Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Inside the minds of Chris Matthews and Marco Rubio

As if to prove that even a jackass can change his stripes, MSNBC commentator Chris Matthews spoke out about Obama recently, and set a tone that should be studied by every conservative looking to make further inroads into Democrat power. Click the link and watch the video.

“As a campaigner, he {Obama} did nothing but talk about what a great country this is, what an exceptional country this is, because a guy like me made it here, and only in a country like this could I have made it. He was very patriotic, very inclusive, and he was very interactive in an interesting way. Ever since he’s been President, he’s been elitist, and he’s come with his teleprompter, and he’s given his speech. He hasn’t listened, he’s talked at us rather than with us…I think he hasn’t explained himself. Lincoln had to explain the civil war, ‘darn it’, Roosevelt had to explain everything to us…”

To put this into perspective, remember that this is the same Chris Matthews who got “a tingle up my leg” every time Obama spoke during his campaign.

As a friend of mine responded, Matthews “is still a jackass”. Sure, he was born a jackass and will die one as well, I’m sure. But this moment of clarity reveals that even a lifelong, card-carrying jackass can still love his country and appreciate a leader who expresses his belief in American Exceptionalism. And this is a fundamental and vital realization; if Chris Matthews, who is indubitably a spokesman for the rabid left, can recognize that there is such a thing as “American Exceptionalism”, and hearing his leaders speak of it causes a “tingle”, then there is common ground from which to work with these guys.

The trick is to plant a “worm of doubt” in the minds of these liberals that will eat away at some of their core beliefs.

The fundamental problem with Liberals is not that they don’t love America, but that they don’t necessarily love America for what it is; instead they love an idea of what American could become, if only they were able to “fundamentally transform” her—as candidate Obama promised to do.

Liberals believe that they have been enlightened by their education (and their astute powers of reasoning and heightened tolerance) to recognize the gross historical errors in America’s past. They see first, and foremost, the wrongs committed during the formative American years: slavery and the mistreatment of African Americans (among others), the genocidal wars against the American Indians, the internment of the Japanese, as proof positive of an ugly side of America. And more importantly, they see themselves as the moral champions of the underprivileged.

They therefore want to believe that, had they been alive “back then”, they would have been abolitionists. They would have spoken out to defend the Native Americans. They would have marched in Selma, held hands with the civil rights leaders, and opposed the internment of the Japanese. Never mind that the Republican party was the party that liberated the slaves, and it’s convenient to their belief system to forget how many Democrats opposed the civil rights movement; it is better to believe that the Democrat party is what Jack Kennedy and LBJ made of it, and the rest can be ignored through the willful myopia of Liberal idealism.

The "worm of doubt" that I mentioned can only be planted by subtle means. Conservatives want to crow loudly that America is the best country in the world, a notion that immediately smacks up against the Liberal “insight” into America’s many flaws. From that moment on, they reach for their blinders and ear plugs and will not hear another word, no matter how true.

What must be accomplished is to communicate to these individuals the notion that America is not great in spite of its many flaws, but precisely because America has proven itself capable of overcoming its flaws, of performing a national soul-searching, and not because a few “enlightened” geniuses like Chris Matthews brow beat the American people. Martin Luther King did not fundamentally transform race relations in the country by deriding America, or insulting the American people; he led by example, peacefully marching and letting the most radical, hateful section of the country heap abuse upon his people. It was the dignified and stalwart example he and his followers set that implanted a “worm of doubt” in the minds of white America and that, in turn, caused them to doubt the moral justification for their behavior. The change this caused was profound and permanent. This was Liberalism at its best, and it was tested when, after the 9/11 attacks, Americans went about trying to defend their homeland from Muslim extremists without re-implementing the internment camps that would have been created just 60 years before.

I believe we have witnessed another voice call out from the wilderness who may very well represent the next stage in the national evolution. Senator-elect Marco Rubio’s victory speech contained profound wisdom that should be studied next to Chris Matthew’s fleeting admission.

“Now let me tell you that there are those out there who doubt about the greatness of America. Sometimes when I say it, I hear the snickers from some in different parts, they think it’s simplistic. But you see, I know America’s great, not because I read about it in books, but because I’ve seen it with my eyes. I’ve been raised in a community of exiles, of people who lost their country, of people who know what it’s like to live somewhere else…a community of men and women that were once my age, and when they were they had dreams like we have now, and yet they lost all those things through an accident of history. And so they came here, to try to rebuild their lives. And some did. But many others could not. And instead it became the purpose of their lives to leave their children with the opportunities that they themselves did not have. This is the story of the Cuban exile community. And it defines what so many of us who are a product of it are. And I know this: no matter where I go, or what title I achieve, I will always be the son of exiles.”

Rubio’s eloquent soliloquy is brilliant. He has, in one succinct paragraph, addressed the “snickers” of the Liberals who receive the notion of American Exceptionalism and greatness as “simplistic”, while immediately reminding us all that America is not great because of a mythical promise of success to all, because not all will enjoy immediate success. It is great because it offers a possibility of success and renewal, it is a place where communities of exiles can reestablish themselves, lay down new roots, and achieve great accomplishments and success if they accept the challenge and struggle for the opportunity.

He acknowledged that his success came at the sacrifice of those before him, a sacrifice that bore with it great sadness and suffering, yet it was sacrifice gladly given by a noble people who understood that their sacrifice should not be judged by what they received from it, but rather by what they gave to their children, and to future generations.

This was the same sacrifice that Martin Luther King and the real civil rights leaders clung to; knowing that although they themselves might not reach the Promised Land, they would willingly give a pound of flesh so that their progeny might someday reap the rewards.

As Matthews stated, Obama himself acknowledged during his campaign that he could not have accomplished great things in other countries. There has never been a black prime minister of England, nor a black president of France, nor of Germany. But there is now a black president of the United States of America. There have been multiple Cuban senators. And someday, there very well may be a Cuban president.

And this is what is great about America: not that it is, but that it is possible here.

In America, we are all "sons of exile".