COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., March 3, 2016 – Wednesday morning, Charlie Rose and Norah O’Donnell were sharing with viewers their frustration at the Trump phenomenon. They, like so many others in the mainstream media, assumed during the past months that Donald Trump would soon die by his own sword.
Surely, they thought, as outrageous politically incorrect comment after outrageous politically correct comment issued forth from The Donald’s unfettered mouth, the public would come to see him for the boor that they, the cognoscenti had always known him to be. Surely, the political dialectic has finally moved vastly beyond tolerance for such free-wheeling challenges to the First Amendment.
Freedom of speech is one thing. But contrary speech, speech that’s offensive, speech that runs counter to the midtown Manhattan/Inside-the-Beltway logic, well . . . that’s something quite different.
As difficult as it is for Norah and Charlie to swallow this “Year of the Outsider,” one wonders what they would think if someone were to inform them it was they who had created this condition in the first place. The “Year of the Outsider” is nothing harder to understand than the simple, impassioned response from all those denizens of flyover country who have had it up to here with the media’s endless yapping about what we can say and what we cannot say; what we can believe and what we may not believe; or what’s okay and what’s not okay.
Because New York is so “far ahead” of the rest of America, however, it’s hard for them to swallow that we haven’t been with them and their so-called cultural revolution from the very start. Or that, yes, many people beyond the Chosen Ones, disagree and disagree wholeheartedly with their self-declared “established wisdom.”
Recall a C-Span airing a couple of years ago of the Washington National Correspondents’ Dinner held at the Washington Hilton Hotel. The “swells” of Hollywood, the media and Washington convened in their Oscar de la Renta finery to break bread, hear the president claim them as his own and marvel at their own importance.
Before the event, a Fox News commentator attempted to waylay O’Donnell for a few words. She brushed him off as one would an annoying gnat. Fox was that outside, upstart network, hardly worthy of notice. It was telling to see O’Donnell’s rudeness on full display as she practically mowed down the reporter trying to get away from him. One would have suspected him of carrying some virulent strain of leprosy, rather than being afflicted with “free speech-itis.”
O’Donnell and Rose have assumed over the years that that the rest of the country is happy consuming the pablum they’ve been serving up as “news”; that we totally depend on their erudite views in order to fully understand “official Washington”; that everyone’s on board with sex education for kindergarteners, late-term abortions on demand, foul-mouthed rapper lyrics, disgustingly violent Hollywood films and the radical transgender community.
They have also been confident that their assumptions, not ours, will determine the course of the country in the years and decades ahead; that we all have “progressed” with them and that we all live in the same America.
No wonder, then, that they have no clue about the gathering and growing Trump phenomenon. They are living in an American bubble of their own creation. The Founding Fathers, with their insistence on free speech, constitutional law, separation of powers and a God-fearing populace are easily dispensed with by them as old, out-dated, white guys. O’Donnell and Rose have long since cast those sepia-tinged reactionaries aside. They know better. We should listen.
After all, the New York-Washington-LA axis represents the land where the cool ones dwell; the ones who get it; the ones who long ago left Middle America behind in their individual quests for recognition and fat paychecks. They never cast a glance at their rear-view mirrors, because they don’t have to. It’s their world, America, and we all are just living in it. We should be grateful.
Well, Charlie and Norah, guess what? Now, more than at any time in the past, you’re clueless. You no longer matter.
Payback’s a bitch, ain’t it?