Honestly, I'm not trying to gum this up with politics. And I certainly don't want to endorse the political views of a former Clinton adminstration Cabinet secretary. But I think Robert Reich is very close to the mark in his analysis of the election in Slate today:
"I don't think most Americans rejected John Kerry's policies. They just didn't pay much attention to them. It was Bush's moral vision they found more compelling. Kerry kept saying he had a 'plan' for the economy and a 'plan' for health care and a 'plan' for fighting terrorists. The problem is, when politicians talk about having a plan for this or a policy for that, people just don't believe it. One of the legacies of the last 40 years of mounting distrust in government is that politicians with 'plans' and 'policies' are immediately discounted."