By: Guest Authors
By Richard Geno
The celebrations at Berkeley and around the country on Tuesday night reminded me of scenes from the classic movie, “Dr. Zhivago.” From everything I have observed and read over the past year, it begins to look more and more like we have elected a smooth-talking, amiable Bolshevik. The Bolsheviks were defined as the Marxist Social Democratic Labour Party. That seems to include each of the factions who contributed to Barack Obama’s election last Tuesday.
Needless to say, labor unions were very influential, especially in the industrial midwestern states of Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Today’s Democratic Party is no more democratic than were the Bolsheviks of 1917. The “Social” part of this title seems a little bit superfluous. The Marxist Democratic Labour Party sufficiently identifies both the Bolsheviks and today’s majority party. As evidence of President-elect Obama’s Marxist ties, should one reference his associations (Frank Marshall Davis, William Ayers, Jeremiah Wright), his words (“spread the wealth around,” “economic justice,” “wealth redistribution”) or his past actions (the most left-wing voting record in the United States Senate)?
Okay, enough already. This has all been discussed. The race is over. Barack Obama won. Not enough people cared about his background, associations or past actions. The question for conservatives is “How did this happen?” How did it come to pass that the voters of the United States of America elected the most far left candidate from one of the major political parties to ever run for the presidency?
Let’s examine the primary reasons:
1. Media Bias. At no time have the media more promoted a candidate for president as they did Barack Obama. It began over four years ago before he was even a United States Senator. The media idolatry grew after he spoke to the Democrat National Convention in August, 2004. He still had not even been elected to the United States Senate. It continued against the beloved Clinton Dynasty. Even Saturday Night Live parodied the media’s favoritism toward Obama during the primary season against Hillary Clinton. It continued into the Fall both in Obama’s favor and against Senator John McCain and Governor Sarah Palin. The mainstream media’s support for Obama was blatant and unapologetic.
2. Three-to-One financial advantage of Obama over McCain. This extreme advantage came from three sources: (i) From enthusiastic Democrat big business and individual Obama supporters; (ii) >From wealthy Socialist-Americans like George Soros; and (iii) From foreign donations. It is not so much that the category (iii) supporters will expect or even get a quid pro quo for their contributions; but that substantial edge in money enabled the candidate to purchase valuable television time, and have a substantially stronger get-out-the-vote effort. Not to mention, foreign donations are illegal. In this particular election, a strong case could be made that this area alone elected Obama.
3. The Economy. Going into September, the economy was slowing down; but the country was still coming off the longest period of sustained growth in many decades. The timing of the subprime mortgage crisis, and the resulting stock market crash was devastating to the McCain campaign. With all of the Democrat ties to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, a strong case could be made that the subprime mortgage crisis emanated from the left side of the political spectrum; but the Republican candidate made no effort to make that point. Moreover, this same Republican candidate flew back to Washington, and jumped in with both feet to support the corporate welfare bailout that ensued.
4. The candidates. President-elect Obama was perceived by many to be an attractive, extremely articulate, high energy candidate. Senator John McCain was perceived by the middle-of-the-road voter as being old, stiff, and not particularly articulate. Senator Obama was quick to answer every accusation not only made by his opponent, but also made by popular conservative media personalities like Sean Hannity. Senator McCain was extremely hesitant to capitalize on the most vulnerable areas of Senator Obama until it was too late. The person with the best personality has won the presidential election in each of the past eight presidential campaigns.
5. Being in the same party as President Bush, and being a Republican. Thanks to a relentless effort by the media and the Democrat Party for the past six years, President Bush’s approval rating has stabilized around 30% for the past few years. As the economy started to wobble, the Party in power – in this case, the Republican Party – took the brunt of the blame. Those who provide a truly objective perspective could tell you that the economy had done exceptionally well during most of the Bush presidency, and that free market systems experience cycles. However, that is not the way the media and the unchallenged arguments of the Democrats communicated it. Perceiving President Bush as being “damaged goods,” Senator McCain could only offer the same criticism of the economy that the Democrats were offering.
6. The lack of emphasis on the war in Iraq, the war to save the western world and foreign affairs in general. Two years ago, when Senator Obama was proud to be the only candidate who opposed the Iraqi war from the beginning, who would have thought Iraq might be an issue that could favor the Republican candidate? On top of that, this is one area that Senator McCain had a natural advantage based on his vast experience. Yet, as the Surge succeeded, the media and Senator Obama directed the discussion away from foreign affairs, and Iraq in particular.
Is this just a litany of post-mortem whining? To the contrary, my reaction to these reasons is “so what?” The bottom line is that on January 20, 2009, there will be an inauguration for Barack Obama, the Democrat candidate. The same party will have an 81-vote majority in the House, and close to a filibuster-proof United States Senate.
