| By Roger Propst|
Election 2004: President Bush was re-elected by three million votes over Senator Kerry in the largest voter turnout percentage since 1968. The President carried Florida by almost 400,000 votes; no recounts this time. Mr. Bush won 31 of the 50 states, while Republicans increased their vote total in every state but three. The President’s 62 million votes was the highest total for a presidential candidate in American history, and the 51% of the national vote marked the 1st majority vote for president since Bush’s father’s election in 1988. President Clinton did not receive 50% in either 1992, or 1996. Of the nation’s 2,500 counties, over 2000 were won by the President. From California to the Atlantic coast, and from Canada to Mexico, the map of the United States is awash in red. For the 1st time since 1936 and FDR, a president was re-elected and increased his majorities in both Houses of Congress. President Bush is now one of only 16 men to be rewarded with two terms. As Ronald Reagan said as he left office, “Not bad, not bad at all.”
George W. Bush waged his battle for re-election amid staggering adversity: A controversial war, slow recovery from an inherited economic recession, a distinctly hostile press that savaged him and ran interference for Mr. Kerry, i.e., Rathergate, the forged documents and the New York Times pre-election missing explosives story, and an unprecedented barrage of venom and vilification from a howling chorus featuring the likes of propagandist, Michael Moore, billionaire George Soros, Bush-bashing 527 groups, Hollywood celebs (you know the ones Mr. Kerry called the “heart and soul of America”), and the liberal-left wing of the Democratic Party. That Mr. Bush won anyway, and by a decisive margin, sends a sobering message.
In West Virginia, the President won by a staggering 13 percentage points, even though Republicans are outnumbered nearly three to one in registered voters. The President won 49 of the 55 counties, including Calhoun. Exit polls showed that one in three Democrats voted for Mr. Bush. This all happened in spite of weekly editorials and Bush-bashing columns in the Charleston Gazette, a newspaper second only to the New York Times in spewing left wing propaganda. And this newspaper calls itself the “State’s Newspaper? Yeah, right! A state once considered in the bag for Democrats has now voted in consecutive elections for George W. Bush.
Why did Election 2004 turn out as it did? There are many reasons, but here are the over-riding ones. He won because 53% of voters approved of his performance as president. Fifty-eight percent of them trust Bush to fight terrorism. They had roughly equal confidence in Bush and Kerry to handle the economy. Most approved of the decision to go to war in Iraq. Most see it as part of the war on terror. These statistics are quoted from the prestigious Pew Research organization’s poll of why voters voted as they did. Also, the American people want a leader as president, and many voted for President Bush, even though they disagreed with some of his positions. A candidate cannot win the presidency without a vision; being against everything is not a vision.
One would think that after losing three consecutive national elections that right-thinking Democrats would realize their ideas, or lack of them, are not resonating with the American people. Instead, it appears that blame is being placed on the voters themselves for not seeing the obvious superiority of Democratic positions. If this is the plan, then losing elections will continue in the future.
Recently we were reminded of not finding weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Thank God President Bush was wrong, Colin Powell was wrong, George Tenet was wrong, Thank God President Clinton was wrong, Robert Byrd was wrong, John Kerry was wrong. If Saddam Hussein had had them, he would most certainly have used them possibly killing thousands of American soldiers. We had a year-long debate on this and all other matters relating to the Bush administration, and the American people made their choice on November 2, 2004; it’s called an election. Apparently some people cannot get beyond that day and deal with what is, not what they might like it to be. My Mother told me many times, “Son, you can’t do anything about yesterday, it is gone. You must deal with today.”
President Clinton’s 2nd inaugural in January, 1997, came at a price-tag of $42 million, $49 million when adjusted for inflation, and included 12 inaugural balls, a record for any presidential inauguration. At the time, Clinton spokesman Barry Toiv said, “It’s really a symbol to the world and has been for over 200 years, and it’s worth celebrating.” I am sure there were many social causes at the time for which this money might have been spent, just as there always are. Where was the scorn in 1997? President Bush’s inauguration cost less and had fewer inaugural balls, but somehow when it’s a Republican president things change. The fact is that most of the cost of inaugurals is underwritten by private donations, and these folks spend their money as they see fit. The Left always has better ideas of how folks should spend their own money.
Americans have always had a tradition of disliking whiners and sore losers. They see themselves as a can-do people and want leaders who reflect those views. George W. Bush embraces this tradition, and it is one of the major reasons he hangs his hat at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Let freedom reign.