Friday, November 20, 2009

Cal Thomas: Conservative Clairvoyant

Clairvoyant isn't really the word I want, but I can't think of a better one. Soothsayer? Oracle? Prophet? Maharishi? Even my thesaurus is at a loss for words. The fact is the man sees things a lot more clearly than most people I know. Since "clear sighted" is the French etymology of clairvoyant, I guess I'll just have to stick with that.

Case in point: his current article on Sarah Palin concisely states something that has been bothering me for ages.

The victim thing is getting old. Conservatives have a significant presence in virtually every venue they like to denounce. That includes government (though not this one) and especially the media. Talk radio rules and the rulers are conservatives. Fox News Channel dominates the ratings. The conservative presence in academia lags, but there are universities that do not revise American history and mock religious values. Movies? There are some with solid conservative principles, such as Sandra Bullock's latest film, "The Blind Side." Will conservatives go see it, or are they more comfortable denouncing "Hollywood"? How about reinforcements for those conservatives already "making it" in the mainstream media?

I think he over-emphasizes the importance of talk radio, since liberals still dominate TV and that remains the top cultural/political gate-keeper. Fox may have the best ratings, but they don't have a majority of the audience: they are still outnumbered by the major networks plus CNN and PBS.

But on the whole, Thomas is correct that this discrepancy should not be a subject of whining and defeatism, but an opportunity to rise to the challenge. As I've said numerous times before, we're better than they are, we're smarter than they are and, doggone it, it just doesn't matter if they like us.

Victimization plays well with the conservative base and that's a problem. If conservatives don't rise from the muck of feeling excluded, disrespected, ignored and mocked, they will continue to suffer all of these things. There is nothing like proving the worth of your ideas to put the mockers in their place. Victimization can raise money, sell books and get one face time on TV, but it doesn't advance the ball.


Palin's optimism is refreshing. If she can sharpen her intellect, in three years she won't be mocked; she will be feared.

This is conservative optimism at its finest. The evidence of her newly released book does not give me much confidence that Palin will take this sage advice, but there is still time to prove me wrong. I love Sarah Palin, but I trust Cal Thomas.

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