[Marxism] Moral Values Redux: a view from the Moscow Times

Jurriaan Bendien andromeda246 at hetnet.nl
Mon Dec 6 17:56:31 MST 2004

Client State

By Chris Floyd
Published: December 3, 2004

The years of George W. Bush's sour misrule have been disastrous for many of 
his staunchest supporters. The Heartland folk have seen their jobs taken, 
liberties curtailed, communities withered, states bankrupted, prices hiked, 
schools neglected, pensions gutted, air poisoned, water tainted, and their 
children killed and maimed in an unjust war for profit that's made the world 
more dangerous. Yet still they swear allegiance to a leader whose every 
action -- as opposed to the honeyed hokum of his speeches -- expresses 
nothing but vicious contempt for those he governs.

It is, by any measure, an extraordinary situation. How can we account for 
it? One answer -- offered up ad nauseam by Bush's cadre of media toadies --  
is that the rock-ribbed American yeomanry placed their dedication to "moral 
values" above crass economic interests. This display of transcendent 
idealism has excited admiration even among the defeated Democrats, whose 
"centrist" apparatchiks and commentators openly long for some of that 
red-state moral mojo.

There's just one thing wrong with this ubiquitous piece of conventional 
wisdom: It's a steaming crock of Crawford cowflop. The truth is that the 
number of voters in 2004 citing "moral values" as their priority in 
selecting a candidate -- 22 percent -- actually declined by more than 13 
percent from 2000, as Frank Rich, among others, reports. In fact, the 
"values" vote was down almost 20 percent from the 1996 campaign, which 
returned the notoriously amoral Bill Clinton to office with a bigger winning 
margin than the tiny mandate Bush managed to muster, by hook and crook, this 

Of course, the phrase "moral values" is just one more example of the 
Idiotspeak used by journalists, pollsters, advertisers and political hacks 
to debase the language and reduce reality to a few malleable chunks of, 
well, Crawford cowflop. In the degraded, aggressively ignorant context of 
the last election, there were apparently no moral concerns whatsoever 
attached to such issues as war, economic justice, capital punishment, 
national security, corporate crime, stewardship of the planet, upholding the 
Constitution or caring for the sick, elderly and poor.

No, in the idiom of Idiotspeak, "moral values" refers to one thing only: 
sex -- abortion, homosexuality, nudity. And as we all know, sex sells. It 
moves some $10 billion in porn and paraphernalia in the godly United States 
each year; and it pumps untold billions into the secretive coffers of 
"religious" foundations and right-wing "nonprofits" devoted to manufacturing 
remunerative outrage in defense of "the family." But the fact that a 
shrinking sliver of the electorate still gets all wiggly at the thought of 
body parts and bedroom hydraulics hardly accounts for the cognitive 
dissonance in America today.

Complete story: 

For the Frank Rich article, see e.g. 

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