Leadership was the key
IT WON FOR BUSH, SUGGESTS PETER WORTHINGTON
By PETER WORTHINGTON
IN THE election aftermath, some things suddenly become clearer than they were before the vote. Tuesday’s U.S. election is no exception. In retrospect, it was even more an incredible and ground-breaking election than it seemed before the vote — and it was pretty amazing then.
Who’d ever have guessed that George W. would amass more votes than any president in U.S. history — the first president since his dad in 1988, to get over 50% of the vote.
Not even Bill Clinton managed that. Another unexpected reality was that the huge turnout of voters — the endless lines that kept some polling stations open past midnight — were as much for Bush as for Sen. John Kerry.
Conventional wisdom — which even I, a tepid Bush supporter, accepted as valid — was that voters willing to wait four hours in line, were Kerry backers.
Some were, but many weren’t. Again, it was assumed reason that the youth vote — college-age voters — were mostly for Kerry, which explained Kerry’s use of Bruce Springsteen, Hollywood stars and the pop-music crowd to woo the kids voting for the first time. This, too, proved false. Youth was split between Kerry and Bush. This possibility seemed to offend the likes of CBC Radio’s Andy Barrie when a woman caller opined that young people weren’t as “simplistic” as some supposed.
ANDY BARRIE BRISTLED
Andy bristled and professed not to understand what she meant. She explained that exploiting young people’s presumed cultural icons to win their vote, proved wrong. Very wrong, as it turned out.
Summed up, one issue dominated all others in Tuesday’s vote for Bush: Leadership. Like him or loathe him, Bush is a “leader” who makes tough decisions and has a backbone — maybe too much backbone at times.
In times of peril, or potential peril (which are the times we live in, what with terrorism a continuing threat) decisive leadership is essential for America.
George Bush now has the mandate that many felt he hadn’t earned in 2000. And forget critics who credit (blame?) his 2004 victory on appealing to the religious right and ultra-conservatives.
Yes, polls showed middle America considered moral values more important in their vote than unemployment or even the war in Iraq.
With the issue of banning homosexual marriages on 11 state ballots, voters registered disapproval of such “marriages.” This doesn’t imply they opposed gay unions, plus spousal rights, but it did indicate that most Americans reject using the word “marriage” in such unions.
To most Americans, gay liaisons or partnerships are not legitimate “marriages.”
Another thing this intense, acrimonious election underlined was a basic difference between ardent Democrats and ardent Republicans — or, if you will, between extreme liberals and intense conservatives.
When their candidate doesn’t win, many Democrats (Robert Redford and Alec Baldwin come to mind), threaten to leave America, to take up residence somewhere else, expressing disgust for their country.
Shame on them. You rarely hear Republicans or conservatives vowing to abandon or desert their country if their candidate doesn’t win.
Instead, they tend to stay and fight harder for their beliefs. Canada is filled with “liberal” Americans who fled during the Vietnam War.
I suspect “conservative” Americans who opposed that war stayed home and campaigned against it. Maybe (or maybe not) John Kerry falls into this group.
As for how the Bush will handle his new mandate, we shall soon find out. One reassuring thing about Bush’s determination to introduce democracy into areas where freedom has been absent, is that no democratic country has ever gone to war against another democracy.
That reality alone, is reason to hope Bush succeeds.
thought I’d post this before the border guards get swamped…