By INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY
July 28, 2008
Before friendly audiences, Barack Obama speaks passionately about something called "economic justice." He uses the term obliquely, though, speaking in code - socialist code.
During his NAACP speech earlier this month, Sen. Obama repeated the term at least four times. "I've been working my entire adult life to help build an America where economic justice is being served," he said at the group's 99th annual convention in Cincinnati.
Democrat Barack Obama arrives in Washington on Monday. On the campaign trail, Obama has styled himself a centrist. But a look at those who've served as his advisers and mentors over the years shows a far more left-leaning tilt to his background - and to his politics.
And as president, "we'll ensure that economic justice is served," he asserted. "That's what this election is about." Obama never spelled out the meaning of the term, but he didn't have to. His audience knew what he meant, judging from its thumping approval.
It's the rest of the public that remains in the dark, which is why we're launching this special educational series.
"Economic justice" simply means punishing the successful and redistributing their wealth by government fiat. It's a euphemism for socialism.
In the past, such rhetoric was just that - rhetoric. But Obama's positioning himself with alarming stealth to put that rhetoric into action on a scale not seen since the birth of the welfare state.
In his latest memoir he shares that he'd like to "recast" the welfare net that FDR and LBJ cast while rolling back what he derisively calls the "winner-take-all" market economy that Ronald Reagan reignited (with record gains in living standards for all).
Obama also talks about "restoring fairness to the economy," code for soaking the "rich" - a segment of society he fails to understand that includes mom-and-pop businesses filing individual tax returns.
It's clear from a close reading of his two books that he's a firm believer in class envy. He assumes the economy is a fixed pie, whereby the successful only get rich at the expense of the poor.
Following this discredited Marxist model, he believes government must step in and redistribute pieces of the pie. That requires massive transfers of wealth through government taxing and spending, a return to the entitlement days of old.
Of course, Obama is too smart to try to smuggle such hoary collectivist garbage through the front door. He's disguising the wealth transfers as "investments" - "to make America more competitive," he says, or "that give us a fighting chance," whatever that means.
Among his proposed "investments":
- "Universal," "guaranteed" health care.
- "Free" college tuition.
- "Universal national service" (a la Havana).
- "Universal 401(k)s" (in which the government would match contributions made by "low- and moderate-income families").
- "Free" job training (even for criminals).
- "Wage insurance" (to supplement dislocated union workers' old income levels).
- "Free" child care and "universal" preschool.
- More subsidized public housing.
- A fatter earned income tax credit for "working poor."
- And even a Global Poverty Act that amounts to a Marshall Plan for the Third World, first and foremost Africa.
His new New Deal also guarantees a "living wage," with a $10 minimum wage indexed to inflation; and "fair trade" and "fair labor practices," with breaks for "patriot employers" who cow-tow to unions, and sticks for "nonpatriot" companies that don't.
That's just for starters - first-term stuff.
Obama doesn't stop with socialized health care. He wants to socialize your entire human resources department - from payrolls to pensions. His social-microengineering even extends to mandating all employers provide seven paid sick days per year to salary and hourly workers alike.
You can see why Obama was ranked, hands-down, the most liberal member of the Senate by the National Journal. Some, including colleague and presidential challenger John McCain, think he's the most liberal member in Congress.
But could he really be "more left," as McCain recently remarked, than self-described socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (for whom Obama has openly campaigned, even making a special trip to Vermont to rally voters)?
Obama's voting record, going back to his days in the Illinois statehouse, says yes. His career path - and those who guided it - leads to the same unsettling conclusion.
The seeds of his far-left ideology were planted in his formative years as a teenager in Hawaii - and they were far more radical than any biography or profile in the media has portrayed.
A careful reading of Obama's first memoir, "Dreams From My Father," reveals that his childhood mentor up to age 18 - a man he cryptically refers to as "Frank" - was none other than the late communist Frank Marshall Davis, who fled Chicago after the FBI and Congress opened investigations into his "subversive," "un-American activities."
As Obama was preparing to head off to college, he sat at Davis' feet in his Waikiki bungalow for nightly bull sessions. Davis plied his impressionable guest with liberal doses of whiskey and advice, including: Never trust the white establishment.
"They'll train you so good," he said, "you'll start believing what they tell you about equal opportunity and the American way and all that sh**."
