Defending the virtues of liberty, free markets, and civilization... plus some commentary on the passing scene.

Freedom's Fidelity

Friday, November 05, 2004

Election Post Mortem Reading

As always Victor Davis Hanson nails it:
The East and West Coasts and the big cities may reflect the sway of the universities, the media, Hollywood, and the arts, but the folks in between somehow ignore what the professors preach to their children, what they read in the major newspapers, and what they are told on TV. The Internet, right-wing radio, and cable news do not so much move Middle America as reflect its preexisting deep skepticism of our aristocracy and its engineered morality imposed from on high.
The Democrats now lament that America would prefer to be "wrong" with George Bush than "right" with them. They will no doubt adduce a number of other paradoxes, excuses, and sorrows. But the fact is that the Left was united, well-funded, and ran the most vitriolic campaign in the Democratic party's history — and still lost, taking all branches of power with it. The New York Times and the major networks have undone their legacy of a half-century, and in the desire for cheap partisan advantage have ruined the reputations of anchor men, the very notion of fair front-page reporting, and, indeed, the useful concept itself of an exit poll. 60 Minutes, Nightline, ABC News — these are now seen by millions as mere highbrow versions of Fahrenheit 9/11.

Much of the world — in Europe, among the dictatorships and autocracies of the Middle East, and indeed among the terrorists themselves — realized that the presidential election was a referendum on America's will in both Afghanistan and Iraq. So be it. Thus the president's victory is a strong message to the Arab League that democracy is coming to the Middle East as it did earlier to Germany, Japan, South Korea, Panama, Serbia, and Afghanistan, and a message to the terrorists that their beheadings, their sick infomercials, and their deified mass murderers will only earn a rendezvous with defeat if not annihilation. The farmers of Utah, the plant workers of Ohio, and the immigrants of Florida are not the same folk as those of Spain. America saw the election-eve face of bin Laden, heard his pathetic rant — and shrugged that he, not it, was going down.

Finally, with the Kerry defeat we should lay to rest the Left's latest revisionism that was much in vogue during the last few months in the mainstream media — promulgated by journalists and pundits in places like Harper's, The New York Review of Books, The New Yorker, and the Atlantic. We were lectured ad nauseam that the terrorists did not — as did extremists of all ages such as the Nazis, Japanese, and Soviet totalitarians — hate us for our allegiance to consensual government, modernism, and the freedom of the individual, but rather had understandable grievances because of our support for Israel, the war in Iraq, or the presence of oil companies in the Middle East. That canard too was rejected by the voters.

I think the best part about the Bush victory is the big 'FU!' that it sends to the European appeasers. It had become obvious over the last year or so that Chirac, Shroeder et al alliance had simply decided to hold their breath until John Kerry was elected. I'm sure it is difficult for them to fathom that the American electorate could re-elect Bush, after all they wouldn't vote for him and neither would the New York Times, or any other members of the American intelligentsia for that matter. Yet in a time where Jacques Chirac's party is surviving elections with about 16% of the vote, Dubya pulls over 50%. Euro heads must be spinning.

And while the Euros are trying to figure out what the hell happened so too our are elitists at home. Notably Jane Smiley, who argues that the majority of the American electorate consists of fools who made the wrong choice. Fortunately the Belmont Club is here to take a meat clever to her premise:
One of the several ways to parse this argument is to take it on its own terms. In this account, the bulk of Ms. Smiley's enemies consist of a single, undifferentiated mass of red staters with the bestial appetites and intelligence of retarded slugs. Unfortunately for the Democrats, they are led by diabolically clever manipulators -- "the big capitalists, who have no morals" -- who employ cant, superstition and lies to lead their dimwitted mob around for the purposes of rapine and coarse gratification. We are vouchsafed a glimpse of the 'good guys', the Progressives, the champions of the workers and consumers. These Progressives are somehow resistant to blandishments of the "big capitalists". Something -- superior intelligence or a finer moral fiber perhaps -- has made them insusceptible to ignorance and manipulation. And they alone stand in the way of the Darkness.

This is Ms. Smiley's actual intellectual model.

Read the whole thing. A bit of advice to the left: Insulting everyone that did not vote with you in 2004 is not the best strategy for getting them to change their mind next time around.


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