President Barack Obama’s debate performances could never equal the expectations of the secular faithful. Many on the far left envisioned an American society where religion was about as important to the populace and politically influential as it is in Sweden. The land of the midnight sun has been a great hope to liberals ever since religion began to erode there in the 1950s and abortion became commonplace in the 1960s. Governor Michael Dukakis famously poured over Sweden’s great Welfare state enterprise to see what he might learn, which of course led to his electoral demise in 1988.
With all of his rhetorical skills, President Obama could never make Americans have a come to Pierre Trudeau, Willy Brandt, Jose Luis Zapatero (pick your favorite Western Democratic Socialist) moment like many Americans have a Come to Jesus moment over failings in their lives. Instead of realizing that not everyone can be suckered into buying Big Government swampland, the Left has taken their frustrations out on the President. If only he were talking more about rising and falling oceans and making them believe we are the ones we have been waiting for; the Left attacks the messenger and not the message.
Frank Rich, the New York Times columnist laments about this in a long New York magazine article. The writer for the Old Gray Lady states the Americans are somehow too dumb to become like Europeans and surrender their lives to government and not God. He sees little hope and concludes the Tea Party will always prevail in the American persona rather than government control. Talk about a brain trust, can you imagine the anti-religious nuggets thrown around the water cooler when Bill Keller, the former New York Times editor was present. You may recall Keller infamously dubbed himself a “Collapsed Catholic,” fortunately reported to us by former Newsweek Religion Editor Kenneth Woodward, who is not Catholic and hardly a friend of conservatives, but a principled man who couldn’t take any more of the Times’ hypocrisy directed at the Church. I would strongly suggest you read this The New York magazine article for if conservatives mouthed these same thoughts about minorities instead of suburbanites and rural residents, we would be blacklisted.
In my just released book, The Catholic Tide Continues to Turn, I note how the Left turned on Al Smith (the first Catholic standard bearer) after he formed the Liberty League in the mid and late 1930s and told Americans he could no longer support President Roosevelt. This startling development occurred after a number of questionable instances came to light including the Supreme Court Packing Case and the Roosevelt 1938 purge of Conservative Democrats. By 1940 unemployment was still at 14% and if had not been for World War II who knows how long unemployment would have remained in double digits.
Perhaps the President’s lackluster and uneven debate performance comes from a man who no longer believes in what he is selling. A study of his life has shown that he has moved on whenever something he holds dear appears to have abandoned him (i.e. life in New York City after making no long lasting relationships, as well as life as a Chicago Community organizer after he was never accepted by the city’s liberal power brokers.)
The Left has morphed into a powerful money machine. It was not so long ago that they lived in VW buses and cramped apartments, roughing it to be “part of the struggle.” Now thanks to the tech boom and the money now spent on the performing arts those days have long gone and the money has come in by leaps and bounds. The first signs of this occurred in England during the 1970. Pink Floyd’s famous album Dark Side of the Moon released in 1973 gave us a look at growing older under the Social Welfare state, gone were the idealism of the 1960s and in came a rather drab reality of central planning. The quintessential line of the song Money, “New car, caviar, four star daydream, guess I’ll buy me a football team,” reminds us that the Left is just as prone to the cult of celebrity as anyone else.
There were lots of rock stars trying to buy English soccer teams, Elton John and Rod Stewart being the most prominent. However when the saw the tax rate, they quickly embraced the Conservative Party’s view on taxes. For all of his loopy far left social views, Elton John was always a conservative on financial issues. He never took part in the 1970s left wing rock star rantings, saying he thought they all sounded ridiculously out of touch with reality.
In my just released book, The Catholic Tide Continues to Turn, I note how Socialist thinker Joseph Schumpter (Shortly after World War II) believed that Socialism could eventually win because Capitalism would give the people all of their material needs while weaning them off religion. Those who early on studied the Fatima messages seemed puzzled as to why the Blessed Mother emphasized how many in a not too distant future would gravitate toward frivolous entertainment. In 1917 outside of a few resorts for the well heeled, along with travelling circuses and medicine show men, few were employed or could make very much of a living off entertainment. Imagine how many people make their living today in the field of entertainment? Now, being one who greatly enjoys sports and music, I would be the last one to say those are unnecessary, but just how many reality shows do we need, and how many people know the exploits of the Karadahsians and other Hollywood celebrities better than they know their faith?
The Left continued to try to move the societal needle and while they have been wildly successful at reshaping society’s social views, their success on the economic front has always been fleeting, which is why President Obama was their literal knight in shining armor. Yet, while many liberal knights have come, they have always returned in defeat no matter how promising the battlefield initially looked. Now the Left surveys the political battlefield and realizes the pathway to 270 electoral votes for the President is increasingly unlikely. Keep in mind no challenger who has had a Gallup percentage of over 50 has ever lost. At this point in 1980 Ronald Reagan sat at 39% in Gallup’s tracking poll.
Some on the Left see it all slipping away, they will never have the 2008 perfect storm opportunity at least within my lifetime (I am 48 years old.) The September-October surprise of 2008 was an economic collapse in the Western world coupled with an unpopular foreign policy. Add these conditions to the President’s charismatic speeches and his affinity to hang out with pop culture hipsters, and this was all too much for the smitten media to digest. The mainstream media came and still clings to him like as if they were star struck teenagers. However, the homecoming dance is just about over and reality is starting to set in on all sides. The secular temple is increasingly seeing a dearth of attendees and the faithful are not so faithful anymore.