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Why Bush will win re-election
By Alan Caruba
It will not be a "landslide" unless you count the few percentage points by which the "undecideds" give victory to President George W. Bush on Election Day, November 2, 2004.
If there is one thing that is clear since the polls over the months since the campaign began in earnest in July have demonstrated, Americans who will vote are narrowly divided, something along the lines of 46 per cent or 47 per cent. Neither party has to woo these voters. Liberals will have no problem voting for John F. Kerry, but a lot of conservatives will have to hold their nose when they pull the lever for George W. Bush.
This should worry those in charge of Bush's campaign, but I suspect it doesn't. They know something that those of us who devote ourselves to interpreting political tea leafs also know. Among the "undecideds" will be enough people for whom the image of 9-11 is sufficient to raise the question, which one of these guys will protect me?
When you add in the votes by members of our military and the votes of older generations that can remember WWII, Korea, and Vietnam, the victories in Afghanistan and in Iraq are sufficient proof that the President means what he says and, more importantly, understands we are in a life-and-death struggle with people who would happily kill millions of us in the name of Allah.
We won WWII (along with our allies) because we threw everything we had at the enemy. We stalemated North Korea and that idiotic situation remains today, still threatening peace in that region. We lost Vietnam because we slowly became involved in a civil war (after they had defeated the French!) and we did not pursue it with a serious will to win. Those lessons were not lost on Bush and his happy band of neo-cons, nor on the present and past members of the military and their families.
This election is about the security of the nation and, beyond that, a world threatened by Islamic fanaticism. As the only superpower in the world, we had no choice but to chase and kill as many enemies as we could. And, best of all, we did it in their backyard, not ours.
That is why, as of this writing, there has been no attack since September 11, 2001 here at home. That fact is not lost on people who want to get on a bus or subway and not get blown to smithereens. An attack, however, would in my opinion produce a real landslide for Bush.
Others will vote for Bush because they are deep dish Christians and know he agrees with them about abortion and the role of religion in American life. Then there are the votes from among the 80 million gun owners in America who resent the constant attacks on the Second Amendment. Still others will vote for him because they think he is strong on education. They will not include the members of the National Education Association, which owns the Democrat Party. The fact is, Bush doesn't know squat about education and has expanded the federal stranglehold on it.
Some undecideds will vote because the economy is improving. Apparently cutting taxes is a good idea. Unemployment rates are down. The stock market is waiting for the election to get over with so it can careen upwards or downwards, depending on who wins. Wall Street wants Bush. Hollywood wants Kerry.
Nobody cares who the vice presidential candidate is. Despite the blather about Cheney, depicted in the press these days as the evil mentor and manipulator of Bush, or about Edwards, said to be able to deliver the South, none of this is true, nor will it have any impact because people vote for the top of the ticket. Period.
Other than the presidency, the real importance of the election will be the composition of Congress. When the "Contract With America" turned Congress over to the Republicans during Clinton's era of malfeasance, we enjoyed the beginning of the economic boom that distinguished the 1990's. The budget was balanced, the Internet bubble was driving up the Dow Jones, and euphoria reigned. Amazingly, the economy has recovered rather swiftly from 9-11.
The 2000 election, however, was terrifyingly close. Democrats still claim it was stolen, but a dozen careful studies by news organizations and others demonstrated that Bush won. Not by much, but a win is a win. I think we shall see this repeat itself, but with enough voters opting for national security over any other issue to make the difference.
It won't be a pretty victory or a dramatic one, but it will be a victory.
In the meantime, the campaigns demonstrate the lack of seriousness that today's politics represents. Voters will tune into the debates with the hope of hearing real issues discussed. I will too.
Alan Caruba writes a weekly column, "Warning Signs", posted on www.anxietycenter.com, the website of The National Anxiety Center. Alan Caruba 2004
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