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Sunday, November 21, 2004

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 Democrats must focus on public morality

Barbara Ehrenreich offers some values advice for Democrats:
Of all the loathsome spectacles we've endured since November 2--the vampire-like gloating of CNN commentator Robert Novak, Bush embracing his "mandate"--none are more repulsive than that of Democrats conceding the "moral values" edge to the party that brought us Abu Ghraib. The cries for Democrats to overcome their "out-of-touch-ness" and embrace the predominant faith all dodge the full horror of the situation: A criminal has been enabled to continue his bloody work with the help, in no small part, of self-identified Christians....

In the aftermath of election '04, centrist Democrats should not be flirting with faith but re-examining their affinity for candidates too mumble-mouthed and compromised to articulate poverty and war as the urgent moral issues they are. Jesus is on our side here, and secular liberals should not be afraid to invoke him. Policies of pre-emptive war and the upward redistribution of wealth are inversions of the Judeo-Christian ethic...

Dead right. For too long the dems have allowed the "morality debate" to be about private morality (that is, who can do what to whoom in the privacy of their bedroom). This discussion must be broadened to include public morality: war, poverty, honesty and greed, among others. The task for the Democratic Party in the next four years is to field candidates that can articluate these issues.

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