The opening line of this New York Times piece set my head a-spinning:
I've got to ask the question: has the right so dominated the propaganda wars that they've managed to christen themselves "values voters" while implicitly and by extension re-defining the rest of us as hedonistic nihilists?
AFTER the 2004 elections, religious conservatives were riding high. Newly anointed by pundits as “values voters” — a more flattering label than “religious right” — they claimed credit for propelling George W. Bush to two terms in the White House. Even in wartime, they had managed to fixate the nation on their pet issues: opposition to abortion, gay marriage and stem cell research.
When in February of 2002 I marched through the streets of New York along with 200+ thousand like minded lefties in opposition to a looming, "pre-emptive" war of choice that would bring death to thousands of innocent men, women and children, were those not my values on display?
When I vote for the candidate who promises to extend health coverage to the needy who cannot afford it, are those not my values on display?
When I pull the lever for the candidate who assures me that he will ensure that our nation's elderly do not sink into destitution when they retire, are those not my values on display?
When I vote for the candidate who promises to allow scientists to inform the people of the environmental dangers we face in the coming decades, without censoring their speeches or de-funding their research, are those not my values on display?
When I rise in protest against a death penalty that almost all other industrialized nations have discarded, and which places these United States in league with totalitarian dictatorships such as Burma and China, are those not my values on display?
When I pen a blog entry lamenting the Bush Administration's promotion of torture as an acceptable form of interrogation for detained suspects, are those not my values on display?
The simple answer to these questions is that, yes, those are my values on display. I am not a nihilist, or a solipsist, or a hedonist. I am a values voter, and so are all the like minded people who I've met along the way, at political gatherings, at rallies, at universities, at churches and at work. And so to all those dime-store propagandists who wear the mantle of "pundit" and who would seek to convince the nation that I and my like-minded compatriots are valueless, I extend a hearty fuck you. I'll put my compassion and love of humanity up against your greed, your xenophobia, your jingoism, your warmongering, your homophobia and racism any day of the week as far as values go.