A Los Angeles
Times column written by School of Communications faculty member
Michael Skube features a mention of reporting by students enrolled
in his Investigative Reporting course this fall.
In the column,
titled "We're Saved. You Lost. Now What?" Skube echoes
myriad press reports during election week that show polling of voters
indicates no other issue outranked moral values - not the economy,
not Iraq, not terrorism - in the presidential election of 2004.
"On election day, I dispatched a class of journalism students
at Elon University to voting stations in Alamance County, N.C.,
to do some polling of their own. The results - in a county half
an hour's drive from liberal Chapel Hill and Durham - reflected
voting patterns in many places: Bush by a bundle. But why?
"'I voted for
Christianity,' one man told a student pollster. He is the human
face to Samuel P. Huntington's incendiary argument that America's
national identity rests on two pillars - a British concept of civil
society and a full-blooded Christianity. Bush's supporters set out
to reclaim that identity, none with greater commitment than evangelical
Protestants and conservative Catholics (talk about strange bedfellows)."
on to say that "politics is the art of compromise, but there
always have been issues that one side or another declared nonnegotiable."
he writes, "We witness every day things that many Americans
once thought inconceivable - in the workplace, in schools, in social
life. They came about only because private belief gave way to social
necessity. But there are beliefs firmly held, and then there are
beliefs that many regard as sacred. Pollsters and the media assume
that people care mostly about material well-being. That, after all,
is what they care mostly about. The consequence is that they fail
to see people as they really are. Or accept them on their own terms.
For most Americans, life has both a material and a spiritual dimension.
The one they will sacrifice, if they must. The other, never."