How to Remain Hopeful Even in the Face of the Republican Sweep





Mr. Loeb is the editor of The Impossible Will Take a Little While: A Citizen's Guide to Hope in a Time of Fear (Basic Books, 2004, $15.95, www.theimpossible.org), named the #3 political book of fall 2004 by the History Channel and the American Book Association, and of Soul of a Citizen. This article is adapted from that book, and part was excerpted earlier in the Nation.

How do we learn to keep on in this difficult political time, and keep on with courage and vision? A few years ago, I heard Archbishop Desmond Tutu speak at a Los Angeles benefit for a South African project. He'd been fighting prostate cancer, was tired that evening, and had taken a nap before his talk. But when Tutu addressed the audience he became animated, expressing amazement that his long-oppressed country had provided the world with an unforgettable lesson in reconciliation and hope. Afterward, a few other people spoke, and then a band from East L.A. took the stage and launched into an irresistibly rhythmic tune. People started dancing.

Suddenly I noticed Tutu, boogying away in the middle of the crowd. I'd never seen a Nobel Peace Prize winner, still less one with a potentially fatal illness, move with such joy and abandonment. Tutu, I realized, knows how to have a good time. Indeed, it dawned on me that his ability to recognize and embrace life's pleasures helps him face its cruelties and disappointments, be they personal or political.

Few of us will match Tutu's achievements, but in a political time that's hard and likely to get harder, we'd do well to learn from someone who's spent years challenging abuses of human dignity from apartheid's brutal system to Bush's Iraq war, yet has remained light-hearted and free of bitterness. Because Tutu embodies a defiant, resilient, persistent hope, where we act no matter what the seeming odds, both to be true to our deepest moral values, and to open up new possibilities. As Jim Wallis, editor of the evangelical social justice magazine Sojourners, writes, "Hope is believing in spite of the evidence, then watching the evidence change."

We need to be strategic, of course -- to learn new ways of framing our vision and reaching out to those who supported George Bush because they saw no other alternative. We need to muster enough power to convince mainline Democrats that capitulation was at the core of the most recent defeats, and that changing America's politics requires drawing the line. But none of this will happen unless we persist and find ways to keep engaged those several million Americans who've just come in to peace and justice movements in the past couple years.

We do this by recognizing that hope is a way of looking at the world, a way of life. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the stories of those who, like Tutu and Nelson Mandela, persist under the most dangerous conditions, when simply to imagine aloud the possibility of change is deemed a crime or viewed as a type of madness. We can also draw strength from the example of former Czech president Václav Havel, whose country's experience, he argues, proves that a series of small, seemingly futile moral actions can bring down an empire. When the Czech rock band Plastic People of the Universe was first outlawed and arrested because the authorities said their Zappa-influenced music was "morbid" and had a "negative social impact," Havel organized a defense committee. That in turn evolved into the Charter 77 organization, which set the stage for Czechoslovakia's broader democracy movement. As Havel wrote, three years before the Communist dictatorship fell, "Hope is not prognostication. It is an orientation of the spirit, an orientation of the heart."

Even in a seemingly losing cause, one person may unknowingly inspire another, and that person yet a third, who could go on to change the world, or at least a small corner of it. Rosa Parks's husband Raymond convinced her to attend her first NAACP meeting, the initial step on a 12-year path that brought her to that fateful day on the bus in Montgomery. But who got Raymond Parks involved? And why did that person take the trouble to do so? What experiences shaped their outlook, forged their convictions? The links in any chain of influence are too numerous, too complex to trace. But it helps to know that such chains exist, that we can choose to join them, and that lasting change doesn't occur in their absence. A primary way to sustain hope, especially when our actions seem too insignificant to amount to anything, is to see ourselves as links on such a chain.

The unforeseen benefits of our actions mean that any effort may prove more consequential than it seems at first. In 1969, Henry Kissinger told the North Vietnamese that Richard Nixon would escalate the Vietnam War, and even use nuclear strikes, unless they capitulated and forced the National Liberation Front in the South to surrender as well. Nixon had military advisers prepare detailed plans, including mission folders with photographs of potential nuclear targets. But two weeks before the president's November 1 deadline, there was a nationwide day of protest, the Moratorium, when millions of Americans joined local demonstrations, vigils, church services, petition drives, and other forms of opposition. The next month, more than half-a-million people marched in Washington, DC. An administration spokesperson announced that Nixon had watched the Washington Redskins football game and that the demonstrations wouldn't affect his policies in the slightest. That fed the frustration of far too many in the peace movement and accelerated the descent of some, like the Weathermen, into violence. Yet privately, as we now know from Nixon's memoirs, he decided the movement had, in his words, so "polarized" American opinion that he couldn't carry out his threat. Moratorium participants had no idea that their efforts may have been helping to stop a nuclear attack.

Although we may never know, I'd argue that America's recent movement against the war on Iraq similarly helped make further wars against countries like Iran and Syria less likely, and paved the way for more widespread questioning, even if not quite enough to turn the election. The protests of early 2003, the largest in decades, brought many into their first public stand, or their first in years. It wasn't easy to voice opposition when being called allies of terrorism. Yet people did, in every community in the country, joined by the largest global peace demonstrations in history. Many then continued through electoral involvement, raising further issues and building further alliances. These movements may have inspired the next Rosa Parks, Benjamin Spock, or Susan B. Anthony. They certainly marked the first steps for innumerable individuals who if they continue on will become a powerful force for justice, joining the ranks of the other unsung heroes who ultimately create all change.

Even if the struggle outlives us, conviction matters. Actions of conscience confirm the link between our fate and that of everyone and everything else on the planet, respecting and reinforcing the fundamental connections without which life itself is impossible. Whether we flourish or perish depends on how well we can honor the interdependence that Martin Luther King evoked: "We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny."

Nor should we forget that courage is contagious, that it overcomes the silence and fear that estrange people from one another. In Poland, during the early 1980s, leaders of the workers' support movement KOR made a point of printing their names and phone numbers on the back of mimeographed sheets describing incidents of police harassment against then-unknown activists such as Lech Walesa. It was as if, in the words of reporter Lawrence Weschler, they were "calling out to everyone else, 'Come on out! Be open. What can they do to us if we all start taking responsibility for our true dreams?'"

As the Polish activists discovered, we gain something profound when we stand up for our beliefs, just as part of us dies when we know that something is wrong, yet do nothing. We could call this radical dignity. We don't have to tackle every issue, but if we remain silent in the face of cruelty, injustice, and oppression, we sacrifice part of our soul. In this sense, we keep on acting because by doing so we affirm our humanity-the core of who we are, and what we hold in common with others. We need to do this more than ever in the current time.


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Dave Livingston - 1/7/2005

According to an essay, "The Elections: Playing With Fire" by Geo. Friedman published 1 November "A large number of voters will have already voted, which makes it a statistical certainty that some will be dead by Election Day. We have institutionalized the gravryard vote."


Dave Livingston - 1/7/2005

Adam,I'm no fan of Kissinger, haven't been since years ago, when I read that he had said that it was his job (as Sec. of State, Nixon's) to oversee, to manage, the decline of the U.S. as a world power.

On what basis...? For one thing, the recently released results of a study conducted by Duke Univ. in whicxh it is said that Liberals in the Academy outnumber conservatives by 14:1.

And Liberals have the gall to claim that there's no political test for landing a job in the Academy!

But an aquaintance, an historian, told me she cannot get tenure because she cannot provide the PC reply to the question, "How would you teach White, male conservatives?"


Dave Livingston - 1/7/2005

Adam,

Assuming this url is copied correctly, if you would, check it out...

www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A15606-2004Nov26?language=printer


Dave Livingston - 1/7/2005

By self-definition (according to the results of the studies reported upon by Geo. Will, at the url mentioned above) academics in general are social freaks, different in political & social outlooks from the general populace.

No wonder the Dimmo-crats cannot win elections, they must be utilizing the campaign advice of academics, who generally are out-of-touch with normal Middle-class Americans. You know, the sort of American who drives a gasoline gulping Ford F-150 pickup, by far the best-selling motor vehicle in the U.S. or other pickup or SUV. And the sort, among the 100 million, 8 families in ten, Americans, who shop at least once a year at non-union (& one of the most successful corporations ever to exist--because it is non-union) Wal-Mart.


Dave Livingston - 1/7/2005

Andrew Todd,

Having fought as a soldier in Viet-Nam, 1st Squadron, 4th (Armored) Cavalry, 1st Infantry Division, 1966-7; 2nd Squadron, 17th (Air)Cavalry,101st Airborne, 1969-70, & as a former Armor branch officer I'm well aware of the capabilities of an infantryman vs. armor.

The point of the 2nd Amendment is it is a last-ditch deterent to totalitarianism. Both Hitler, who in 1935 proclaimed Germany a safer place because his gov't had removed privately held firearms from the populace, & Gorbachev, who in response to Lithuania's declaration of independence from the USSR (& I still have a newspaper clipping withg the story)ordered the collection of all privately owned firearms in Lithuania, understood an armed people can make life uncomfortable for dictators & tyrants.


Dave Livingston - 1/7/2005

Only "yes-men" command troops in Iraq, eh? B.S.! I, in frequent, nearly daily,contact via this medium with both active duty & former G.I.s know better. Moreover, living near a town, Colorado Springs, in which there is a very large active duty (because there are 5, five, large military facilities located in this county & the very large local retired & former G.I. population.

The five large local military facilities are 1) the Air Force Academy, 2) Fort Carson (home to the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, 10th Special Forces Group & a brigage of the 4th Infantry Division as well as the HQ of the 7th Infantry Division), 3) NORAD, 4) Peterson Air Force Base, & 5) Shriver AFB.

One consequence of this large military prescence is our local paper is military orientated with many stories concerning local facilities & units, even when they're abroad. For instance, yesterday's lead front page story was about the reenlistment of 400 troopers of the on orders to return to Iraq 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment.

If nothing else, the story tended to confirm the "Stratfor" assessment, in its essay "Force Structure" that the days of cheap soldiers are past for the U.S. Indeed, according to the "Gazette" story the troopers who just reenlisted in the 3rd ACR received reenlistment bonuses of up to $15,000.


Dave Livingston - 1/7/2005

Andrew Todd,

Tanks aren't nearly as safe as you appear to think. In fact, the MOS, Military Occupation Speciality, with the highest percentage rate of casualities in Viet-Nam was tankers, not infanteymen. As said, that's not absolute numbers, but rather percentages.

Yes, tanks are tough, but they're also large tempting targets for RPG, rocket-propelled gernade, armed infantrymen or insurgents. Nice targets for mines too.

If you don't think an RPG can knock out a tank, you're mistaken. In fact, once in Viet-Nam, musta been late '66, I saw as it happened on "Thunder Road," aka Highway 13, a teurrent blown from an M-60 tank. Of course, what must have happened was that the RPG that hit the tank set off its ready ammunition, of tank cannon rounds, supply. In any event, for the price of one RPG round we lost a tank & its four-man crew.

On the other hand, once I saw Mr. Charles let fly with an RPG at (& miss) one of our armored vehicles as the Quarterhorse, 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry, was on route march on P.V. 16 going from Phu Loi to Phouc Vinh, again in '66. That was a dumb stunt for the V.C. to pull, to let fly at our column. Propmtly that little patch of woods from which Mr. Charles had fired his RPG became obliterated, once a number of tank guns turned on it.

Anticipating urban warfare needs the Army recently, in recent years, established lightly armored, Stryker, units more suitable than MBTs, Main Battle Tanks, for usew in urban areas & they've, a Stryker brigade, been used to very good effect in Iraq.

Urban warfare is about the worst environment there is for armor, tanks. In urban areas mobility is limited, as are fields of fire. The enemy may be above or below one & very difficult to spot, especially from a tank that's buttoned up. As one consequence, in urban areas tanks nearly always operate in conjunction with infantrymen, who help keep RPG armed ambushers away from tanks.

Of course, urban warfare is some of the nastiest fighting there is for infantrymen as well as for tankers. For one thing, there may be innocent civilians in the area whom the troops attempt to avoid harming. For another, as suggested above, cities are great places for ambushes. And in cities it can be very difficult to utilize one usual U.S. militarey advantage, our superior firepower via artillery & tactical aircraft.


Dave Livingston - 1/7/2005

Adam's correct to note that Bush's foreign policy is Wilsonitonian in tone.

But let us not forget that it is by & large governed by the needs to meet the challenge of Western-hating militant Islamism.

