POSSIBLY THE SINGLE MOST DEPRESSING THING I’VE READ ABOUT BILL CLINTON: Ruffini also has a long essay on John Judis’ and Ruy Teixeira’s upcoming book, The Emerging Democratic Majority, (a spoof of Kevin Phillips’ The Emerging Republican Majority, written in 1969). In it, Ruffini quotes from an essay in Dissent:
In the 1996 presidential campaign, Dick Morris and Mark Penn, Clinton’s two closest advisers, devised a mechanism for identifying voters likely to back Clinton and voters likely to back his Republican opponent, Bob Dole. Morris and Penn asked five questions, each one of which, according to the pollsters, directly or indirectly reflected a voter’s key cultural and moral values and thus his or her likely voting behavior:
(1) Do you believe homosexuality is morally wrong?
(2) Do you personally look at pornography?
(3) Do you believe sex before marriage is morally wrong?
(4) Would you look down on someone who had an affair while they were married?
(5) Is religion very important in your life?
Voters who were pro-Clinton replied “no” to questions one, three, four and five and “yes” to question two, with the converse true for Dole voters. The way in which voters answered these questions was more predictive of their presidential vote, Morris and Penn found, than every other demographic measure except race and party identification.
Talk about cheapening the office: setting aside the moral implications of Morris and Penn’s questions, just think about what they do to the American voter: turn him into a mass of hormones, whose sexual proclivities determine how he’ll vote for the most important elected official in the world.
Try to picture FDR, Truman or even JFK approving a poll like that.