This is by way of a friendly response to the estimable Jay Nordlinger, Senior Editor at the likewise estimable National Review. Jay wrote a strong column yesterday openly saying what I’ve been hearing many conservatives express tacitly ever since the election. Reflecting on the media’s disgraceful distortion of the characters of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Sarah Palin, he wrote:
“It seems to me that the Left has won: utterly and decisively. What I mean is, the Saturday Night Live, Jon Stewart, Bill Maher mentality has prevailed. They decide what a person’s image is, and those images stick. They are the ones who say that Cheney’s a monster, W.’s stupid, and Palin’s a bimbo. And the country, apparently, follows.”
I’ve been hearing and reading prominent conservatives and Republicans say nearly as much on television, in print and in private conversation ever since the election. They say Sarah Palin can never make a comeback. They say the fight for small government has been lost. They say we can’t have immigration reform that protects our borders. They say we have to distance ourselves from “embarrassing” commentators like Rush Limbaugh or Ann Coulter.
No, no, no, no. What the right is experiencing at the moment is a phenomenon called “cultural para-stimuli.” You can read all about it in Tom Wolfe’s wonderful novel I Am Charlotte Simmons. It’s sort of like peer pressure on steroids. It was discovered by Nobel Laureate Victor Ransome Starling, who found that when he surrounded normal cats with cats whose behavior had been bizarrely altered by brain surgery, the normal cats began acting like the crazy cats all around them.
That’s us–surrounded by the mainstream media. So steeped are we now in their lies about our representatives, their ridicule of our commentators, their demonizing dismissal of the causes we know are just, that we’ve begun to adopt their attitudes toward ourselves! And perhaps chief among the lies they’ve sold us is the lie that they’ve won, that the media are theirs for good and all, and that Americans are going to be hoodwinked and brainwashed by their constant barrage of misinformation forever.
Well, only if we let them. And only if we in the media surrender first.
Look, the American media are in a bad way, a disastrous way. Movies, TV, literature–instead of illuminating vehicles for art and entertainment, they’ve become like the Matrix, replacing reality with a plausible leftist imitation. Journalists especially have so shamed themselves in their coverage of the last election–hounding Sarah Palin’s daughter and Joe the Plumber while all but ignoring Barack Obama’s ties to Illinois corruption, and his long and deep association with the racist anti-American Jeremiah Wright–that it’s going to take them years to recover. When people shame themselves that badly, they don’t admit it in a hurry. They savage their critics instead and continue their own shameful practices as a kind of defiant denial–anything rather than look in the mirror and confront what they’ve turned themselves into.
So yeah, we’re on our own for now. But we’re not unarmed and we’re in no way defeated. We have great politicians like Sarah Palin–who could well be president in not eight years but four–honest newsmen like Bret Baer and genius commentators like Rush–and Ann Coulter, who’s only about ten times smarter, funnier and more talented as a satirist than Jon Stewart or Bill Maher will ever be. The left can’t out-argue these mind-warriors so they try to ridicule, disdain and isolate them, to make us feel ashamed that we admire and respect them. And they tell us they’re finished, washed-up. Why, just look, it must be true: it’s right there in the newspapers and on TV.
They’re lying. The left has to lie for the simple reason that they’re wrong and we’re right, their policies don’t work and ours do. Look at the cities that liberal politicians and programs have devoured like locusts. Look at the liberal states that can’t rein in their spending even as they go broke. Look at how environmentalists have made us energy-slaves to monsters overseas. And look at how leftist, anti-patriotic and anti-religious policies in Europe have turned a once-great culture into a corpse that is being consumed by Islamo-fascist bacteria as we watch.
Hey, listen, our soldiers have to get shot at in the cause of liberty. All we in the media have to do is keep telling people the truth. Lies and insults are all the left has got to sling against us. They only win if we start to believe them.