Rogat's uncritical acceptance of Vaclac Havel's declaration, sweet as it is, that "small, seemingly futile moral actions can bring down an empire" is not rational in the face of reality. The Soviet empire tumbled not because of Czech resistance, nor merely because of the rise of Solidarity in Poland, rather it succummed to competition from the West, a West willing and able to stand up militarily to Soviet aggression. Without U.S. & N.A.T.O. military, economic & social opposition, neither the Czechs nor the Poles could have pulled the plug on the Soviet empire.


Dave Livingston - 1/7/2005

Adam,

Your point brings up part of the reason many of us out here in Right field consider the Standard Model understanding of the Second Amendment essential to the preservation of freedom in America.

No, gun owners aroused haven't a chance, let alone the ambition, of overthrowning a government of which they diaapprove. But private citizen ownership of firearms, & there are over 80 million of us in the nation, serves as a last resort means of ensuring this nation won't go totalitatrian on us.

As numerous examples of irregular warfare, ranging from the American Revolution onwards, have demonstrated is that an irregular armed force need not necessarilly win military victories on the field of battle to achieve its political goals, all it need no is maintain, as did Washington, a substantial force in the field in order to continue to maintain pressure on the superior armed force & hopefully there will come a point when the superior force's government will thrown up its arms in disgust & call off the effort to suppress the insurgent force. After all, during the American phase of the Viet-Nam War the Communists failed to win a single major engagement between their forces & ours, but due in no small part to homefront war-weariness we chose to abandon our South Vietnamese ally to the horrors of the results of a Communist conquest.

That's not to say the Communists didn't put up a good fight on the battlefield, thry did. Nonetheless they won the war without defeating us on the field of battle.

Mind, I don't mean to denigrate moral forces such as were engaged against the Communists in Eastern Europe. Clearly, Eastern Europe would not be as free as it is today had not various moral forces, not least the Catholic Church, waged a struggle against Communisism.


One doesn't see it in the Leftist-dominated mainstream news media, but numerous stories abound in the alternate news media &/or are circulated among us veterans that in general, in sharp contrast to the picture painted by "CNN" & its ilk, G.I.s are widely welcomed in Iraq. That numerous times expressions of apprehension have been and continue to be made by Iraqis that we will cut & run, abandoning them to a resurgent Batthistism (aka Arab Facist)or to the widely unwelcome foreign Islamist militants.


Dave Livingston - 1/7/2005

There is a bright side to the results of recent election, or at least as seen from my perspective.
It is evident from Rogat's essay & reinforced by the decision of "The Nation" to publish it, that even now the Left either A) hasn't a clue why it lost or B) it choses dogmatically to refuse to acknowledge the reasons why it lost. Especially if it's the latter, consevatives may wallow in satisfied assurance that for the forseeable future the Left isn't going to be able to mount an effective counter to recent electoral trends.

Conservative satisfaction cannot but be reinforced by the published resuts of the Pace University sponsered post-election poll that concludes that in this most recent election first-time (new to the process)voters voted over-whelmingly for Republicans rather than for Democrats.

After all, Bush was the first President re-elected since 1936 to see his party capture additional seats in both houses of Congress. Bush was the first Presidential candidate since 1988 to win a clear majority of the popular vote. He won by more than 3 1/2 million votes over Kerry. If that's not a madate, what then does it take to constitute a mandate?

Of course, the Democrat's candidate was defective. He only the third Catholic ever nominated for the Presidency by a major political party managed to lose 56% of the Catholic vote nation-wide. THAT took some doing! On the other hand, unlike Gore he didn't lose his home state to Bush. THAT too took some doing! For one thing, what Gore's apoligists call his tendecy to use hyperbole, most people realize it's nothing fancier than a compulsive habit of being able to tell the truth.

Although I've learned I cannot trust Republican politicians much more than I do Democratic ones, I cast my support to the former generally because more often than not they more reflect my values, social & political preferences. Therfore, the results of this most recent election were mostly to my satisfaction. Or more properly, less to my dissatisfaction than had the Dimmo-crats won.


Dave Livingston - 1/7/2005

Trade unions have been in decline for decades & it doesn't look like they helped themselves much in this most recent election.

For example, according to the Capital Reserach Center Big Labor spent via the 50 largest union-related 527s & the 20 largest union-related PACs, all the smaller ones' figures are yet to be tallyed, $82,354,065 in their failed effort to defeat Bush. The AFT, American Federation of Teachers, alone blew, wasted, on those 50 527s & 20 PACs $2,831,687

Does anyone here think Labor has thereby won many friends in this Administration? Or in the Republican-controlled Congress?

Meanwhile too, Big Labor's ally, thew old media is rocked by scandal after scandal & in terminal decline as venue of Leftist propaganda. Granted, the old media won't disappear overnight, but it's well on its way to becoming a relic of history. As are labor unions in the U.S. too.


Dave Livingston - 1/7/2005

Adam's correct. The Dinno-crats nominated a compulsive liar & a blatant political flip-flopper,Gore,for the 2000 election. Gore once Pro-Life & pro-gun flipped the other ways around for the 20000 election. Those positions are what cost him his home state of Tennessee & the Presidency. Had Gore won Tennessee he would have won the Presidency regardless the outcome of the Florida vote.

Gore is sometimes chided for running away from Clinton's record of a good economy, but IMO he wasn't unwise to run away from Clinton, Willie's scandals were yet fresh in most people's minds. Willie was the touch of death to a politician, but Gore shouldn't have flip-flopped on the abortion & gun issues. That, you see, is what comes of him having become a Washingtonian, having spent so much of his life in D.C., an artifical environment, rather than a Tennessan. He lost touch with real, ordinary Americans by consorting mostly with D.C. based fellow politicians, journalists & lobbyists.

Had Gore remained in close touch with home, he wouldn't have flipped on the abortion & gun issues, and he woyuld have won the Presidency.

Adam's correct to say that the Demos went on to nominate another candidate with most of Gore's flaws.
And until they nominating candidates that are grossly flawed, they aren't going to win the Presidency.

Frequently Dukakis is mocked, but perhaps because he was a fellow Returned Peace CorpsVolunteer, I didn't think he was so bad, not nearly as defective as Gore or Kerry. But of course, his winnie response to the Willie Horton query did him in.


Dave Livingston - 1/7/2005

Of course, I intended to say "...until they cease nominating..."

From what I've seen of the radical leadership running the national Democratic Party it's evident that today neither a Jack Kennendy, still one of my heroes, nor a Scoop Jackson would be welcome in the party. But would be too nationalistic and too conservative for the crazies running the show today.

No wonder the list of ex-Democrats continues to grow, including the columnist John Leo and my own Baby Sister, who recently told me she, Christian, no longer feels comfortable as Democrat and feels she must make a change. While she didn't say what sort of change she was considering, it isn't difficult for me to take a guess. For one thing, not only am I, here one & only brother, a Viet-Nam veteran, Pro-Lifer & gun owner, her Better Half too is a Viet vet & a gun owner too. And she owns guns. Guess who taught her gun safety & marksmanship umpteen years ago. Si, yo.

Perhaps instead I should have been practicing my typing, to learn to commit fewer typos today. Perhaps.


Dave Livingston - 1/7/2005

Adam's correct to note that Kerry had no record, no satisfactory resume,on which to qualify him to run for the Presidency. His turning to his 4 1/2 months in Viet-Nam 35 years ago as the rationale for why we should have voted for him was mighty weak,even had his record in 'Nam been without blemish. For Pete's sake, even yours truly, who once commanded a company in 'Nam was on that bases more qualified than Kerry. And so were scores of other fellows. Because Kerry had done nothing of note as a Senator, he felt he couldn't offer his many years in the Senate as a qualification for seeking the Presidency.

And Adam's correct again, Clinton was wasted potential. Willie's very smart, very savvy politically, but in the end very limited, & forever to be defined, by his personal corruption, his sexual antics. He's a guy who has never grown to maturity, a perpetual adolescent with an adolescent's hungers.

I won't be very surprised if he converts to Islam, with its theological ideal a teeenage boy's sexual fantasy, 72 virgins & all.


Dave Livingston - 1/7/2005

Lynn Schwartz,

Of course most Academics, by whom most of the poatings here are made, are either Marxists, Socialists, or knee-jerk haters of traditional American mores & values. For instance, Wal-Mart is a favorite object of hatred of the Left, because it one of the most successful corporations in history maintains a non-union workforce.

If you check in here you must expect most of the postings to reflect Leftist politically correct positions. Foir instance, it is considered unacceptable here to oppose the promotion of alternate lifestyles. Nor may one be blunt in expressing contrary to PC notions.

On the other hand, it can be amusing to sometimes observe how far the PC crowd will stretch reason & reality to push its bent agenda. Orwell's Double-speak is very much alive & well here.

No, I'm not a Republican, albeit I am a mite more conservative in my politics than most folks who post here. Since the election, I've been peeking here to observe the expressed pain & anguish--& holding my sides whilst I howl with laughter.

Ms. Schwartz, you'll enjoy this website if you maintain a healthy sense of humor & not take most things political very seriously; don't become uptight about goofy opinions.

Most folks posting here are reaonably civil & polite. Still, there are strong disagreements expressed, from time-to-time.


Andrew D. Todd - 12/8/2004

The seniority system is pervasive in heavy industry, big construction, and big transportation (railroads, airlines, etc). In many cases, it goes back to the 1860's, and at the time it was adopted, it was an improvement on the kickback and favoritism systems. On the railroads, the newbie's purgatory is called the "extra board," compulsory temping in other words. When mergers took place, integrating the seniority lists was likely to be extremely contentious business.

There is an interesting book dealing with railroad labor troubles in the late nineteenth century:
Shelton Stromquist, A Generation of Boomers: The Pattern of Railroad Labor Conflict in Nineteenth Century America, University of Illinois Press, Urbana and Chicago, 1987, 1993

Stromquist finds that strikes could be accounted for by determining who was experiencing promoting stagnation.

Once railroads merged up to a certain size, say 500-1000 miles, they tended to develop distinctive technical cultures, going so far as to commission their own locomotive designs from the locomotive building firms. Railroaders tended to have specialized expertise which was not portable. Indeed, one nontrivial body of expertise was detailed knowledge of sections of of track, belonging to a particular company, comparable to that possessed by a maritime or river pilot, such as Mark Twain. Trains don't have very good brakes, and if a locomotive engineer is not thinking about ten miles ahead, he is in serious trouble. A locomotive engineer cannot simply drive by the signs, the way a trucker does on the interstate. Now, of course, there are only seven big railroads, two Canadian (Canadian Pacific, Canadian National), two western (Union Pacific, Burlington Northern Santa Fe), two eastern (Norfolk Southern, CSX), and the Kansas City Southern, a comparatively pint-sized railroad going from Missouri to Mexico. The tendency is for firms to merge in search of economies of scale until the employee reaches a point where he has only one potential employer for his skill set.

Mark Twain, Life on the Mississippi
http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/toc/modeng/public/TwaLife.html


Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 12/8/2004

1) “A school teacher who wanted to quit would have to give up her seniority (both pay and choice of assignments), and start over again as a probationary beginner, probably in a slum school.”

You will get no argument from me on this. My wife is a teacher, and changing schools can be a terrific burden. I was responding to the statement that “Trade unions only occur when workers cannot better themselves by the simple, direct action of quitting.” I argue that this is not the case. Perhaps teachers do not fit into what you were thinking of, but how about railroad workers, who are unionized and could just as easily leave as any other profession.

2) “Wal-Mart's average employee longevity is something like a year.”

This may be true, I don’t know the data on it. My own experience in Wal-Mart’s however, indicate some pretty full time people who are middle-aged, have worked there for years, and seem to have no intention or inclination to leave. Purely antidotal.

3) “By comparison, the United States Postal Service's payroll per worker is about $39,000 annually, and there are 850,000 postal workers.”

Actually, the few postal workers that I know make considerably MORE than that, and love their job. This is not in dispute. Indeed, there are many jobs that pay far more than Wal-Mart, and with better benefits as well. The reason people do not flock to them? I would speculate lack of knowledge about such positions, the incorrect assumption that they cannot get the job, intimidation by the Civil Service examination that Postal workers have to take (and pay for by the way, at over $100.00), or simply inclination to live very close to home and satisfaction with what they have.

4) “For postal workers, etc., there are few comparable jobs in the private sector. To make that kind of money in the private sector, you generally have to have hard skills or be a college graduate.”

