What makes this an epochal election is what it says about the American public. After Nov. 2, the world now knows that Americans intend to stand and fight. So far, America's public is the only one that has so indicated. Others may, perhaps, make such a stand in the future. But, as of now, every poll of every other country shows their publics looking for excuses to avoid confronting terrorism.
The flow of events since major hostilities were completed in Iraq in the spring of 2003 make the public support for George Bush all the more impressive. The news had been remorselessly bad for Mr. Bush: from the alleged ransacking of the Baghdad museums, to the rise of the insurrection, to the report by Dr. Kay that there were no WMDs in Iraq, to the prison scandal (and its willful over-reporting by the media), to the beheadings, to the growing effectiveness and lethality of the Iraqi bombings, to the growing number of American fatalities, amputations and other serious casualties -- the news has been much worse than was generally expected. (Although, in this space, I warned before the war, which I supported and continue to support, that we were entering a time of "measureless peril.")
Moreover, further threatening the president's re-election was the public judgment (by almost 60 percent to 40 percent) that the economy was not producing enough jobs and the country was going in the wrong direction. Hollywood, Manhattan publishing, network television and the mainline media then willfully distorted the news while it sneered at and mocked the president. No president since Richard Nixon in his final presidential months has taken such a consistently bad press. And yet, he won by a decisive three million votes -- in a nation that almost every political expert had been calling a 50 percent Republican 50 percent Democratic public.
The American public had every excuse to cut and run. Had they elected Kerry, the world would have correctly judged it a repudiation of Bush's aggressive war strategy. But the American public stuck. And in so doing they have created a world historic event.
In the face of an insurgent, violent, radical Islam, a solid majority of the American public does not intend to yield an inch. In a storm-tossed sea, the American public is a rock. It is more than a rock. It is the rock on which civilization will make its stand. Americans are standing upright, their strong arms uplifted against the barbarians.
Blankley, who had been suffering from stomach cancer, died Saturday night at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, his wife, Lynda Davis, said Sunday.
In his long career as a political operative and pundit, his most visible role was as a spokesman for and adviser to Gingrich from 1990 to 1997. Gingrich became House Speaker when Republicans took control of the U.S. House of Representatives following the 1994 midterm elections.