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Jewish World Review Nov. 11, 2004/ 27 Mar-Cheshvan, 5765

Larry Elder

Larry Elder
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Misunderestimated...again | "I can't believe I'm losing to this idiot," said presidential candidate John Kerry when he learned he was losing in the polls.

This statement shows why Kerry got wiped out during the latest election.

Most Americans do not find the president stupid. The "West Wing's" Martin Sheen, after the 2000 election, pronounced the president "a moron." Teresa Heinz Kerry called anyone who disagreed with her husband's health care plan "idiots." "The Boondocks" cartoonist Aaron McGruder called the president "functionally illiterate."

About the president's intelligence, The New York Times wrote an article suggesting that Bush scored higher on his military intelligence tests than did John Kerry. When Tom Brokaw asked Kerry about this, Kerry replied that "he must have been drinking the night before" he took the test. See, the only way Bush outscores Kerry is if Kerry is drunk. Note that for Kerry, he'd rather admit drinking the night before an important military aptitude test than to rethink his position about the president's intelligence.

Actor Danny Glover, on a promotional tour in Brazil, called the president "racist." Said Glover, "Yes, he's racist. . . . We all knew that but the world is only finding it out now." Yet this "racist" president increased his percentage of the black vote from approximately 8 percent to about 11 percent — still small, but this represents a 37 percent increase.

The punditry's conventional wisdom now calls the election a referendum on "moral values." Dan Rather, on "60 Minutes Wednesday," attributed Bush's election victory to moral values. said, "Although Mr. Bush's victory was close, our exit polls told a different story — a country profoundly split on the issues voters considered most important." Most? Most means more than half. Voters mainly focused on four issues: moral values (22 percent), economy/jobs (20 percent), terrorism (19 percent), Iraq (15 percent). White House senior adviser Karl Rove said, "Sixteen percent traditionally consider moral issues or values to be the No. 1 issue in a campaign, this year it was 22 percent. That's a pretty significant jump." But while many voters listed moral values as the top concern, 78 percent of voters listed something other than moral values.

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No, despite the talk of "moral values" as voters' primary concern, examination of the numbers shows voters believed Bush more capable at keeping us safe. Most voters do not hold the president accountable for "outsourcing." Most did not believe he has presided over the "worst economy since the Great Depression." The latest jobs report shows that, in October, the nation created 337,000 jobs, or nearly twice what analysts expected. Rate of inflation for the third quarter of 2004 is .021 percent (that's one-fifth of 1 percent). Interest rates remain low. Since August 2004, the economy generated 2.4 million jobs. In the last two years, our annual growth in GDP averaged 3.4 percent, or nearly two times faster than the European Union at 1.75 percent.

What about the "debacle" in Iraq? Well, Iraqis feel optimistic about their future. In fact, Iraqis show more confidence in their future than we Americans do in ours.  Political consultant Steven Moore advised Ambassador Paul Bremer and the Coalition Provisional Authority on Iraqi public opinion. Moore helped develop Iraqi capacity for public opinion research, and is a leading expert on Iraqi public opinion. "Iraqis are more optimistic than any of us might be led to believe by watching the evening news," said Moore. "Over the course of the summer, for instance, [over] 50 percent of Iraqis think that their country is on the right track."

According to Moore's Web site,, "Polls show 75 percent of Iraqis want a democracy..Iraqis want to vote, and they want to vote on everything: 78 percent of Iraqis want to vote for city council members; 71 percent want to vote for their national legislators; 66 percent want to vote for governor; other options like 'appointed by religious clerics' or 'appointed by the central government,' barely break double digits."

During one of those all-too-predictable pre-election Hollywood anti-Bush events, Whoopi Goldberg made vulgar references to her genitalia while using the President's last name. John Kerry, when asked about it, said that every performer "conveyed the heart and soul of America." One Hollywood leftist told me that Democrats need to improve their tactics.

They still don't get it. Americans support strong national defense, lower taxes, less government, believe in faith and family as traditionally defined, and support restrictions on abortion.

They just don't get it. Still.

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JWR contributor Larry Elder is the author of, most recently, "Showdown: Confronting Bias, Lies and the Special Interests That Divide America." (Proceeds from sales help fund JWR) Let him know what you think of his column by clicking here.

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