Wednesday, November 03, 2004


QUESTION: Is Kerry’s decision to concede borne of pragmatism or insecurity?

Pragmatism – a beginning student of statistics could see the handwriting on the TV screen by about 10.00PM last night. The trend in Bush’s favor wasn’t small, though the nervous networks chose to play it conservatively by not calling any state that would have put Bush over the top. He was raised as a gentle and noble man – he made the gentlemanly decision.

Insecurity – Kerry’s fear that any protracted legal challenge would paint him the same color as Al Gore made him realize he had to do the right thing. It just wasn’t worth being labeled a spoiled-sport raving lunatic.

You choose.

QUESTION: Is there a deeper message in the vote (other than Bush won?)?


Wretchard has said it best, so I will include his words in their totality (NOTE: he wrote this before Kerry conceded):

The Presidential election is over for all practical purposes. Although spin doctors and lawyers will quibble and obfuscate, the essence of the news is not so much that Bush won, but how big he won. Whatever shaving is done on the margins it must now be accepted that the old order is dead. Neither the 60s nor vaudeville are coming back. Overlooked in the obsession with Presidential electoral votes was the passage in 11 out of 11 states of the Gay Marriage Ban. The Guardian reports:

In a resounding, coast-to-coast rejection of gay marriage, voters in 11 states approved constitutional amendments Tuesday limiting marriage to one man and one woman. The amendments won, often by huge margins, in Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Ohio, Utah and Oregon - the one state where gay-rights activists hoped to prevail. The bans won by a 3-to-1 margin in Kentucky, Georgia and Arkansas, 3-to-2 in Ohio, and 6-to-1 in Mississippi.

This is not the place to discuss the subject of homosexual marriage, but this result together with everything else, if does not suggest something definite, unmistakably hints the atmosphere has changed forever. The Left cannot now attempt to reassemble the pieces of their old platforms, hoping that a little tweaking and repackaging here and there will once again make them competitive. It's the platform itself that has rotted and fallen to pieces. The times, they are a' changing.

Thoughtful people within the Liberal establishment must now accept, or at least seriously consider the possibility that:
  • the world is indeed facing a new fascist threat in the shape of radical Islam. It is not imaginary;
  • chaos and disorder are threatening to engulf large parts of the Third World and international institutions, like the World Bank and the UN have proved incapable to deal with it; and
  • the populations of Europe and America, or America at least, retain certain core beliefs -- never mind what these are for the present -- which are absolutely nonnegotiable and which will not be surrendered under any circumstances.

On this basis all men of goodwill can work together to build a 21st century society that will face the new aggressors; use the power of the markets and technology to bring material prosperity to the billions of impoverished people in the Third World; and acknowledge that we, like all our ancestors from the day we first learned to bury our dead under a cairn of stones are still entitled to ask the eternal questions. That we desire, not to be New Soviet or Post-modern Men, but simply Men, as ever we were.

I’ll add my two cents . . .

After the vote of 2000, the left/liberal/Democrats didn’t get it. They’ve sat in denial for four years, believing Gore won; since Gore won they've continued believing their platform survived. They completely missed the message.

As punishment for that arrogance, the American voter has now delivered an impressive mandate -- not just that they want George Bush to be President for four more years.

  • Virtually every ballot initiative that involved a new tax levy was defeated.

  • Every ballot measure that legitimized gay marriage and/or civil unions was overwhelmingly defeated, even amongst those who voted for Kerry.

  • Virtually all "liberal" causes that were the subject of special referenda were defeated.

The message to the Democrats was cold and unambiguous.

Their man was defeated by a multi-million vote majority but their agenda was rejected by an astounding majority. The American voter couldn’t have been more clear – Democrats must abandon their tired, unwanted agenda or continue to suffer defeat. It’s over. The message is "adapt or be further marginalized."

It’s a good day.


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