The Values Voter Is Us; '100 Percent Pure' Ideology No Longer Satisfies

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), October 29, 2007 | Go to article overview

The Values Voter Is Us; '100 Percent Pure' Ideology No Longer Satisfies


Byline: Suzanne Fields, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

The conventional wisdom says the religious right has a monopoly on the "values voters," but that's too simple. We're all values voters. We just define our values differently. In a democracy politics is the art of capturing the passions of the people, and in the heat of the race intelligent argument usually drives most of us toward the middle.

"The fact that we cannot escape moral conflicts in politics does not doom American democracy to endless political warfare," writes Jon A. Shields, a professor of political science at the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs, in the Wilson Quarterly, showing how ideologues appeal to the emotions of specific constituencies, but they have to persuade others with reason. "Even the most religiously inspired social movements learn to moderate their appeals in order to win over middle-of-the road citizens." A slight shift of opinion transforms the red states and the blue states into various shades of purple. Frances Willard, the zealous president of the Women's Christian Temperance Union at the end of the 19th century, understood the importance of reaching out to the opposition.

"Be of teachable spirit," she told her followers," and [be] tolerant of those opinions which differ from ours while we strive to show the reasonableness of ours." An organization called Stand to Reason trains religious activists today to avoid religious language and encourage lively debate on the moral issues of cultural significance.

Religious arguments arm the dedicated ideologue, but a broader argument is necessary to get the less spiritually minded to listen. In the early 20th century there was strong support for sterilization of the psychologically impaired, based on the "science" of eugenics. The Roman Catholic Church naturally crusaded against eugenics, but not by emphasizing religious doctrine. The crusaders brought legal, scientific and moral arguments to bear showing how eugenics contradict our most cherished notions of social justice.

Appeals to compromise or moderation drive the fanatics in any social movement to the sidelines of cultural struggle. Fires destroy everything when zealots get too fired up. It's not hard to find numerous examples. The impatient and irrational flee from appeals to reason to marginalization and then sometimes to violence. The no-compromisers in the civil rights movement begat the Black Panthers, the environmentalists begat eco-terrorists, the New Left begat the Weathermen, pro-lifers begat abortion-clinic bombers. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Values Voter Is Us; '100 Percent Pure' Ideology No Longer Satisfies
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.