After college, where he palled around with Marxist professors and took in socialist conferences "for inspiration," Obama followed in Davis' footsteps, becoming a "community organizer" in Chicago.
His boss there was Gerald Kellman, whose identity Obama also tries to hide in his book. Turns out Kellman's a disciple of the late Saul "The Red" Alinsky, a hard-boiled Chicago socialist who wrote the "Rules for Radicals" and agitated for social revolution in America.
The Chicago-based Woods Fund provided Kellman with his original $25,000 to hire Obama. In turn, Obama would later serve on the Woods board with terrorist Bill Ayers of the Weather Underground. Ayers was one of Obama's early political supporters.
After three years agitating with marginal success for more welfare programs in South Side Chicago, Obama decided he would need to study law to "bring about real change" - on a large scale.
While at Harvard Law School, he still found time to hone his organizing skills. For example, he spent eight days in Los Angeles taking a national training course taught by Alinsky's Industrial Areas Foundation. With his newly minted law degree, he returned to Chicago to reapply - as well as teach - Alinsky's "agitation" tactics.
(A video-streamed bio on Obama's Web site includes a photo of him teaching in a University of Chicago classroom. If you freeze the frame and look closely at the blackboard Obama is writing on, you can make out the words "Power Analysis" and "Relationships Built on Self Interest" - terms right out of Alinsky's rule book.)
Amid all this, Obama reunited with his late father's communist tribe in Kenya, the Luo, during trips to Africa.
As a Nairobi bureaucrat, Barack Hussein Obama Sr., a Harvard-educated economist, grew to challenge the ruling pro-Western government for not being socialist enough. In an eight-page scholarly paper published in 1965, he argued for eliminating private farming and nationalizing businesses "owned by Asians and Europeans."
His ideas for communist-style expropriation didn't stop there. He also proposed massive taxes on the rich to "redistribute our economic gains to the benefit of all."
"Theoretically, there is nothing that can stop the government from taxing 100% of income so long as the people get benefits from the government commensurate with their income which is taxed," Obama Sr. wrote. "I do not see why the government cannot tax those who have more and syphon some of these revenues into savings which can be utilized in investment for future development."
Taxes and "investment" . . . the fruit truly does not fall far from the vine.
(Voters might also be interested to know that Obama, the supposed straight shooter, does not once mention his father's communist leanings in an entire book dedicated to his memory.)
In Kenya's recent civil unrest, Obama privately phoned the leader of the opposition Luo tribe, Raila Odinga, to voice his support. Odinga is so committed to communism he named his oldest son after Fidel Castro.
With his African identity sewn up, Obama returned to Chicago and fell under the spell of an Afrocentric pastor. It was a natural attraction. The Rev. Jeremiah Wright preaches a Marxist version of Christianity called "black liberation theology" and has supported the communists in Cuba, Nicaragua and elsewhere.
Obama joined Wright's militant church, pledging allegiance to a system of "black values" that demonizes white "middle classness" and other mainstream pursuits.
(Obama in his first book, published in 1995, calls such values "sensible." There's no mention of them in his new book.)
With the large church behind him, Obama decided to run for political office, where he could organize for "change" more effectively. "As an elected official," he said, "I could bring church and community leaders together easier than I could as a community organizer or lawyer."
He could also exercise real, top-down power, the kind that grass-roots activists lack. Alinsky would be proud.
Throughout his career, Obama has worked closely with a network of stone-cold socialists and full-blown communists striving for "economic justice."
He's been traveling in an orbit of collectivism that runs from Nairobi to Honolulu, and on through Chicago to Washington.
Yet a recent AP poll found that only 6% of Americans would describe Obama as "liberal," let alone socialist.
Public opinion polls usually reflect media opinion, and the media by and large have portrayed Obama as a moderate "outsider" (the No. 1 term survey respondents associate him with) who will bring a "breath of fresh air" to Washington.
The few who have drilled down on his radical roots have tended to downplay or pooh-pooh them. Even skeptics have failed to connect the dots for fear of being called the dreaded "r" word.
But too much is at stake in this election to continue mincing words.
Both a historic banking crisis and 1970s-style stagflation loom over the economy. Democrats, who already control Congress, now threaten to filibuster-proof the Senate in what could be a watershed election for them - at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue.
