When people ask me about the effects moving to the US has had on me, one thing that usually comes up is that I feel my appreciation of USian politics has become considerably more nuanced. In the circles I moved in in the UK, from the perspective of which the Democrats are generally a pretty right-wing party, it was hard to believe that any intelligent person would vote Republican.
Since moving here, I’ve met quite a number of intelligent people who are open to divergent viewpoints and vote Republican. Sometimes their headline reason is “the abortion issue,” but usually there are economic philosophies and a belief in “small government” operating behind the scenes.
While I believe that the modern Republican party (or at least it’s members in elected office) has moved a long way from its small government base, and on certain issues is rapidly accelerating towards being an agent of interventionist government, I’ve been trying to learn to respect that people do have good reasons for voting that way and to realise that people on the right vote for parties that they don’t 100% agree with just as those of us on the left do.
In the context of trying to maintain a nuanced, respectful approach, it’s even sadder to come across pieces such as calvin4bush.com than it might otherwise be. While members of Calvin faculty opposed to some of Bush’s policies have been attempting to tread a fine (and deeply respectful) line in such difficult territory as Fox’s “Hannity & Colmes” show (transcript), this site appears to ignore that, and repeats many GOP talking points without the critical analysis that Calvin so prides itself on.
I’m not going to mount a rebuttal of the points in this site’s main statement, tempting though it may be. I will point out that many Bush voters may need to take pause for thought before signing up to some of the site’s claims (I know many people who voted for him, but would disagree with some of the points made). But mainly, I just want to express sadness that the debate isn’t being treated with more respect across the board.