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November 2004

Our election has come and gone.
Possibly the most significant thing Americans learned with this election was the tremendous polarity and division that was revealed among our populace as the campaigning came to its conclusion. Regardless of whether or not the voting itself was flawed or tampered with, we cannot deny that as citizens in our country we are not united in our most important views. When the smoke and flames from the shock and awe of the election results cleared away, from a wide range of news and commentary sources as well as voices of our citizen-voters we learned that the most powerfully determining factor was that of "morale values."
On the surface, we are faced with the notion that the majority of this country - possessing the higher values of morality that matter most - has finally spoken in rebuke of those in the minority who apparently do not equate morale values in the same way.
On the surface we who did not vote then with the "morale majority" are left to consider our ways, our values and our lifestyles as having been condemned or deemed "unrighteous." Even now at this early post-election time pundits and politicians are advising the losing party to figure out a way to reach out to this indignant moral majority by inserting god-talk into the dialogue in a meaningful way in order to make headway at the next election.
Liberal politicians and liberal political critics have been put on notice that their disagreement with conservative political and religious values will not be as tolerated as it has in the past. This past week on several occasions we witnessed this "putting on notice" by conservative politicians, pundits and conservative Christian leaders who demonstrated aptly that they have been offended for a long time and "enough is enough."
Tempers flared, angry words were spoken on broadcast programs that revealed more than just a sense of having voted their conscience and having rejected one candidate in favor of another. Resentment was powerfully displayed; a humorless resentment that revealed just how powerfully offended this majority voting block has been by the criticisms, satire, sarcastic humor and open political attacks on their religious beliefs and on a president they deeply revere as their "Christian in the White House."
It appears that many of us were blind to this and sorely underestimated the depth of that resentment. Decades of stand-up comedy that ridiculed the religious in the country is an example of what has been simmering for a long time - an offendedness that finally boiled over into an almost blind willingness to ignore any detailed examination or critique of Mr. Bush's presidency coupled with an unforgiving desire for what might be called the ultimate repudiation of irresponsible, disrespectful and diminishing behavior.
Comedians have always had their best success when they cause us to laugh at ourselves. An ignorant assumption that everything about our society was therefore "fair game" has resulted in a long-festering and simmering resentment of having one's most cherished values belittled publicly. There are things, as I learned from my wife long ago, that are flat-out just not funny.
We are then left with the circumstance of today in which one segment of our society has risen in righteous rage to rebuke the other offending segment. Things ARE that black and white in this country right now.
Today, liberal organizations, liberal Churches and liberal Christians have been given the word that there is a more fundamental degree of righteousness that matters beyond the basic fundamental concepts of Christ. Driven by radical Christian political power-mongers, whether intentionally or not, those voters who refused to see the reality of the direction in which those power mongers want to take our nation will now face the consequences of their personal decisions.
Voting against gays, abortion, evolution and in blind support of our “Christian in the White House” was the easiest moral choice those voters – and we who voted against Mr. Bush as well - will have to make. The moral choices will only become more difficult as time moves on. Things will not progress more easily now that the majority has spoken.
Those who voted to affirm their support of the current political administration have caused the entire electorate to assume an equal responsibility for all that America - a nation populated by a Christian majority - has done in the past four years and what America - a nation now dominated by a Christian majority - will do in the next four years. That is the real meaning of the need to understand what Mr. Kerry meant when he talked about a "global test."
As happens every four years, we as citizens are given the responsibility to endorse or repudiate decisions and actions of our leaders. In so doing, every four years we send a message to the world as to what this nation – founded as a consequences of groups of colonists seeking religious freedom itself - stands for and will stand for in the coming years.
Although this election was never about the candidates of good versus the candidates of evil, the majority of voters acted as if it were so. However, now we all will have to bear the glory or the shame of that decision. In using the words "morale values" victorious political and religious pundits have had to admit that those values centered on a current narrow range of concepts: abortion, gay marriage, and evolution.
Yet, morale values were also at the heart of the argument against re-electing the president. He has not been dishonest or shy in proclaiming his sense of having been placed in the presidency by God nor his intention to foster conservative corporate business and tax philosophies and a neocon philosophy of world domination. Those who voted for him heard him repeatedly assert those dogmatic economic and political views. There are moral values inexorably and directly connected to these philosophies as well.
Christianity, however, is more than narrow views of gays, abortion and evolution. We have a significantly larger list of moral values that owe their origination to Jesus Christ.
An honest person realizes the implications of all convictions. Any who proclaim moral values absolutely must address personally and publicly – when they speak out - how our nation reconciles its thinking with the broader array of traditional Christian values.
Arthur Ruger 2004

Arthur & Lietta Ruger 2002-2008. The American Choice is a  political internet journal based in Bay Center, Washington. The views expressed not authored by Arthur or Lietta Ruger are the writers' own and do not necessarily reflect those of The American Choice or SwanDeer Productions. Permission of author required for reprinting original material, and only requests for reprinting a specific item are considered.