As I write this on the ultimate day of campaigning, the mainstream media has already decided the outcome of the US elections. Obama is everywhere – he is deemed a harbinger of hope and change to not just many Americans, but to a large proportion of the global populace as well. One young Palestinian in the Gaza strip was cold calling American households last week, persuading them to vote for this deity.
It is an old story, especially in the United States, that the media fails to correctly predict the election performance of conservative politicians. It is fair to say that the majority of the American media is fairly liberal; the noticeable exception is Fox News. These left wing media outlets spout ideas and opinions that are often adopted as ideals by society, An important and misleading consequence of the political position of the mainstream news services is the fallacious polls that the same media and the public love to exhibit and evaluate respectively. There is one theory proposed by the political scientist Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann, called the ‘Spiral of Silence’, which is the idea that one is less likely to publicly support an idea that is carried by the minority for fear of isolation and requital from society. As a result, a particular motion is likely to receive less and less public support, thus exposing said idea to fewer and fewer people.
In England, one phenomenon of unexpected success is called the ‘Shy Tory Factor’. This term was coined in the 1990s by British opinion polling companies in response to the 1992 General Election. Despite the Conservative Party trailing 1% behind Labour, the former won the election with a lead of about 7.6%.
This discrepancy can be explained by a number of theories. The first is the fact I just previously mentioned – that the greater representation of the political left by the media gives rise to false hope and perhaps even can provide a dangerous sense of complacency to left wing politicians. The second theory is what I believe to be the narcissistic individual’s public need for society’s deference, an egotistical façade that hides the individual’s private whim – thus exists a covert growth of idiosyncratic sentiments. If a government at the end of its second or third term is unpopular with the mainstream left, then while publicly the virtuous middle class may denounce the ‘failing government’, those same ‘principled’ men and women will rush to vote for them when the polls open – perhaps because of a private admiration or quiet understanding of the abhorrent government’s policies, or perhaps just because of a lack of alternative acceptable politicians standing.
The third possibility for the inconsistency between predictions and realities is a word that has governed the concept of equality in the last hundred years: race. It seems apparent to me that race is a defining factor in the human consciousness, and however much equality is sought, there is a part of each single soul that craves identity. For example, in a completely different context, most Muslims will support a Palestinian state whereas more Jews will support the Jewish Israeli state. The concept of identity is prevalent in the quest for independent opinion, and for this reason Obama has bastions of support among some communities but not others. A recent YouGov poll found that Obama has an 82% lead among black voters, whereas Obama is trailing by 5% among white voters. In some states Obama appears to have almost 97% of the black vote.
Obama has a huge amount of support from the black vote, but this is not enough to win the election alone. Obama’s election team knows this and that is why they have campaigned so heavily amongst the white middle class America. These efforts appear to have worked and the polls are in Obama’s favour. Many newspaper columnists are speaking of Obama’s victory as if there need be no contest at all.
This could be a huge mistake. There is a phenomenon in elections, similar to the ‘Shy Tory Factor’, called the ‘Bradley Factor’. This is named after Tom Bradley, the candidate for the governor of California election. Despite enjoying a position far ahead in the polls, Bradley lost to his Republican rival. It was attributed to white voters privately voting differently from their public declaration to pollsters. This theory is similar to my previously mentioned suggestions for the ‘Shy Tory Factor’. There are many other examples of black politicians experiencing the effect of the Bradley factor: Harold Washington, Jesse Jackson, David Dinkins and Wilson Goode. In fact David Duke, the Nazi sympathizer and KKK member, experienced an inverted Bradley factor when he received a much larger proportion of the votes than polls had shown. The same happens in Britain: the BNP regularly does much better than expected, and no one is ever more surprised than the liberal media.
Juxtaposed against the Bradley factor is a suggested reverse Bradley factor and a concept known as the ‘Fishtown effect’. Douglas Wilder, the first black state governor has suggested that many Republicans will secretly vote for Obama while publicly declaring otherwise. The ‘Fishtown Effect’ however is the suggestion that usually bigoted white voters will vote for a black candidate because of economic concerns; in the present financial climate this theory could have a significant influence on the election.