Once again, no argument here. Nevertheless, public service jobs, including postal work, do not have very high reputations. Certainly, there are some people on this post who are as ignorant as they come, and have so much disdain for the public sector, it is a wonder they were even raised in this country. Poll after poll shows that with some exception (generally police, fire fighters, the military, and a few others) public jobs are seen as inferior to private jobs. You are arguing reality, which is that the public sector has jobs that pay just as well, if not better, and can be just as fulfilling, if not more so, and indeed can be more efficient than the private sector. Nevertheless, it is not a prestigious job in the eyes of many Americans.


Andrew D. Todd - 12/8/2004

To: Charles Edward Heisler

Well, as I said, the essential requirement of public employees is to support the dignity of the government, and thereby to maintain its political legitimacy over the long term. Profit and loss is rarely a meaningful criterion. Read Baldesar Castiglione's classic 1516 treatise, _The Book of the Courtier_. Of course the functions of the state are broader than they were in Castiglione's time. These functions are those which are considered to be too important to be left to businessmen.

Here is an instance I came across by chance, which represents a negative example, the way it is not supposed to be done. The bus driver in question was acting as a businessman.

http://www.wate.com/global/story.asp?s=2585248&;ClientType=Printable
http://www.wate.com/Global/story.asp?s=1848501

It is hard to define precisely what went wrong, but the incident is obviously discreditable. One thing which comes through from the article is that the driver did not have any overarching sense of duty or calling.

To: Adam Moshe:

"Take the teachers union for example"

A school teacher who wanted to quit would have to give up her seniority (both pay and choice of assignments), and start over again as a probationary beginner, probably in a slum school. The tenure system means that most jobs are not available. The way the education system is organized, on a local level, makes for much less mobility than, say, the federal civil service. The most desirable teaching jobs are likely to be in suburban districts which only have one high school.

" Since Wal-Mart tends to promote from within"

In a hierarchical organization, there is a severe limit on how many people can be promoted. Wal-Mart's average employee longevity is something like a year An ordinary clerk who stays at Wal-Mart long enough to even be considered for promotion is by definition exceptional. By comparison, the United States Postal Service's payroll per worker is about $39,000 annually, and there are 850,000 postal workers. Without checking the figures, I would guess that the ordinary mailman is making at least as much as a first or second-tier Wal-Mart manager, and this without having to be promoted to management. I suppose the work would be more or less comparable in difficulty. Much the same comments would apply to policemen, firemen, etc.

http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/04_15/b3878084_mz021.htm
http://www.inequality.org/walmartmyth.html
http://www.plastic.com/comments.html;sid=04/03/26/22393176;cid=9

"public perception of inefficiency "

We are not talking about a hypothetical case of other things being equal. For postal workers, etc., there are few comparable jobs in the private sector. To make that kind of money in the private sector, you generally have to have hard skills or be a college graduate. GS-18's probably don't do as well as they would in a corporation, but we aren't talking about them.


Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 12/7/2004

Andrew,
1) “Trade unions only occur when workers cannot better themselves by the simple, direct action of quitting.”

I don’t know if I would necessarily agree with this as a general rule. After all, when can employees NOT quite a job (provided they are not contractually obligated to work a certain amount of time)? Take the teachers union for example. There are so many schools in this country, and in each state, teachers could easily quite and move to another school if they wanted to, and yet the unions continue unabated. Trade unions occur for many reasons, from safeguarding the rights of workers, to simply existing just to exist, with mandatory dues paid by the workers. It depends on the industry.

2) “Practically every Wal-Mart worker is looking for a better job somewhere else, and regards his Wal-Mart job as a stopgap, almost as an extension of unemployment insurance.”

I cannot agree with this. For many blue-color workers, particularly those who have recently been laid off by low-skill blue collar jobs, Wal-Mart is not a stepping stone to anything other than pay and hopefully promotion. Since Wal-Mart tends to promote from within, many employees look at Wal-Mart the same as other employees look at many low-paying job, as their career. Not everyone can be fortunate enough to look to the future of their career, especially if they have little education and few marketable skills. I don’t know how many are in your category and how many are in mine, but I would not presume “almost all,” and may even disagree with “a majority.”

3) “The result is that we have an economy in which the vast majority of the work force aspires to be civil servants. The civil service is much more "credentialist" than the private sector, in the sense that the best job goes to the person with the highest diploma.”

The research that I have seen does not bear this out. You are correct, the civil service is competitive in pay, benefits, and merit-based promotion, but the research indicates that this competitiveness is countered by a public perception of inefficiency and incompetence that has continued to grow. The NPR report commissioned by President Clinton and chaired by Gore, offered public opinion research that shows a huge distrust of government and government service. Very few people aspire to be civil servants, regardless of the benefits if has to offer. Most people are hardly flocking to a profession that carried with it a very negative stigma, not if they could get the same job in the private sector.


Charles Edward Heisler - 12/7/2004

"Public employers are a different proposition. Here, the major issue is the dignity of the government, and this practically dictates hiring at the top of the labor market for the sake of hiring at the top of the labor market. The result is that we have an economy in which the vast majority of the work force aspires to be civil servants. The civil service is much more "credentialist" than the private sector, in the sense that the best job goes to the person with the highest diploma."


But, Andrew, public employers are not subject to the forces of profit and loss, production quotas, and stockholder demands, which allows the "credentialist" attitude. You have the best people going into essentially unmeasurable environments. Surely you do not suggest that the public sector out produces the private sector? What conclusions are drawn concerning these diametric work environments--bearing in mind the degree of job protection that exists for post-probationary public employees?


Charles Edward Heisler - 12/7/2004

Andrew, I was in "business" in the service sector and no, you will not find my name in a Fortune 500 search, but you most certainly would find the company I represented for 30 years. Despite the fact that my business had no corporate jet, I did enough business to learn a thing or two and the frequency and severity of the tax system was one of those lessons.
I assume your complaint involves the practice of making a profit which is sometimes hard for those that support unionism to understand. There is a longevity factor for the business owners and the workers that has advantages when a company stays in business by cutting costs.
Without knowing your expectations for business and big business, it is difficult for me to understand your complaint--are you suggesting that business continue to try and operate in a non-competative labor environment and by so doing, go out of business? Should we, for a principle, close all sources of income in the United States? I will leave that dilemma up to you to solve because, for the life of me, I cannot see the advantage of going out of the manufacturing business simply because
of a "That's way we have always done it!" mentality.
I wish it were not so that many manufacturing jobs are leaving the United States but I have no clue how or why to stop the practice. I do know the role that trade unionism has played in this migration however. You are right that no concession by the unions would have reversed this process--now what positive answer does the research provide except useless handwringing?


Charles Edward Heisler - 12/7/2004

Apology accepted--with my views, I am very used to comments of the nature you posted. I never, never take offense to other strong opinions--particularly if they are about me or my opinions.


Andrew D. Todd - 12/7/2004

Here is a proposition which will be heresy to most people on HNN, both left-wingers and right-wingers. Politics is inefficient in the sense that it requires getting a number of people lined up in the same direction. People do not undertake politics for things they can attain through individual action. Trade unions only occur when workers cannot better themselves by the simple, direct action of quitting. Minimum wage jobs are practically always union-free because the workers have very little to lose by quitting and going somewhere else ("you can take this job and shove it").

Wal-Mart has near-minimum wages (I believe about $7/hr) and extraordinarily high labor turnover. Practically every Wal-Mart worker is looking for a better job somewhere else, and regards his Wal-Mart job as a stopgap, almost as an extension of unemployment insurance. Wal-Mart is generally union-free. It is not strike-prone. It is the big national grocery chains, viz. Safeway, Krogers, and Albertsons, which have unions, and which have gone through strikes over whether their pay and benefits should be reduced to Wal-Mart levels.

Employers do not pay conspicuously high wages for their own amusement. They pay for extraordinary skills of course, but most jobs are capable of being deskilled, especially in the age of computers. The most common reason private employers pay high wages, especially to workers of limited skill, is because their production process is large and complex, and exquisitely sensitive to disruption. Apart from large manufacturing firms, railroads meet this criterion, as do their successors, the airlines. Things like retail trade have always been only weakly unionized, but have always had a lot of small business. The main reason for the decline of unions has been a shift in the economic balance towards economic sectors which have been historically resistant to unions. I don't think Dave Livingston quite grasps that, in cheerleading the decline of unions, he is also cheerleading the decline of the American industrial base, and the potential gaining, by China, of a logistic veto on American military operations.

Public employers are a different proposition. Here, the major issue is the dignity of the government, and this practically dictates hiring at the top of the labor market for the sake of hiring at the top of the labor market. The result is that we have an economy in which the vast majority of the work force aspires to be civil servants. The civil service is much more "credentialist" than the private sector, in the sense that the best job goes to the person with the highest diploma.


Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 12/7/2004

The following is a strudy conducted by FAIR that runs counter to other studies you have provided me with. Attached is their complete methodology for your consideration.

http://www.fair.org/reports/journalist-survey.html


Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 12/7/2004

Dave,
You seem to insinuate that trade unions alienated Republicans by investing in Democrats. I believe you have it the other way around. In fact, the reason trade unions invest heavily in Democrats is the same reason most industries give to a particular party: Because that party is more likely to be supportive of their agenda. In this case, it is not that unions hurt themselves by supporting Democrats. It is that unions were already hurt under Republicans and thus choose to make the logical choice in support of Democrats. Was it a waste? Of course, but so was every other political contribution given to the loser of any election. Sadly, since it is not known until after the election who actually win, I don’t see this ending anytime soon.

As for the decline of the so-called “old media” (that must be what is on TV in “old Europe”), that is absurd. Television has been a threat to newspapers for over 50 years but there is no indication that they are going anywhere. Of course, by scandal, I assume you must really mean Rather (I could be wrong), since you have mentioned him in reference to the liberalism of the media on virtually every post. In any event, you may pick your poison, the so-called “old media” shows absolutely no signs, for better or for worse, of declining as you suggest.

You may be right however about labor unions, to our misfortune. Labor unions have been a victim of their own success. Most of the blatant exploitation of the worker which led to the rise of the labor movement have been (happily) removed. Most of the issues that drove the labor movement into the homes of most hard working Americans have come to pass, including the 40 work week, child labor laws, a minimum wage, and job collective bargaining, things that were unthinkable a mere century ago.

Anyone who has ever read Uptan Sinclair’s novel, The Jungle, and then walked away saying to him or herself, “Wow, that is the America I want to live in” has good reason to hate labor unions. They put democracy back into capitalism, and capitalism back into the United States, defeating what had become a string of anti-capitalistic corporate monopolies. Perhaps labor has outlived its usefulness (although I would argue against that contention), but I don’t see how anyone who enjoys Democracy and capitalism in this country can feel anything but gratefulness to rights labor unions achieved.


Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 12/7/2004

1) “It takes no amount of intelligence to conclude that the political leanings of the journalists are bound to be reflected in the slant of their stories.”

That is certainly possible (though not inevitable) depending on what the story is. However, if that is true, it does not explain how so much coverage, particularly on TV, where most Americans get their news, is so conservative (as I would argue that it is). Nor does it explain how so many papers across the country endorsed Bush. Nor does it take into account editors, advertisers, and corporate sponsors, who surely have some voice over what gets broadcast (you can ask Sinclair Broadcasting executives about that one).

2) “The bias is not a figment of the fly over country mentality, it is real.”

I agree, it is real, but I have read nothing to convince me that it is real in the sense that you claim that it is. I would agree only that the majority of journalists would consider themselves to be liberal or left of center. However, as I argue in my last post, this means very little to me. If I genuinely believed that the media were bias in my favor, I would simply say to use that thus is the nature of the market and if you don’t like it, stop buying papers or watching them on TV, and rest easy knowing of the liberal domination.

However, since I do not believe that, knowing that journalists privately agree with me gives me little comfort when I turn on TV and see nothing that represents my point of view.

3) “Now, perhaps the question really is whether all this media librality has effected any political change--currently, I would say that it hasn't. It would appear that voters no longer rely on journalists to make their voting decisions--if they ever did.”

I wish I could agree. Unfortunately, I believe that the media have tremendous influence among the electorate, though I doubt many people would admit to it. When the public believes something that is factually wrong, or do not have data one way or another, and the media does not correct them, or perpetuate the fallacy, they take that ignorance into the voting booth.

