Anyway. I was obviously pleased and relieved with the result of the presidential election. Another result would have, honestly, confused me. Mainly, because I think most people are politically closer to me than to Michael Moore. Even if you're not socially conservative, which I only partly concede I am, you're probably economically conservative. Essentially, most people think that they can do a better job with their money than the government, and if you want to vote for someone with similar leanings, your best chance is the Republican. Especially in this election, how hard does one have to squint to find, "JOHN F. KERRY...Fiscal Conservative," believable. Much less, "JOHN F. KERRY...Social Conservative." Yes, I'm snickering, too.
Just look at the numbers from yesterday's entry. The President, the House, the Senate, most state governors, and most state legislatures; they all have one thing in common and it's not a love of the French nobility. Hewitt said it like this:
Looking back to 1968, the GOP has won seven of ten presidential campaigns. Carter triumphed only against an appointed Ford who carried the burden of a pardon, and Clinton won a three-way race, and struggled to a re-election far less persuasive than the Bush mandate Tuesday.
It is a Republican country, but it is very hard for the left to see this because they believe so deeply in their agenda. The emerging GOP majority had also struggled because the Supreme Court's Republican nominees have not reflected the political views of their appointers, and the Senate magnifies the power of the minority. These are good checks on sudden shifts in political direction, but eventually they are eroded by solid majorities. We have reached that time, as the next Supreme Court nomination battle will underscore.
Some might query, "If the country's so Republican, why did Kerry only lose by 3.5%?" Drumroll...come on...surely you know what's coming...that's right! The media. If you don't believe me and my numerous past rants on this topic just ask the media themselves. On July 10 the Assistant Managing Editor of Newsweek--not even a mere writer but someone who might sit in on a meeting or two-- Evan Thomas told those watching the syndicated program Inside Washington that most reporters wanted a certain senator to win. He said:
“The media, I think, wants Kerry to win. And I think they’re going to portray Kerry and Edwards — I’m talking about the establishment media, not Fox — but they’re going to portray Kerry and Edwards as being young and dynamic and optimistic and all. There’s going to be this glow about them that some, is going to be worth, collectively, the two of them, that’s going to be worth maybe 15 points.”(HT - MRC)
I see. so 48% minus 15% is...ummmm....carry the one...no wait...oh...yes, it's 33%. Or maybe he just meant 15 point to the spread. In that case it's still a 40/60 split, and that ain't close. It certainly doesn't make you think "deeply divided." The media is why many believe that Bush lost 400 tons of explosives. The media is why most of the public never heard about the Swift Boat Vets, except when Chris Matthews was spewing his vitriolic invectives. The media is why more people believe that Bush quit looking for Bin Laden but know nothing about the oil-for-food scandal. I just don't think you can discount the effect that a legacy of very liberal anchors being the main distributors or news for a 50 year period. Cronkite, Rather, Brokaw, yada, yada, yada.
I also think that there are certain groups that for reasons I don't fully understand associate the Democratic party with some by-gone era. Many elderly still believe FDR's ghost keeps watch over the party of the jack-ass...oh, sorry Mom, donkey. Uh, he doesn't. Some Baby Boomers think that the most recent "J.F.K. - D" is like THE "J.F.K. - D"...he's not. I fully believe JFK would have to run on the Republican ticket today. Tax cuts and strong defense? The Black vote I'll never understand. As a group they're much more socially conservative than I am. I assume their loyalty has something to do with LBJ and the Civil Rights Bill. I wasn't alive for any of that, but did that help that much more than when Nixon helped introduce affirmative action? The loyalty seems misplaced. The Jewish vote? I've always assumed we shared more than just a religious heritage, but what do I know.
All this to say, today there should be no question. The conservative vote is no longer a special interest; it is the public mindset.