Friday, March 22, 2002
In an op-ed piece in Saturday's New York Times, Bill Keller analyzes the presidency of George W. Bush and discovers that he's not quite what anyone expected him to be. Keller comes to the conclusion that, above all, Bush is a moralist. Great, fine, whatever. What I find objectionable in an otherwise average op-ed is an attack on religious conservatives.
Nor can Mr. Bush be claimed by the culture warriors of the Christian right, although he gave them John Ashcroft and occasionally throws them a steak. The president is not a bigot, or a pessimist.
So, the "Christian right" is just a bunch of bigots? Hardly, but it sounds good and it's probably the sort of thing that Mr. Keller believes. Just because people decry the sex and violence in movies and on TV, doesn't make them bigots. Just because people don't want schools teaching that homosexuality is a "lifestyle choice" doesn't mean they're bigots. Just because people want a choice of where to send their kids to school doesn't mean they're a bigot.
Of course, just because someone falsely labels a group a bunch of bigots, it doesn't mean they're a hatemonger. Or does it?
[A final note: I'm not in favor of vouchers for every child. But I am slowly becoming convinced that, in the cases of some of the worst schools, that vouchers are probably a necessary evil. I make this statement to deflect a potential tongue-lashing from the former president of the Grossmont Education Association.]