Matt Sheffield, the founder of Newsbusters, has a piece over there about the importance of conservative/classical liberal media presence that speaks to a frustration of mine – the total dominance of the “Kim Kardashian”/paparazzi style of liberal journalism and the absolute lack of interest many people have with respect to politics and government.
I would wager that more people know that Julianne Hough claims to have been abused when she lived in London, that a pap photog was killed chasing Justin Beiber’s car because they thought they saw him smoking weed or as The Other McCain calls her, the “Unspeakable Armenian”, Kardashian, is pregnant than have any clue what our national debt is. Jay Leno and others have illustrated this when they do the “man on the street” interviews and half the people cannot even name a Supreme Court justice or someone like Rebel Pundit interviews a liberal protester who can’t even articulate what they are protesting or why.
In presidential campaigns, while Republicans will routinely criticize their Democratic opponents for being left-wing extremists, these arguments are rarely repeated for them by the media. But this dynamic exists beyond just presidential campaigns. In fact, it happens in every news cycle. And it is why the large domestic agenda items of conservatives have never really gotten much traction aside from tax cuts and now even that issue is not looking so strong.
During the tax debate that just ended, many conservatives have hammered congressional Republican leaders for capitulating or pursuing a faulty strategy in their dealings with President Obama. Now that the dust is settled, people are playing ‘what if’ and confidently insisting that things would have worked out better for the country if only the Republicans in Congress were not so stupid.
In reality, putting the hypotheticals aside, there is no strategy that the congressional GOP could have followed that would have created an outcome that most conservatives would have seen as ideal. Republican politicians are continually placed into such “Catch 22” situations.
The primary reason for this is that most voters actually have no idea what the conservative position on taxes and the deficit is. By and large, they have no idea what the conservative arguments on any issue are thanks to the fact that 90+ percent of the American media elite are hard-left partisan Democrats. There can be no message without a medium. Conservative position papers are only slightly more relevant to the average American than that tree falling in the forest that no one ever hears.
Think about it in this context: according to the US Census Bureau, there are roughly 312 million people in the country, 76.3% of whom are over the age of 18. In big round numbers, that means that we theoretically have about 238 million people who could vote – out of those, in 2012, about 130 million actually voted – a participation rate of 41.6%. 65.9 million people voted for the winner, Barack Hussein Obama, a rate of 27.8%. 25.6 % voted for Mitt Romney – 2.2% of eligible voters, roughly 524,000 people, decided the direction of this country.
According to tvbythenumbers, that’s about the number of people in the 18-34 demographic who watch the MSNBC primetime lineup every day. There’s even another analysis that says that the election was swung by less than 100,000 voters in counties in swing states – when you stop to consider that the Columbus Dispatch reported that it was likely that “one out of every five registered Ohio voters is probably ineligible to vote” meaning that 20% of Ohio’s 7.8 million registered voters (in a swing state, no less), over 1.5 million, were illegitimate, these smaller numbers start to become pretty significant.
So why are there so many people who choose not to participate? Why so many who willingly remain ignorant of things that have major impacts on their lives?
I could say that it is education but that’s not completely true. I do think that we do a poor job of educating the masses and there is too much of a “pop culture” approach to curricula in order to make it “relevant” but there is no excuse for an adult in America to remain ignorant of basic facts (have a look at this 8th grade test from 1912). There are simply too many resources out there that are accessible to all to remain a blissfully stupid pack animal.
And I don’t mean that people should just turn to Fox News or Beck’s The Blaze to get educated.
As painful as I find it to say, people should watch MSNBC every once in a while, too. I would never get all of the fodder from my thoughts by listening to Shaun Hannity any more than I would Chris Matthews. I arrived at the philosophical position that I did by reading BOTH Marx’s Das Capital AND Locke’s Second Treatise on Civil Government. I read Marx and Engel’s The Communist Manifesto and Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America. You have to have both sides…and to be honest, to read (and understand) these take some degree of time and effort.
It is also hard to argue that our political elites are not hard at work to make governance so complex and incomprehensible to the average citizen that it is not readily explained or understood. If you don’t believe me, just call the IRS “help line” sometime.
But the truth is that they don’t have to understand it, either – they just have to make you believe that they do.
But that’s it, isn’t it?
We aren’t paying attention, are we?
The public takes more time researching the purchase of a new flat screen TV or a car than they do vetting a candidate. They simply do not want to do the work if they think they can have someone do it for them. As one of our former co-bloggers once commented:
I think people, and I do include me, want a big brotherly government to take care of mundane matters, such as our health care, our retirement, overseeing the quality of goods and services, so we can concentrate our collective minds on American Idol and the exploding Kardashian population.
He was sarcastic about the Kardashian thing but he was closer to the truth than sarcasm. Sheffield also points this out:
If you are reading this blog post, you are in a minority of your fellow citizens in several ways. Firstly, you actually care about politics. Most Americans do not. Secondly, you care enough about being informed about political issues that you actually are interested in going out of your way to read up on conservative positions. Thirdly, if you are a conservative reading NewsBusters, you are further in the minority because you actually understand that media and culture actually control the political environment.
This is why media bias is so important. Media is doing the job that Americans won’t do…and they have chosen sides – that is a bad thing when people won’t do the work themselves – but even that isn’t the total root cause of our descent into a dystopian existence.
There are themes that run through great philosophical works and literature that reveal our future. Novels like Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, Orwell’s 1984 and Rand’s opus, Atlas Shrugged, are all noted by classic liberals as examples of this dystopia. Cinema has produced visions such as Fritz Lang’s Metropolis and 1973’s Soylent Green but perhaps the most accurate depiction of our future is found in H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine and his description of the Eloi:
These Eloi were mere fatted cattle, which the ant-like Morlocks preserved and preyed upon – probably saw to the breeding of.
We have spoken before about the Eloi and the Morlocks of Wells’ classic, it seems more relevant than ever:
While by the grace of God and the Constitution of the United States of America, this is still possible – Americans can have self-reliance and self-determination bred out of them. In our self-satisfied world of fully stocked grocery stores on every corner, 500 cable channels where a competitive eating contest on ESPN 8 can have a higher rating than a political debate, where cities experience riots after the city’s sports team WINS a major championship and college football fans and students protest in support of a long time coach who is alleged to have ignored multiple incidents of child sex abuse by one of his staff *, it is obvious to me that we can (and are) becoming the Eloi of H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine.
Of course we aren’t the actual foodstuff for the Morlocks as Wells anticipated in his novel, but we are the political food source for the political Morlocks in government, metaphorical fodder for their sustenance – for it is not flesh that they demand, it is the fruits of our labor and by extension, our ability to determine our own future.
By continuing to command more and more aspects of American life, the political Morlocks are stripping us of our freedom and independence just as surely as if we were roasted to a tender medium-rare and consumed bite by bite with some fava beans and a nice Chianti.
The real answer is that through our laziness and apathy, we are fast becoming the Eloi. The members of our institutional political classes and our bureaucratic government knows it. Our desire for “a big brotherly government to take care of mundane matters” – and a willingness to allow “mundane” to be defined as anything that we don’t like – has created and is perpetuating a class of people who want to frolic naked all day with nothing to do but watch ESPN, play X-Box and keep up with the Kardashians. What they don’t get is that these “mundane” things are allowing us to being fed upon by a Morlock government through the creation of 16 trillion dollars of debt and 86 trillion in unfunded liabilities.
Rule number one when sitting down to dinner with a Morlock is to make sure that you aren’t the main course.
The Morlocks are hungry and I think I hear the dinner bell ringing.