in the voting booth Nov. 2? The answer to who we are is, of course, that we are your next-door neighbor, your kid’s teacher and the clerk at the local drugstore. Not everyone shares my evangelical faith, but the great majority of Americans in both parties embrace the values of hearth and home and further see America as a special place blessed by God that is a force for good in the world.

With all due respect to the professional political analysts, they are missing a much more mysterious and troubling “values voter.” The question that begs an answer is not why so many Americans believe in Main Street values and are comfortable with the moral and ethical imperatives inherent in the Judeo-Christian tradition. The unanswered question is: Why does a sizable minority, firmly entrenched in academia, Hollywood and the “chattering classes” so thoroughly reject, despise and disdain the values of average Americans? Why have so many on the left come to hate the country of their birth, regularly comparing it to Nazi Germany, at the very time that real fascists have already attacked our homeland once and desperately are trying to do so again? That intolerant left was on full display during the rancorous election year. First there was filmmaker Michael Moore, who called the thugs blowing up GIs in Baghdad “patriots.” His “Fahrenheit 9/11” propaganda film masquerading as a documentary pictured U.S. soldiers as oafs and barbarians, but the film received a Hollywood-style opening right here in Washington, with leading figures of the Democratic Party in attendance. And there was Mr. Moore with a seat of honor next to Jimmy Carter at the Democratic convention. Americans disagree about the wisdom of our liberation of Iraq, but only among the leftist louts is there a conviction that U.S. soldiers are the bad guys and that America is evil.

As I’m writing this, U.S. soldiers and Marines are fighting a determined terrorist army in Fallujah. Most Americans of both parties are praying for these courageous young men. But over at the Democratic Underground, a Web site where the left loiters, a disturbing number of bloggers compare our soldiers to Nazis and express glee over reports of U.S. military reverses. Why doesn’t anyone in the mainstream media think this loathing of America on the left is worth examination? The far left apparently loves to be profane about our country and its institutions.How else to explain the spectacle of Whoopi Goldberg building acomedymonologue around a vulgar play on the President’s last name while the Democratic ticket laughed along with the glitterati in Manhattan? When word of the disgusting performance leaked out, John Kerry chose to stand by his Hollywood supporters, even claiming they represented the “heart and soul” of America. Not in the America I grew up in, and — as the red-hued map on Election Night showed — not in the great heartland of this country.

I just don’t get these folks who have done so well in America but still can’t resist kicking their nation and its leaders in the groin. I don’t get their philosophy. If it is liberalism, it sure isn’t the liberalism of JFK or FDR. How is it that they can shed tears for murderers on death row but say it is only a choice when a million innocent children are aborted every year? Why do they think it is bigotry to simply believe marriage should remain the union of one man and one woman as it has been for thousands of years? Why do they always claim to be for free speech, even defending songs and movies that denigrate women and glorify violence, but then turn right around and react to a plaque of the Ten Commandments hanging on a courthouse wall as if it is a threat to the republic?

No, the oddity on Election Day was not that millions of Middle Americans showed up who love their country and still believe in reliable standards of right and wrong. Those folks have been around since the beginning of the republic.

The mystery is what sustains these radicals who hate America and hate their fellow citizens. The mystery is why an historically great party, the party of my parents and grandparents, the Democratic Party of the “working man,” can’t or won’t find the courage to kick this gang of malcontents out of their “big tent.” Until they show Michael Moore and George Soros the door, I don’t think they are going to have much luck recapturing the heart of Main Street.

Gary Bauer is president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families.

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