For a picture of how low the level of public discourse has sunk in America, look no further than the New York Times. In an editorial following Newt Gingrich’s upset victory in the South Carolina Republican Primary, the Times’ editorialists dealt from the bottom of the deck, playing the race card in an attempt to deflect attention from the growing public dissatisfaction with the policies of the Obama administration. According to these so-called “journalists,” “[V]oters . . . let themselves be manipulated by the lowest form of campaigning, appealing to their anger and prejudices.” In other words, Newt beat Mitt because South Carolina Republicans are a bunch of racist bigots.
The evidence for this charge? Gingrich asserted that Mr. Obama “was the greatest food-stamp president in American history” and that his cabinet “looked like Mickey Mouse and Goofy.” Inasmuch as the majority of Americans receiving government entitlements, food stamps and otherwise, are white and the President’s cabinet has a predominantly pale hue, these statements were a bald act of race-baiting. After all, South Carolina is the home of Fort Sumter and John C. Calhoun, and the Times has never been an organization to let facts get in the way of a good argument. More than 150 years after the Civil War, the Old Gray Lady is still waving the Bloody Shirt from the sheltered confines of her tony West Side Manhattan headquarters. ?
It is no secret to the few who actually still read the Times that the organization prides itself on its Progressive views. It is pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage, and favors the use of government as an instrument for the redistribution of wealth. It believes that global warming and Darwinian evolution are established, indisputable facts. Anyone who departs from this orthodoxy, i.e. the majority of Republicans, is branded by the Times as an unenlightened, anti-choice, anti-science, homophobic, racist, xenophobic troglodyte. In addition to serving as ideological fodder for its Liberal fan base, these ad hominem caricatures are designed to have a chilling effect on voters who might be inclined to embrace a candidate upon whom the Times does not look favorably. ??It is any wonder, then, that Gingrich’s attacks on the elite media establishment are resonating with voters in America’s hinterlands and “fly-over” states? Any surprise that many conservatives have lost confidence in the once-revered bastions of American journalism and now look to other outlets for news and information? ??
For all of the faults that may be found with the Republican debates (and there are many), at least the candidates’ rhetoric more often than not includes appeals to facts and logic. Liberals might prefer vague allusions to “hope and change” to the sometimes uncomfortable realities of America’s current political, economic, and social condition, but South Carolina voters and millions like them across these United States are fed up with meaningless, feel-good rhetoric and are ready for action – with or without the blessing of the New York Times.