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John's moral values

11/05/04 12:00AM By Barrie Dunsmore
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(Host) If it is true that President Bush was re-elected on the strength of moral values - what does that say about the moral values of the 48 percent of the people who voted for John Kerry. Commentator Barrie Dunsmore discussed this question with an old friend.


(Dunsmore) My old friend, whom I'll call John, is a Christian. He goes to church fairly regularly, contributes to the church and to a number of local, national and international charities.

John is honest in all his dealings and he pays his taxes without complaining. He is moderate in his personal habits. He is faithful to his wife, and strongly supportive of his children. He is kind to his relatives, cares about his community and doesn't kick his dog.

John is strongly opposed to discrimination-on the basis of race, religion, age, gender-or sexual orientation. John does not support gay marriage. But he believes that people, who establish themselves as a couple, should have equal protection under the law - that they should have things like hospital visiting rights, and a claim to the partner's health insurance and pensions. That's why he supported Vermont's Civil Unions Bill.

John is uncomfortable with late term abortions but thinks banning such procedures without regard to the woman's health, is wrong. John thinks a woman and her doctor should be able to determine if a pregnancy should be terminated not the state. John wonders about those who are so adamant in their desire to preserve life in the womb-but have no evident interest to what happens to the infant after it is born. He has what may be a different moral value from those who voted for moral reasons, last Tuesday. John believes that a society as heavily laden with riches as this one, ought to be willing to shoulder responsibilities to help those in need of help. He supports government programs that do this and thinks this country should be able to provide adequate health care for all of its citizens. And as someone in the upper middle class he is willing to pay the taxes to accomplish this.

John strongly believes that it is important for this country's political leaders, especially its president to tell the truth. He was unhappy when former President Clinton lied about his relationship with a Whiter House intern and would have supported a public censure of this behavior. But John also believes that President Bush seriously misled the country on the reasons for invading Iraq. And he considers the Bush deceit, because of its far reaching consequences, of great magnitude than Clinton's.

Finally John believes in God - and in this country - and in what Abraham Lincoln said as the Civil War began - that we should not expect that God is on our side, but pray that we are on His.

In the wake of the election, John wonders, as do I, why many of those who voted for George W. Bush seem to think that John, and millions like him, have no moral values.

This is Barrie Dunsmore

Barrie Dunsmore is a veteran diplomatic and foreign correspondent for ABC News, now living in Charlotte.
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