November 11, 2004,
President Bush is a uniter, not a divider, after all.
Bush's convincing reelection should silence the Left's battle cry that he split America, pitting red states against blue, rich against poor, men against women, etc. Bush's solid win attracted Americans of many stripes into his billowing victory tent.
Bush won a record 59,459,765 votes to Kerry's 55,949,407, and Ralph Nader's 400,706. Bush's 51.3 percent to 48.3 percent showing makes him the first candidate to secure a popular majority since 1988. While Al Gore won 544, 683 more ballots than Bush did, Bush's 3,510,358 lead over Kerry more than sextupled Gore's 2000 edge.
Bush's coattails helped House Republicans gain at least four seats. GOP senators defeated challengers, added four to their majority, and dazed Democrats by exiling their leader, Tom Daschle, to South Dakota's ethanol patch.
The president triumphed despite $73.9 million in spending by George Soros and other Bush-haters (versus $27.2 million among top Kerry foes identified by Political Money Line), plus a whirlwind of scathing documentaries, snarling protesters, and sneering celebrities. That Bush was not smashed into smithereens by this two-year hurricane is breathtaking.
In Florida, Bush's 537-vote margin in 2000 zoomed to 377,509. While Bush clinched 269 electoral votes by early last Wednesday morning, he finally won when Nevada pushed him past the 270-vote threshold. How ironic that the home of Sin City returned the born-again president to the White House.
But the evangelical executive united far more than just the Silver State's gamblers and hookers. Bush increased his support among key constituencies. According to the Edison/Mitofsky exit poll:
Bush won 48 percent of women, up from 43 percent in 2000.
Among blacks, Bush rose to 11 percent from 9. In Ohio, his support among blacks grew to 16 percent from 9.
Bush scored 25 percent of Jews, up from 19.
He captured 52 percent of Catholics, up from 47.
Bush lured 44 percent of Hispanics, up from 35. In Florida, Bush garnered 56 percent of Hispanics, versus 49 in 2000.
Months of controversy over same-sex marriage notwithstanding, Bush held 23 percent of gay voters, down from 25.
As unity spreads, Germany's socialist government now purrs over Iraq. "Despite the issue of our differing positions in the past, we all have to contribute to ensuring that the situation in Iraq stabilizes," German Interior Minister Otto Schily said last week.
With almost 60 million voters behind Bush and a performance that should tame his fiercest critics, liberal pundits nonetheless argue that he should reach out to Democratic lawmakers to heal his first term's divisions. Instead, Democrats should reach out to Bush. The president has handed Democrats a symphony hall full of overtures: allowing Senator Ted Kennedy (D., Mass.) to write Bush's first education bill, accepting Democratic demands for Medicare drug benefits, approving a four-year, 25-percent domestic-spending spree, and more.
Democrats should return the favor. With their program in flames, Democrats should help Bush enact his agenda. Both parties should let vigilance, freedom, and opportunity guide their actions.
Keep bulldozing Islamofascism into the landfill where Nazism and Communism rust in peace. Iraq's and Afghanistan's ongoing rehabilitation deserves bipartisan support. The 25-nation European Union pledged up to 100 personnel to train Iraqi police and prosecutors, demonstrating that U.S. allies will continue helping, perhaps in greater numbers. "The EU could usefully contribute to the reconstruction and the emergence of a stable, secure and democratic Iraq," European foreign ministers announced Tuesday in Brussels.
Freeze non-security spending for a year, then limit growth to the inflation rate.
Allow each American to file taxes under today's code or via a flat tax of, say, 15 percent.
Let Americans choose to open personal Social Security accounts.
Use Washington, D.C.'s voucher program as a model for America's imploded government schools.
Curb lawsuits through malpractice relief, "loser pays" rules, and Kerry's suggested "three strikes" penalties against junk litigators.
As Manhattan public-relations consultant and Cato Institute alumnus David Quast advises, "Leave no free-market reform behind."
When the Senate reconvenes, Kerry is unlikely to embrace many of Bush's proposals. Still, his heartwarming concession speech reminded Democrats, Republicans, and independents how much we share.
"I leave this campaign with a prayer," John Kerry said. "And that prayer is very simple: God bless America."