According to The New York Times, Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano, reflecting on her party's recent losses in the presidential, Senate and House elections, asked: "How did a party that is filled with people with values -- and I am a person with values -- get tagged as the party without values?"
As one who was raised a Democrat and became a Republican only 10 years ago, I would like to answer Gov. Napolitano's question as honestly as she posed it.
Gov. Napolitano, your party does indeed have very many people with values in it. But the Democratic Party is no more representative of the average Democrat's values than the National Council of Churches is of the average Protestant's values. Both are far to the left of their membership.
Here is the Democratic Party as most Americans, including this John F. Kennedy liberal -- a New York City born and raised, Jewish, Ivy League-educated intellectual who lives in Los Angeles -- see it.
To most Americans, Michael Moore is a Marxist who has utter contempt for most of his fellow Americans, who goes abroad and tells huge audiences how stupid and venal his country is, and in his dishonest propaganda film, portrays the American military as callous buffoons. Yet, this radical was given the most honored seat at the Democratic Party convention in Boston, next to former President Jimmy Carter.
To most Americans, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are race-baiting demagogues. Yet they are heroes to the Democratic Party. Most Americans do not see their country as the bigoted and racist nation regularly depicted by both black and white Democratic leaders.
To most Americans, a man who wears women's clothing to work is a pathetic person in need of psychotherapy. To the Democratic Party, he is a man whose cross-dressing is merely another expression of multiculturalism. The California legislature, which is entirely controlled by Democrats, passed a law prohibiting any employer from firing a man who shows up to work wearing women's clothing.
To most Americans, Eminem is a vulgar nihilist who poisons young Americans' minds. To John Kerry he was a man whose anti-Bush hate video was worthy of endorsement.
To most Americans, obscenity-filled evenings should be restricted to R-rated films or a Las Vegas comedy act, not a major party's fund raiser attended by its candidates for president of the United States. To Democrats, those who object to such evenings are regarded as judgmental, hypocritical and narrow minded.
To most Americans, Hollywood stars are regarded as terrific to watch in films but also as narcissistic ingrates when, between private jet trips to Cuba and Cannes, they express their contempt for traditional America. That the Democrats have a veritable monopoly on support from folks like Sean Penn and Robert "Castro-is-a-great-leader" Redford may give Democrats a heady feeling, but for tens of millions of Americans it merely reinforces their belief that the Democratic Party shares Hollywood's values. Even The New York Times, in a post-election analysis, wrote of "the possibility that activist entertainers' fervent endorsements might have cost Mr. Kerry the election."
To most Americans, the American military is not only heroic; it is regarded as more important to safeguarding freedom than any other human institution, including the ACLU, the United Nations or the university, to cite three major Democratic Party affiliates. To virtually the entire Left, which includes the Democratic Party, the military is, at best, a necessary evil. Otherwise, the overriding doctrine is "Make love, not war." That is why Harvard still refuses to allow ROTC training -- and it is unlikely that either of the Massachusetts senators even finds that wrong, let alone as reprehensible as most Americans do.
To most Americans, gays are fellow Americans who happen to be homosexual and who should be accorded the same respect any fellow American is accorded. But most Americans also believe that America should retain the millennia-old definition of marriage as man-woman. They regard liberal judges who take it upon themselves to redefine marriage with contempt. And these judges are identified with the Democrats.
Whatever their views on abortion and abortion rights, the vast majority of Americans view the abortion of a viable fetus/baby (partial-birth abortion) as immoral. The Democratic candidate and his fellow Democrats repeatedly voted against a ban on this practice.
Gov. Napolitano, I hope that this short list answers your question about how it is that your party has gotten tagged as "the party without values." Indeed, the real question, as this observer sees it, is how has this party retained so many people who have traditional American values?