Much is made of the social and political divides in this country. The media and her bountiful supply of experts remind us constantly of the purported “narrow gap” between Red and Blue State America. To ensure that their own liberal views are represented as mainstream, we are led to believe that there is absolutely no majority on any major issue. This from the same people who twice predicted George W. Bush would never be able to win the presidency. (Reminder: Bill Clinton never got 50% of the vote, something W’s done twice.)
But former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich believes the governing majority of opinion on almost all of the important issues today in the United States to be around 70%. Despite his label of “Conservative partisan,” Newt makes this claim based on research, not arbitrary conjecture.
During and after the 2004 presidential election, his conservative think-tank group, the American Enterprise Institute, conducted a study to find out how exactly it was Americans felt regarding 34 of the most talked about issues. This included such topics as: God’s name on our money and in our Pledge of Allegiance, border control, partial-birth abortion bans, over-reaching judicial power and activism at the Federal level, gun control, and the War on Terror.
On 33 of the 34 issues, John Kerry was, on average, in a 77%-17% minority. The sole area where Bush was vulnerable? Global warming and the environment. (And this was before Al Gore inconvenienced the world with his power point presentation on displaced polar bears and renegade ice bergs.)
So how was it that the last two presidential elections were so tight? How was it even possible that exit polls on November 2nd, 2004 were reported to indicate an easy win for Senator Kerry? More importantly, how scary was it that Teresa Heinz-Kerry almost became our first lady?
The answer, my friend, is blowing in the hot wind coming from a decidedly Left-leaning media and academia (not to mention an enthusiastically uninformed Hollywood). Over 80% of journalists and educators in public school and universities voted for Kerry and Gore in the previous two elections. Not only did they vote at such a high rate for two liberals, but the financial contributions received by Democratic candidates in 2000 and 2004 from those same two groups were nearly identical in proportion.
Former CBS News correspondent Bernie Goldberg, a veteran of the news business for three decades (and life-long Democrat), wrote a Wall Street Journal Op-ed in 2002 calling on fellow members of the media to wake up and smell the bias. He emphatically maintained that the liberal partiality he himself had been guilty of in his own reporting was not any sort of grand conspiracy where secret meetings in the bowels of the New York Times’ building determined the global strategy to undermine traditional, conservative, core American values. The problem was more subtle than that.
In business there is a term called “group think” which defines what happens when an isolated group of employees eventually all end up agreeing with each other on a specific topic just to avoid “rocking the boat.” Goldberg realized that even he was susceptible to subjective reporting that echoed his own views rather than the objectivity he knew the viewers deserved. For this he was “let go” by CBS.
Dan Rather led the charge of public, personal attacks on his former friend and employee, claiming Goldberg was a conservative all along and was dead wrong to say that the media’s admitted personal liberal preferences got in the way of good, solid reporting. Within two years, however, Rather would be fired for knowingly using a falsified National Guard report two weeks before the 2004 election in an attempt to give John Kerry a bump in the polls, and force the bumbling cowboy from Texas out of the White House. (I’d hate to see what media bias does look like in Rather’s world.)
Does it frighten anyone else that the only media outlets that gave 100% of their campaign contributions and votes to Gore and Kerry in the last two elections were NPR and PBS, the two “publicly” owned and operated networks? Fairness Doctrine, anyone?
Heading in to the 2008 Presidential election, it is critical that we begin to fight through the barrage of misinformation from the traditional news sources. I’m not suggesting that everything you hear on NBC, MSNBC, CNBC, CBS, ABC, and CNN is worthless and that all you need is Fox News. But, to get the fuller picture of what is actually being said by the candidates who desire to lead the Free World, you are going to have to work a little harder than taking in the three minutes of Anderson Cooper you flip to during commercial breaks of Hogan Knows Best. The candidates are talking, and we need to listen.
Hillary Clinton has vowed that she will “take from some to give to others” and brags: “American can’t afford all the plans I have.” Barack Obama publicly says on one day that he would bomb our ally Pakistan without warning, says he’ll sit down and negotiate with our enemy and known terrorist Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran (a direct contradiction to U.S. policy since George Washington) on another, and then claims he’d do neither and was misquoted. John Edwards promises state-run control over “big oil” and “big drug companies,” both ideas supported and practiced by Hugo Chavez and Communist China.
Common themes for each of the six leading Democratic candidates: increased centralization of power in the hands of the Federal government, higher taxes, reduction in military strength and intelligence gathering capabilities (the kind that have prevented 19 terrorist attacks since 2001), harping on the divide between rich vs. poor (a favorite of Communists everywhere), promises of entitlements for Baby Boomers (their own generation), and an immediate withdrawal from Iraq where violence is down 75% since April. Any takers? I’m not making this stuff up.
I end with what I think to be a prime example of the disconnect between what Americans generally believe and what they are told they believe by liberals in positions of influence. In 1970, then Governor Ronald Reagan of California goes to the Governor’s Association conference and speaks on the detrimental effects welfare has on society, and more importantly, the people who receive it. He warned that we couldn’t give able-bodied parents something-for-nothing and expect that their children will work for it when it’s their “turn”. He said that our focus as a nation should be the hand-up, not hand-out model of truly helping the less fortunate. As could be expected, he was unanimously and resoundingly dismissed as out-of-touch with the American people and on the path to career suicide. As was his habit, Reagan cheerfully continued speaking on the issue and pushing for reform.
In 1994, the Republican Congress, finally in control for the first time in more than 50 years, introduces Welfare Reform legislation. It takes still another two years, and two subsequent vetoes from President Clinton before he finally signs the bill into law 8 weeks before his 1996 re-election. The week Welfare Reform became a reality the New York Times runs an article citing that 92% of Americans were in favor of the cutbacks in entitlement programs, including 84% of citizens currently receiving government hand-outs.
But for the 28 years from Reagan’s speech to Clinton’s signing, everyone knew that reforming welfare was not only impossible and unpopular, but was supposedly mean-spirited, cruel, and somehow anti-American. For a policy reform initiative that was allegedly untenable, Welfare Reform proved to be something almost every American wanted. There are many issues out there where the consensus is overwhelming, but the politics surrounding them are divisive.
Far too often we refrain from voting for particular candidates for reasons that are far less important than the ones that should guide us in our decisions: our values. No candidate is perfect, just as no Party is perfect. So what are we to do?
Listen with your own ears, vote with your own values, and I promise: you’ll be surprised to find out just how conservative you really are.Tweet
Latest posts by R.J. Moeller (see all)
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- Post-election Thoughts - November 25, 2008
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- The Man of Zeal - September 28, 2008
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- The Audacity of Pandering - August 27, 2008
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- The Rockstar is Wearing No Clothes - June 18, 2008
- Obama is no JFK - May 29, 2008
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- Beguiling Simplicity of the Left - March 31, 2008
- Ideas Have Consequences - March 20, 2008
- Collectivism De-bunked - March 18, 2008
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- The Writers’ Strike and You - November 22, 2007
- Dear Senator Reid and Speaker Pelosi - November 20, 2007
- Methodists Gone Wild - November 14, 2007
- The right to the right to life - October 25, 2007
- Is this corn hand-shucked? - October 13, 2007
- Heart vs. Head - October 9, 2007
- The Democrats Are Falling Apart - October 3, 2007
- _ _ _ Bless America - October 1, 2007