Our local alternative mag here in Durham, the Independent, has issued its election endorsements. Many of the local ones seem thoughtful and a few even back Republicans or more conservative candidates (shockingly enough). But this claim about the presidential election is totally out of line:
At stake in this election is most of the social progress made in the United States over the last 50 years. In the long run, that is the most important reason to elect John Kerry. Racial integration and reconciliation, women's rights, the environmental movement, separation of church and state, gay rights, health care, civil liberties, workers' benefits, corporate oversight, gun control and open government are all areas in which the ideologues of the Bush administration are relentlessly, methodically and ruthlessly turning back the clock. The president and, we fear, some of his supporters want to take us back to the days when "family values" meant women, African Americans and gays and lesbians were second-class citizens, or worse.
What possible evidence is there to back this up? Is Bush calling for a return to Jim Crow laws? A ban on women in the workplace? Nationwide anti-sodomy laws? Talk about a baseless attack.
And in other evidence of questionable judgment, they ran a cover that's going to raise hackles about voter fraud: "Vote now. Go to an early voting site and vote for John Kerry and the rest of our endorsements. Then urge someone else to vote. Then do it again." "Then do it again" is in about the same size font as "Vote now" and everything else is smaller, so when you see it, the first thing you see is "Vote now...Then do it again." Not a good idea.