Although the rise in blogs and independent media sources have provided some alternative (although not in any way I would like since all it does is further polarize the electorate) television news media, particularly the big three (CNN, MSNBC, FoxNews) as well as the network and local news stations represent, to me, the single greatest influence on a persons vote (seconded perhaps to family), since they are the mechanisms by which most people find out what is happening (or not happening) in this country and the world.

http://www.pipa.org/OnlineReports/Iraq/Media_10_02_03_Press.pdf


Charles Edward Heisler - 12/7/2004

My information is only as correct as was reported to the folks that did the research. Adam this information is not hard to find and the matter of the liberal bias of the majority of journalists is not really a new revelation--I think if you research the matter that you will find that this leftist view has been consitent for many years in the United States.
It takes no amount of intelligence to conclude that the political leanings of the journalists are bound to be reflected in the slant of their stories.
This is generally the case across the media.
The bias is not a figment of the fly over country mentality, it is real. Now, perhaps the question really is whether all this media librality has effected any political change--currently, I would say that it hasn't. It would appear that voters no longer rely on journalists to make their voting decisions--if they ever did.


Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 12/6/2004

Indeed, your information, if correct is impressive. However, if we are looking at alleged bias in the media, it would seem to make much more sense to look at content than orientation of journalists.

Why can looking at journalists own self-identification be misleading?
1) If liberal journalists were more sensitive about allowing their own bias to interfere with there jobs, thus making their coverage more conservative, would this not paradoxically support my point?

2) Furthermore, the studies that you mention do not weigh the journalists or the papers. Thus, major papers with large staffs might have liberal journalists, while hundreds of smaller publications nationwide with only a few reporters might be conservative. However, if those smaller papers reach more people, would it still be fare to call the media liberal?

3) Another problem is that it may be that liberal journalists are more open to revealing their own biases. Your own example from Lichter and Rothman show that 54% of leading journalists (whatever that means) place THEMSELVES left of center, while only 17% placed themselves right of center. Are we to believe that the missing 29% actually believe that they are the very models of objectivity, and that 36% of journalists don’t think that they colleagues have any ideologically leanings whatsoever? Sounds a little odd, would you not agree? It is far more likely to me that perhaps conservative journalists do not reveal their political leanings to a survey.

In other words, relying on the self-description of journalists themselves may be a fun way for conservatives to make the case, since the data looks pretty compelling, it may not really get to the heart of what we are looking for. After all, at the end of your post, you mention Fox almost in passing, but Fox is the #1 rated news program on cable, where millions of Americans get their news. Thus their influence, if measured against the ideologically disposition of all journalists, becomes artificially deflated.

Personally, I would rather the media be 100% conservative Republicans but report the news fairly and honestly, than have them all be liberal Democrats but report it conservatively. I would assume you would feel the same way (in reverse, of course).

To sum up, the best and most reliable way to determine the bias of the media would be to look at its coverage since at the end of the day, that is what is in dispute. I argue that such coverage, particularly on TV has a bias towards sensationalism, sex, and violence. Furthermore, I would argue that to the extent any political bias is openly practiced, it tends to be conservative on almost all economic issues (taxes, healthcare, globalization, immigration, etc.) while on social issues, it tends to be liberal (gay rights, abortion).


Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 12/6/2004

Charles,
Please excuse my comment about your historical knowledge in my last post. I was having a bad day and the post was written in a rush. I did not mean to make such a petty comment. My apologies to you.


Frederick Riley Woodward-Pratt - 12/6/2004

Mr. Livingston

I seem to remember having read something on the discussion board rules requiring civility. Perhaps my America hating is getting in the way of my thinking, but i generally do not consider myself a social freak. Tough i am myself merely a college student, i find your characterization of people with my political leanings rather insulting. If i may, i would simply like to explain the radical liberal position, at least as i embody it, so that you won't make a fool of yourself again with posts such as this.
I do not hate America. Rather, i love it. More accurately, i love the people of America, just as i love the people of China, Cuba, Britain, France, Iraq, Israel, Palestine, Russia and every other country on the face of the world. I personally do not shop at Wal-Mart, drink Coke, or drive a car, but not out of hate for anyone, but rather out of love for those who would suffer if i did.
You see, i come from a Christian background (though i am not Christian myself) where the part of the Bible given the most notice was the Sermon on the Mount, perhaps the worlds most moving call to love your fellow man. While i do acknowledge that i go farther than many people, i so not consider myself a social freak. Rather, i feel that the ideals which guide me, love, compassion, a desire for peace and justice, and others, are those shared by the vast majority of the population of this country and the world. If you would disagree, i would like to here why, but otherwise i will assume you are with me in declaring the fundamental equality and dignity of every human being, simply by virtue of their being human.


Andrew D. Todd - 12/6/2004

Charles Edward Heisler misses the distinction between business and big business. A big business tends to be engaged with at least one "efficient market," that is, a market which works like an auction, and in which the penalties for being a couple percent off the rate are drastic. Auctions are by definition supremely ruthless, and people who survive in a business dependent on auctions are forced to be equally ruthless. Usually, this market is the capital market, and the penalties for insufficient ruthlessness are foreclosure, hostile takeover, etc. I did a name search on Heisler, and if he is a former CEO of a Fortune 500 company, I must have failed to turn up the fact.

Before I form any opinion of Heisler's business experience, I would have to know what kind of business he was in. For example, manufacturing is much more competitive than retailing, because it involves the likelihood of competing with third-world labor. The collapse of labor unions reflects as much as anything, the decline of big industries producing unusually complex products-- the archetype being the auto industry. Such firms paid civil-service-level wages ($20-$30/ hr) to semi-skilled workers, driven largely by the need to stabilize their workforce. The different workers on an assembly line are necessarily extremely interdependent on each other. If the man who is supposed to put the windshield wiper motor in doesn't do his stuff, the whole assembly line with five hundred or a thousand workers may grind to a halt. Such firms could not have paid minimum wage, or some approximation thereto, because there would then have been nothing to stop their workers from going off to McDonalds without warning. Of course, these kinds of industries are going overseas. Nominal Mexican wages are about a dollar an hour, and nominal Chinese wages are about twenty-five cents an hour, but these rates are paid to people who have come literally hundreds of miles to find a job, and who are disproportionately young. Given this kind of wage differential, shifting work to the third world is almost axiomatic. A type of businessman emerged in the 1980's who specialized in buying traditional family-owned manufacturing firms, using borrowed money ("junk bonds"), dismantling the firms, and shipping them off to Mexico. No concession the unions could have made would have been big enough.

See: Ely Chinoy, Automobile Workers and the American Dream, 1955
William M. Adler, Mollie's Job, 2000


Charles Edward Heisler - 12/5/2004

"There is one fundamental "value" the Big Business
and its ideological proponents strive for: Big Profits.
That is their Religion and that is their Moral.
The rest is just skillful, but quite transparent for the trained eye camouflage"

Yes Arnold you are correct! Having owned my own business for many years, "large profits" were sought. Along the way, I employed well paid folks, spent those profits, and better still, kept feeding public employment with the taxes on those profits. Now, the money from the sale of that business earns income which is being taxed.
You are aware, are you not, the proper role of Big Business in the scheme of why America is strong, happy, and well fed????
I notice that there is no hint that "the unions" have any responsibility for their own demise--maybe you can take your own quote above and plug in Unions for "Big Business" and add some clarity to the argument.


Charles Edward Heisler - 12/5/2004

Adam, excuse me if I do not defer to your superior historical aptitude, since you obviously do not know the fate of the Republican Party following the impeachment of Clinton, it is unlikely that your are any more well versed on FDR and Kennedy.


Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 12/5/2004

Paper for POL261: Public Administration


Name:


Topic 5
Bibliography 15
Paper 80
Total 100



"but let’s face it, nothing Clinton was never charged with had any effect on this nation, or his performance as president."


1) “How in the world can you say this in the face of the fact that Clinton literally lost one third of his time defending himself from the results of his own deplorable behavior--a behavior that was discussed in every home, elementary school room, comedy show, and private conversation during those years!”

You misunderstand. I did not say that the investigations and scandals that they caused had any effect. I said that the charged themselves. To use the most obvious example, Clinton was essentially entrapped into having to answer questions about his fidelity under oath, during which time he lied about having an affair (the perjury charge). This is what the Republicans in Congress were finally able to nail him on. Although the impeachment tore this country apart on partisan lines and cost the Republicans the House the next election, the fact that Clinton had an affair had nothing to do with running this country.

2) “Adam, apologize and temporize all you want about this horribly flawed man, but do not assume that the influence of his behavior on the American soul, safety, and consciousness is negligible or unimportant.”

As I have said, it is my belief that impeachment did all that you say and worse for this country. However, I would be fare more likely to blame Clinton if I were not convinced that this was an active and concentrated effort to remove him for office, and that this which hunt had nothing to do with the good of the country. Clinton committed a crime, no question, but that crime was based on campaign of defamation, and at the end of the day, was nothing more than what most, if not all, American in his position would do.


“It was all so avoidable--all Clinton had to so is act like a responsible leader of the free world and focus on what great leaders should focus on. No one believes that Kennedy was a great leader--he was, by any standard, a miserable failure as a President, and FDR, on issue after issue was never a paragon of virtue--his affair was merely a reflection of how he governed--with deception and dishonesty--his reputation was saved by the War and his death during that war.”

I do not want to get into a conversation about the quality of JFK or FDR (although the fact that you believe FDR was “saved” by the war and his death says a lot about your knowledge of history). The point is that, except perhaps in the minds of the most closed minded and historically inept individuals, neither president was ruined by their extramarital affair, nor is the affair what sticks with them in history.


Arnold Shcherban - 12/4/2004

So-called "natural decline of the trade-unions" was caused
on one hand (directly and indirectly) by the Big Business and financial oligarchy who controls practically all aspects of this country's life, including "thew old" and the new media, on the other hand - by the declining
relative contribution industrial labor provides for the
country's wealth.
If not for the trade-unions and the Left who fought for them American workers today would have been virtual slaves
of the big industrial corporations.
Mr. Livingston and the ones he raises his voice for hate unions not because they wasted some money, the ludicrous amount comparing to many trillions wasted by Pentagon and stolen from public by the "all good" Business, but 'cause they slashed down then practically unlimited profits that Business was making by spitting at the basic needs of American workers.
On the very same reason (not on ideological ones) he hates Left, i.e. Democrats by their views and deeds, not their partisan membership.

There is one fundamental "value" the Big Business
and its ideological proponents strive for: Big Profits.
That is their Religion and that is their Moral.
The rest is just skillful, but quite transparent for the trained eye camouflage.


Charles Edward Heisler - 12/4/2004

"but let’s face it, nothing Clinton was never charged with had any effect on this nation, or his performance as president."


Oh Adam! How in the world can you say this in the face of the fact that Clinton literally lost one third of his time defending himself from the results of his own deplorable behavior--a behavior that was discussed in every home, elementary school room, comedy show, and private conversation during those years! We could not count up the effects that his personal behavior visited on this nation--not the morality, the ethics of lying to a Grand Jury, not the weakness and questionable strength of character all of this presented to our enemies, who were looking for weakness like wolves seek out the wounded calf. Adam, apologize and temporize all you want about this horribly flawed man, but do not assume that the influence of his behavior on the American soul, safety, and consciousness is negligible or unimportant.
As always, there are those that blame the Republicans for not simply letting all of this be swept under the morality that carpets us all. Just taking one part of this--sexual harrassment and predation of an employee is bad enough--at least it was in Clarence Thomas' and Bob Packwood's cases just a few years earlier--this was simply awful and that sexual harrassment is only a minor tip of the damage done by Clinton. It was all so avoidable--all Clinton had to so is act like a responsible leader of the free world and focus on what great leaders should focus on. No one believes that Kennedy was a great leader--he was, by any standard, a miserable failure as a President, and FDR, on issue after issue was never a paragon of virtue--his affair was merely a reflection of how he governed--with deception and dishonesty--his reputation was saved by the War and his death during that war.



Charles Edward Heisler - 12/4/2004

As they say in poker and rhetoric boys--"Read'em and weep!" Note the Pew Research info appended!

Few Reporters Describe Themselves as Conservatives

It’s not just on Election Day: many of these same surveys and others have asked journalists to describe their political attitudes, and each time the researchers detected the same liberal skew:

• Washington Reporters, 2-to-1 Liberal: The Brookings Institution’s Stephen Hess surveyed the Washington press corps in 1978 for his aptly-titled book, The Washington Reporters. More than twice as many journalists told Hess they were liberal (42 percent) as said they were conservative (19 percent). As for the public, even back in 1978 self-identified conservatives outnumbered liberals by a 31 to 26 percent margin, according to the General Social Survey taken annually by the National Opinion Research Center (NORC).

