Well, it’s been two weeks, now, and I can finally write about the election.
I’ve passed through all the typical emotional stages of reaction to tragedy — shocked disbelief, denial, numbness, escape, and — finally — bitter determination.
It’s not as though the election made that much of a difference. We’re only a millimeter away from where we were on November 6th, but we passed through a membrane in order to get here. The damage had long been done, but now we have to acknowledge it.
There’s plenty of blame to go around, whether it’s Rumsfeld, the State Department, the craven and profligate Congress, or the President’s open-borders-and-amnesty immigration policy.
Above all, there are the mainstream media, the traitorous lackeys of the Left who have gone over to the enemy. With the media doing the heavy lifting for the mujahideen, the Republicans had no chance, even if they had somehow managed to grow brains and a spine in time for the election.
The shape of things to come is becoming clear. Syria — which means Iran — has moved openly in Lebanon, with the mullahs in Tehran ready to proclaim victory. Sensing the imminent American pullout, the terrorists in Iraq are ramping up the violence, knowing that with just a little more carnage the Democratic Congress will be ready to cut the funding for the war and abandon the Iraqis to their fate. The specialists at Reuters are probably even now photoshopping the last helicopter lifting off from the roof of the American embassy in Baghdad.
It doesn’t mean that we won’t fight this war, or that we will lose it (although we might). It means that we will fight it later, closer to home, and with many more casualties than we would otherwise have had to take. It means that right about the same time that the Supreme Court forces the states to institute homosexual marriage, parts of Dearborn will be instituting Shari’a. It means that right about the same time that amnesty is declared for all the Mexicans illegally in this country, agents of Al Qaeda infiltrated across the southern border will be detonating a weapon of mass destruction in a major city of the United States.
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The power of the legacy media is immense, despite their declining stock prices and number of viewers. The blogosphere and other alternative media are expanding, and they represent the future. But politicians don’t pay much attention to the blogs; they still take their cues from The New York Times. It is fear of the major newspapers and the networks which has driven the Republicans to take such cowardly positions on nearly every issue. Even their responses to the immigration problem, which polled so clearly in favor of strict enforcement, were late and lame.
When you read that John Boehner, the new House minority leader, gets his information from “the newspapers”, you know the depth of trouble that we are in. The people who brought you Mohammed al-Dura, the “genocide” of Jenin, and the massacred babies of Qana — those are the same people who are informing the opposition party in the United States Congress.
Weep for America.
And with the giants of the Republican Party leading, can the average American be far behind?
We, the readers of Gates of Vienna, and other members of the VRWC live in a rarefied atmosphere. We’re relatively well-informed, and vacuum up information wherever it can be found, not relying on news filters and conventional sources.
But most Americans don’t pay much attention. They have only the most superficial grasp of political issues, yet many of them vote. When they pick up any political information at all, it is from the soundbites on the network news, or from the headlines in the national dailies. And in the last two decades these organs of the Fourth Estate have gone from being biased towards the liberal to being outspoken shills for the Democrat party. The simple truth is that, due to the uniform partisanship of the media, it has become politically impossible for a Republican administration to prosecute a war successfully. We will have Vietnam, and then Vietnam, and then more Vietnam, over and over again, until the electorate gets the message and votes the Democrats back into power.
I have seen this process at work with a couple of my close relatives. These people aren’t stupid, and they aren’t even ignorant of most things. But they don’t pay any attention to political matters in any depth. It doesn’t mean that I always disagree with them — since they are regular working folks and not members of the runny-brie-and-dry-Chablis élite, they often have reliable instincts that run against the prevailing politically correct wisdom.
But when they talk about current political issues, their positions are almost word-for-word from the headlines in the Washington Post or the soundbites from the evening news. You can hear them say “Bush is a moron” or “Republicans only care about rich people” without any idea of whose party line they are parroting or where they picked it up. And when election day rolls around, they troop on down to the firehouse and do their civic duty.
It’s a reasonable assumption that there are millions more like them all across the country, and that’s how the same people could vote for Bush two years ago and yet make Nancy Pelosi speaker of the House this year.
Eventually the decline of the legacy media will become so severe, and the alternative media so widespread, that ordinary people and politicians will be collecting their information from different sources. But that process will take at least another decade, by which time it will be too late to keep us out of the worst of the struggle against the Great Islamic Jihad.
It’s going to be a lengthy war, and a messy one. Gird your loins and settle in for the long haul.