The voters spoke. American democracy roared.

After months of divisive campaign rhetoric, after countless Internet messages about stolen elections and well-timed terror attacks, the actual election was a smooth miracle.   More Americans voted than ever before. The winning candidate won by a clear popular majority. The Electoral College reflected the popular vote.

The system worked.

Noisy. Expensive. Inefficient. Grinding. Yes, it is all of those things. But it works.

This is what freedom is all about. We could not have delivered a clearer message to the world if we had planned it.

The defeat of John Kerry showed that we prefer a tongue-tied President with a big stick to well-nuanced subtlety. The victory of President George W. Bush gives him a second term. It makes him a free man.

Expect bold proposals. Expect to see a move to secure Social Security by taxing workers less, not more. Expect to see further reduction in the corporate income tax. Expect to hear talk (but probably no action) about ending the regressive employment tax altogether by replacing it with a national sales tax.

The Democratic Party has also received a new mandate: reinvent itself. The defeat of Minority Leader Tom Daschle is a loud signal that Americans don't want to punish success. Instead, they want tax fairness. Senator Daschle thought it was the other way around.

California, once again, showed the power of the states. Just as New York's Eliot Spitzer has acted where the federal government failed, hard pressed California voters put their money where they mouth is. They backed bonds for stem cell research.

In a rich, pluralistic society we have many opinions. We also have many ways to back them.   The system works.