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Election Thoughts

November 3rd, 2008 - 5:57 pm

What makes me angriest:  that there is no outcry against election fraud;  that the media have become pure political instruments;  that our “educational system” has produced an ignorant electorate.

Years and years ago, during Watergate, Barbara and I were living in Rome, and we had lots of journalist friends (I was then a correspondent for The New Republic, so…we saw lots of Italian journalists).  They were all openly jealous of America, because they saw American journalism as clearly superior to theirs.  American journalists reported, while they, the Italians, were doing politics.  “We could bring down our entire Political Class,” they would say, “we all have information so devastating that no politician could survive,” but they didn’t publish it, because they didn’t see an acceptable alternative.  We would tell them that their job was not to make political decisions, but to report the news, and let the people decide.  But they couldn’t;  they were doing politics.  And we felt superior, because American journalism, we thought, just reported the news and let the people decide.

Well, that’s over and done with now.  Never before has the ignorance of the electorate been so intensely cultivated as in this election.  We all know that major publications and broadcasters have simply refused to report news, and what they did report was spun politically.  And among the stories they are not reporting, is the massive electoral fraud, from the “where is all that money coming from?” to the “how dare state officials refuse to verify the identity of voters?” one, to the refusal to report, day by day, on Joe Biden’s scandalously inept, incompetent, and often meretricious campaign.  Instead, they obsess on every real and imagined misstatement by Sarah Palin, who for me has been the most attractive of the four candidates.

An ignorant electorate is a real threat to good government, and the whole point of the First Amendment is to create a wide-open national debate from which the truth might emerge.  The current behavior of the media–now totally politicized–makes it very hard to get to the truth.  They censor themselves, just as our Italian friends confessed they were doing to themselves thirty years ago.

Rush today played some clips from a conversation about Obama between Charlie Rose and Tom Brokaw.  Each said repeatedly “we really don’t know much about him.”  Well, duh, whose fault is that, y’all?  Yours.  You haven’t done your job.

For years now, most thoughtful Americans have known they were being misled by the MSM.  But they didn’t know exactly where to go to get the real news.  Over time, many of them learned to read blogs, to listen to talk radio, and to read the few good journalists who still believe they should report, and let the people decide.  It’s only natural that the Dems should want to shut down these outlets and those reporters, and I think that’s going to be a very big battle in the very near future, whoever wins tomorrow.

It follows from all this that there’s another thing that has my dander flying:  the snooty treatment of Palin.  It’s as if that old New Yorker cover–the one that shows Manhattan occupying most of the map of the United States, then the Mississippi River and fly-over country in a small strip, then San Francisco and Los Angeles in a larger area–has now become the template for all proper thinkers.  I’m sure lots of folks in fly-over country are enraged by this, but many others want to have a seat at the table, want to join the celebrities, want to be thought of as serious thinkers.  And so they join the swarm.

American exceptionalism rests upon independent thinking, pride in community and heritage, and disdain for ivory tower intellectuals combined with admiration for self-help and achievement.  My greatest fear is that these values are going to be trashed over and over again the next few years, and we will have to fight it very fiercely.

The Ledeen family is now a military family.  All three of our children are engaged in the war which to my way of thinking is the single greatest issue for America, but which has virtually vanished from our national debate.  There is no escape from this war, there is only victory or defeat.  But the Democrats can’t win a national election on that question, and so it has been spiked.

Tough times.

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