• The Media Elite, 3-to-1 Liberal: Lichter and Rothman’s Media Elite surveys were conducted shortly after Hess’s; they, too, showed top reporters disproportionately described themselves as liberals. According to the authors, “a majority [of leading journalists] see themselves as liberals. Fifty-four percent place themselves to the left of center, compared to only 17 percent who choose the right side of the spectrum....When they rate their fellow workers, an even greater difference emerges. Fifty-six percent say the people they work with are mostly on the Left, and only eight percent place their co-workers on the Right — a margin of seven to one.”

• Prominent News Organizations Are the Most Liberal: A pair of Indiana University journalism professors, David H. Weaver and G. Cleveland Wilhoit, surveyed more than 1,000 journalists for their 1986 book, The American Journalist. Their poll included more than just top reporters, and, overall, they detected only a modest skew towards the liberal side of the spectrum — 22 percent of those interviewed called themselves liberal, compared with 19 percent who said they were conservative.

But among 136 executives and staffers at “prominent news organizations” — the three weekly newsmagazines, the AP and UPI wire services and the Boston Globe — the tilt was much more pronounced, with liberals outnumbering conservatives by a more than two-to-one margin (32 to 12 percent). Only six percent of this group identified themselves as Republican, compared with seven times as many (43 percent) who said they were Democrats.

• Nationwide, a 3-to-1 Liberal Advantage: When the Los Angeles Times polled journalists around the country in 1985, 55 percent were willing to call themselves liberal, far outstripping the 17 percent who said they were conservative.

• Becoming Even More Liberal: In 1992, Weaver and Wilhoit conducted another national survey of journalists, and noticed the group had moved farther to the left. Writing in the Fall 1992 Media Studies Journal, they pointed out that 47 percent of journalists now said they were “liberal,” while only 22 percent labeled themselves as “conservative.”

• Six Times as Many Liberals as Conservatives: The Freedom Forum’s 1996 poll of Washington bureau chiefs and congressional correspondents found 61 percent labeled themselves as “liberal” or “liberal to moderate,” compared with only nine percent who chose either “conservative” or “moderate to conservative.”

• Business Reporters Are Liberal, Too: As for the notion that business reporters might be more conservative than their brethren on the political beat, that possibility was put to rest by a 1988 poll by a New-York based newsletter, The Journalist and Financial Reporting. The survey of 151 business reporters from newspapers such as the New York Times and USA Today, and business-focused magazines such as Money, Fortune and BusinessWeek, discovered six times as many self-identified Democrats as Republicans — 54 percent versus nine percent.

• Editors Group Noted the Growing Imbalance: In 1996, the American Society of Newspaper Editors surveyed 1,037 journalists at 61 newspapers. They learned that newsrooms were more ideologically unrepresentative than they had been in the late 1980s: “In 1996 only 15 percent of the newsroom labeled itself conservative/Republican or leaning in that direction, down from 22 percent in 1988,” when the ASNE last conducted a comprehensive survey. Those identifying themselves as independent jumped from 17 to 24 percent while the percent calling themselves “liberal/Democrat” or leaning left held steady, down one point to 61 percent.

The ASNE report, The Newspaper Journalists of the ‘90s, also revealed that bigger — presumably more influential — newspapers had the most liberal staffs: “On papers of at least 50,000 circulation, 65 percent of the staffs are liberal/Democrat or lean that way. The split at papers of less than 50,000 is less pronounced: still predominantly liberal, but 51-23 percent.”

In a sign that the media’s desire for demographic diversity might result in even more solidly liberal newsrooms, ASNE also found that “women are more likely than men to fall into one of the liberal/Democrat categories,” as just 11 percent said they were conservative or leaned that way. Minorities also “tend to be more liberal/Democrat,” with a piddling 3 percent of blacks and 8 percent of Asians and Hispanics putting themselves on the right.

• Public Far More Conservative: In the July/August 2001 edition of the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research’s journal Public Perspective, Washington Post national political reporter Thomas Edsall summarized the results of a poll of 301 media professionals taken earlier that year by Princeton Survey Research Associates (PRSA) and sponsored by the Kaiser Family Foundation. “The media diverge from both the public and from the policymaking community in terms of partisanship and ideology,” Edsall reported. “Only a tiny fraction of the media identifies itself as either Republican (4 percent) or conservative (6 percent). This is in direct contrast to the public, which identifies itself as 28 percent Republican and 35 percent conservative.”

• The Liberal Advantage Has Grown: In May 2004, the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press released a survey of 547 journalists and news media executives, including 247 who worked for national news organizations. The poll reprised many of the questions asked by the same group (then called the Times Mirror Center for the People and the Press) back in 1995.

Pew found that the proportion of liberals in the national media had actually grown over the previous nine years, from 22 percent in 1995 to 34 percent in 2004. Meanwhile, the percentage of conservatives remained minuscule: just four percent in 1995, seven percent in 2004. As for local reporters, liberals outnumbered conservatives by a nearly two-to-one margin (23 to 12 percent).

Pew also asked journalists to name a news organization that seemed to cover the news from an especially liberal or especially conservative angle. When it came to a liberal new outlet, most of the national journalists were stumped. A fifth suggested the New York Times was liberal; ABC, CBS, CNN and NPR were each named by two percent. One percent of reporters said NBC was liberal.

But journalists did see ideology at one outlet: “The single news outlet that strikes most journalists as taking a particular ideological stance — either liberal or conservative — is Fox News Channel,” Pew reported. More than two-thirds of national journalists (69 percent) tagged FNC as a conservative news organization, followed by the Washington Times (9 percent) and the Wall Street Journal (8 percent).



Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 12/3/2004

The following is just one example of how silly it is to pretend that the print media were all Kerry supporters. Were that the case, we would have seen Kerry pick up all, or almost all of the newspaper endorcements.

http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/10/17/election.endorsements/


Derek Charles Catsam - 12/3/2004

Charles --
But small papers in small states arguably have a disproportionate influence, far disproportionate to their size. In a small, rural state, one must influence a far smaller readership than a major paper. The biggest paper in Alaska probably wields more influence than the Dallas Morning News (by the way, advocated for Bush this year, and it is neither a small paper nor a small city; liberal media indeed) even though the biggest paper in Alaska has a far smaller eradership. i think you have the influence of small papers exactly wrong on this one, at least in most of red state America.
Charles -- and surely you are not saying that media manipulation in this election was merely a liberal thing. Are you rweally going to pretsnd not to know about the far more pernicious attempt to jam the anti-Kerry video down the throat of a huge percentage of the nation's affiliates? rather and his people screwed up. And who nailed them on it -- um, the media. So much for that argument.
If you make that the charge that the media is unabashedly liberal, you are wrong. You are wrong becauise of the facts that I have pointed out. You are proferring no evidence, you are just saying "this is the way I say that it is, so neener neener neener." The media includes liberal and conservative newspapers, liberel and conservative tv stations, liberal and conservative magazines, liberal and conservative radio stations, and liberal and conservative weblogs. This is a fact. This is true. Unless you are denying the existence of the National Review, the Wall Street Journal, Rush Limbaugh, Fox News etc. So if you want to say things that are demonstrably factually untrue, bne my guest. But know that they are factually untrue and that it is foolish to keep pretending that the evidence is not out there that makes the blind assertion look foolish. Then again, maybe you don't think the National Review, et al. exist. i don't know.
The media is not liberal. The media is not conservative. Anyone who says different is selling something. There is liberal media. There is conservative media. There is not a single media with a single ideological objective. national tv networks skew liberal? Perhaps, though i think they skew toward ratings, because Cinton did not get a pass from national tv. But if tv skews liberal (dubious, but ok) then radio certainly skews conservative, as do newspapers. I think that is largely dubious too, but it is as true as the assertion that tv skews left.
dc
dc


Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 12/3/2004

Another perspective on this debate:

http://www.crookedtimber.org/archives/001304.html


Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 12/3/2004

1) “But an aquaintance, an historian, told me she cannot get tenure because she cannot provide the PC reply to the question, "How would you teach White, male conservatives?”

I find it difficult to believe you have any friends who are historians. It must be hard being friends with someone who doesn’t work, pay taxes, and who hates America and practices Socialism. In any event, my school’s department chair is a conservative Republican, so he is the one who makes hiring decisions.

2) “By self-definition (according to the results of the studies reported upon by Geo. Will, at the url mentioned above) academics in general are social freaks, different in political & social outlooks from the general populace.”

I read through Will’s article, and I can’t find anywhere where he calls academics “academics in general are social freaks.” Nor, by the way, did I find the part of the article that confirms anything you have said? Where is the study showing how they do not work? Where is the survey saying that they hat America? I couldn’t find that data anywhere in Will’s article.

As much as I respect George Will (himself an academia and one a professor of political science, and thus I am surprised that you would actually quote him) I do not know if I agree with him on this issue.

The study sounded a bit odd to me since I happen to have been on many campuses and seen many conservative professors (depending on area- it does not surprise me that many of the social sciences are dominated by liberals). When I tried to find the study to look at its methodology, I couldn’t find it, perhaps you could help me out on this. The only references I would find was 2 studies, one done by Horowitz, whom I do not believe to be a credible source on this issue, and the other, more legitimate study that seemed to rely on mail surveys, looking only at those which were returned and self-identified. I may be wrong, but until I see a methodology, I remain suspect. After all, why would a conservative student in, say Alabama, go to college in Alabama, get their Ph.D. in Alabama and then teach in an Alabama university all of a sudden become a liberal?

3) “No wonder the Dimmo-crats cannot win elections, they must be utilizing the campaign advice of academics, who generally are out-of-touch with normal Middle-class Americans.”

Another utterly absurd statement. Dave, you might be interested in actually looking at the campaign staff before you make your frequent blind insults: http://www.gwu.edu/~action/2004/kerry/kerrorg.html

4) “You know, the sort of American who drives a gasoline gulping Ford F-150 pickup, by far the best-selling motor vehicle in the U.S. or other pickup or SUV. And the sort, among the 100 million, 8 families in ten, Americans, who shop at least once a year at non-union (& one of the most successful corporations ever to exist--because it is non-union) Wal-Mart.”
HA! This part of your post honestly made me smile. You really believe that liberals don’t shop at Wal-Mart!?! That is funny. I assume you also believe that they have some magic powers as well? You should sleep with your lights on now Dave, I have already alerted the liberal high command that there is someone confessing the truth about our American-hating, Marxist, non-tax paying, non-working, non-SUV driving, non Wal-Mart shopping, campaign staffing, academics!


Charles Edward Heisler - 12/3/2004

Uh, you misinterpret me--I am an avid reader of a "Cow Pie Gazette" living in a rural area--I was casting no aspersions here. I was merely pointing out that the smaller papers, in conservative areas, no doubt went largely with Republican candidates but that is not real test of influence as the large dailys simply are read by many more folks and therefore their influence is much greater--assuming that readers follow the reccomendation of editors.
I am not aware that local television covers national races with any editorial bias--that has not been my experience. There is no doubt that the national media does--often by omission and more often by negative reporting which is what almost all of the cable and network news shows did with Bush this election cycle. Very little of the reporting on Kerry was negative in nature--the Swift Boat Veterans and their allegations certainly did not receive objective treatment.
The media is unabashedly liberal--I make that charge.
This time, it didn't matter--it has in the past but I suspect that the Left is losing the battle for the message and all the king's reporters will not put it back together. Catching Rather red-handed trying to create a lie to influence this election will, no doubt, have a negative effect on Liberal manipulation of the news in the future.


Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 12/3/2004

For the links above, you are going to have to cut and paste because for some reason they will not load just by clicking on it.

(I sense massive conservative conspiracy on this!... j/k)


Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 12/3/2004

1) “Of course most Academics, by whom most of the poatings here are made, are either Marxists, Socialists, or knee-jerk haters of traditional American mores & values. For instance, Wal-Mart is a favorite object of hatred of the Left, because it one of the most successful corporations in history maintains a non-union workforce.”

Dave, I know we have been over this before, but by what basis do you make such a generalization, given the fact that many in the current administration (Rice and Wolfawitz, to name the most conservative) come from academia, and pretty high up there too. Are you also suggesting that Kissenger is a Marxist or America-hater? And isn’t it rather odd that the people who staff conservative think talks such as Cato and Heritage are almost exclusively from academia? The list goes on, but I think the point is clear: The idea that academia fits into your charges is baseless, and suffers from what appears to me to be an almost unhealthy anti-intellectualism.


Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 12/2/2004

1) “Adam's correct. The Dinno-crats nominated a compulsive liar & a blatant political flip-flopper,Gore,for the 2000 election.”

I believe you have misinterpreted my posts, Dave, because I certainly do not believe that this was at all the case. Gore was no more a “liar & a blatant political flip-flopper” than Bush was in 2000, and certainly no less than Bush has become. The reason? Because that is politics. Gore, Kerry, or Clinton were no more liars and flip-floppers than Bush, Bush, and Reagan were idiots and ideologues. Each party has their tried, and tested “stump” link about the other party, and every election, we see it played out.

If you are wondering who the nominees will be in 2004, allow me to fill you in: It will be a pro-business religiously fanatic moron who misspeaks and says stupid things, versus a tree-hugging liberal who never met a position he didn’t like. You can put money on that.

2) “Gore once Pro-Life & pro-gun flipped the other ways around for the 20000 election.”

Ditto with Bush, who was once supported abortion and flipped to be Governor of Texas.
http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20000703&;s=corn. In any event, could you please provide the evidence that Gore did indeed flip-flop on those issues?

3) “Those positions are what cost him his home state of Tennessee & the Presidency.”

Perhaps, but more people in this country still wanted him to be president than Bush and while I support the electoral system that gave Bush victory, that still counts as a pretty good candidate.

4) “He lost touch with real, ordinary Americans by consorting mostly with D.C. based fellow politicians, journalists & lobbyists.”

Considering the fact that his positions conform far more to the economic well-being of the average Tennessean than the average politician, I do not see how you come to that conclusion. The fact that he was not able to win the state can be more attributed to campaign tactics of both sides to me (Gore ran a lousy one, Bush ran a great one) than to actual substantive issues.

5) “Had Gore remained in close touch with home, he wouldn't have flipped on the abortion & gun issues, and he woyuld have won the Presidency.”

I think you put far too much emphasis on these issues, which until now I was not familiar with and I have no reason to believe most non-partisans were. If anything, it was the direction of the flip-flop, rather than the flip-flop itself that hurt him. Tennessee is very pro-life, and Gore was pro-choice, and that has more to do with it to me.

6) “Adam's correct to note that Kerry had no record, no satisfactory resume,on which to qualify him to run for the Presidency.”
You most definitely misunderstood my posts is you believe that is what I think. How could Kerry have no qualifications? He was a high-ranking Senator for almost 2 decades! There was a time when the Senate was the stepping stone to the White House, before the time turned to Governors. The idea that he had no record is absurd. With the exception to Leiberman, and Graham, he had a better record than anyone else running, and a far more qualified record than many past-Presidents. I would remind you that Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, and Ford all got their primary experience in the Senate.

Here, by the way, are a list of Bush flip-flops since there seems to be an implicit assumption that Bush is less a flip-flopper than his opponents:
http://www.americanprogressaction.org/site/pp.asp?c=klLWJcP7H&;b=118263

I would also HIGHLY recommend the following article, which articulates far better than I can my thoughts on Democrats who are flip-floppers:
http://www.tnr.com/doc.mhtml?pt=yN4t%2FYYWugCoOXaShhElLx%3D%3D


Derek Charles Catsam - 12/2/2004

Charles --
Yes, I'll argue for the influence of the "Cow Pie gazette." (Nice to see the regard with which you hold small communities and the newspapers that serve them. In fact almost every study ever conducted has shown that people trust their hometown newspaper far more than the national ones if they read the national ones at all -- which of course most people do not. In Newport, New Hampshire, Odessa, Texas, Mankato, Minnesota, Athens, Ohio and hundreds of other small towns that you so deride across the US, people are reading their local papers, not the Times or Post or WSJ.
Yes, tv is influential. But again, people trust their local news more than the national news, and you need to prove to me that local tv is slanted. And of course you accuse me of ignoring television (really? Look back at what I wrote. No mention of tv there? Are you certain? Fox News is not television? Some would agree. Odd that you'd concede as much.) but meanwhile you ignore radio. The fact is, you are making an argument that dioes not stand up to scrutiny: that the media is unabashedly liberal. My argument is that the madia, whatever you mean by it, has voices of conservatism and liberalism, of the radical right and radical left, and that it is excusemaking, but more than that, is simply factually wrong to say otherwise. That you disdain the publishers and readers of the Mankato Free Press or Athens Messenger or Odessa American or apparently for that matter the Dallas Morning News or Houston Chronicle does not mean that you are right. So yes, I'll project in terms of readership if you'd like. But the difference is that i won't disdain that readership. i will realize that the readers in Wyoming will pay far less attention to the Times than to their own newspapers, and that Wyoming's Electoral College votes will thus be far more influenced by the small number of readers of their papers than by the Times, which, by the way, has substantially less readership than the WSJ, a fact you have not bothered to acknowledge, damn as it does your complaint, which is groundless in any case.
dc


Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 12/2/2004

1) “No man of honor, given the responsibilities that Clinton had, should ever allow his most base instinct compromise his obligation to his country and the world.”

I know we do not see eye to eye on this, but I do not believe that having an affair compromises anything. Like many Americans, I was more appalled at the perverseness of the media coverage than I was about his personal life. Some studies in this country suggest that almost half of all couples have at least one partner who has been unfaithful. I am not condoning it, or justifying it at all, but I tend to agree with much of the world on this: that the idea of impeaching a president for lying about an affair would is simply silly had it not actually happened, and I have to ad, would have been inconceivable by the Founding Fathers.

2) “His inability to control his personal conduct while President will forever mark him as a lesser being--even for the most self-indulgent of beings, Clinton's behavior is extraordinary and cannot be forgiven or excused.”

I do not believe that Napoleon, FDR, JFK, just to name a few, have been forever marked as lesser beings because of their affairs. Clinton’s behavior is neither extraordinary to me, nor inexcusable.

3) “Remember who was ultimately responsible for all the investigations and millions spent, time lost, focus lost.”

Again, we do not see eye to eye on this. When I look at the various Clinton scandals, it is difficult for me to believe that they were motivated by anything other than partisanship. Most of them were not investigated because they were scandals… they were scandals because they were investigated!

Bush has also had scandals, but one wouldn’t know it given the lack of any hearings or investigations. Not one. Remember the Plame leak to Novak? I wouldn’t be surprised if you didn’t, since it is going nowhere. Remember Dick Cheney's secretive Energy Task Force that was investigated by the GAO? How about Rep. Nick Smith, who says he was bribed in order to supoprt the president’s medicare bill? Or the charge that officials withheld cost information from Congress to downplay the expense of prescription drug coverage in Medicare? The list goes on but it is of no matter. Republicans control Congress and these things will fade away into history.

Clinton was nailed to the cross for a failed real estate deal from the 1970’s, and Bush has not been investigated by Congress at all, not about the Iraq war, not about anything. I am sure some will respond with the party line, that of course Bush would not be investigated because he never did any thing that would warrant it, and of course Clinton did, because his very breath was a legal offense. I don’t buy it anymore than I am sure you buy my arguments.

I am not saying that these Bush activities are all crimes (although I believe that they are), or that they should be investigated (although I believe that they should), but let’s face it, nothing Clinton was never charged with had any effect on this nation, or his performance as president. History is already starting to be written and it is more than clear to me and others that Clinton, whatever his faults, was the target of a Congress whose aggression and partisanship were the real shame in this country.


Charles Edward Heisler - 12/2/2004

Only to this extent Adam. No man of honor, given the responsibilities that Clinton had, should ever allow his most base instinct compromise his obligation to his country and the world. His inability to control his personal conduct while President will forever mark him as a lesser being--even for the most self-indulgent of beings, Clinton's behavior is extraordinary and cannot be forgiven or excused. Remember who was ultimately responsible for all the investigations and millions spent, time lost, focus lost.


Steven L. Frank - 12/2/2004

The is also a libertarian strain of geek which is totally free market oriented and despises leftist technofascists.


Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 12/2/2004

I am sure there are parts of this post that you will agree with and disagree with, but here is my thoughts on Bill Clinton:

When I look at Clinton, I see a lot of wasted potential. Here was a man who was a political genius, as well as a policy genius. His public speaking was eloquent and inspiring, and his policies progressive and popular, but in the end, Clinton suffered from one problem above all else and that was who he loved the most: Bill Clinton!

Always afraid of being unpopular, he equivocated when he had to, sold out his allies when he had to, and gave up when he wanted to. Despite it all however, his approval ratings were never sub-par and he left office roughly equivalent to Reagan in approval. However, he also left no legacy with which Democrats could build on. Unlike Reagan, who transformed the Republican party, and left a lasting ideology for his party, Clinton did not, and perhaps could not.

All of that being said, I still believe that he was a great president and that his personal failings (and there were many) were ultimately failings that do not effect leadership, and certainly that do not qualify for removal from office. A look back at all of the hearings, all of the rumors spread by conservative talk radio, etc. it would be extremely difficult for an objective observer to believe that there was not an organized campaign to destroy him- for anything. Remember that every investigation, every charge, and millions of dollars spent in the process came up with only one conclusion: He lied about cheating on his wife. It is my opinion that this is what the history books will remember. I am sure you have your own opinions that have a slightly different take on it.


Charles Edward Heisler - 12/2/2004

Ah, but Bush is not likely to hand the Democrats the issues that Clinton handed the Republicans. Clinton's money raising antics and eventually, his personal life really gave the opposition some target rich environments.


Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 12/2/2004

I see what you are saying and agree that the Democrats should be concerned. However, unfortunately in our political system, the minority party essentially has 2 choices: Support the majority party and remain the minority, or stick to your principles and oppose policies that go against those principles. After all, I can think of no greater obstructionist Congress than the 1994 Republican Revolution. Regardless of the merits of the case (which I don’t want to get into) I think we can agree that the aggressiveness of the Republicans was extraordinary, initiating a Contract with America and determined to hold enough hearings to either remove the president from office or embarrass him at every turn. We liberals hated it then, but guess what? It worked and the Republicans now control every arm of the federal government.

Of course, no party wants to look like they are obstructionists, but in reality that is what all successful minority parties must be in certain instances.

My suggestion to the Democrats for the short term: Pick your battles, don’t oppose Bush simply to oppose him. Relent if you know you cannot win, and expose the hypocrisy of the majority (DeLay is a good example to start with) whenever possible.


Charles Edward Heisler - 12/2/2004

I did not argue that the Democrats are finished but that they are seriously damaged. The half the country that did not want Bush to be President live in primarily in urban areas that already have Democratic congressmen and will likely keep them in office. The Democrats have to be concerned with vunerable senators and congressmen in that huge mass of red throughout the country--they must give these congressmen an agenda to run on in 2006 and obstructionism (the only apparent policy of the Democrats) simply will not be enough, in fact, it may be fatal. That is what I meant when I suggested that the Democrats must redefine themselves and in so doing, must cooperate with Bush.


Charles Edward Heisler - 12/2/2004

The plural "media" also includes television news which is most more influencing of public opinion than print "media". Further when you include the inumerable "Cow Pie Gazette" rural papers in, you probably would find that the print media has gone for Republicans more often--want to project the influence in terms of readership??? When the major urban newspapers speak, how do they speak and how many readers are influenced???


Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 12/2/2004

On this, my friend, we are in total agreement. I wish that the news media did report their bias, but alas I don’t think any of them ever will in part because they may not even see their own bias (how many of us really do?) and in part because why would they? It can only hurt them in their race to the lowest common denominator.

I wish that genocide in Third World nations were not routinely ignored. I wish that complex issues such as globalization, environmental pollution, corporate ownership, corporate, and so many others were not ignored completely, while issues like Janet’s breast, or the Scott Peterson trial get in-depth coverage.

Other than PBS, which I respect immensely, no media station that I know actually informs people about anything substantive, instead they all, from CNN to Fox News, invite 2 celebrities to come on and yell at each other for 5 minutes (no more or else you will loose the audience) and then move on to the next performance. The other day, I turned on my TV to see Jerry Fawell and Al Sharpton carry on like little children about gay marriage. This significant issue was relegated to 2 children who represent almost no one- other than the far fringes of their ideologies- yelling at each other at a level of debate that would make Michael Jackson roll his eyes. And don’t even get me started on analysis, which has almost become taboo. Single hosts are mere ideologues, duel hosts are a pare of partisan hacks who simply tote the party line regardless of merit, and actual journalists provide no independent analysis of data, no background on important events, and no faith whatsoever in the intelligence of the average American.

