- The Washington Times - Friday, November 5, 2004

Excerpts of editorials from newspapers around the world:


America’s new conservatism

EDINBURGH, Scotland — President George W. Bush has been confirmed in office for a second term. His election by a significant popular majority of three-and-a-half million votes marks an earthquake in U.S. politics and overturns many traditional nostrums regarding the working of the American political system.

The increased voter turnout did not help the Democrats, as normally assumed. Though (crudely) the Democrats are an urban party and the Republicans a rural one, a large portion of the increased urban vote fell to the Right. Nor was the election about the single issue of Iraq, as it seemed from Europe. American voters responded to a variety of issues, particularly so-called moral questions such as abortion rights and gay marriage, that cut directly across the class and ethnic divides that normally dominate U.S. politics.

The Republican master tactician, Karl Rove, grasped these cultural changes and so delivered not only the White House to Mr. Bush, but ruthlessly extended Republican control over the Senate and the House of Representatives. Tuesday’s election was no accident: it was a conservative political revolution.

European opinion, already somewhat alienated from Republican America, is likely to regard these developments with horror. There will be a tendency for Europe to try to go its own way, culturally, politically and economically. Such a response would be contradictory, as Europe’s main political criticism of the Bush White House is its alleged unilateralism. Better for Europe to try to understand the profound changes taking place in America, because they are here to stay.

Japan Times

Ukraine’s crucial choice

TOKYO — Amid the clamor and confusion of the U.S. elections, it is easy to forget that ballots are being held elsewhere in the world. This week Ukraine held a presidential election, and while the outcome will not shape international politics as much as the U.S. vote, it will be significant nevertheless. The two leading candidates have very different visions for their country. Squeezed between Europe and Russia, Ukraine’s future course will profoundly influence both regions.

Twenty-four candidates contested Sunday’s election, the fourth since the collapse of the Soviet Union more than a decade ago. The leading contenders to succeed President Leonid Kuchma were Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich and Viktor Yushchenko, a former prime minister and central bank president who has become the leading critic of Mr. Kuchma and now heads the opposition. … The two were in a virtual tie, forcing a runoff vote … Nov. 21.

People’s Daily Online

‘Bush Doctrine,’ 2nd term

BEIJING — President George W. Bush, after a hard-fought win of re-election, is expected to continue to pursue the “Bush Doctrine” characterized by unilateralism and pre-emption in his second term.

“President Bush is going to interpret the election result as a mandate for all of his foreign policies and he will be even more assertive, if not more aggressive, in his second term,” Ted Galen Carpenter, vice president for foreign policy and defense studies at the Washington-based Cato Institute, told Xinhua in an interview after Mr. Bush declared victory in the election.

Mr. Carpenter predicted that Mr. Bush will have to pursue his doctrine in a more cautious way while carrying on his war in Iraq as the central front.

During the election campaign, Mr. Bush repeatedly made clear that he would continue to pursue the unilateralism that had made him unpopular in the world.

“I made a decision not to join the International Criminal Court in The Hague, where our troops can be brought in front of a judge … I do not think we ought to join that,” Mr. Bush said during his second debate with Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry on Oct. 8.

Mr. Bush conceded that the decision was unpopular but insisted that it was right. His administration has also reiterated its policy not to sign the Kyoto Protocol on climate change, citing concern it might cost American jobs.

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