Monday, August 09, 2004

Keyes' religious fundamentalism is a golden opportunity for Obama to 'convert' the pious to the Democratic Party

Alan Keyes is one eloquent fundamentalist. The Tribune had his saying that the victory in this Senate race is "for God" and also quoted him saying "we must continue to assert and stand tall to defend the great principles of God's authority and unalienable rights on which this nation is founded."

The motivating policy is abortion, of course, and Keyes helps to show how millions of lower-income people (that's less than 75K annually) vote for the party of wealth (that's the GOP) over the party of work (that's the Democrats). Because they want to do the moral thing, and that trumps their pocketbook.

This is the golden opportunity for Barack Obama, and with all the national attention, his message now will resonate around the country. Can Barack Obama show people how Democratic economic policies (higher minimum wage, easier unionization, investment in people through education and health care) are *morally* superior to Republican economic policies (cutting taxes on the wealthy)?

Can he show how pious people who "worship an awesome God" are morally and ethically compelled to support Democratic economic policies? Because it is immoral to support policies that minimize the middle class, make the rich richer and the poor poorer. It is immoral to do that. And that is what federal Republican policies do.

If Barack Obama can talk about taxes and fiscal policies in the language of morality. . . we might reclaim those pious, less-educated, lower-income white families away from pro-life Republicans and bring them back into the Democratic Party coalition.

These debates are going to be great.

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