The Iraqi election: Let’s be fair and balanced
On January 20, 2005, the American President who spoke from the west steps of our Capitol used the word “freedom” 27 times and the word “liberty” 15 times. If that speech had been delivered by Thomas Jefferson, it would have been hailed as a ringing elaboration upon Jefferson’s earlier work: The Declaration of Independence.
But the Old Media isn’t programmed to see it that way. Inexplicably, the slave-owning President Jefferson is their hero while the liberator of millions of slaves (notably women) in Afghanistan and Iraq is dismissed by the Old Media as naïve and unrealistic in his expectation that all humankind would rather be free than live as slaves under brutal and repressive dictators.
But deeds, not words, are the true grit of history. And the President just dismissed by the Old Media as naïve and unrealistic is about to achieve another breathtaking victory in the War on Terror.
Shortly, the voter turnout in Iraq’s first free election will put the American electorate to shame. Despite the War of Intimidation being waged by the radical Islamists, it appears a whopping 80 percent of eligible Iraqis will risk their lives to reach their polling places and cast their votes.
Starting with the presidential election of 1960 and moving forward to 2000, let’s place that predicted 80 percent Iraqi turnout in the context of American voting performance. From 1960 through 2000, American average voter turnout has only been: 55-percent. Only 55-percent in a land where roadside bombs, suicide bombers and death squads do not deter voters from reaching their polling places.
But you can rest assured the Old Media (probably assisted by the likes of Jimmy Carter) will say the Iraqi election is illegitimate because not enough members of the Sunni minority voted. So, what does it take to make an election legitimate to the-hate-America-Left?
Let’s look at 1992, the year Bill Clinton was elected to the Presidency. Voter turnout was 55.1 percent. But wait, there’s more. Did a majority of Americans vote to make Bill Clinton our President? No way.
Drum roll: 56.1 percent voted against Bill Clinton who won with only 43.3 percent of the popular vote. Defeated incumbent President George H.W. Bush took 37.7 percent of the vote, and 3d party candidate, Ross Perot, got 19 percent.
Contrast an American voter turnout in 1992 of only 55.1 percent with a predicted Iraqi turnout of 80 percent and factor in the 1992 election of an American President with only 43.3 percent of the popular vote. While no one with an understanding of American politics would suggest Clinton’s 1992 election was illegitimate, just knowing those facts should help those with an open mind frame the upcoming Iraqi election in a fair and balanced context.
But will this robust exercise of freedom and liberty bring the violence in Iraq to a screeching halt? No way. The radical Islamic insurgents will continue their attacks, and the Old Media will say: See there. We told you democracy will not work in Iraq.
That remains to be seen. The outcome in Iraq depends on, not the U.S./U.K.-led Coalition, but on the people of Iraq. If the Iraqis show the same kind of true grit being shown by the peoples of Afghanistan in the wake of their recent and successful, first-ever free election, those 27 calls for “freedom,” and 15 mentions of “liberty” will echo around the world. And, just as President Reagan’s talk of ending the evil communist empire gave hope to millions of oppressed peoples, the words of President George W. Bush will have a similar impact.
Clearly, Americans wanted to see a “fair and balanced” presentation of the second Bush Inaugural. Fox News Channel saw a 57 percent rise in its viewers over the 2000 Inaugural while CNN lost half its previous audience and MSNBC was down by 68 percent.
Tired of Left-slanted commentary by the blame-America-and-hate-Bush crowd, viewers turned to Fox News Channel in droves.
William Hamilton, a syndicated columnist, a featured commentator for USA Today and self-described “recovering lawyer and philosopher,” is the co-author of The Grand Conspiracy and The Panama Conspiracy – two thrillers about terrorism directed against the United States.
©2005. William Hamilton.