Steamboat Springs I don't care what network you turn on or what set of talking heads you are listening to - left, right or the imaginary center - these comments apply to all. Wouldn't it be refreshing for the host to say and enforce, "To appear on this program, you have to submit, in advance, any facts or allegations you intend to present for us to verify before you appear on our program. If you start to espouse unsubstantiated claims or other 'talking points,' no matter how fast you speak, you will be summarily cut off and never appear on this program again!" Perhaps these "experts" would refuse to appear on our "gutsy" host's program. At least that would spare us from having our intelligence insulted further.
Unfortunately, facts have given way to fiction. We are truly a "sound byte" society. Our newspapers have lost all credibility. Most of them, the New York Times (once respected as the Old Gray Lady), the Los Angeles Times and the Washington Post are all going broke : thank God. Our three national networks, CBS, NBC and CBS, together with CNN, have all become no more than a fountainhead of mis-information to support their liberal agendas. And, by the way, I will not give FOX a free pass, either. In their attempt to be fair and balanced, they have subjected us to a long litany of inane Democrats. They are not forced to answer the question at hand, interrupt and talk over the guests with opposing views, apparently believing the audience will confuse loud and rapid speech with veracity.
What is the take-home message? Thoughtful analysis has given way to pandering and the inane TV antics I have described. We are left, on the one hand, with a candidate who has voted to destroy free speech with "McCain-Feingold," destroyed the "advise and consent" clause of our Constitution with the "gang of 14," and generally epitomizes the term RINO (Republican in Name Only). All of this to appeal to the "center," who are, of course, unlikely to actually think anything through. However, McCain has the chutzpah to tell me and my conservative friends that we have no other choice but to vote for him as his opponent epitomizes everything that will destroy America and stop the 232 years of economic growth, stability and total opportunity for all its citizens.
On the other hand, Obama has promised to raise our taxes, leave Iraq with our tails between our legs and to fight the terrorists in Los Angeles and New York City, and, in the spirit of Neville Chamberlain, negotiate, without precondition, with a variety of madmen, including Iran's Ahmadinejad, a man who has denied the Holocaust and vows to destroy Israel. "Peace in Our Time" must be right around the corner.
On the domestic front, in the minds of Michelle and Barack, the Rev. Wright's racist rhetoric trumps the fact that they are where they are (Harvard grads) because of the so-called egregious system that they very successfully exploited. Obama is a leftist. He would, in fact, stop 232 years of economic growth, stability and total opportunity for all of our citizens, but heaven forbid that folks stop to analyze the obvious effects of his proposals. To quote Patrick Henry, "It is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth - and listen to the song of that syren, till she transforms us into beasts."
And there, my friends, you have it. Until we are prepared to insist on thoughtful discussion and spurn this foolishness, this is the kind of choice to which we are condemned.
To quote Mrs. Peller of the Wendy's ads, "Where's the beef?"
Paul Epley is a longtime Routt County conservative activist, holds a Ph.D. in biology from the University of Southern California, and is a director of the Conservative Leadership Council of Northwest Colorado.