A perfect storm of statism is forming, and our economic freedoms are at serious risk.
Those who care less about looking politically correct than preserving the free-market individualism that's made this country great have to start calling things by their proper name to avert long-term disaster.
By JOHN FUND
July 26, 2008
A total of 24 states allow voters to change laws on their own by collecting signatures and putting initiatives on the ballot. It's healthy that the entrenched political class should face some real legislative competition from initiative-toting citizens. Unfortunately, some special interests have declared war on the initiative process, using tactics ranging from restrictive laws to outright thuggery.
The initiative is a reform born out of the Progressive Era, when there was general agreement that powerful interests had too much influence over legislators. It was adopted by most states in the Midwest and West, including Ohio and California. It was largely rejected by Eastern states, which were dominated by political machines, and in the South, where Jim Crow legislators feared giving more power to ordinary people.
But more power to ordinary people remains unpopular in some quarters, and nothing illustrates the war on the initiative more than the reaction to Ward Connerly's measures to ban racial quotas and preferences. The former University of California regent has convinced three liberal states -- California, Washington and Michigan -- to approve race-neutral government policies in public hiring, contracting and university admissions. He also prodded Florida lawmakers into passing such a law. This year his American Civil Rights Institute (ACRI) aimed to make the ballot in five more states. But thanks to strong-arm tactics, the initiative has only made the ballot in Arizona, Colorado and Nebraska.
"The key to defeating the initiative is to keep it off the ballot in the first place," says Donna Stern, Midwest director for the Detroit-based By Any Means Necessary (BAMN). "That's the only way we're going to win." Her group's name certainly describes the tactics that are being used to thwart Mr. Connerly.
Aggressive legal challenges have bordered on the absurd, going so far as to claim that a blank line on one petition was a "duplicate" of another blank line on another petition and thus evidence of fraud. In Missouri, Secretary of State Robin Carnahan completely rewrote the initiative's ballot summary to portray it in a negative light. By the time courts ruled she had overstepped her authority, there wasn't enough time to collect sufficient signatures.
Those who did circulate petitions faced bizarre obstacles. In Kansas City, a petitioner was arrested for collecting signatures outside of a public library. Officials finally allowed petitioners a table inside the library but forbade them to talk. In Nebraska, a group in favor of racial preferences ran a radio ad that warned that those who signed the "deceptive" petition "could be at risk for identity theft, robbery, and much worse."
Mr. Connerly says that it's ironic that those who claim to believe in "people power" want to keep people from voting on his proposal: "Their tactics challenge the legitimacy of our system."
He's not alone. Liberal columnist Anne Denogean of the Tucson Citizen opposes the Connerly initiative, but last month she wrote that BAMN "is showing a disgusting lack of respect for the democratic process and the right of all Arizonans to participate in it." She detailed how members of this organization harass petitioners and film people who sign the petition, while telling them they are backing a racist measure.
The police had to be called when BAMN blocked the entrance of a Phoenix office where circulators had to deliver their petitions. "BAMN's tactics," she concluded, "resemble those used by anti-abortion activists to prevent women from entering abortion clinics."
But BAMN proudly posts videos on its success in scaring away voters, or convincing circulators to hand over their petitions to its shock troops. "If you give me your signatures, we'll leave you alone," says a BAMN volunteer on one tape to someone who's earning money by circulating several different petitions.
What about voters' rights to sign ACRI's petitions? BAMN organizer Monica Smith equates race-neutral laws with Jim-Crow segregation laws and slavery. She told Tuscon columnist Denogean that voters are simply being educated that ACRI is "trying to end affirmative action . . . We let them know it's up on the KKK's Web site." Mr. Connerly has repudiated any support from racists.
Other opponents of Mr. Connerly deplore the blocking and name-calling. Arizona State Rep. Kyrsten Sinema told me that initiatives have been used to pass ideas such as campaign finance and redistricting reform often opposed by entrenched legislators. "People have a right to sign a petition, hear the arguments and then vote," she says. Ms. Sinema thinks Arizonans can be persuaded to vote down ACRI's measure, much as they voted down a ban on gay marriage in 2006.
