Brian Williams v. Crowd: Who Is More Intelligent?
When you compare the substance of the so-called rowdy mob debates in South Carolina with the serious Brian Williams exercise in Florida, there is simply no contest.
Yes, it is true. The substance of the supposed cockfights in Carolina was actually far more intellectually important and informative than anything that was accomplished in Tampa. Frankly, what these debates must have are intelligent, concerned, and rowdy crowds to keep the feckless and clueless liberal moderators on the subject of anything important. Moreover, their reaction to the passionate and articulate defense of conservatism is a good way to motivate the candidates to keep articulating conservatism with passion too. It's a win-win. And for the media and other liberals, it's a lose-lose.
Without the crowd as a governor, so to speak, Monday night in Tampa, what we saw was a tortuous exercise where supposedly valuable time was wasted discussing the difference between sugar cane and sugar beets, Terry Schiavo and "Do Not Resuscitate" (DNR) orders, Elian Gonzales, and something about the Everglades that I'm sure is important to Floridians -- but should be none of the federal government's business in all likelihood. (Thank you, Ron Paul.)
And all of this crucial business was after we were tortured over how many years of tax returns the son of George Romney should release -- and some kind of discussion of business overhead that had something to do with gross versus net income of venture capital firms versus consulting firms versus CEO compensation of said firms and whether or not a man on Mars should pay that high a rate. Or something like that.
Contrast that with what many in the establishment media (left and right) are trying to tell us were simply redneck-style pep rallies of all emotion and no substance in South Carolina. What was on the table in Myrtle Beach and Charleston was merely the flawed liberal template of conservative racism as it applies to the work ethic, overpaid union labor in public schools, the budget and food stamps, and the media's protection of a failed president by attacking every singe Republican candidate who gets hot.
The hicks also showed passion on the issue of America's enemies and Iran and on the total botching of education at the federal level as they have overrun local control. Yes, these were the trivial issues the cockfighting hayseeds were interested in. No wonder that hick former governor from Alaska enjoyed it!
Now I don't know about you, but I find the subjects debated in between standing ovations just a tad weightier than the mindless cat fighting pablum Williams and his two self-important locals force fed us. And while I'm at it, shame on the four candidates for allowing it to unfold this way too. If someone had wanted to wrap up Florida's delegates, all they would have had to do was to simply forcefully change the subject and tell the crowd to ignore the petty rules (and by inference, let Brian Williams know where he could have stuck it). Can you hear the roar? They're on their feet now.
That Newt did not was a bit surprising, and I can only assume that no one can bat a thousand in every debate -- and since he has clearly dominated this process for the most part over all 19 (or is it 18?) events, he was due for a less than a Grade-A performance. Which left Florida wide open for Mitt Romney or Rick Santorum, but their obsessions with kicking the stool out from under Newt clouded their judgment, and they missed a golden opportunity. I doubt Newt will give them another one.
Memo to any and all consultants and strategists who fed into the poor decisions mentioned above: you're fired. Or should be.
All of which tells me that the so-called rowdies -- the "pom pom gals and guys," according to Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post -- are actually way ahead of Ms. Rubin. They are also ahead the rest of the establishment media on the right along with all of the other pundits and reporters who are missing this whole story.
They are all narrowly and shallowly focused on what Newt did that got the crowd reaction. What they are all missing is why Newt got the crowd reaction.
And why Newt got the reaction he did is because he put his finger on exactly what is wrong with this country. It is the destruction by liberals at all levels of the very values and very people and institutions that made this country great -- and that includes the media's very important role in that destruction. To folks like the conservative base, the destruction of the country is both a very weighty and very emotional issue. The roar of the crowd was simply a way of saying finally someone gets it...and it is important!
In fact, it is the only issue. Every other issue is merely a sub-issue of that issue -- or it is a non-issue. If Newt is the only one who gets it, then he should get the ovations and the votes. If Santorum and Romney and Paul start to understand it and articulate it, then they will be successful too. As it should be.
But apparently the self-appointed intellects like Rubin and Williams and others in the media are not smart enough to figure it out. So be it. Let the intelligent roar of the crowd continue, indeed. Sometimes the loud crowd is the only thing keeping these debates on track. Turn up the volume.
C. Edmund Wright is a frequent contributor to American Thinker and is currently a copy-writer and consultant for Winning Our Future, a PAC supporting Newt Gingrich and other conservative causes.