“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. CBS.com 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.

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, www.thetruthaboutiraq.org, “Polls show 75 percent of Iraqis want a democracy

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Larry Elder

This editorial is made available through Creator's Syndicate. Best-selling author, radio and TV talk show host, Larry Elder has a take-no-prisoners style, using such old-fashioned things as evidence and logic. His books include: The 10 Things You Can’t Say in America, Showdown: Confronting Bias, Lies and the Special Interests That Divide America, and What’s Race Got to Do with It? Why it’s Time to Stop the Stupidest Argument in America,.

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