The perspicacious Lexington has some thoughts on why George Bush and the GOP won:
Democrats need to realize that the Republicans didn't just beat them on fear. They clobbered them on hope.
For the moment, the American right is better at talking about the
future than the left. It is better at exuding optimism. And it is
better at addressing the aspirations of an aspirational people.
… Mr Bush not only sounded upbeat, but also came up with
solutions, of sorts. At home, John Kerry was happy to cast himself as
the blind defender of a 70-year-old Social Security system that is
headed for bankruptcy; Mr Bush talked about using privatization to
shore up the ownership society. Abroad, the president even managed to
sound optimistic about terrorism, promising to drain the swamp of
terrorism by spreading democracy.
Mr Bush's optimistic message gave him a commanding advantage in pro-growth America. …
How have the Republicans succeeded in turning themselves into the
party of the future? One answer is that they have been better at
reinventing themselves. Over the past quarter of a century, both
parties have made concerted attempts to adjust to a period of radical
social changethe Republicans under Ronald Reagan in the 1980s and the
Democrats under Bill Clinton in the 1990s. But the Republicans have
more or less stuck with the Reaganite revolution. The Democrats, on the
other hand, have all but forgotten the lessons of Clintonism. …
Having built a bridge to the 21st century under Mr Clinton, the
Democrats have since been busy building another one back to the 19th
There are plenty of short-term excuses for this. … But what is
worrying for the Democrats is that … the party is increasingly
dominated by people who have no yearning for growth: public-sector
workers; academics and trustafarians who both live off inherited
endowments; environmentalists who want to regulate SUVs and urban
sprawl; and billionaires who are too rich to aspire to anything. …
In America, self-styled progressives look ever more the party of the
past, and confessed conservatives are the ones focusing on the future.