We'd better not forget 1992
By Samuel L. Blumenfeld
With liberals howling that Gore won the popular vote and that the Republicans stole the election in Florida, it's a good idea to go back to November 1992 and review what happened in that election. Bill Clinton won the election by winning 370 electoral votes in 34 states, but he received only 43 per cent of the popular vote. Which means that 57 per cent of the voters did not want Clinton as president. That was clearly a massive repudiation of the Democrat Party and the liberal philosophy of government it stands for. In other words, the most moderate of Democrats, as Clinton was then portrayed, could not muster more than 43 per cent of the popular vote. Only a split in the conservative vote permitted the Democrats to win the White House.
There is no doubt that those who voted for Ross Perot were more conservative than liberal. George Bush lost because he made a fatal mistake by repudiating his "no new taxes" campaign promise. In fact, the only time Bush sounded like a real conservative was when he made his famous "read my lips" speech written by conservative firebrand Peggy Noonan. Conservatives had hoped that Bush had undergone a conversion and really believed in what he was saying. But when he surrendered to liberal congressional pressure and agreed to raise taxes, conservatives felt betrayed and humiliated.
Conservatives had wanted Bush to stand up to the liberals in the way that he had stood up against Saddam Hussein. But he refused to do so, and thus lost the support of many conservatives. Vice President Dan Quayle made it clear that he believed the Bush tax increase was responsible for the prolonged recession. In other words, Bush not only reneged on his pledge of no new taxes, but helped bring about the very recession that became his undoing.
What the new President-elect, George W. Bush, knows is that if he doesn't push through his tax cut, we will have a recession. And that is why the Democrats are against it. They want a recesssion so that they can make a strong comeback in 2002 on the back of a Dubya recession.
Incidentally, in 1992 Clinton won a majority of votes in only two states, Arkansas and Maryland, and also in the District of Columbia. In California he got 46 per cent, while Bush/Perot got 53 per cent. Even in Tennessee, with Gore on the ticket, Clinton got 47 per cent of the vote, Bush/Perot 52 per cent. Clinton got less than 45 per cent of the vote in 35 states, yet he picked up their electoral votes. In reality, the election of 1992 was a conservative popular landslide but a liberal victory, all because of the split in the conservative vote.
In 1992, Perot was a formidable factor. He managed to garner 20 per cent or more of the popular vote in 30 states. He got 27 per cent in Alaska, 24 per cent in Arizona, 21 per cent in California, 27 per cent in Idaho, 30 per cent in Maine, and so on. Ralph Nader hardly got 5 per cent anywhere in this last election.
Back in 1992, Don Feder, columnist for the Boston Herald, gave his own evaluation of conservative disillusionment with Bush, which led to his defeat. He wrote:
After winning as a conservative in 1988, Bush extended an olive branch to his enemies and his middle finger to his erstwhile allies. He signed the quota bill, and all the racial con men were for him this year, weren't they? He initialed the Clean Air Act, and all the environmental wackos were in his corner, weren't they? He signed the Hate Crimes Bill and invited homosexual activists to the White House for the signing, and that crowd clambered aboard his reelection bandwagon, didn't they?
And what did he do for his core constituency from 1988? For evangelicals, he appointed John Frohmayer head of the National Endowment for the Arts and stuck with him through Mapplethorpe and "Piss Christ." His first Supreme Court appointment voted to uphold Roe v. Wade and declare a graduation invocation a violation of the First Amendment.
For fiscal conservatives, he raised taxes, rolled over for congressional spending, re-regulated and gave us the greatest bureaucratic expansion of all time.
It is obvious that George W. is not about to make the mistakes his father made. He has 100 days to prove that he has a conservative vision and the guts to stand up to the liberals who will keep questioning his legitimacy. The county-by-county map of the election results showed Bush enjoying a clean sweep across the entire nation, with Democrat islands of strength concentrated in the large cities on both coasts.
Of course, black voters in these concentrated areas feel cheated because, despite all their efforts at a massive turnout, they lost by a small number of votes in Florida. They were promised the moon if they voted, but what they got is George W. Bush.
The Democrats are pinning their hopes to recapture Congress on the election in 2002. They will do all in their power to sabotage the Bush presidency. The tax cut will be the main battlefield, and we shall see in that battle whether or not George W. has what it takes to quash his liberal enemies and deliver on his campaign promises.
Samuel L. Blumenfeld is the author of eight books on education, including: "NEA: Trojan Horse in American Education," "The Whole Language/OBE Fraud," "Homeschooling: A Parents Guide to Teaching Children," "How to Tutor," and "Alpha-Phonics: A Primer for Beginning Readers." Blumenfeld's books are available on Amazon.com.
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