The real loser in Tuesday's election wasn't Democrat John Kerry, but the liberal media and intellectual elite who demonstrated, once again, how out-of-touch they are with the American public. In the final analysis, John Kerry and running mate John Edwards accepted their defeat with dignity and grace. It remains to be seen whether their supporters among the intelligentsia will do the same. New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof was typical. Writing "without knowing the election results," as he admitted in the column that appeared the morning after the election, he nonetheless felt he should lecture "the millions of farmers, factory workers and waitresses who ended up voting -- utterly against their own interests -- for Republican candidates." The common folk, you see, just don't know what's good for them. That attitude explains why the elites continue to get it wrong.
There is simply no way to explain away the Republican Party's stunning victory Tuesday. Not only did the president win some 3.5 million more votes than his opponent, but he did so despite a relentless onslaught of bad press in the final days of the campaign. The president prevailed in spite of vicious attacks on his personal character and integrity by an array of well-funded partisan attack dogs. The president won re-election even though Democrats and their allied-groups outspent Republicans by an estimated $70 million.
And it wasn't just a personal victory for George W. Bush. Republicans overall made impressive gains in the House and Senate, including defeating Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle. When all the votes are finally counted, the GOP will likely hold a 55-44 edge in the Senate, a 234-201 majority in the House, and will control 29 of 50 governorships. This was not supposed to happen. The pollsters told us so; Bruce Springsteen told us so; and so did Bill Clinton, Walter Cronkite, Dan Rather, Jon Stewart, George Soros and a lot of other very important people. The theme was echoed by CBS, ABC, CNN, MTV and most of Hollywood. The only problem was, the American people just weren't listening.
Linda Chavez is chairman of the Center for Equal Opportunity and author of Betrayal: How Union Bosses Shake Down Their Members and Corrupt American Politics .
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