The war against citizen initiatives has other fronts. This year in Michigan, taxpayer groups tried to recall House Speaker Andy Dillon after he pushed through a 12% increase in the state income tax. But petitioners collecting the necessary 8,724 signatures in his suburban Detroit district were set upon. In Redford, police union members held a rally backing Mr. Dillon and would alert blockers to the location of recall petitioners. Outsiders would then surround petitioners and potential signers, using threatening language.
Mr. Dillon denied organizing such activity. Then it was revealed two of the harassers were state employees working directly for him. Another "voter educator" hired by the state's Democratic Party had been convicted of armed robbery. After 2,000 signatures were thrown out on technical grounds, the recall effort fell 700 signatures short.
Ever since voters in virtually every state with direct democracy passed term limits in the 1990s, state legislators have been hostile to the process. Now Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska and Colorado have all passed legislation to prohibit people from out-of-state from circulating a petition, and also to ban payment to circulators on a per-signature basis.
To his credit, Colorado's Democratic Gov. Bill Ritter vetoed such curbs. In March, a Sixth Circuit federal appeals court panel unanimously ruled that an Ohio law barring per-signature payment violated the First Amendment. Similarly, a Ninth Circuit panel just voted unanimously to strike down Arizona's residency law for circulators.
Some judges think the "blocking" of signature gatherers has gone too far. In 2006, Nevada Judge Sally Loehrers decreed a "civility zone" that barred opposing sides from coming within arms' length of each other at petition signing sites. "The blockers were off the streets within two days," says Paul Jacob, the head of Citizens in Charge, which promotes the initiative process.
Last year, Mr. Jacob was charged with conspiracy to defraud the state of Oklahoma in a bizarre prosecution that claimed he brought in out-of-state signature gatherers in violation of the state's residency requirement. Yet local public sector unions opposed to Mr. Jacob hired out-of-state outfits such as the Voter Education Project, an AFL-CIO offshoot that specializes in harassing signature drives.
Representative government will remain the enduring feature of American democracy, but the initiative process is a valuable safety valve. So long as elected officials gerrymander their districts and otherwise make it nearly impossible for voters to oust them, direct lawmaking will be popular. That's why attempts to arbitrarily curb the initiative, or to intimidate people from exercising their right to participate, must be resisted. It's a civil liberties issue that should unite people of good will on both the right and left.
Mr. Fund is a columnist for WSJ.com.
By Dale O'Leary
June 6, 2008
The Democrat party is in the midst of a great battle and while the pundits recognize that something is going on, none of them seem willing or able to explain the nature of the conflict. At root, the battle is a battle between Liberals and Radicals.
Take the issue of rights. Conservatives believe that everyone has equal rights, no matter their sex or race or ethnic background or religion. Liberals also believe in equal rights, but they believe that equal rights should lead to statistically equal outcomes. Conservatives accept that giving people equality of opportunity and rights does not guarantee equality of results, but Liberals see inequality of results and assume that there has been some injustice. Therefore, Liberals push for affirmative action, quotas, and other artificial mechanisms, which they hope will create statistical equality. This inevitably replaces one injustice with another.
Radicals are not interested in equality of rights or even statistical equality of results. Radicals believe that all history is the history of class struggle: the rich oppressing the poor, those of European ancestry oppressing those of African ancestry, men oppressing women, heterosexuals oppressing gays, lesbians and transgendered, America oppressing developing nations. It is not enough for the oppressors to stop oppressing and offer equality of opportunity and rights, or even equality of results. According to the Radicals, the oppressors have enjoyed "privileges" that the oppressed have been denied. This privilege consists in belonging to the privileged oppressor class. So even if you personally have never engaged in a single act of racism, sexism, or homophobia, the fact that you are a white, heterosexual male means that you have benefited from being a member of the oppressor class and therefore you are guilty and you deserve to pay.
Justice for the Radicals is forcing oppressors to pay through humiliation, through the destruction of their institutions (like the Boy Scouts), and monetarily through reparations. According to the Radicals, America is an oppressor nation because it is rich and other nations are poor. For Radicals, the economy is a zero sum game. They don't understand that the American system created wealth. For them all wealth is stolen from the oppressed. Of course, in countries where Radicals have gained control and eliminated the rich, no wealth is created and everyone accept the ruling Radicals is poor (for example, Cuba).
For the Radicals, America is the great Satan, the incarnation of evil; therefore even if America engages in military activities to free other people from oppression, America is wrong and deserves to lose. On the other hand, for the Radicals, terrorists are oppressed and therefore their actions are justified.
