Jewish World Review Nov. 9, 2004 / 25 Mar-Cheshvan, 5765
The commitment of Bush voters
I'm Tucker Carlson, and I've got a confession to make: I completely miscalled this election. Up until about 9:45 on Tuesday night, I thought John Kerry was going to win.
I thought this for the usual, conventional reasons: Bush's poll numbers were low. The occupation of Iraq was unpopular and becoming more so. And more than anything, the real energy in the race seemed to be coming from Kerry's side.
Except it that wasn't. It turns out that Bush voters were not only more numerous, they were more committed. Whether it was because they loved the incumbent or feared his opponent, people who support the president showed up to the polls in record numbers.
Why didn't I see this coming? Maybe because I rarely meet Bush voters. Of course I know some, and am related to others. But in the course of my daily life as a journalist in Washington -- at lunch, at work, over drinks at night -- I almost never run into anyone who says forthrightly, "I support president Bush" -- in other words, the sort of people who decided this year's presidential election.
There just aren't many of those people in my business. And that's a problem. What journalism needs is some affirmative action. It's about time the Washington press corps looked like America.
From here on out, news organizations ought to set aside 51 percent of all new jobs for the ultimate in under-represented groups: ordinary people from the red states: Culturally conservative Evangelicals who oppose gay marriage, have questions about evolution, and think abortion is murder. People who went to community college, approve of stay-at-home mothers, like bass fishing and keep at least one gun at home. People with views that, in newsrooms across the country, are currently considered beyond the pale.
Will this happen? Of course not. Red state voters are too unfashionable to qualify for their own affirmative action program.
And that's too bad. It's hard to know what America is thinking if you never meet most of the people who live there.
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JWR contributor Tucker Carlson is a journalist, college instructor, public speaker and host and managing editor of the PBS show "Tucker Carlson: Unfiltered." His first book is "Politicians, Partisans, and Parasites: My Adventures in Cable News."(Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.) Comment by clicking here.
11/01/04: America's Big Winner
10/25/04: Not voting is also a choice
10/12/04: The X Prize
09/27/04: Authenticity vs. hypocrisy
09/20/04: Appealing to the Alzheimer's vote no joke
09/13/04:Who are our soldiers in Iraq?
09/07/04: Racial diversity at the RNC
08/30/04: Here's a scary thought: Political expression has been criminalized and nobody seems to care
08/16/04: Heterosexuality as a political ploy
© 2004, Tucker Carlson