Today’s news is dominated by claims that years ago, Donald Trump made crude comments about women, or inappropriately touched women, or intruded into a women’s dressing room, and so on. Gone from the campaign are such issues as the economy, Obamacare, national security and immigration. As Election Day approaches, the news is all Trump scandals, all the time.
Some will say–I may have said–that Republican primary voters asked for it by nominating a man with obvious personal vulnerabilities, instead of a more upright (and more electable) Marco Rubio, John Kasich, Ted Cruz or whoever.
But what’s a Republican to do? Last cycle, we nominated the ultimate Boy Scout: Mitt Romney. Whatever you think of Romney from a policy perspective, he is as admirable a man as you will ever meet. To find a presidential candidate of better moral character, you probably have to go back to Abraham Lincoln and George Washington. Romney never said a rude word about a woman in his life.
So what happened? Did Romney and the GOP get credit in the press for the candidates’s outstanding character? No. Romney, who helped to create tens of thousands of jobs at Bain Capital, was denounced as a “vulture capitalist” and blamed, absurdly, for one woman’s developing cancer. The Washington Post made a front page story of the fact that 50 years earlier, when he was in high school, he and others had cut a classmate’s hair. Oh, and Romney was a racist, too. Does anyone remember why? I don’t.
The cycle before that, GOP voters nominated John McCain. McCain is a great patriot, a man of extraordinary character and courage who survived years of torture and abuse as a prisoner of war in Vietnam. Did the liberal media give Republicans credit for nominating such a hero? No. The New York Times, to its everlasting shame, peddled a false rumor that McCain had an affair with a lobbyist. (Bill Clinton would have done that before breakfast.) It also berated McCain for failing to release his medical records–which, actually, he did, unlike Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.
The Left’s permanent smear campaign against conservatives doesn’t just extend to Republican presidential candidates. Recall how the Democrat/media complex treated the Tea Party. Prominent House Democrats lied, disgracefully: they claimed, falsely, that Tea Party activists at a protest in Washington had hurled racial insults at black Democrats like John Lewis. The press ate it up. They printed the Democrats’ lies as facts, and to this day reporters and editors have never corrected the libel, even though a $100,000 prize to anyone who could substantiate the Democrats’ lies went unclaimed.
What’s the point? I’m not really sure. I certainly am not in favor of nominating candidates of poor or marginal character. But the hypocrisy of the liberal media is galling. In this election cycle, lewd comments made decades ago are apparently of earth-shattering importance. Really? Where was that standard when Bill Clinton was running for office? Or John Kennedy? Or Lyndon Johnson? And how about Barack Obama and Joe Biden? Has anyone actually investigated to see what they might have said about women over the last thirty years?
What is the point of nominating someone of extraordinary moral stature, like Mitt Romney, if the political press will not only unanimously refuse to acknowledge the fact, but worse, join in a campaign of deception to smear Romney in the eyes of voters?
These days there is lots of gnashing of teeth over the decline of our political culture. And it surely has declined, as manifested in the current presidential campaign. But one must ask, why has that happened? It seems to me that the media’s permanent smear campaign against the Republican Party, waged cycle after cycle regardless of the actual merits of Republican nominees, is the largest part of the answer.