But is the Bradley factor truly an example of cold, calculated racism? I would suggest that it is not the wish of one race to dismiss another, but rather a quest for identity and fraternalism. The uncertainties and confusion results from the furious denunciations from the media, who vilify individual figures, cultures and ideas. And regardless of the results of Tuesday’s election, sections of the World’s media, from Bangkok to San Francisco, will condemn the discriminatory minds of the American public. From the hoi polloi to the richest mansion dwellers, the inhabitants will be branded racists. If Obama loses the election, the voters will be accused of anachronistic racism; if Obama wins, some will be accused of lacking integrity and letting fear of inequality dictate their vote. Stanford University has worked hard to be ahead of the game. Christian Science Monitor: “Stanford University suggests that racial prejudice is eroding as much as 6 percentage points from Senator Obama’s support. One commentator has even suggested that white racism would be the only explanation for an Obama loss this November.”
And the true villain is actually the media – their shameless selective reporting, their composition of supercilious ideals and their lack of objectivity have irrevocably destroyed the continuation of a nonpartisan candid and free press. Although keen to malign other Democrats and the Republicans, the media has been hesitant to report news and rumours about Obama: from the incongruous gap between the discovery and the media report of the villainy of Reverend Wright’s speeches, to the bizarre association with Bill Ayers, and now the LA Times is overrun with requests that they persistently ignore, to release videotape they possess of Obama with a suspected PLO terrorist named Rashid Khalidi. Why would a very large newspaper not release a sensational news story so pivotal as this?
So do I believe the associations with Obama uncovered by the right and McCain’s camp are as serious as some would paint them? – Not really. I do believe though, that the burnt soul of the unscrupulously bias media is poisoning the democracy of the Western countries. I believe the same media is to blame for the misinformation and intolerance in politics that breeds bountifully during times of wanton ideals. However, I do know there is always independent thought, which leaves the opinionated editors and columnists shouting at deaf ears. And certainly the hurly burly media world can no longer explain a truth or encourage an honest purpose; it is an impotent force, multiplying in presence but with a fading influence; useless in a world of disobedient readers.
Mona Charen writes:
IS AMERICA ABOUT TO SELL ITS BIRTHRIGHT – FREEDOM – FOR A POTTED MESSAGE – ‘Hope & Change’?
Concerning our entry immediately below:
If John McCain wasn’t silenced by his self-esteem and imprisoned in his own propriety, this is the sort of speech he could make to win the election:
‘I have to tell you about an extremely serious development. I and Senator Obama have been confidentially informed by US intelligence that IRAN WILL HAVE A NUCLEAR BOMB by this coming February. We are asked not to make this specific threat public, on the grounds that we would be spreading alarm, but it is too serious to keep from you, and Americans and the whole world ought to be alarmed. It is more than likely that Iran will use its nuclear bomb against Israel. If it does, an international crisis will instantly arise comparable to 9/11 and Pearl Harbor…’
He would then go on to say in explicit terms that whoever is Commander-in-Chief when this happens will need to be someone who has already been tested in crisis, not someone who thought that Iran is a small country that can be talked out of developing and using nuclear weapons, who wants to disarm America of its own nuclear defense, and has no experience whatever of international crises or military engagement.
For all his mistakes and weaknesses, John McCain has one great strength. He is a military man who understands international conflict, and can and would shoulder the responsibility of America, the world’s only superpower and defender of freedom, to oppose the aggression of evil powers, with force when necessary.
As we do not believe that there is a god to save us, we can only look to our fellow man, and the only man in a position to avert this threat – by becoming Commander-in-Chief – is John McCain. If he is President, Iran will hesitate. If Obama is President, Iran will not hesitate.
Can John McCain comprehend what is happening and what he should do about it?
If he cannot, we should be more than alarmed. We should be terrified.
