November 19, 2004

It's not so simple.

That's what Chicago Tribune reporter Tim Jones told CJR Daily (formerly Campaign Desk) in repsonse to a question about the results of the US presidential election. In another of the website's Friday interviews with working journalists, Jones said that attributing Dubya's re-election to the 'values issue' misses the complexity of how people define 'values':

I'm old enough to remember the campaign in 1968, and what we saw this time around reminded me a lot of what I remember from 1968, because it was a time when the nation was split apart on civil rights and on the sexual revolution and on the war. And this time around you had gay rights and the war and the whole lingering thing over abortion, which did not exist as a major issue in 1968. So in a lot of ways the country was torn apart in ways that it was 36 years ago. And it makes it difficult to try to get a handle on...why it is we did get the outcome that we did. In my own mind, I think one of the things that sticks out in conversations that I had with people is that a lot of folks would say, "you know, I'm really not that comfortable with George Bush, I think the economy is not going well, I think it was a huge mistake to go into Iraq, but I'm really not comfortable with changing commanders-in-chief in the middle of the game. And we're there and maybe we ought to try to fix it." And I think that is a vastly underestimated influence in the outcome. And that's...getting overlooked by all of the attention to family values, or moral values, or values in general.

Posted by Magpie at November 19, 2004 01:13 PM | US Politics | Technorati links |

Good point, but I think it goes beyond that. Different regions, different states, different towns all had their own reasons in this election for how they voted. Values, the war, not changing commanders, a New England candidate, gay marriage, September 11th, flip flop perceptions, etc...., The list goes on and on. We will never be able to say, we lost because of ...

We just have to find ways to better represent our ideals and promote them better. Strong candidates from the bottom up would be a huge plus, too.

Just my two cents.

Posted by: Scott at November 19, 2004 03:22 PM