Another issue on which Radicals and Liberals part ways is the question of tolerance. For the Conservative, tolerance means allowing other people to speak their minds even when you believe they are wrong. For Conservatives people have rights, but opinions have no rights. It is perfectly acceptable to criticize foolish and dangerous opinions and to believe that you are right and other people are wrong.
Liberals are also for tolerance, but they tend to fall into moral relativism. Liberals believe that not only are all people equal, all opinions are equal. They don't actually believe this, what they really believe is that moral relativism is the only truth, and anyone who believes that it is possible to make judgments is dogmatic, bigoted, or narrow minded.
Radicals, when they are not in power, vociferously defend their right to freedom of speech, and scream intolerance when, after they have been allowed to speak, someone criticizes their extreme statements. However, when in power Radicals shut down the speech of anyone who disagrees with them. If they don't have the outright power to censor, they send out goon squads to scream, bang pans, and threaten to riot in order to assure that no voice but their own is heard. We see this occurring in universities that used to be bastions of Liberalism, but have fallen under the control of the Radicals. While persons with extreme Radical views are hired and receive tenure, Liberals who question Radicalism are marginalized, and Conservatives are banned outright. Conservative speakers are denied the opportunity to speak - they are either not invited to speak or are shouted down when they try to speak.
Although to conservatives Hillary Clinton is an extreme Liberal, she is still a Liberal. On the other hand, Barack Obama has spent his life in the company of Radicals. Rev. Wright's Black Liberation Theology is the epitome of Radicalism, as is Fr. Pfleger's ideological distortion of Catholic social teaching. William Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn are unrepentant Radicals.
Barack Obama claims to want to bring people together, but there is not a single example of his reaching out to Conservatives. On the other hand, in spite of the embarrassment they have caused him he has consistent refused to denounce the Radicals in his past, and frankly if he did it now we would have to assume that he was acting out of political expedience not from a real recognition of the danger to our democracy posed by his friends' Radical views.
In the 1960s Conservatives drew a hard line between themselves and the extremists of the Right - KKK, Neo-Nazi. Liberals, on the other hand, made common ground with Radicals. They now face the prospect of a Radical takeover of the Democratic party. The only way the Liberals can save their party and ultimately save America is to vote for John McCain.
By Don Feder
After eight years in the wilderness, the left expects a
clean sweep in the 2008 election -- the presidency (and with it the federal
bureaucracy) and larger majorities in both houses of Congress.
Looking ahead, liberals are determined to derail potential
opposition to their plans to accelerate the deconstruction of America.
Consequently, they have targeted talk radio. Bringing back the
Fairness Doctrine is just one facet of their scheme to eviscerate the only
part of the media controlled by conservatives.
Crucial to an understanding of the jihad against talk radio
is this: The left will do anything to gag its opponents. From the college
campus to the halls of Congress (think campus speech codes, think hate
crimes legislation, think speech-suppression zones surrounding
abortion clinics), liberals are the chief proponents of censorship in America.
On July 23, the Simon Wiesenthal Center's New York Tolerance Center
will host the launch of "Shock Jocks: Hate Speech & Talk Radio" by Rory
O'Connor, a book which indicts talk radio as "highly politicized, overly
often factually challenged" -- unlike, say, The New York Times, AKA,
Mainstream Media Hacks for Obama.
But that's not all. According to its cover, this penetrating
analysis (endorsed by Walter Cronkite, the dean of liberal media
manipulators) exposes the "dirty secret" of radio talk shows --
how "they use the guise of 'not being politically correct' to ratchet up their
anti-gay, anti-woman and overtly racist language." In other words,
they're against same-sex "marriage," reject feminist mythology and oppose
racial quotas. Oh, the venom! Oh, the malice!
The left uses allegations of hate speech to set the stage
for censorship. In its invitation, the Wiesenthal Center
hyperventilates: "Hate speech can lead to hate crimes. And hate speech has no role on the
public airwaves." Apparently, the First Amendment doesn't apply to anything
the left deems "hate speech."