All too ominously the signs point to a clean sweep for the Democrats. They will probably command both Congress and the White House.
The pundits say, almost unanimously, that the reason why most voters will put power into the hands of the Democratic Party is the economic crisis. If this is so, the irony is heavy. The crisis was fundamentally caused by the Democrats. Pursuing their ideology, they insisted, and legislated to ensure, that people who couldn’t afford mortgages be given them. When the red lights started flashing, both President Bush and John McCain (amongst other Republicans) warned that measures must be taken to prevent impending disaster, but Democrats voted against the bills that were presented to avert it. Among the most guilty of the Democrats were Chris Dodd, Barney Frank – and Barack Obama.
And the Democrats are going to be voted into power primarily to fix the economy? Seems so!
But do most voters know that the Democrats – including, most importantly, Obama himself – are the first and chief cause of the economic collapse? Surely, if they knew, they wouldn’t hire the thieves to guard the treasure, the arsonists to protect the house?
So if they they do not know, who is to blame for that?
First, obviously, the media. This presidential election is a dark chapter in the history of the MSM. They have deliberately withheld essential information about the Democrats’ culpability for the sub-prime collapse and Barack Obama’s communist training and ties.
But the one person who could have by-passed the media by using his opportunities to spread the information to tens of millions of people in his convention speech and the presidential debates, and did not do so; who could and should have done it fully and clearly and insistently and convincingly, is John McCain. He did not even vaunt his own prescience and efforts to avert the calamity, let alone point his finger at the guilty men. He was too nice, too scrupulous, too respectful to do what urgently needed to be done to save America. This is a destructive kind of hubris. He esteems his own moral superiority more than he desires the freedom and prosperity of his country! Instead, batting his eyelashes like a starlet, and opening wide his goody-goody eyes, he tell us not to fear an Obama presidency – even though he has noticed of late (too late?), with the help of Joe the Plumber, that Obama’s economic policy is ‘socialistic’.
So he too bears a terrible responsibility for what is now likely to come about: the unimpeded enactment of socialist policies which can only make the economy worse.
From the Telegraph:
The [Warner Brothers] studio has temporarily blocked the release of the DVD version of the 1987 film Hanoi Hilton, which will feature an interview with John McCain, the Republican presidential candidate, about his imprisonment in Hoa Lo prison during the war.
The film, which gave a favourable portrayal of US prisoners, will now be released on November 11 – a week after the election.
Warner Brothers’s decision is likely to raise suggestions that it did not want to aid Mr McCain’s campaign by highlighting his wartime acts. The Republican candidate, who was a Navy pilot, was tortured during his imprisonment after being shot down over North Vietnam in October 1967.
Barry Meyer, the company’s chairman and chief executive, last month attended a fundraising dinner for Barack Obama, Mr McCain’s Democratic opponent.
The move has angered Lionel Chetwynd, the film’s writer and director, who is a well-known conservative.
"Finding someone in Hollywood who says they don’t want to affect the election is like finding a virgin in a brothel," Mr Chetwynd told the New York Times.
The film-maker also complained that other film studios were willing to release and promote films with potential for political influence. W, a biopic of President George W Bush directed by Oliver Stone, is set to be released on Friday.
As the comments on many of our entries show, we come in for a fair amount of abuse. We take it all as a form of compliment. If we get under the skin of our enemies, we are doing well.
Now, thanks to our reader, Kenn, my attention is drawn to this entry on the website of endiana, and a real compliment, following the important posting on McCain’s prophetic letter concerning Fannie Mae.
I feel honored to be placed in the company of Melanie Phillips and SARAH PALIN.
