Saturday, November 06, 2004


The heavy-duty pontificating about what the election result means is already well underway so let me try to spoil the party by pointing out the obvious: In 2000 GWB tried to learn from Clinton's apparently very successful centrist policies and campaigned as a "compassionate conservative". He lost the popular vote by half a million but thanks to the small-state bias of the electoral college he still got the job. In 2004, by contrast, he campaigned on security and morality -- classic conservative causes. And what a difference it made! He won the popular vote by over 3 million. So can anybody doubt that in voting for Bush it was good solid conservatism that was being chosen and that the Anglosphere is basically conservative? It was the conservative element in Clinton's appeal that turned the tide for him; it is the conservative element in Tony Blair's appeal that will continue to win the day for him and it was certainly thoroughly conservative policies that recently won the day for John Howard in Australia.

The case of Australia is particularly useful in seeing how it all works. For over a decade the Australian Labor Party followed policies (privatization, tariff reduction etc.) that were in many ways more conservative than the policies of our nominal conservatives. And that got the Labor party a long term as the government of Australia. Eventually, however, John Howard came along with even more conservative policies and tossed Labor out. And he has recently won his fourth election in a row. Howard was never successful enough to gain control of the Senate, however -- until the last election. In the last election the Labor party took a lurch to the Left (more socialized medicine, attacking private schools, bringing home the troops etc) and got the lowest share of the vote for over 70 years. So now Australian conservatives DO control our Senate.

So what it all shows is that Leftist parties in the Anglosphere can only succeed at elections by being an alternative conservative party. Which is also why John Kerry pretended to be a gun-lover and a Christian -- when he clearly knew nothing about either.

The predominant Leftist "explanation" for the defeat of Kerry seems to be that it can only have been a big turnout by those dreadful religious "hicks" that did it -- virtually claiming that there is no such thing as an intelligent Christian and quite ignoring the fact that the born-again Christian in the White House has an MBA from Harvard. Let me note again that the Australian comparison is instructive. In the recent Australian elections, the conservatives did at least as well as George Bush -- even grabbing complete control of our Senate for the first time. But very few Australians are religious so there is no Left/Right religious polarization in Australia to explain all the new conservative voters. All the outspoken church leaders in Australia were in fact AGAINST John Howard, as far as I can recollect (Who noticed?). But if the major conservative parties were not particularly representative of Christians, there WAS another party that DID represent Christians -- the Family First party. And it got only 2% of the vote! So with such a tiny Christian vote, Australia should, on Leftist reasoning, have elected a bunch of near-Communists. In fact, of course, Australia is in many ways more conservative than the USA -- with BOTH major political parties (Left and Right) completely ruling out any form of homosexual marriage long before the election (as just one instance of that). So you DON'T need a big "homophobic" and "fundamentalist" turnout to get a big conservative win in Australia and it would be pretty surprising if the American result could realistically be explained that way -- given the great similarities between the two countries on everything but religion. The big swing to GWB seems to have been among the Hispanics, in fact. See below.

But let the American Left continue with their febrile Christian-bashing. It will only entrench them as losers -- and Christians have had 20 centuries of experience in putting up with ignorant abuse.


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