Where do conservatives go from here? What can be done to regain the presidency and the congress? Let’s examine each of the aforementioned six areas:
The media has been “in the tank” for the Democrat Party for more than fifty years. As a matter of fact, with the relatively recent addition of Fox News and the expanding popularity of conservative talk radio, the overall media probably is more balanced than it has been in years. However, the primary mainstream media – the New York Times, Associated Press, Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, and Time Magazine – were not only more consistently supportive of Obama, but they shielded him from potentially mortal attacks.
This media disparity must be confronted in both the long and short term. There needs to be more young men and women who support the ideals of liberty and freedom going into journalism. There are scores of institutions supporting young conservatives going into the news field; we need to support those organizations. That effort is going to take many years, perhaps decades; but it can change things in the long run. In the short run, it is incumbent for politicians to take on the media. Brent Bozell of the Media Research Center can provide the evidence that the 2008 election cycle was reported overwhelmingly unfairly and unbalanced. This must be communicated other than on Fox News and on conservative talk radio.
There needs to be a thorough investigation into the potential of $60-100 million that came into the Obama campaign from foreign donations. It will not change the election results; but it needs to be exposed. Republican senators and congresspeople must speak up courageously and persistently on this topic. The illegal contributions must come to an end. As far as the huge advantage Obama had over McCain without foreign contributions, that is based on the fact that the Republicans nominated a poor candidate. The left was excited about Obama, and conservatives were at best lukewarm for McCain.
Furthermore, we must stop chewing each other up during the primaries. We need to bring back Ronald Reagan’s 11th Commandment – “Thou shall not speak ill of any fellow Republican.” We should save our venom for the Democrat opponents. Our 2008 candidate had it exactly backwards – he criticized his fellow Republicans, especially President Bush; but practiced a collegial approach with his “good friend and colleague, Senator Obama.”
Up until the mortgage crisis and resulting stock market crash occurred, the economy should have been an advantage for the Republican candidate. How is that we can go from a very inarticulate president to an ineffective communicator in Senator McCain? We need to communicate our point of view and support our record rather than try to appease the media by agreeing with them as Senator McCain did on the economy.
That leads us to the issue of candidates. The Democrats have a much larger farm team than the Republicans. Democrats relish serving on school boards, city councils, and boards of supervisors because they believe in government. The leaders who are Republicans instead are in business taking advantage of the free enterprise system. I have a six-year plan to first elect ten very articulate conservatives to the House, and then to the Senate. I am talking about having people like Sean Hannity, Neal Boortz, Mark Levin and Laura Ingraham run for Congress, get elected, be as outspoken as they are on radio and television, and then run for the Senate. It is time for these very successful people to forego the financial gain of their talk shows for the best interest of the country. Besides lots of money can be made in politics. Do the names of Lyndon Johnson and Bill Clinton come to mind?
As far as the anchor of succeeding an unpopular Republican president, that gets us back to intensity and articulateness of the candidate. Timing and delivery of message are everything. Senator McCain showed nothing in these areas. Wouldn’t it have been exciting to watch Sean Hannity questioning Senator Obama day-after-day? How about Mark Levin debating Senator Schumer? How about Neal Boortz taking on Senator Harry Reid? Can you imagine Laura Ingraham debating Nancy Pelosi? We simply must provide more articulate and attractive candidates. If Al Franken can run a competitive race for the United States Senate, why can’t Michelle Malkin, Ann Coulter, Dennis Prager, Hugh Hewitt, or Michael Medved do the same?
The great Ronald Reagan said, “Whatever else history may say about me when I am gone, I hope it will record that I appealed to your best hopes, not your worst fears; to your confidence rather than your doubts.” Throughout the past year, not a single alleged conservative candidate created the images of a shining city on the hill, or prominently mention the reasons that we celebrate the greatness that is America.
Conservatives must discontinue with the whining about media bias and financial imbalances, and take charge of their own destiny. We must stand up for ourselves; all of the ideas that have made America great are on our side. We must stop trying to pacify the left and the media. What did all of the efforts President Bush made with Senator Kennedy back in 2001 get him? Absolutely nothing but abuse and disdain. President Bush approached Senator Kennedy on both a personal level (inviting him to the White House for a preview of a new movie about President John Kennedy) and on a policy level (No Student Left Behind legislation); and it got him nothing but abuse for his efforts.
We can learn how to best function by studying the efforts that MoveOn.org has made over the past eight years. They did not cowtow to the middle, or “cross the aisle” when they lost; they just tried harder. Our principles of liberty and freedom and free markets are worth fighting for. Letâ€™s get some attractive, articulate candidates for the presidency and the senate, and go to work.
About the Writer: Richard Geno has a bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Berkeley, and also has a master’s degree and a Ph.D. He is a life coach, and author of the book s , “The Balanced Life Experience: A Roadmap for Having It All” and “Running Around the World: an MDRT Member’s Journey to Balance.” He is president of The Conservative Forum of Silicon Valley, whose website is at: http://www.theconservativeforum.com .