Whew! Glad I got all that off my chest, thanks.


Derek Charles Catsam - 12/2/2004

Fact: Since 1932 there have been but three elections in which the majority of newspapers advocated support of the democrat; in all the others, the majority threw its support toward the GOP candidate.
Fact: The Wall Street Journal is conservative. It has a substantially higher circulation than the Times or washington post.

When people try to say that "the media" is conservative or liberal they are either liars or idiots. By definition, media is plural, and to categorize it as singular is to make a number of mistakes, not the least of which is grammatical. Fox news is not liberal. The National review is not liberal. they are part of 'the media." "The liberal media" (or "the conservative media") is a silly argument, yet it is pervasive enough that it needs to be responded to every time. make a point. Don;'t blame the media if that point is not getting across.

As for Bill's original point: I agree. It is beyond stupid to compare apartheid South Africa with our war in Iraq. That is a huge problem with the way people approach current events -- by making stupid analogies. one can oppose something and still maintain a semblence of sanity. one can believe a war is wrong and not make the leap that it is so wrong that it compares to the worst atrocities imaginable. Of course when we try to talk in terms of "the left" and "the right" we are already getting so sloppy in our generalizations that the rest of it is destined to fall apart.

dc


Charles Edward Heisler - 12/2/2004

My reference to the pre-war and invasion coverage was a poorly written suggestion that the media competed so slavishly for audience that they really didn't do an adequate job of covering the war--the conflict orientation of all of the media is such that they simply get stupid during these matters--loving conflict, any conflict they become almost rabid and accuracy and evaluation should not be expected.
Concerning Fox News, you will get no argument out to me that this network is definately oriented to the right. The sanctimonious pronouncements of O'Reilly aside, there is no "fair and balance" in Fox's orientation--it is conservative.
I am not complaining about media orientation--the press has never been completely objective, it has always been biased, one direction or another. What boils my blood is the attempt by the media to pass itself off as an objective witness. Now that is sanctimonious and, yes, the press does try to convince the reader, viewer that they are balanced.
Finally, the voting habits of the press are most certainly indicative of their political bias and cannot but influence how they report the news.


Lynn Bryan Schwartz - 12/1/2004

Mr. Rogat writes as if he is giving a pep-talk to the choir. As fair as I know, HNN does not endorse a particular political viewpoint or is this site meant as a bulletin board for the Left. Political discussions are, of course, quite valid, but I am a bit turned off by someone who writes as if everyone in academic history/humanities/social sciences, etc. or otherwise has a similar viewpoint. Seek enlightenment not political punditry.


Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 12/1/2004

“Democrats aren't going to have to redefine themselves, they are going to have to support Bush and his policies. Bush has defined the battleground and seems to have a firm hold on the conflict--I suggest retreat for the opposition.”

I think we both know that this is not the answer and indeed impossible. What you are in effect saying is that the Democrats have to simply convert to Republicanism. Trust me, this will not produce your dream. It only means that the Republican party will fracture between the fiscal conservatives and the social conservatives and become 2 parties. We live in a 2 party system and I see no evidence that this is in any danger.

As for Congress, you are absolutely right, it sucks for the Democrats, no question. However, those who argue that the Democrats are finished and the country has rejected liberal ideology simply do not have the numbers to back up that claim. A win is a win, but 3% means that almost half of the county didn’t want Bush to be their president. The House is pretty firmly Republican but the Senate is not so firm, and certainly not firm enough to stifle the opposition party.

In other words, the Democrats are in bad shape, but the numbers do not support some of the rhetoric that I have been hearing from the right.


Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 12/1/2004

1) “Surveys of voting preference of media reporters and editors have long shown a preponderance of them vote for the Democratic candidates.”

This is very true. All you have to do now is demonstrate that this is what determines coverage and not sensationalism, or the preference of their corporate sponsors, or the guidelines of the producers, or the desires of the network executives, which tend to be conservative.

2) “We know that the network news and a substantial amount of the cable news outlets are heavily biased to the Left.”

We do?

3) “Your citations, while interesting, do not support the case that the media is neutral.”

I notice that you prefer to argue the debate is about whether the media is liberal or neutral. The articles do not suggest the media is neutral but that it has a conservative bias.

4) “In the case of the war coverage, note that the majority of these articles were written within a year of the invasion and involve complaints that the media covered the initial conflict to insensitively--no kidding-given the competition between the media to drag the most sensational aspects of the war to the screen!”

I am not really sure what you are suggesting, other than that the media really were extremely pro-war. MSNBC even created a TV show almost a year before the invasion called “Countdown: Iraq.” This is still when Bush was adamantly saying that peace was still possible. If this is, and all of the other gung ho media who posted walls of pictures of soldiers, and military experts to explain the plan of attack, is anti-war, I honestly could not imagine a pro-war media. Particularly given the fact on virtually every show with a single commentator (Bill O’Reilly, Joe Scarborough, and others) the host either supported the war 100%, or supported it 80%. (Those numbers don’t come from anywhere of course, just be observation)

5) “No, Adam, this canard that is being run by the same "liberal media" that it isn't biased is simply a smoke screen using too little evidence over too short a time period.”

So the fact that the media are denying that they are bias somehow proves that they are bias since only a bias media would deny actually being bias? Frankly, I don’t often hear the media saying anything about it. Observers of the media however need to be able to blame something for negative perceptions, and the media is an easy target. Anything negative and outrageous against liberals is of course true and needs more coverage, anything negative against conservatives must be lies and liberal bias!

6) “only journalists believe the media is fair and objective.”

And liberals who actually watch their candidates trashed, their ideas not even open to debate, and the crimes and malfeasance of their opposition often ignored or glossed over.

I invite you to read the following article and tell me what you think.
http://www.fair.org/extra/0108/fox-main.html


Charles Edward Heisler - 12/1/2004

You put the best face on the election for the Democrats Adam--only a 3% margin for Bush and parity in the Governorships!
The real damage to the Democrats is in Congress--a presidential win is a win, no matter what the percentage but he is helpless with out the corresponding win in Congress. This was huge and twice in a row for the Republicans. It is possible when 2006 comes around that if the Democrats continue to oppose Bush on the war on terrorism, judicial nominations, and economic measures while hanging on to their agenda of supporting deadly social issues such as Gay Marriage and the perceived Democratic Party rejection of religious beliefs that many Americans hold dear that they will lose again and lose big. Remember, there are still Southern Senators that are vunerable and many, many Democratic Congressmen. Democrats aren't going to have to redefine themselves, they are going to have to support Bush and his policies. Bush has defined the battleground and seems to have a firm hold on the conflict--I suggest retreat for the opposition.


Andrew D. Todd - 12/1/2004

Your rifle is not going to get you very far against a tank. Furthermore, the tank can not only spray tear gas; it can have various kinds of robotic extensions. If the tank designer wants to catch you in a bag, that can be arranged. Much the same goes for a helicopter-gunship. Effective defense against heavy weapons works out to creating one's own heavy weapons, using widely available nonmilitary components in new ways. The situation is by no means hopeless for the defender against an army. The Iraqi guerrillas are using IED's (Improvised Explosive Devices), triggered by remote control, and they are winning. They are wagering bits of metal and electronics against American troops, and this gives them essentially the same advantage that they would have if they possessed air superiority.

The American casualties in Iraq have been needlessly high, because the American generals are basically incompetent. Strike that. The competent generals (Eric Shinseki, et. al.) expressed their reservations, and were promptly purged. The yes-men who wound up in command in Iraq _are_ incompetent. They do things like sending troops into casbah rooms where ambushes are expected, instead of using remote-controlled saws to open the rooms up. The Israelis have reduced that kind of thing to a science. The only practical way to fight the urban guerrilla is to methodically flatten the city, and then grade the cellar holes level so that they cannot be used as dug-outs. Similarly, the heavy casualties on the Baghdad airport road are reminiscent of the Street Without Joy, and of course Groupe Mobile 100, but I doubt anyone in the American command has any idea of who Albert Fall might have been. The stories coming back indicate a complete lack of interest or talent in things like improvising field-expedient armor, that kind of thing.

It is the same pattern as Vietnam. Vast numbers of infantry got killed on operations which tanks could have done at practically no risk. However, it had been decreed at a high level that Vietnam was to be an infantry war, and not very many tracked vehicles ever arrived in-theater. Even fewer got redesigned for Vietnamese conditions.

Of course, Col. Harry Summers would say, quoting his Clausewitz, that tactical incompetence is a result of lack of strategic objective.

The American people would start with much greater advantages than the Iraqis. There is much higher literacy, more miscellaneous skills, etc., There are more people with tools, and there are large numbers of machines lying around, which could easily be repurposed. By comparison with most of the other technology lying around, conventional firearms are so technologically obsolete as to be nearly worthless.

People who are good with technology are called geeks or nerds. As Paul Graham points out ("Why Nerds are Unpopular," Wired, Dec. 2004) the normal experience of a nerd is to be persecuted in high school. There is a presumption of sympathy between nerds and gays. They both get beaten up by football players. The Republican Party has thus managed to define itself as the Luddite, or technophobe party. Then too, there is the geek-green axis. Then there is the whole cult of "open source," which is not exactly leftist per se, but involves large numbers of people acting as if the the state had already withered away. If the Republican party loses its libertarian component, and defines itself as the political wing of the Moral Majority, it will lose whatever claim it still has to the geeks. Read Ernest Callanbach's Ectopia books, to get an idea of the emergent nerd political culture. Believe me, you really do not want to force them to demonstrate the military aspect of their technological skills.


Charles Edward Heisler - 12/1/2004

Adam, of course the media bias is as bad as people think it is. Surveys of voting preference of media reporters and editors have long shown a preponderance of them vote for the Democratic candidates. We know that the network news and a substantial amount of the cable news outlets are heavily biased to the Left. Your citations, while interesting, do not support the case that the media is neutral. In the case of the war coverage, note that the majority of these articles were written within a year of the invasion and involve complaints that the media covered the initial conflict to insensitively--no kidding-given the competition between the media to drag the most sensational aspects of the war to the screen!
No, Adam, this canard that is being run by the same "liberal media" that it isn't biased is simply a smoke screen using too little evidence over too short a time period. The media is most certainly a biased media but, historically, that is nothing new--only journalists believe the media is fair and objective. You know that.


Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 12/1/2004

Some reading material if you are so inclined, that disagree with your theory about a liberal media bias:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200410/s1229029.htm
http://www.fair.org/international/iraq.html
http://mediamatters.org/

I am not saying that I neccessarily think that these people are right either. I think the media are going to get slammed whenever they criticise someone on "our" team, either rightly or wrongly.

There is a media bias, but I do not believe it is as partisan as people like to believe.


Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 12/1/2004

1) “How, given the media coverage and the statements of the spokesmen from the left, would we believe that the Left wants this effort to be successful?”

I am not exactly sure who those spokesman are, but the various editorials that are as critical of the war as I am believe exactly as I do: that the administration of reconstruction has been a disaster, for various reasons. Disbanding the Iraqi military, leaving thousands of armed, unemployed, and disgruntled men who could have otherwise been used to secure the country, not sending in enough troops to prevent the insurgency from taking root, ironing important clerical figures, and refusing to stop the rampant looting of the country. Pointing out these problems is perfectly legitimate in a Democracy.

2) “It would seem that these folks are relishing both the American casualties and the rather few mistakes our military makes in Iraq.”

I would disagree that they were few. As for relishing failure, can you provide some examples? Even one of most rabidly anti-Bush liberal has demonstrated in his books and his film tremendous sympathy and admiration for the troops.

3) “Explain the almost non-existent reporting of the rebuilding of Iraq's education system? Explain why we don't see the reported improvements in the lives of the Iraqi people, especially the women and children?”

Anyone who has ever watched the news can explain it perfectly: Because blood and skin sell. In fact, Moore asks those same questions in his film, Bowling for Columbine in which he blasts the media for creating a society of fear by reporting nothing but crime and violence on the news. This is nothing unique to the Iraq story, and it did the exact same during the Clinton military interventions. Don’t take my word for it though… go to the TV and turn on the local news right now (if it is on right now). They are talking about a murder, rape, robbery, or some trivial bit on X-Mas shopping. Am I right? Similarly, in his newer film, Moore shows clips of the media in full support of the war. Why is he and others automatically wrong and you are right?

4) “Explain how any fair minded person seeing this behavior by the media, a media long controlled by the Left, would believe that "liberals in general" are not represented by this attitude?”

