by John Eberhard
Now that the most tumultuous election season in many a year is over, I thought it would be good to take a look at what happened and what it meant.
The Democratic Party in Disarray
One of the inescapable conclusions from this election is that the Democratic Party nationally is in complete disarray.
The Party has followed a curious path in recent years, going beyond its traditional platform of favoring things like welfare, affirmative action and national health care, and allowing itself to be taken over by far-left elements who favor things like partial birth abortion, gay marriage and secularism. In fact, the Democratic Party has come to be identified in the minds of the public with these radical left-wing elements.
I was recently chastised by an associate who is very much on the left side of the isle, for generalizing about liberals, saying they are all in favor of things like gay marriage and partial birth abortions. While I recognize that probably not all liberals or leftists or Democrats (or whatever label we want to apply) believe in all the planks of the national Democratic Party, it is true that the most noise you hear coming out of the Democratic Party is favoring these radical beliefs, which are well to the left of most of America. In other words radicals have taken over the party. And their radical agenda doesn’t play well in most of America.
So the Democratic Party will have to (and probably won’t from what I see so far) do some soul-searching and reverse their course. Otherwise they can look forward to watching the Republicans control the White House and Congress for the foreseeable future, I would say at least for the next 12 years.
John Kerry – a Terrible Candidate
Perhaps due to the disarray that the Democrats were already in prior to this election, they fielded not just a bad candidate but actually a terrible candidate, in John Kerry.
First of all, Kerry, who was rated as the most liberal Senator in America, (i.e. more liberal than the other 99 US Senators) was just way to the left of mainstream America. Not to the left of the mainstream news media, or the chic Hollywood crowd, but way to the left of mainstream Americans. The Democrats were in a dreamland thinking they could get someone as liberal as John Kerry elected President.
Secondly, and perhaps because of his extreme left-wingism, Kerry waffled all over the map on every major issue, while angrily insisting that he was not waffling. The term "flip-flop" became the joke of the campaign. Now I’m not so sure Kerry can’t make up his mind, as much as he just didn’t want us to know where he really stood (way out in left field).
While Kerry tried mightily to define himself in some way that was clearly different from George Bush, all we really learned was that he couldn’t seem to make up his mind.
I also think that the Swift Boat veterans really hurt Kerry’s candidacy.
The Big Loser – Big Mainstream News Media
The head of ABC News said, prior to the election, that the mainstream news media could deliver 15 points of popular vote to John Kerry. Think about that for a second. Whether or not that is possible, I think it is shocking that a whole industry, the mainstream news media, indeed would think that they should back one candidate over another, and that they can and should use the mechanism of the news industry to accomplish this. Not too many years ago, it was considered that one of the virtues of a reporter was that he was unbiased and impartial. Now the news media is not just grossly biased to the left, they think that they are so powerful and unassailable that they can even brag about it.
Well I’ve got news for big media. That game is over. You lost.
Big mainstream news media was the biggest loser in November’s election. They mounted or collaborated with the Democratic Party in mounting what was possibly the biggest PR assault on a sitting President in my lifetime. They tried every dirty trick they could to hurt the President’s image.
Witness CBS News’ use of forged documents about President Bush’s National Guard service, and sticking with and defending them for weeks, until CBS seemed to be the only ones in the entire country who still believed they were genuine. Dan Rather finally had to apologize. A few months later he announced he would retire in March. I’m sure the thousands of letters and emails CBS got demanding his resignation had nothing to do with that. But whether or not they did, there is no question Rather’s credibility took a major hit.
There were many other examples of biased reporting on the election, all favoring John Kerry and against Bush. The mainstream news media tried unsuccessfully to kill the Swift Boat veterans story and the book "Unfit for Command," for months, until the story gained so much grass-roots momentum that they could no longer ignore it.
The point is that despite the massive propaganda campaign all the mainstream news media outlets mounted against the President, they were unable to swing the election.
I have talked earlier about the conservative alternative media which has grown up in the last few years, utilizing talk radio, the Internet, books, and cable TV. It has grown up because there is a demand for it, not because conservatives have learned to "master the new media" as some on the left claim. It has grown up because enough people are sick and tired of the liberal bias in the mainstream news, and they want to hear conservative news and commentary. Witness the success of Fox News, which now has larger viewership than all the other cable news outlets combined.
Years ago, the mainstream news media were "gatekeepers" of news information. They could decide what news we would hear and what kind of slant it would have. And guess which kind of slant that was? Well those days are over. There are too many places where people can get conservative news and commentary, and they’re consuming it in droves.
As I was watching the buildup to the election, and especially the massive campaign against Bush, I was worried that the mainstream media, along with their buddies George Soros and Michael Moore, might be able to pull it off.
It turns out that I didn’t need to be worried. The final outcome was that a majority of people just flat out didn’t believe them. Think about that. It wasn’t that they weren’t paying attention, or that they didn’t hear all the negative propaganda about Bush. They heard it, but they rejected it. They recognized that it was propaganda. They recognized the bias.
So I say big news media’s days are numbered, because a majority of the population has recognized that they have betrayed the public’s trust. My prediction is that in 10 years, we won’t even have network news shows anymore. Their relevance, along with papers like the New York Times and LA Times, has dropped dramatically, because people recognize they have a one-sided agenda. Not only that, but they have an agenda that is counter to what most Americans believe.
Exit Polls – the Values Factor
We have heard a lot about the exit polls after the election and how the largest percentage answer of people as to why they voted for Bush was "moral values."
While I question the credibility of the exit polls in general (they predicted a massive John Kerry victory), this is a really interesting issue. Earlier polls show a much higher percentage of people who are secularists (i.e. they don’t believe in God) in the blue states, states that voted for Al Gore in 2000. Regular church attendance and strong religious beliefs are much stronger in the red states, states that went for George Bush in 2000 and 2004.
Liberal commentators have savaged this moral values issue by characterizing people living in the red states who voted for Bush as a bunch of religious nuts and by making fun of religious belief in general. I think the fact that they can get away with making fun of religion like this is disturbing. Whether you’re a Christian or not, the trend in recent years towards degrading religion in general and Christianity in particular is something we should all be concerned about and should fight against.
The secularists attack Christianity because it stands in the road of their goal to eliminate moral values and the concept of right and wrong. Note that the American Psychiatric Association announced the same goal of eliminating the idea of right and wrong 50 years ago.
The secularists, including wacko organizations like the ACLU, wage a wrong-headed battle to eliminate any public expression of religious belief. This is wrong-headed because it completely misinterprets the Constitution’s protection of religion in forbidding the government to establish any state religion, like they have in Germany for instance, where two Christian sects are government-sponsored and a portion of your taxes automatically goes to their support. That’s what the Constitution forbids, yet these groups use this misinterpretation as an excuse to attack religions, especially Christianity. Witness the ACLU’s recent suit against Los Angeles County to force them to remove a tiny cross from the county seal.
Thankfully the talk of moral values in the election has brought more attention to this issue.
Due to the not huge but convincing election victory, where they maintained control of the White House and picked up a few more seats in congress, the Republicans will continue with their agenda. I don’t agree with everything George Bush does (like on immigration) but overall I am much more comfortable with him in the White House than someone like John Kerry. As a friend pointed out to me recently, we have much to be thankful for this Christmas season.