Michael Medved: Why Democrats Are Suddenly Unforgiving Moralists
An Economist/YouGov poll asks respondents if they’d back “a presidential candidate who has done immoral acts in private life.” A full 48 percent of Republicans find it acceptable, but only 19 percent of Democrats agree. After three-decades of Democratic infatuation with the profoundly imperfect Bill and Hillary, this counts as a shock. Yes, these attitudes reflect the polarized response to the current incumbent but other factors make the GOP less judgmental than the stereotype. More common identification with religion helps Republicans see “immoral acts in private” as nearly universal, so they pick the most capable sinner. It’s liberals who view politics as life’s highest calling, while conservatives look askance at politicians in general, while feeling ready to trade a bit of private imperfection for a lot of public competence.