The leftist European press does a terrible job reporting on the American political scene. Tea Party reporting is so bad as to be scandalous. British writer Daniel Hannan says Tea Partiers
are generally portrayed either as a gaggle of stump-toothed Appalachian mountain men or as a KKK lynchmob. A typical column in Britain's Guardian newspaper last month described them as 'a movement most of whose emergent stars would appear to be better suited to prison or lunatic asylums.'
Who of us doesn't find that disgusting? Hannan says further,
At the annual Conservative Party conference last week, I discovered that several delegates had no idea that the tea party was campaigning for smaller government. Such is the media coverage that even many Tories believe that it is essentially a fringe of irreconcilables who cannot bring themselves to acknowledge a mixed-race president.
Germany's Der Spiegel is no better. (HT: Drudge) Journalist Klaus Brinkbaumer writes of
America's hate-mongers, gun freaks and Tea Party demagogues who first compare Obama to Hitler and then minutes later to Stalin. They are people so filled with vitriol they can no longer think straight -- people like television presenter Glenn Beck, who says that putting the common good first is "exactly the kind of talk that led to the death camps in Germany." Beck has millions of followers, and appears in public with former Alaskan governor Sarah Palin, the darling of the Tea Party movement, who gleefully pronounces Obama's middle name Hussein as if it were a naughty, menacing word.
Me: Don't expect Europeans to understand America or the Tea Party movement. With reporting like this, it's no wonder they remain deceived and clueless.
[...] "Leading history departments have emphasized social history and issues of race, class and gender at the expense of constitutional history, diplomatic history and military history.
Neither professors of political science nor of history have made a priority of instructing students in the founding principles of American constitutional government. Nor have they taught about the contest between the progressive vision and the conservative vision that has characterized American politics since Woodrow Wilson (then a political scientist at Princeton) helped launch the progressive movement in the late 19th century by arguing that the Constitution had become obsolete and hindered democratic reform.
Then there are the proliferating classes in practical ethics and moral reasoning. These expose students to hypothetical conundrums involving individuals in surreal circumstances suddenly facing life and death decisions, or present contentious public policy questions and explore the range of respectable progressive opinions for resolving them. Such exercises may sharpen students' ability to argue. They do little to teach about self-government.
They certainly do not teach about the virtues, or qualities of mind and character, that enable citizens to shoulder their political responsibilities and prosper amidst the opportunities and uncertainties that freedom brings. Nor do they teach the beliefs, practices and associations that foster such virtues and those that endanger them.
Those who doubt that the failings of higher education in America have political consequences need only reflect on the quality of progressive commentary on the tea party movement. Our universities have produced two generations of highly educated people who seem unable to recognize the spirited defense of fundamental American principles, even when it takes place for more than a year and a half right in front of their noses.
Me: The failure of higher education is mind-bending. If anyone sought to strategize on how to destroy a nation, one could hardly produce a more negative effect than the teaching of the past two generations. I'll have to return to this subject another time.
Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav’n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust.”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
This article has good things to say. I like the phrase "new resistance." What's happening in Washington needs resistance. We need to embrace the movement, join up. and get active. Pearcey opens by saying:
Despite what has been
reported in the formerly mainstream media, the New Resistance
in America -- the tea parties, the town halls, protests on Capitol Hill
and so on -- is to be welcomed and not cast aside as "extreme." The
"angry mobs" and "unruly crowds" are actually signs of health, sanity
What these uppity folk are telling us is
that, despite years of miseducation and inattention, millions of
ordinary people have not forgotten who they are as Americans.
Even more, this resistance suggests that significant numbers of
Americans may be on a path to rediscovering something rather
By "exceptional" is meant not just
who they are in their national identity, but who they are as creatures
of resistance, hardwired that way by the Creator himself. . .
I read with interest (better to say "dismay") today's Breakpoint article by Charles Colson on the growth of our national debt. He wrote: [my bolding]
When I left the White House in 1973, the National Debt was
approximately $466 billion. That was about $2,200 for every man, woman
As of last December, it was approximately $10.7 trillion, a
23-fold increase. And the per capita national debt had risen to nearly
$35,000. This year’s budget deficit will raise the debt to
approximately $12 trillion.
What’s even more troubling are so-called “unfunded liabilities.”
These are the promises that the country has made to future retirees,
like Social Security and Medicare. These total an estimated $52 trillion and the bill will begin to come due in 2011, when the first of the “Baby Boomers” reaches 65.
Sixty-four trillion—about $200,000 per man, woman, and child—and
still climbing. Who is going to pay for this? Certainly not those of us
over the age of 50. No, it will be our children, grandchildren and
probably our great-grandchildren.
Me: How many people understand this? If they did, I am sure yesterday's successful Tea Parties would have been still more humongous. But Colson brings out a hidden theological twist that needs noting:
While governments can and arguably should run deficits during times
of emergency, the 23-fold increase in the national debt wasn’t the
product of emergencies—it was more the result of what passes for
religion in American life.
In this false “religion,” called “moral therapeutic deism,” the
“central goal of life,” as sociologist Christian Smith writes, “is to
be happy and to feel good about oneself.”
A belief system that exalts “being happy” and “feeling good about
oneself” doesn’t lend itself to sacrifice and postponement of
gratification. On the contrary, it leads to the kind of excess, binges,
both in the home and in public life, that got us into the present
mess—a mess our descendants will be cleaning up for a long time. Imagine what our children’s memories of us will be. I shudder to think.
- Update 2/28/09 - The Christian Science Monitor has published a useful report. Video here.
- (Original Post) Michelle Malkin is covering the demonstrations that took place today in cities all across the country. She has photos galore at her website. As she puts it, "Fiscal responsibility is the new counter-culture." She's right! Obamination