Election eve special: 'Who we are as a nation - is the root of the real culture war,' Dorothy Rabinowitz video exclusive

In "News Flash, The Media Back Obama," (The Wall St. Journal Oct. 9, 2008) Editorial Board member Dorothy Rabinowitz argues that the media's "activist role has been the single constant in this eternal election."  The editorial is excerpted below. Ms. Rabinowitz made these remarks exclusively to Democracy Broadcasting the week of its publishing:

The single constant in the eternal election remains the media, whose activist role no one will seriously dispute. To point out the prevailing (with honorable exceptions) double standard of reporting so favorable to Mr. Obama by now feels superfluous -- much like talking about the weather. The same holds true for all those reports pointing to Mr. Obama's heroic status outside the United States -- not to mention the cascade of press analyses warning that if he fails to win election, the cause will surely be racism.
... CNN's Christiane Amanpour would go on to raise the theme so central to the Obama campaign, and held, as revealed truth, by the politically progressive everywhere -- that the U.S., fallen low in the eyes of the world, is now in dire need of moral salvation. Everywhere she went in America, Ms. Amanpour declared, she found "desperate Americans" -- desperate, that is, about the low esteem in which the country was held, desperate to have a president who would lift America up.

Mr. Obama could not have said it better himself. He is the leading exponent of the idea that our lost nation requires rehabilitation in the eyes of the world -- and it is the most telling difference between him and Mr. McCain. When asked, in one of the earliest debates of the primary, his first priority should he become president, his answer was clear. He would go abroad immediately to make amends, and assure allies and others in the world America had alienated, that we were prepared to do all necessary to gain back their respect.

It is impossible to imagine those words coming from Mr. McCain. Mr. Obama has uttered them repeatedly one way or another and no wonder. They are in his bones, this impossible-to-conceal belief that we've lost face among the nations of the world -- presumably our moral superiors. He is here to reform the fallen America and make us worthy again of respect. It is not in him, this thoughtful, civilized academic, to grasp the identification with country that Mr. McCain has in his bones -- his knowledge that we are far from perfect, but not ready, never ready, to take up the vision of us advanced by our enemies. That identification, the understanding of its importance and of the dangers in its absence -- is the magnet that has above all else drawn voters to Mr. McCain.

These sharp differences between the candidates as to who we are as a nation may not seem, now, as potent an issue for voters as the economy, but they should not be underestimated. This clash -- not the ones on abortion or gay marriage -- is the root of the real culture war to play out in November.

1 comment:

  1. If the elephant in the room is racism, then the Giant Wooly Mammoth is INTELLIGISM. And the gap between the haves and have-nots has probably never been greater in this, the information age.
    The acceptance of idiocy has become commonplace, and it's "insensitive" to discount ANYONE'S opinion.
    The "haves" on the left thoroughly exploit this gap (no surprise), while the voting base on the right is simply too busy working for a living to gain traction among the ignorant and bored.