FYI, a friend of mine -- a Jewish conservative -- noted the exquisite
irony here: Conservative talk-show hosts tend to be the most outspoken
defenders of Israel anywhere in the U.S. media, while their counterparts in the
mainstream media are overwhelmingly anti-Israel. Like the Anti-
Defamation League, the Wiesenthal Center carries water for the left in the guise
of fighting anti-Semitism.
"Shock Jocks" is just the latest manifestation of the left's
obsession with talk radio.
Liberals have been smearing talk radio for more than a decade. In
1995, before anything was known about the perpetrators of the Oklahoma City
bombing, then President William Jefferson Clinton laid the blame for
the carnage on the doorstep of the "many angry voices" of conservative
talk radio. The only surprise here is that his Feloniousness didn't also
blame talk-radio for the JFK assassination, the Wounded Knee massacre and
the Black Death.
Fast forward a dozen years. In 2007, the Center for American
Progress, a leftie think-tank, issued a report asserting that, behind the
microphone, conservatives outnumber liberals 9 to 1. Being anti-market, the left
is incapable of understanding any exchange -- including the marketplace
of ideas. The dominance of conservative talk-show hosts couldn't
possibly have anything to do with the popularity of conservative ideas. Instead,
for the left, the ideological imbalance must be evidence of something
Shortly after the release of the Center's report, Sen. James Inhofe
(Republican, Oklahoma), swears he heard Senators Hillary Clinton
(Delusional, New York) and Barbara Boxer (Daft, California) fretting
about the influence of "extremist" talk radio and the need for
a "legislative fix" (left-speak for "a stake through the heart."). Both ladies deny
conspiring against the First Amendment.
Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin -- Rush Limbaugh calls him Dick
Turban-- urges: "It's time to reinstate the Fairness Doctrine. I have the
old-fashioned attitude that when Americans hear both sides of the
story, they're in a better position to make a decision." Naturally,
Durbin/Turban doesn't apply his hear-both-sides axiom to network newscasts (where
the left outnumbers the right infinity to Fox News), America's most influential
newspapers -- The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times,
USA TODAY et al. -- or any other segment of the media that the left
controls the way Islam reigns supreme in Mecca.
On June 24, at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast, House Speaker
Nancy Pelosi was asked if she supports reinstatement of the misnamed
Fairness Doctrine, to which the most powerful Democrat in D.C. unhesitatingly
replied "yes." Pelosi has kept the Broadcaster Freedom Act from coming to the
House floor for a vote. The bill, sponsored by Congressman Mike Pence, would
prevent the Federal Communications Commission from imposing this
horse-and-buggy measure on a digital age. A discharge petition, to
pry the bill from committee, was signed by 200 Republicans and zero Democrats.
Ah, the Fairness Doctrine -- the left's weapon of mass media
destruction scheduled to detonate over talk radio. The FCC instituted said
doctrine in 1949, when talk radio was 30 years in the future, television (limited
to three or four channels) was just becoming popular and daily
newspapers were the primary source of political opinion.
The Fairness Doctrine (which is anything but) required
balance -- a "reasonable opportunity for ample play for free and fair
competition of opposing views ... (for all) issues of importance to the public." In
practice, it meant that if a TV or radio station say editorialized in
favor of one side of an issue, it had to provide equal time to the other
In 1987, the Reagan FCC repealed the grotesque anachronism.
Now, the left is panting to bring it back.
This is how the Fairness Doctrine would be applied to talk
radio: If a station broadcast three hours of Rush Limbaugh -- or Sean
Hannity or Bill O'Reilly or Dr. Dobson -- in the afternoon, it would have to
provide equal time to The Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright, Father Michael Pfleger or
Osama bin Laden.
The problem is no one would listen to the later, hence it
would sell no advertising and talk stations would very quickly switch to
sports, weather, pet psychologists or 1970s' elevator music -- exactly what
the left intends.
It is absolutely true: The right rules talk radio, because
radio is the most market-driven medium.
"Talkers" magazine publishes its annual "Heavy Hundred"
index of the most popular talk show hosts in America. In 2008, its Top 20 is
dominated by conservatives like Limbaugh, Hannity, Michael Savage,
Dr. Laura Schlessinger, Glen Beck and Laura Ingraham (#s 1 to 6, respectively).
The top 20 includes Mike Gallagher, Neal Boortz, Bill O'Reilly, Mancow,
Mark Levin and Michael Medved. There's one liberal in the top 10 and only
four in the top 20.
