- View SourceThe states that are most susceptible to another terrorist attack have
decisively rejected Bush. Students and racial minorities have spoken
shown the world that Bush is not our choice. We did all we could,
have no regret. No matter what happens in the future, at the end of
America will always be the white Christian country that we love.
A Post-Concession Reflection
By Robert L. Borosage, TomPaine.com
Posted on November 3, 2004, Printed on November 3, 2004
John Kerry has conceded. George W. Bush will have a second term. By
consolidating their hold on the South, Republicans have added to
majorities in the House and Senate. What is clear is a fundamental
of leadership. In the midst of a war - with 9/11 still searing our
consciousness - Bush's policies and politics have deepened the
Bush won votes by wrapping himself in the flag and by summoning the
of his evangelical base. Conservative evangelicals supplied his
turned out in large numbers and voted overwhelmingly for Bush.
Bush's Narrow Base
The president split the popular vote with Kerry, but the narrowness
base is striking. The majority of Bush's support - 88 percent -
whites. He lost African Americans nine to one. Asians nearly two to
Efforts to woo Hispanics earned all of 40 percent of their votes.
the South did Bush win a majority - losing the popular vote in the
Midwest and the West.
Class mattered - even though Kerry was unable to sustain an economic
amid the barrages of the campaign. According to exit polls, Bush
majorities of all those making $50,000 and less - and won majorities
those making more than that. His biggest margin came from those
than $100,000. His base remains the "haves and the have mores," as
famously put it.
The president won overwhelming majorities among those who considered
on terrorism or morals the most important single issue. But,
lost three-quarters of voters who considered Iraq the most important
and three-quarters who thought the economy and jobs the most
Kerry's candidacy was propelled by anti-war sentiment and economic
discontent. Kerry also won vast majorities of those who thought
or education was the most important issue.
Some argue that the strength of the president's evangelical base
America is headed toward a new era of prohibition and moral
John Kerry was the most secular of candidates. He championed science
against the forces of moral reaction. He stood clearly for liberal
issues from civil unions to women's right to choose. He was a
senator from Massachusetts, as the president delighted in repeating.
campaign may mark the beginning of a reaction not by the right - but
center and left against the forces of intolerance.
Amid record turnout, the mobilization driven by progressive groups
Americans Coming Together to MoveOn.org to the AFL-CIO clearly
the race. First-time voters went for Kerry. Young voters went for
African American turnout was up dramatically. Union households
one-quarter of the electorate and voted in large majorities for
mobilization won Pennsylvania and Michigan, drove the divide in Ohio
overcame the systematic Republican efforts at voter intimidation and
Bush's victory will produce a second-term president with a mandate
little beyond patriotic and pious posturing. A majority of
shown that they oppose his war and have no interest in his domestic
When the offensive starts in Iraq and the casualties rise, his
will plummet. Were he to try to privatize Social Security, move to
tax or weaken Medicare, his party will suffer. When the dollar
falls or the
economy slows, burdened by debt and oil prices, a broad majority will
express their buyers' remorse.
The independent energy and organization that drove the Kerry
continue to build. Its potential was demonstrated in this
sophistication exhibited by groups like MoveOn.org, ACORN, U.S.
Sierra Club and the League of Conservation Voters, Working America
others provides the base for taking back the country - whether the
House is an ally or an enemy."