04.27.2011 0

Right-Wing Malaise or Media Malice?

By David Bozeman – Rule #1: Never heed conventional wisdom. According to the latest pearl, President Obama is all but guaranteed a second term because the GOP is fielding a weak slate of candidates. So opines Bill Maher, and numerous liberal pundits claim that they are praying for a Donald Trump presidential run for the comic relief he will surely provide.

It must be so. Despite dismal approval ratings, Obama leads all potential match-ups, and we’ve all heard about the Republican candidates’ forum scheduled for the Reagan Library this spring being canceled (or delayed) due to a lack of declared participants. In the past weeks, conservative commentators, including this writer, have fallen for the line that we are demoralized, because that is what the mainstream media has told us.

I do stand by my contention that the GOP lacks a bold, decisive theme that cuts across demographic lines and inspires the electorate. Nonetheless, we are way too far out for polls to even matter, just ask President Hillary Clinton, who was the presumptive Democratic frontrunner headed in 2008, or John Kerry, who had won the presidency by a comfortable margin according to exit polls on Election Day 2004. In the months to come, the issues and dynamics of 2012 will surely emerge, but spring 2011 is way too soon to start writing next year’s epitaph.

As for the Republican field, as some of the cooler heads have noted, conservatives can take comfort in any of the potential nominees as an alternative to the current leader of the free world. How can anyone in the current crop touch Obama’s penchant for federal debt and European-style socialism? How can any serious GOP contender not convey greater affinity and affection for such defining American concepts as free-enterprise, voluntary cooperation and living within one’s means?

But so powerful is mainstream thought that it colors our judgment without our even realizing it. Surely the Democrats and their allies in the media want conservatives and Republicans to feel demoralized. After all, who could possibly take on a leader as smart and eloquent as Barack Obama? In fact, we would be stupid if we didn’t feel demoralized — that is the submission to current media-think that the Democrats are banking on.

They don’t even have to beat up on Republicans, they can just watch us tear each other apart. Charles Krauthammer recently deemed Donald Trump the Republican version of Al Sharpton, comparing the two as ego-inflated showmen and media hogs.

Uh, not quite, Charles. Can you name the Trump version of Tawana Brawley or Freddie’s Fashion Mart? Can you cite examples of racially-charged, hate-filled invective on the part of Donald Trump? Which one has spent his life as a businessman, creating goods, services and opportunity, and who has made enormous profit as a professional agitator?

There is no perfect candidate. One can find flaws in any of the GOP’s potential nominees. So, while the possible next president bears close examination, neither Donald Trump nor Mitt Romney nor Sarah Palin has amassed layer upon layer of federal debt or imposed a hugely unpopular national government takeover of health care or attacked our nation’s most productive citizens. That would be one Barack Obama, and I know of no conservative who is not excited at the thought of his exit into private life. The fight to name his successor has not even begun, so throwing in the towel now is, at best, premature, and bruising our top players unnecessarily is a waste of rhetorical resources.

Patriots typically exhort their fellow citizens to question the edicts of government, but the same goes for the daily gems of conventional wisdom. Conservatives can choose their own nominee, thank you, and not only do they not need the mainstream media’s approval, their scorn may well be the proverbial badge of honor.

David Bozeman, former Libertarian Party Chairman, is a Liberty Features Syndicated writer.

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