From Power Line:
We’ve noted many times that John McCain was one of the prescient legislators who saw the dangers posed by the runaway Freddy Mac and Fannie Mae and tried to do something about the problem. Until now, though, I’d never seen this letter of May 5, 2006, signed by McCain and 19 other Senators, that couldn’t have been clearer about the dangers posed by the Democrats’ reckless treatment of Fannie and Freddy, and the need to take action to protect the taxpayers and the economy. It’s hard to see how any warning could be more spot-on. Click to enlarge:
Among the more prescient observations:
We are concerned that if effective regulatory reform legislation for the housing-finance government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) is not enacted this year, American taxpayers will continue to be exposed to the enormous risk that Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac pose to the housing market, the overall financial system, and the economy as a whole. …
Today, almost half of the home mortgages in the U.S. are guaranteed by these GSEs. They are mammoth financial institutions with almost $1.5 Trillion of debt outstanding between them. With the fiscal challenges facing us today (deficits, entitlements, pensions and flood insurance), Congress must ask itself who would pay this debt if Fannie or Freddy could not? …
It is vitally important that Congress take the necessary steps to ensure that these institutions benefit from strong and independent regulatory supervision, operate in a safe and sound manner, and are primarily focused on their statutory mission. More importantly, Congress must ensure that the American taxpayer is protected in the event either GSE should fail.
Via Human Events. One thing I hadn’t realized is that McCain’s reform legislation was passed through the Senate Banking Committee, but was not able to gain majority support on the Senate floor. All twenty Senators who signed the letter calling attention to the urgency of reforming Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac were Republicans. After May 2006, the Democrats continued to use Fannie and Freddy as their private slush funds until the inevitable collapse, which McCain had warned against so eloquently, occurred.
For some inexplicable reason, John McCain seems unable to claim the credit he deserves for being one of the few politicians in Washington who saw the present crisis coming and tried to do something about it. He is even more unable to vigorously and unambiguously put the blame where it belongs: on the Democratic Party. Which is one of the principal reasons why, as everyone expects, he will lose in November.
There used to be a Degrees of Comparison joke – whether just or unjust I don’t know – that went like this: stupid, stupider, Shirley MacLaine.
I think it would be just to revise it as: stupid, stupider, John McCain.
Here he is, boring, repetitive (nattering on about ‘reaching across the aisle’ and ‘maverick’ , over and over again, as if anybody cares), and way behind in the polls, and he will not use the vast arsenal of ammunition available to him against his red revolutionary radical opponent who has spent his life consorting with terrorists, crooks, jihadis, corrupt politicians, has lied over and over again, is without any qualification for the presidency, is a terrifying threat to the freedom and safety of Americans, and is one of those most to blame for the present economic catastrophe affecting the entire globe.
Many conservatives suspected that the choice of McCain as Republican candidate was a bad mistake. Now we can be sure of it. The only reason to vote for him is to keep Obama – far, far worse – out of power. But McCain himself is refusing to use the only tactics that might, even at this late stage, achieve that end:
Power Line quotes a Minneapolis Star Tribune reporter:
Struggling to contain an emotional fire his own campaign kindled, Republican presidential nominee John McCain spent much of a town hall meeting in Lakeville on Friday trying to cool his supporters’ growing hostility toward Democrat Barack Obama.
Responding to repeated questions about Obama’s truthfulness and personal background, McCain urged backers at a packed gym at Lakeville South High School to be "respectful" toward his opponent.
McCain found himself in the odd and uncomfortable position of defending an opponent who is pulling away in many polls at the end of a week when he and running mate Sarah Palin stepped up their own attacks against Obama – often inspiring outbursts at raucous rallies, complete with cries of "terrorist" and "off with his head."
The Minnesota gathering lacked that kind of harshness, but sustained booing greeted many of McCain’s attempts to discourage the crowd’s fear and anger. Of the 21 questions posed to McCain during 45 minutes of give-and-take, one-third challenged him to take on Obama more aggressively, with a few making incendiary comments.
Late in the town hall meeting, Gayle Quinnell of Shakopee called Obama "an Arab." Taken aback, McCain shook his head and, taking the microphone from her, said, "No, ma’am. He’s a decent family man, citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues." …
McCain repeatedly tried to dial down his supporters’ antipathy toward Obama. "I will fight, but we will be respectful," he said. "I admire Senator Obama" – as the crowd booed loudly – "I want everyone to be respectful. … I don’t mean you have to reduce your ferocity, just be respectful."
