Cal Thomas as exemplar

My first—and how unworthy!—thought, on reading Cal Thomas, “Four more years of decline for America” in today’s (11/9/12) Daily Local News, was: “Why would anyone read this notorious out-of-it curmudgeon any more?”

But wait! Today’s column is extremely useful testimony to a certain, albeit dwindling, slice of the electorate and commentatorship. With that positive attitude in mind, I’ll try to deconstruct Cal’s (left: photo from Calthomas.com) brilliant negativism.

“Four more years of decline for America”: excellent title, portraying conservative frustration at their man Ryan and his running mate Romney having lost the election. The phrase “Four more years of decline” must be Cal’s own, as it appears in all online variants of the column title I can find (it’s not on his own site yet). Memorable choice of words!

“Great nations and proud empires have always collapsed from within before they were conquered from without”: fine topic paragraph, launching right away the theme of deviation from our historical national mission of controlling the world.

“President Obama’s re-election mirrors the self-indulgent, greedy and envious nation we are rapidly becoming”: eloquent! The resonant triad “self-indulgent, greedy and envious” dramatizes the values of unfettered capitalism. Very good historical evocation of the “Great Gatsby” period when things were going so well in this country for the people who really count.

“The central message coming out of the election seems to be that we are no longer the America of our Founders….” Yes! Right up front, Cal enunciates the race and gender question, since most of the Founders were slave owners, the Hispanic population was small, and women had no vote back in those good old days. (Some of us might suppose the Washingtons and Jeffersons of that time might have evolved with their times in the last couple of centuries, but Cal doesn’t mention such an eventuality.)

“… the election validates the enormous cultural shift that has been taking place since the ‘60s…”: absolutely! Dump on the ’60s, that period when so many current voters came of political age. What were they thinking, with all that peace and understanding stuff. And some of them even traveled abroad—you know, Peace Corps, all that Kennedy idealism. And Civil Rights, you know, all that lack of clarity about proper roles in society.

Let’s skip over some personal reminiscences on Cal’s own virtuous upbringing.

“Young people are taught in public schools, at major universities, on television and in movies, that every life choice is acceptable….” Ah, that’s for gay people, of course, who didn’t have the sense to vote for their would-be benefactors on the Republican ticket. (Local note: I am talking about national candidates and spokespersons; I am sure no Republican I know would think or talk like Cal.)

“…No one has to be personally responsible. No education; no motivation; no life plan? No problem. The government will take care of you”: admirable, succinctly showing how to alienate the young struggling to get educated under adverse financial conditions and cutbacks in public education budgets.

“Other signs of cultural decay are accepted with little notice. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 40 percent of babies born in America are born to unmarried women. Shrug. Abortion clinics continue to operate.” Well said: how scorn and disgust can alienate the majority of voters—women—in one simple act.

“According to a recent Pew Poll, a growing number of people, especially young people, no longer believe in God or religion. In this, and in our increasing flirtation with socialism, America is becoming more like Europe.” Shocking, shocking, what would the Founders say? Fine, there goes another large chunk of the electorate (particularly the young). No, not the socialists, since there aren’t really any here (except, of course, the president).

And now the final summation: “So what is the answer? Should conservatives throw in the towel and say America, as passed down to us by previous generations, is no more? That was President Obama’s announced goal four years ago when he promised to ‘fundamentally transform America.’ He’s doing it and sufficient numbers of us appear happy to let him. When they realize what they have done, however, it may well be too late to reverse course.” Ah, the precious heritage of Hoover and Thurmond, dwindling away like an iceberg in the sea, how sad! Noe the skillful grammatical slide from “us” to “they,” helping to portray the majority of voters as somehow alien to Cal and other real Americans. Take that, all you Obama-lovers: you’ll be sorry and it will be too late, and then, only then, will you truly appreciate the wisdom of the great prophet Cal.

Overall: required reading for any political science student who wonders how the Republican ticket managed to alienate so many voters, not only for now but for many elections to come. Good work, Cal!

NEXT EXHIBIT

And there’s more! Even Andy Borowitz couldn’t make this one up as evidence why Romney’s right-wing ploy was out of tune with American voters, who ultimately like to be optimistic and cheery and respect other people’s honestly-held principles.

Yes, Cal writes all his online commentaries in caps; here, there are particularly appropriate, as the emphasis shows him (like his colleague Karl Rove) obviously under the strain of strong emotion around 10 p.m. on election eve.

CAL THOMAS COMMENTARY NOVEMBER 8, 2012

on November 06, 2012 9:10:55 | 1261 times read

WHAT IS THE MESSAGE FROM TUESDAY’S ELECTION RESULTS? AMERICANS SEEM UNCONCERNED WITH THE $16 TRILLION DEBT, THE EFFECTS OF NATIONALIZED HEALTH CARE ON BUSINESSES AND INDIVIDUALS, THE CONTINUED OPERATION OF ABORTION MILLS AND SAME-SEX MARRIAGE, WHICH WON IN LIBERAL MAINE AND MARYLAND.

WE ARE WITNESSING THE UNRAVELLING OF OUR CULTURE. THE GREATEST GENERATION IS NO MORE. THE VALUES BY WHICH THEY MOSTLY LIVED HAVE BEEN REPLACED BY ENVY, GREED AND ENTITLEMENT, THE UNHOLY TRINITY OF NARCISSISM.

PERHAPS NEVER HAS THE VERSE FROM ROMANS “AND GOD GAVE THEM OVER” SEEMED MORE RELEVANT THAN TODAY. WE ARE BEING GIVEN OVER TO OUR LOWER NATURE.

HAVE WE ABANDONED ALL SENSE OF ECONOMIC DISCIPLINE? DO WE THINK A $16 TRILLION DEBT IS SUSTAINABLE? IS GOVERNMENT SUPREME? ARE WE HAPPY WITH OUR STANDING IN THE WORLD?

KEEP ONE THING IN MIND. NOTHING HAPPENS OUTSIDE THE WILL OR KNOWLEDGE OF GOD. THE PROPHETS AND JESUS PREDICTED WHAT WOULD HAPPEN WHEN WE FORGET GOD. WE HAVE REPLACED HIM WITH GOVERNMENT AND GOD IS GIVING US OVER. I’M CAL THOMAS IN WASHINGTON.

Point taken?

AND FINALLY, FOR THE HISTORICAL RECORD

I see from reviewing my past posts, at this and my former site, that I’ve dedicated five posts (plus passing references in some others) to commenting on Cal Thomas’s commentaries, notably

Cal Thomas, ‘On the verge of losing our independence,’” 3/5/10

National Day of Prayer Task Force & Cal Thomas,” 4/23/10

Another of the worst: Cal Thomas, 6/15/10,” 6/15/10

“In which I refute Cal Thomas, ‘Examining the address of president‘” 1/28/11

Wild charges,” 3/19/12

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About politicswestchesterview

Nathaniel regards himself as a progressive Democrat who sees a serious need to involve more Americans in the political process if we are to rise to Ben Franklin's challenge "A republic, madam, if you can keep it," after a passerby asked him what form of government the founders had chosen. This blog gives my views and background information on the local, state, and national political scenes. My career in higher education was mainly in the areas of international studies, foreign languages, and student advising, most recently at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, from which I retired in 2006. I have lived in West Chester since 1986.
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