That is an easy one to explain. I am a fair minded person and I do not believe that liberals want us to fail. You may believe that I am not fair-minded (or not a liberal?) but short of simply insulting me, which you may do if you like, there is your answer.

The problem with the myth of a liberal media bias is that conservative look at the media’s treatment of conservatives and conservative causes and see that it is negative and thus assume there is a bias. If those same conservatives actually paid careful attention to how the media treats liberals and liberal causes, you will find the exact same thing. You may deny this if you like, indeed since you believe in a liberal media bias, I assume you would deny it. The only thing I can tell you is that I disagree with your analysis and consider it to be baseless.


Charles Edward Heisler - 12/1/2004

How, given the media coverage and the statements of the spokesmen from the left, would we believe that the Left wants this effort to be successful? It would seem that these folks are relishing both the American casualties and the rather few mistakes our military makes in Iraq.
Explain the almost non-existent reporting of the rebuilding of Iraq's education system? Explain why we don't see the reported improvements in the lives of the Iraqi people, especially the women and children? Explain how any fair minded person seeing this behavior by the media, a media long controlled by the Left, would believe that "liberals in general" are not represented by this attitude?


Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 11/30/2004

From my perspective, the results of the recent election are disappointing, to say the least. Clearly, Gore’s popular vote victory in 2000 indicated to many that the Democratic Party wasn’t broke, so why fix it? They thus spent 4 years doing little and ended up nominating someone with exactly Gore’s flaws and very little to run on. However, even despite an awful campaign by Kerry, he only lost by 3%, hardly a landslide. If almost half of the country voted for Kerry despite a terrible campaign, imagine if the Democrats actually had a qualified candidate!

From my perspective, the benefit of this election is that many liberals know exactly why we lost, and acknowledge it freely and often (I would recommend slate.com for some excellent contributions to this). Unlike after 2000, I hope that the next 4 years will be a time of reflection and reform within the Democratic party that has been a long time coming.

If one only receives liberal news from HNN when it reprints selected Nation articles, I can understand why one would get a skewed image of liberals in America. However, my impression is that many true conservative really don’t like Bush (I recommend Buchanan’s endorsement of him as one piece of evidence: http://www.amconmag.com/2004_11_08/cover.html) but voted for him out of total disdain for Kerry.

When the Republicans were out in the wilderness, without control of any branch of the American government and with the country becoming a one party nation, they did not disappear. They adapted, reformed, and went on to win the White House and a few decades later, Congress. The Democrats have not been forced to do this in a long time, but now they will have to. In a small way, I actually wish that Bush won in a landslide, thus guaranteeing this introspection that I am hoping for. As it stands, with state Governorships still pretty competitive, and Bush only 3% victory, I can only hope that the Democrats do not just sit on their hands for 4 years and nominate another Gore, Kerry, Edwards, or anyone else from that camp. We shall have to wait and see.


Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 11/30/2004

Dave,
I don’t know if I would agree with you that gun ownership could ever stop totalitarianism in the US since it is likely that such a regime would be initially voted in (a la Germany). However, I would agree with your general point about the 2nd Amendment. Gun ownership is a part of American culture, no less than democracy and capitalism, and since the vast vast VAST majority of gun owners in this country own guns either for sport or for self-protection, I would be the first to resist any attempt to touch the 2nd Amendment (although we might disagree with how far gun control legislation ought to go and that’s fine).

As for Iraq, I think the problem there is an expectations gap. Many Iraqi-Americans that I know supported the war and were grateful to be rid of Saddam. However, their expectations of economic prosperity, national security, and personal safety have thus far failed to materialize in the way that they had expected. Part of this, in my opinion, is directly related to very poor planning, and some catastrophic decisions made early on that set the tone.

Overall however, I am happy for the Iraqi people and if I were Iraqi, it is likely that I would have supported the war. I am certainly not one of those people who believes that it is better to live under a totalitarian monster than a brief period of anarchy. My reasons for opposing the war have nothing to do with Iraqis, who have always had my sympathy. I simply agree with the former president Bush when he wrote the following explaining why he did not invade Iraq in 1991:

“We would have been forced to occupy Baghdad and, in effect, rule Iraq. The coalition would instantly have collapsed, the Arabs deserting it in anger and other allies pulling out as well. Under the circumstances, there was no viable "exit strategy" we could see, violating another of our principles. Furthermore, we had been self-consciously trying to set a pattern for handling aggression in the post-Cold War world. Going in and occupying Iraq, thus unilaterally exceeding the United Nations' mandate, would have destroyed the precedent of international response to aggression that we hoped to establish. Had we gone the invasion route, the United States could conceivably still be an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land. It would have been a dramatically different — and perhaps barren — outcome.”
-- George H.W. Bush, A World Transformed, Chapter 19

I know that you and others here disagree with me, or believe that Iraq was a great enough threat to warrant the invasion, and I respect that. But understand that my opposition does not stem from partisanship, or the fact that it was George W. Bush as president. It stemmed from my believe that the costs of invasion (particularly when and how we did it) was greater than the benefits accrued. I expressed my disapproval at the ballot box. Clearly, the majority of my countrymen disagreed and that is the nature of a democracy.

Of course, at this point, I hope that history proves me wrong about Iraq and the benefits do start to materialize.


Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 11/30/2004

Dave,
I actually agree 100% with your post. Idealism is a must, certainly, but without the threat of military retaliation, it is liklely that much of the world would be communist (or German).

Perhaps 100 years ago, people could rise up in revolution against occupation or persecution, but in an era of machine guns, modern armies, and WMD, only a strong military and the genuine threat of its use could have stopped the Soviet Union.


Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 11/30/2004

Gentlemen,
I happen not to be a fan of this article, and thus have no intention of defending it. However, I would take issue with the contention that liberals want America to fail. Although, sadly, many people who are anti-American, anti-capitalist, etc. are liberals, these are an extreme fringe and do not represent liberals in general.

I think that most liberals in this country oppose this war, but not our victory in it. Of course, we want the United States to succeed and the Iraqi people to be free and independent. This is not in question. All of my reasons for opposing this war before it started were based on what was in the best interest of this country. Ditto for the reasons I have opposed some specific policies in conducting it. Nevertheless, do not let liberalism be defined by its most radical of its adherents. Liberals such as myself not only want the United States to win, but have every confidence that in the end, it surely will.


Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 11/30/2004

A good post, and some interesting ideas. However, I affirm my belief that liberal policy shows any sign of rejection.

1) “I could point to welfare reform…”

Welfare reform was just that, reform. All it did was cut the rolls in half, there was no fundamental shift in ideology regarding the social benefits of the program, nor was there any reexamination of the underlining assumptions on which it rested, which is wealth redistribution based on need. I would also add that corporate welfare has gone no direction but up.

2) “…the general non-influence of labor unions in the scheme of American business…”

This is a good point, but this was largely because of its success. Almost all of the original purposes for the rise in the labor movement at the turn of the century have been met. Labor standards are here to stay, as were work weeks, and legal mechanisms for fighting unfair labor laws. The backlash against them and their declining influence is not because of a rejection of the labor laws and policies, but because the most egregious labor problems have pretty much been solved.

3) “…the lack of a viable and potent anti-war movement…”

You are correct on this point, but I don’t consider anti-war to be an inherently liberal position (the most liberal presidents in this century also engaged the US in war: TR, Wilson, FDR, Truman, LBJ). Furthermore, there was never a strong anti-war movement in the United States once the war began. Vietnam was an exception to this rule and even then it took well over a decade of involvement before the public turned against it.

4) “…and a general loss of control of the media as examples of lessening liberal influence.”

Of this, you are quite correct. Clearly, the conservatives have spent decades organizing and training and as a result worked hard for a foothold in the media and to their immense credit, have largely succeeded.

5) “What is important is that the Left is no longer creating "progressive" reform in America or, for that matter, in the world.”

Although I am loath to admit it, I am forced to agree with you. Now that the great liberal programs have become a part of American social culture, adopted by both sides, there is really not much that liberals are offering. Their rhetoric can suffer from tremendous moral relativism, and the few policies that they do have (healthcare for all, international peace) they simply don’t have the support to do it, and don’t have the discipline in membership to convince people. Sadly, in my opinion, while liberalism has been a terrific triumph in the 20th century, I don’t see it going much farther. Whether or not conservatives are able to move us BACK remains to be seen.

6) “Perhaps this is merely a cycle but one can indeed trace the roots of the decline to the 1972 election which, if the correct starting point, would only give true liberal influence a short life in the United States--from the early 60's to the early 70's.”

I think that is a fair date to point to, although remember that the EPA and open trade with China were both Nixon creations.

Liberalism does not necessarily mean Democrat or Republican, and I would argue that TR was the first true liberal (in the modern sense of the word) in the White House, regardless of what party he is from. Certainly, few could point to the current president Bush and his vision for the world, and claim that this vision is NOT the very essence of liberalism. This is NOT the traditional conservative foreign policy of isolationism and mind your own business. It is instead the very liberal foreign policy of Wilson and others.


Charles Edward Heisler - 11/30/2004

I could point to welfare reform, the general non-influence of labor unions in the scheme of American business, the lack of a viable and potent anti-war movement, and a general loss of control of the media as examples of lessening liberal influence. There are, of course, more issues where the Left no longer has sway.
What is important is that the Left is no longer creating "progressive" reform in America or, for that matter, in the world.
Perhaps this is merely a cycle but one can indeed trace the roots of the decline to the 1972 election which, if the correct starting point, would only give true liberal influence a short life in the United States--from the early 60's to the early 70's.


Charles Edward Heisler - 11/30/2004

Let me hazard a guess--yes, a defeat in Iraq would validate scads of Leftist "I told you so!" and the loss of prestige, the loss of freedom for millions of Iraqis, and the useless sacrifice of our military would all be a cheap price to pay for these people to finally win another victory. Their conscience stops at the border--the only unnecessary, unacceptable killing is the killing that America perpetrates--as was the case in Cambodia, they don't see the killing that comes from failure or neglect to take action.


Bill Heuisler - 11/30/2004

Mr. Rogat,
Make up your mind. You decry, "abuses of human dignity from apartheid's brutal system to Bush's Iraq war..." in the beginning of your piece and then write, "We don't have to tackle every issue, but if we remain silent in the face of cruelty, injustice, and oppression, we sacrifice part of our soul."

You imply there was no cruelty, justice and oppression in Saddam's Iraq, but that there was cruelty, justice and oppression in 80s Poland. You write of the struggle and place the modern anti-war Left on a pedestal with Tutu, Parks, Havel and Anthony. You write of the victory of North Vietnam as if it were good and well accomplished, and congratulate the demonstrators who took away our country's will to defeat totalitarianism. Millions died in Laos, Cambodia and Burma because we failed.

Would you rather we had not overthrown Saddam, disarmed his thugs and freed the Iraqi people? Are Ho Chi Minh and Saddam Hussein equally worthy in your view or do you merely consider them both the enemy of your enemy? Do you wish our defeat in Iraq? Is this your "vision", Mr Rogat?
Bill Heuisler


Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 11/29/2004

1) “The American people have grown too sophisticated to accept the failing policies of the Left and they are not coming back that direction.”

Certainly, this country has become more conservative in many ways, and recent Republican victories are a testament to this trend. However, your suggestion that people are rejecting liberal POLICY, I do not agree with. The reasons Americans are more conservative is because conservatives are more liberal. That is to say, they have adopted without question liberal policies that the know Americans support (remember Medicare reform, and education reform 2 liberal positions that true conservatives like Alan Keys and Pat Buchanan despised? They were Bush plans).

True, on many social issues, most especially gay marriage, the liberal position seems to be out of mainstream, but I invite you to list the liberal social programs that have been cut due to their unpopularity. Reagan tried the DOE and failed. Bush is trying social security and we shall have to wait and see. Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, the minimum wage, 40 hour work week, child labor laws, and so on.

http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0222-05.htm


Charles Edward Heisler - 11/29/2004

I am surprised to learn that the Left was silent this election cycle! Somehow I remember that they were in full cry with all their agendas going forth full bore.
What should be learned by the Liberals is that their day is past, the initiative has shifted and has been shifting incrementally since 1972.
The American people have grown too sophisticated to accept the failing policies of the Left and they are not coming back that direction. I would think the last ten years of election cycles would have supported the idea that it is the Left that must change--the citizens of the United States are not going to buy the Leftist agenda.
Still, we do appreciate the Left hanging their agendas on the Democratic Party--it has helped at election time. So, keep on keeping on.

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