November 05, 2004

President of the World

To the shock and awe of my work colleagues, I supported George Bush for President. They all assumed I was right-minded until I was outed by the election. Now they know I'm not in my right mind.

Some of them got quite animated at the mention of a second Bush administration. It is bad enough that he invaded Iraq. The really terrible thing is that he is a religious "fundamentalist". I put this in quotes because they have no idea what a fundamentalist actually is. But how could someone who is guided in any way by religious beliefs be trusted to lead the world?

The 60,000,000 Americans who voted for him had an obligation to give the secularist godless Europeans a President who shares their worldview. How could they dare do otherwise? How could they not realise that the endorsement of the Guardian was binding on them, one and all?

And speaking of Manchester's gift to the world of pinko quasi-journalism, even in today's edition, the pages were filled with disgust. Well, I should say the Guardian website is filled with articles from today's edition, because I the only time I ever read a paper copy is when I find it discarded on a train. If you want to read some of the more entertaining of this vitriole, I recommend historian Simon Schama's op-ed piece, "Onward Christian soldiers". It is amazing how much he gets it (and hates it) and the same time doesn't get it at all.

Former senior Democratic party strategist Philip James, also writing in the aforementioned rag, definitely gets it, whether he likes it or not. In his post mortem:

In a country with so many believers, (80% of this year's voters said they attended church) this is a huge problem. Kerry simply wasn't communicating to a massive slice of the electorate, the hard core of which gets its political information not from the TV news, but from the pulpit.

Not all Christian churchgoers are hardcore evangelicals, but it's clear that Kerry did not appeal to any of them. Just as Bush wore his religion on his sleeve, so Kerry wore his irreligiousness on his. Kerry thought that referring to his upbringing as a Catholic altar boy would be sufficient. It only made it clear that religion was a vestige of his upbringing without relevance to his current life.

The few times that Kerry attended Southern Baptist churches on the campaign trail, he looked like a tourist in Harlem. The services appeared to pique his interest as they would an anthropologist. He was never an actual participant.

That's why Brits and other Europeans warmed to Kerry. It had nothing to do with the fact that Kerry wasn't going to pull out of Iraq, but rather pressure the Europeans to give a greater share of the troops to the war zone. (They were so busy screaming their hatred at Bush that they missed this altogether.) No, it was that religion has no real relevance in his life.

Posted by david at November 5, 2004 10:34 PM | TrackBack