OK. I’ll walk out on a limb.
This election has already been decided. It’s over. The winner is John McCain.
How, you are asking, could anybody be so utterly stupid to say such a thing in August? What about the polls showing Obama ahead? Haven’t I heard about Obama-mania? The conventions haven’t even been held!
Well, since you asked, I’ll tell you.
Yes, I know how to read the polls. I’ve seen the television coverage of the adoring Obama crowds. Followed the “triumph” of the Obama European tour. Know that in some eyes McCain is “old.” I’ve heard all the usual buzz about potential VPs and which possible number two brings what to which ticket. Listened to the usual back-and-forth between the rival campaigns. “Did so!” “Did not!” Yada-yada-yada, as Seinfeld might say.
To which I say: So what?
If you really want to know the outcome of this election, the answers are out there to be found right now. Look around. Take a good hard look at what is going on around us all. It requires only that we understand what we are seeing, beginning with two much reported events of the summer.
First, The Dark Knight broke movie records with first day earnings of over $66 million. The film has broken one record after another, just as films like Star Wars or a Star Wars sequel or Spiderman or a Spiderman sequel did in their time. All by himself, Bloomberg tells us, Batman is poised to boost Hollywood towards a record year of $10 billion in box office sales.
Second. Simultaneous to the huge success of The Dark Knight, Rush Limbaugh has celebrated his 20th year as the host of his nationally syndicated number one radio show, signing an 8-year contract for a reported $400 million. His show is heard on approximately 600 stations around the country, with the president of Premiere Radio Networks saying the show enjoys an “unprecedented platform of radio affiliates.” In recent weeks Rush has received one big happy fist pump from everyone including but not limited to the President of the United States and the “Dittoheads” who listen to him regularly as part of an audience of 20 million a week.
So, as might be phrased by another character out of the world of Batman, riddle me this.
Why is Batman so popular? Why is Rush so popular? And what in the world does the popularity of either have to do with asserting as fact that Senator McCain has already won the presidential election over Senator Obama?
The answer is: you. “You” defined as a cultural American.
NO ONE OUT THERE — with the exception of novelist Andrew Klavan’s recent perceptive piece on Batman and President Bush in the Wall Street Journal — seems to understand just why The Dark Knight is such a hit. With all due respect to the filmmakers, actors Christian Bale and the late Heath Ledger, the real star of this film is indisputably Batman. But just who is Batman? And why does he make those connected with him so rich every time he shows his cowl?
Batman is the cinematic (and comic book) personification of the way Americans like to see themselves. He is a rebel against the Establishment (and likewise with the Star Wars crew and Spiderman.) He is unafraid to act. He is willing to take risks. He could not possibly care less about what “feels good” or whether anything he says or does “makes sense” to a single other person. He runs on instinct. He is here to do the right thing. Nothing more, nothing less. He has a vision of Gotham City, a dream, that is not unlike the favorite phrase associated with his friend Superman (another movie sensation): Truth, Justice and the American Way.
Rush Limbaugh is the Batman of the airwaves. The reason Rush is celebrating 20 years on the air and is being rewarded with that great contract is precisely because he has the same qualities as Batman. Rush Limbaugh is a conservative rebel, instinctively so. He believes in the power of the American dream. Most importantly, he lives it, right down there in his own Bat Cave, his “Southern Command.” He is completely unafraid to say exactly what’s on his conservative mind, and couldn’t care less what his liberal establishment critics say about him. Like Batman, he runs on his instincts, hopping into his broadcasting Batmobile daily and saying forthrightly that he knows what’s wrong and how it should be fixed.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online