"Man has a single basic choice: to think or not, and that is the gauge of his virtue." - Atlas Shrugged My college ethics professor once used the example of the earthworm to convey the notion of the creature incapable of moral thought. The earthworm merely acts in its own interests one hundred percent of the time without any moral reflection whatsoever. If it senses a predator, it heads underground. If it rains, it comes to the surface to avoid drowning. Whenever someone in his class answered a query without engaging in any serious moral thought, the professor referred to their response as "earthworm ethics."
As I read the commentary surrounding the summation of the results of the general election, one thing becomes abundantly clear - there are many voters out there who simply refused to think. And that is their biggest sin; the sin that delivers a slap across the face to everyone who used their ability to think rationally to arrive at decision regarding who should be our next commander in chief.
The biggest determining factor that blindsided the Democrats in this election cycle was this notion of "moral values" the news media have been talking about since the Bush victory. It blindsided the Democrats chiefly because they didn't think it was something they had to worry about. It wasn't John Kerry who ordered the first pre-emptive strike in the history of our country based on manufactured intelligence. John Kerry didn't send thousands of people to their deaths in Iraq to satisfy his personal bloodlust. Who would think that a comparison of the candidates' moral values would lead people to come to the conclusion that they prefer Bush's morals to Kerry's?
But that's exactly what happened. And ironically, many voters who chose to identify with the moral values of George Bush did so without an ounce of moral thought. What we've witnessed in the 2004 general election is the triumph of feelings over facts.
By casting a vote for George Bush's morality, a voter ignores the fact that George Bush succeeded in fingering Iraq for the September 11 terrorist attacks and that he had his mind made up to do so before he had seen any evidence. It ignores everything from the manufacturing of the intelligence through the present-day insistence that the Iraq war's ends justify its means. I was surprised to learn that three quarters of Bush supporters still believe that Iraq had something to do with the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Every major news outlet has been trumpeting the fact that the 9/11 Commission found no link between Iraq and the 9/11 attacks. There's no way to not be aware of this fact, unless you've spent the last year living in a cave. On Mars. With your fingers stuck in your ears.
It's things like this that lead me to the conclusion that we've finally witnessed the victory of feelings over facts. Feelings are what lead people to cast a vote for the morality of a president who has sent thousands of people to their deaths while lying to the country about why they've been sent to die. In effect, a decision concerning morality was made without any manner of moral thinking whatsoever. Isn't it ironic? Dontcha think?
I'm greatly insulted by this. After spending so much time following the issues, trading opinions and analyzing this choice in every way, there are those of us who would ignore all of that and vote without seriously thinking.
The election was won by George W. Bush because when the rainstorm hit, the earthworm predictably wriggled to the surface.