Despite that CNN keeps insisting the election was incredibly close, Bush now has exactly the cosy sofa of a mandate I have been predicting for months: good majority in the senate, four million more popular votes than his opponent, above litigation-level majorities in the electoral colleges, plus the endorsement of millions of people who do not usually vote at all, despite that nearly everyone expected increased turnout to be good for the Democrats.
The polls were, of course, wrong in a leftwards direction, as polls have been for years (see Natalie Solent), because the sound and fury of the media and liberal extremists does not make people change their minds, only encourages them to keep quiet about their allegiances so as to avoid having their tyres slashed.
But more important than all these things is the great battle against terrorism that has just been resoundingly won. Every Islamist from Arafat to Bin Laden wanted America to reject its president and vote for the relatively antiwar John Kerry. Anti-Americans everywhere were hoping that the U.S. people would either retreat in fear from the Middle East, or pretend that the “nuisance” did not exist. As the anti-Bush candidate, Kerry would have been the anti-American-values president, standing for ambivalence, appeasement and, in the eyes of Islamism, weakness.
It did not happen. Americans recognised the threat, and voted to continue fighting it. They stood by the Afghan and Iraqi people, waiting for hours in queues in the rain to register their support for George W. Bush and the moral imperative he has vowed to enact. The biggest voter turnout in American history has refused to be cowed by terrorism. And when terrorism fails to terrorise, it has lost.
Perhaps now, for the first time since 9/11, we can begin to hope that an end to this war may be within our distant sights. In any case, the world is safer now than it has been since Al Qaeda launched war on America a little over three years ago. And for that we can afford a few extra sighs of relief between our conservative/ anti-liberal victory toasts.