The reasons are obvious:
1. Because this is the only medium where conservative opinion is
prominent -- patriots, Christians and free-market/limited government types
flock to talk radio.
2. Liberals are boring; conservatives are fun. Generally, those on
the left are dour, pedantic, nasty and hysterical. Talk radio addicts like
fast-paced commentary, factual analysis and humor, all of which is in
short supply on the left.
3. Liberals are incapable of debate. Essentially, the left's
position on any issue s: Either you believe this, or you're Hitler, a drooling
idiot or both. Conservatives are eager to engage in a dialogue. The left
avoids open discussion like the plague, which tends to make liberals deadly
when they get behind the microphone -- witness the demise of Air America,
Rosie's O'Donnell's exit from "The View" or the fact that Al Franken (failed
talk-show host) had to run for the Senate to get anyone to listen to
The Fairness Doctrine is one appointment away from being resurrected.
The FCC is governed by five Commissioners -- two from each party. The
chairman is a presidential appointee. Obama wins, appoints a new chairman and
there's a huge bulls eye drawn around talk radio.
The Senator claims he's opposed to reinstating the Fairness
Doctrine. If so, it's because he has something more ominous in mind.
Obama Press Secretary Michael Oritz says the candidate "considers
this debate (over the Fairness Doctrine) to be a distraction from the
conversation we should be having about opening up the airwaves and
modern communications to as many diverse viewpoints as possible... That is
why Sen.Obama supports media-ownership caps, network neutrality, public
broadcasting, as well as increased minority ownership of broadcast
and print outlets."
Not surprisingly, Obama's position is almost identical to
that of the Center for American Progress, whose spokesman argues that the FCC
should impose on radio stations "ownership rules ... (which) will create
greater local diversity of programming, news, and commentary. And we call for
more localism by putting teeth into the licensing rules. But we do not
call for a return to the Fairness Doctrine."
Dick Morris sums up this soft approach to censorship. In
his new book, "Fleeced," Morris writes, "In other words, it isn't enough for
liberals to insist on elbowing their way in front of the microphone --
they want to own the station!"
Once you cut through the soothing Obama cliches, his plans
for talk radio are chillingly apparent.
When the left says "diverse viewpoints," it means "our viewpoints."
It wants diversity only where it's in the minority. Have you ever heard of
liberals complaining about the lack of political diversity on college
Obama's objective in "opening up the airwaves to as many
diverse points of view as possible" is putting doctrinaire leftists on boards
of directors and installing them as program directors and in other
management positions. He wants programming decisions made not by market forces
but based on ideological considerations.
Some critics of talk radio want a shorter renewal period for
broadcast licenses. They would force broadcasters to prove that
they're "operating in the public interest" -- by meeting regularly
with "community spokesmen," incorporating their recommendations in programming
decisions and putting representatives of various leftwing interest groups in charge
of what goes out over the airwaves.
Some have even suggested a special levy for stations that
fail to meet their "public interest obligations" -- a fine which would go
toward funding the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
Only the left could think of something so diabolical --
forcing private stations to subsidize their competition. National Public
Radio and the Public Broadcasting System are already rolling in government
funding. You're more likely to find diverse viewpoints in Beijing's People's
Daily than you are on the average NPR or PBS station.
The foregoing amounts to stealth Fairness. It makes sense
that, in anticipation of its new clout in Washington, the left is intent on
silencing the opposition.
Talk radio has demonstrated its clout, most recently by
defeating last year's amnesty bill. Millions of illegal aliens and their
supporters took to the streets demanding another amnesty. The mainstream media
thought it was a swell idea. Republican RINOS lined up with eager Democrats.
All that stood in their way were immigration reform groups
like FAIR, GrassTopsUSA and the Minutemen -- and talk radio. When it came
to a Senate showdown, Limbaugh and his colleagues turned around 17
Senators in 72 hours, a heretofore unheard of feat.
The left wants no repeat of that when Barack is in the
White House and the Democrats hold sway in Congress.
When you cast a presidential vote in November, you won't
just be voting on federal judges or the future security of our nation, you'll
also help to decide the fate of talk radio -- a medium that's gone from 360
stations in 1990 to over 1,300 today.
If there's an authentic voice of the people, this is it,
which is why the left both fears and hates it. Its future is in your hands.