Not Every Blunt Metal Object is a Hammer
Media in the United States of America – left, right, middle, top, bottom – regardless of its skew or agenda, bias, intention, or policy, love to stick labels to people and statements; they particularly love it when politicians do it to one another. Labels fit preconceived, prejudicial notions, which comprise the majority of the thoughts in the heads of so-called journalists. Thus, it is easy for the liberal media to deny it as absurd – or sometimes embrace it as joyful – that Barack Obama is a socialist; for clearly, in their minds, a socialist marches up and down along party lines X, Y, and Z. Perhaps this is why newspapers are written at a 6th grade reading level: the people writing them cannot write at a higher. But this article is not about simply upbraiding exceedingly simple-minded journalists, easy and fun though it is. This article is about calling things what they are; which means, first of all, understanding what they do. Somehow, some-when it became the fashionable trend in reporting to proceed do things backwards. The frame of almost every story is written long before the news happens. Is Person famous? Is Famous Person popular? Will Famous Person be good for news in the future, and if so, what kind of news? What do the old news stories say about Famous Person? Very seldom are the words or actions of individuals actually considered in themselves. The Pope’s recent encyclical is a great example of this; so is the coverage of any election.
Thus, when it comes to the way Barack Obama is portrayed, is there really any accuracy to it? The average reader of this blog, there is little doubt, does not think favorably of the man. But when the media coverage, even from the non-MSM, tends towards covering his thus-far non-evident “change” as the work of a great mediator, of a moderate, enlightened, compassionate man, it can soften the view of the reality. Catholics everywhere ought to be praying deeply for this man – and also preparing for the worst. Obama’s views are radical. That cannot be forgotten. The delivery is, these days, veiled in the necessary rhetoric of bi-partisan cooperation, the only means of getting around the last surviving, and painfully threatened, check or balance in the American government: a great, big, bureaucratic mess. If there is one thing that truly protects the American people from immediate radical change, its red-tape. Unfortunately, this also perpetuates the errors such as a Roe v. Wade; regardless, Obama played the leftish Democratic game he needed in order to win the nomination and the support of the anti-conservative constituents. In some ways, that meant saying things that were good – or at least sounded good. The conservative government of the previous 8 years had exponentially increased the size of the federal government and its power over states and local governments, over the individual and the privately-owned business; Obama promised to reduce that. Woops – ignore that nationalization! Has anyone in the MSM bothered to speculate about the fact that the government bailout has delivered the majority of its superfluously tossed-about money to major companies – the kind that are struggling, the kinds that have been nationalized?
Part of the irony of socialism is that it promises both equalizing redistribution of wealth and centralization of authority; it is funny, like hitting one’s funny bone, how often the latter happens and how it happening coincidentally fails to produce the former. Also ironic is how frequently socialism resorts to a sort of utilitarianism. Is no one frightened by the promise of Barack Obama to reduce the number of abortions? that he wants fewer women to feel the need to abort? What sort of woman feels the need to abort? Just how is that going to be accomplished? Ideally, they will be given educations, be made more financially stable, more responsible. Ostensibly, they will be given more reliable contraceptives. Conceivably they will be rewarded for not having children. Nightmarishly they will be sterilized. The first option is impossible within the span of 4-8 years; education reform will take more than a generation, and will require more than the efforts of one man in Washington, D.C. The lattermost option would also be impossible for Obama to affect; except that the structures for it are already in place.
And just what are American Catholics doing about this? This is why people like Paul Mitchell need support – not just financially, spiritually, or in his own district election. People like Paul need support in other districts. The solution to the crisis of American government is not to be found in Washington. Change in the nation’s capital will be as efficacious as change in the nation’s capital has always been – short lived and impotent. The March for Life is a good effort; but it is only one day a year.
What can be, should be, must be done tomorrow? How many tomorrows are going to pass by before it is too late?