President Jimmy Carter recomended a series of questions for those who aren’t sure how they should vote. I found these immensely well stated. You really do have to eliminate the clutter and rhetoric of the Right and pose stark contrasting values to make the choice abundantly clear: Daily Kos: Questions and Answers.
"I had lunch in Plains with a family from Panama City, and a high school girl asked me why she should be a Democrat.
I asked her a series of questions that all bloggers should use in discussions:
Do you prefer peace or war?
Do favor tax breaks for the richest Americans or working families?
Would you rather destroy the environment or protect it?
Do you approve the torture of prisoners?
Do you think our government should secretly spy on your family?
Do you think we should abandon every nuclear arms control agreement negotiated since Dwight Eisenhower was president?
Do you approve of your part of the national debt now being $28,000 per person and increasing by $300 each month?
Do you think we should meld religion and government?
She gave me the Democratic answer to all the questions, and I believe that most Americans will agree, no matter if their state is red or blue.
It is sometimes easy to forget what a brilliant feel for the American character and values Jimmy Carter has, given his widely denegrated tenure as President. But recall that Carter came zooming out of nowhere, much like Dean, as an unknown Governor of a state that hasn’t been very important in national politics. Only Carter won the Primary fight and went on to win the General. He had an air of scandal at his back from a failed Presidency, too, and he played it perfectly with his signature line, "I will never lie to the American people." Unfortunately for him, he kept his word, and Americans didn’t much care for the Truth after all. Obviously, however, this is a man Democrats should be listening to right now.
I also highly recommend Carter’s recent book, Our Endangered Values: America’s Moral Crisis. Carter addresses what should be a central concern of every democrat and Democrat: actively bringing the so-called ‘Values Voter’ back to the side of democracy, civil society, limited government, and social responsiblity toward our poor, our oppressed, our children, our legacy, and the heath of our planet. Too many people have been seduced and blinded by the ideology of hate that the Theocratic Right has used to wedge these people of conscience away from voting for responsible candidates. More than anything else, reconcilling these voters to secular and rational governance will be the great political feat of this era.