Iowa has proven to me that the mainstream media is out of sync with America, and quite probably reality too. Prove me wrong, because I would love to believe special interests, greed, and fame have not driven a stake into the heart of journalism. Sadly, it seems objective reporting is a thing of the past, and pushing an agenda is what drives major media coverage. If it is an agenda that needs pushing, why let the big boys have all the fun? With Iowa’s Caucuses behind us now, I dare say it is officially match time. Hold the gloves, I’ll go this one bare knuckles.
As I’ve already reported, Barak Obama won the Democratic Caucuses, and Mike Huckabee won the Republican Caucuses. All my other post covers however, are the numbers, the results, a black and white snapshot of the overall outcome. The other post, is about as objective as you can get. Admittedly, objectivity can be rather boring, but let’s not deny that the public deserves the raw data, free of opinion. There is, after all, a reason the opinion page exists.
For months, the voting public has heard our major media outlets make their predictions, and stake their claims for this election season. Were the public to blindly follow those predictions, and turn out in the primary elections to vote without conducting any of their own research, the results would have been quite a lot different. Flipping my brain solidly to the off position for a moment, to facilitate regurgitation of what I’ve learned from the news, Clinton should have solidly taken the Democratic Caucuses, with Giuliani strongly leading the Republican Caucuses. Back in the on position, something the people of Iowa are clearly using, we see quite a different picture.
In a state with no minority population to speak of, a black man with a name that some associate with Islamic extremism (through some fit of ignorance), has passed the party sweetheart (sic), and a hair salon’s dream client. On the other side of the isle, the republicans of Iowa voted a much debated Southern Baptist minister as their choice. In fact, they voted practically the entire field ahead of the conservative media darling, Rudy Giuliani. While I can not claim to read minds, perhaps Iowa voters were sending a message to the rest of the republicans in America – one that should be plainly obvious to anyone able to read, or conduct research at the level we expect of fifth graders around the world – Rudy Giuliani is no more a republican than Ted Nugent is a vegan.
Rudy Giuliani can take credit for doing much to reduce crime in New York. He can take credit for handling the aftermath of the worst attack on our nation, and his city, as well as any other man or woman could have – and bette than most likely would have. He can not, however, claim to be a republican. His views, and history, are as opposed to the platform on which the republican party stands as anything found on the democrat side of the isle. With as much time as he has spent in Florida, maybe he just got confused and checked the wrong box when he announced his candidacy as a republican.
Democrats in the Iowa Caucuses looked at a tight race, at least among the top three contenders. While Barak Obama did lead John Edwards by 8%, the split between John Edwards and Hillary Clinton was a mere 1%. When the counting was done, the top three took up roughly a third of their party’s vote each. Perhaps most interesting was the totally opposed turnout along the age demographic. Youth voters turned out on the democratic ticket, and they voted for Barak Obama, so did the women. Hillary Clinton on the other hand, ran away with the senior vote.
In a stark contrast, the republican field was far wider spread. Mike Huckabee led Mitt Romney by 9%. Mitt Romney led Fred Thompson by 12%. Fred Thompson led John McCain by less than 1000 votes (not even a full percent), and Ron Paul by 3%. The gaps widen from there, with Rudy Giuliani trailing Ron Paul by 6%. Let that digest for a minute and read it again. Rudy Giuliani, a man who has seen the front page more often than The Pope, trailed Ron Paul by 6%. Chances are, there still is not a lot of meaning to those words, and I can understand that as you stand a good chance of having never heard of Ron Paul if you look to the mainstream media for your information.
To be fair (and balanced…) Fox news did actually mention Ron Paul today, in fact two of the Fox News Channel anchors mentioned him. This is not the first time he’s been mentioned, but it was the first time the mention came out of what may have actually been respect for his campaign. Of course, one of the anchors did make it very clear that “he won’t be President,” making me wonder if she would be so kind as to send this SGT the winning numbers to the next Texas Lottery. There was a hint of redemption to be had when the very same anchor made the case that he should definitely be included in an upcoming debate on FNC, he did manage 10% of Iowa’s republican voters after all.
Ladies and gentlemen, the race has really begun now. With more at stake than anytime in most of our lives, if you’re of voting age you owe it to the country (and honestly, the world) to register and cast an educated vote. Assuming you remember anything from government class, remember the way our representative democracy is framed. Take into account things like rule of law, checks and balances, and something I swore to protect and defend – The Constitution of the United States of America. Then ask yourself, which candidate has proven to understand our framework, and has a record of upholding it even in the face of adversity? I can not make up your mind for you, but my vote for Ron Paul is already in the mail. Unfortunately, my ballot is an absentee ballot, and from an active duty serviceman. The chances of it being counted, are about the same as winning that lottery I mentioned earlier.