So what does it all mean? As I write this on Tuesday, the presidential election is, despite media cheerleading, still in doubt. But by the time you read this, the outcome may or may not be known. What is known is that this has been an almost surreal contest.
We started out nearly two years ago with a bevy of candidates and issues that no longer seem important; at least to the general public. The War in Iraq and the sacrifices made by our gallant military there, are in the rear-view mirrors of most Americans as is the War on Terror in general. It seems that this election hinges on a more mundane topic: their pocketbooks.
And this leads us to the main reason why Obama would be the victor: most American voters will get behind the guy who promises them the most “stuff.” Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his machine were the champs of giveaways and his New Deal initiatives sounded the early death knell for rugged individualism. In hard times — and there were none harder than during the real Depression — people will give up some liberty in exchange for what they perceive to be financial security.
If Barack Obama wins, many think this will mark a touchstone of liberal ascendancy; but will this be true? It might be if Obama had ever clearly annunciated a typical liberal agenda, but to my eyes, he has not. Sure, we have his past record to scrutinize, a job typically performed in the past by an unbiased press, but this has not been done satisfactorily. How do I know? Two leading anchormen — PBS’s Charlie Rose and NBC’s Tom Brokaw — told me so:
ROSE: I don’t know what Barack Obama’s worldview is.
BROKAW: No, I don’t, either.
ROSE: I don’t know how he really sees where China is.
BROKAW: We don’t know a lot about Barack Obama and the universe of his thinking about foreign policy.
ROSE: I don’t really know. And do we know anything about the people who are advising him?
BROKAW: Yeah, it’s an interesting question.
ROSE: He is principally known through his autobiography and through very aspirational (sic) speeches.
BROKAW: Two of them! I don’t know what books he’s read.
ROSE: What do we know about the heroes of Barack Obama?
BROKAW: There’s a lot about him we don’t know.
That two major “journalists” can admit, one week before a presidential election, that they don’t know the “world view” of one of the candidates, should and would be shocking at any other time in our history. Sadly, we are where we are, and the media are what they are: nothing more than ideologically driven partisans bent on suppressing what they do know and not bothering to discover what they don’t want the country to know.
We are also aware that many are speculating on the racial implications of an Obama loss but not much on those of his victory. Now, no one accused America of racism in denying Al Gore and John Kerry the White House, but should McCain pull off the win, this will undoubtedly be the theme of much protest and probably violence. Yet inexplicably, the fact that a demographic group that votes almost entirely as a block based on skin color will most likely be ignored.
And we painfully know that most liberals are even now dancing on the grave of the right wing of the Republican Party. But if Barack Obama manages to win the White House, it will not mean that the conservative movement is dead; anymore than the liberal agenda disappeared after demoralizing defeats at the hands of Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. Let us never forget the 1994 mid-terms.
Probably the most bittersweet lesson of this election cycle is that the hypocrisy of the liberal media has been exposed as never before. And it shows in their declining value; the New York Times‘ stock is almost at junk status. What we don’t know is if disillusionment with the media will translate into a decrease in their influence and an increase in voters’ desire to circumvent them on their way to the truth. Stay tuned to find out.