"Off with his head"? I don’t think any Presidential candidate has ever faced a monolithic wall of establishment hostility comparable to what John McCain confronts this year. Nor has any political party been the subject of such an unrelenting campaign of vilification as the Republicans have sustained over the past five or six years. I don’t doubt that the establishment will succeed in dragging their candidate across the finish line next month. What will happen after that is anybody’s guess.
Kimberly A Strassel writes in the Wall Street Journal:
And now, America, we introduce the Great Obama! The world’s most gifted political magician! A thing of wonder. A thing of awe. Just watch him defy politics, economics, even gravity! (And hold your applause until the end, please.)
To kick off our show tonight, Mr. Obama will give 95% of American working families a tax cut, even though 40% of Americans today don’t pay income taxes! How can our star enact such mathemagic? How can he "cut" zero? Abracadabra! It’s called a "refundable tax credit." It involves the federal government taking money from those who do pay taxes, and writing checks to those who don’t. Yes, yes, in the real world this is known as "welfare," but please try not to ruin the show.
For his next trick, the Great Obama will jumpstart the economy, and he’ll do it byraising taxes on the very businesses that are today adrift in a financial tsunami! That will include all those among the top 1% of taxpayers who are in fact small-business owners, and the nation’s biggest employers who currently pay some of the highest corporate tax rates in the developed world. Mr. Obama will, with a flick of his fingers, show them how to create more jobs with less money. It’s simple, really. He has a wand.
Next up, Mr. Obama will re-regulate the economy, with no ill effects whatsoever! You may have heard that for the past 40 years most politicians believed deregulation was good for the U.S. economy. You might have even heard that much of today’s financial mess tracks to loose money policy, or Fannie and Freddie excesses. Our magician will show the fault was instead with our failure to clamp down on innovation and risk-taking, and will fix this with new, all-encompassing rules. Presto! …
And just watch the Great Obama perform a feat never yet managed in all history. He will create that enormous new government health program, spend billions to transform our energy economy, provide financial assistance to former Soviet satellites, invest in infrastructure, increase education spending, provide job training assistance, and give 95% of Americans a tax (ahem) cut – all without raising the deficit a single penny! And he’ll do it in the middle of a financial crisis. And with falling tax revenues! Voila!
Moving along to a little ventriloquism. Study his mouth carefully, folks: It looks like he’s saying "I’ll stop the special interests," when in fact the words coming out are "Welcome to Washington, friends!" Wind and solar companies, ethanol makers, tort lawyers, unions, community organizers – all are welcome to feed at the public trough and to request special favors. From now on "special interests" will only refer to universally despised, if utterly crucial, economic players. Say, oil companies. Hocus Pocus!
And for tonight’s finale, the Great Obama will uphold America’s "moral" obligation to "stop genocide" by abandoning Iraq! While teleported to the region, he will simultaneously convince Iranian leaders to peacefully abandon their nuclear pursuits (even as he does not sit down with them), fix Afghanistan with a strategy that does not resemble the Iraqi surge, and (drumroll!) pull Osama bin Laden out of his hat!
You can clap now. (Applause. Cheers.) We’d like to thank a few people in the audience. Namely, Republican presidential nominee John McCain, who has so admirably restrained himself from running up on stage to debunk any of these illusions and spoil everyone’s fun.
We know he’s in a bit of a box, having initially blamed today’s financial crisis on corporate "greed," and thus made it that much harder to call for a corporate tax cut, or warn against excessive regulation. Still, there were some pretty big openings up here this evening, and he let them alone! We’d also like to thank Mr. McCain for keeping all the focus on himself these past weeks. It has helped the Great Obama to just get on with the show.
As for that show, we’d love to invite you all back for next week’s performance, when the Great Obama will thrill with new, amazing exploits. He will respect your Second Amendment rights even as he regulates firearms! He will renegotiate Nafta, even as he supports free trade! He will …