WorldNetDaily's Sour (And Immature) Grapes
WND writers take the sore-loser approach to Barack Obama's victory by claiming that those who voted for him are immature. But isn't such petulant whining a sign of a lack of maturity as well?
By Terry Krepel
After the 2000 presidential election, conservative activists painted Al Gore as a sore loser (man) for questioning results in Florida and not automatically ceding defeat to George W. Bush.
Fast-forward to 2008: WorldNetDaily, having seen its hated candidate, Barack Obama, win decisively, goes the sore-loser route by portraying those who voted for Obama as immature.
The tone was set by Craige McMillan in a Nov. 6 column: "The sense of betrayal I feel at this time from my fellow citizens is beyond comprehension, let alone description. I had assumed not more than 35 percent of our fellow citizens would vote for an eloquent socialist gasbag with an empty resume, a carefully sanitized past and a massive wealth redistribution plan."
Shortly after the election, WND began promoting a new WND-published book by Reb Bradley, "Born Liberal, Raised Right: How to Rescue America from Moral Decline One Family at a Time." In it, according to a Nov. 17 WND article plugging it, Bradley claims that liberals "are turning America into a nation of victims, dependent, covetous and incapable of the kind of self-government the nation's founding fathers envisioned":
Bradley contends that liberalism is the natural condition of the human heart and for people to be capable of self-government, they must be trained against their own nature.
For the kind of training Bradley has in mind, see Bradley's previous book, "Child Training Tips" (sold, of course, at the WND store). In it, he advocates essentially breaking your child's will and beating them into obedience. His goals in child-rearing are "1) Keep your objective in mind subjection of their will, 2) Require quick obedience, and 3) Teach your children to obey without being told 'why.'" As critics of the book have noted, Bradley advocates corporal punishment of babies. He further claims that "Repeating instructions is a form of coddling,” that “A good motto to teach them is, ‘Obey first. Ask questions later,’” and that if "The child moves his shoulder away when a parent reaches out to touch or embrace him," it's an excuse for a beating.
"Liberals are like teenagers whose will-to-be-gratified was never subdued, and now cannot grasp the simple logic of what is being said to them," Bradley writes. "They are so emotionally obsessed with getting what their hearts want that they are unwilling to listen to reason. That is why liberals resort to personal attacks, name-calling, accusing, yelling, discrediting, or changing the subject. And that is why they use inflammatory and emotionally charged words like 'intolerant,' 'hateful' and 'racist.' Desperation ensues when passion rules. When passion rules, blindness sets in."
If it's only liberals who engage in "personal attacks, name-calling, accusing, yelling, discrediting, or changing the subject" when confronted with a contrary, opinion, then WND editor Joseph Farah must be a liberal too, as ConWebWatch found out: In response to an article published at the Huffington Post detailing WND's history, Farah responded by calling ConWebWatch editor Terry Krepel a "talent-challenged slug" who is "possessed of an almost demonic, spiteful, hateful jealousy" and engaging in "lying trash talk" (while identifying no factual errors in the article) and disparagingly referred to the Huffington Post as the "Huffington Puffington Post." Similarly, in a Nov. 25 column, Farah attacked a blogger for a weekly newspaper in Wisconsin who had criticized WND as a "simpleton" who "pontificates on things he doesn't understand in between blogging about high school football games" while denigrating his paper as "insignificant," a "pathetic journalistic institution" and "that rag."
Bradley followed up with a Nov. 19 WND column complaining that "It was passion, not reason, that drove this last election," further harrumphing that "Barack Obama won this election because he appealed to people's emotions, while his Republican opponent spoke to their minds." (Italics are his; he loves italics.) Bradley doesn't explain if the McCain-Palin ticket was speaking to minds when it promoted the idea that Obama was "palling around with terrorists" (never mind that the same thing can be said about Joseph Farah) or which particular minds McCain was appealing to when he said that "the fundamentals of our economy are strong" as the financial industry imploded.
Bradley went on to explain his theory that Obama voters are like 9-month-old babies who, "if it's Uncle Bert's watch we want, we grab on and scream when he does not give it to us." He added:
I would like to offer what will be a radical thought for many at the very core of liberalism is passion. A liberal perspective, at the deepest level, is rooted in the heart not the mind. The liberal mindset stems from emotions and feelings, which might include compassion for the needy, but more universally expresses itself in the desire for gratification, along with a refusal to suffer the consequences of those desires.
Farah, unsurprisingly, endorses this view -- indeed, he takes credit for it. In his Nov. 18 column, Farah asserted that "I suggested the author write this book many years before I was in the book-publishing business or the Internet business," adding, "I didn't publish it to make money. ... I published it because I believe in it." (Which would make this the second book in 2008 that Farah said he didn't publish to "make money," which suggests that Farah is utterly disingenuous about how he makes money.)
Farah went on to gush that Bradley's book is "a clear diagnosis of the problem and a legible, credible prescription for the cure" and that it "should, quite simply, be required reading with every marriage certificate."
Bradley isn't the only writer at WND who has chosen to denigrate those who support a candidate they oppose as immature.
Lyle Rossiter, promoted by WND as an "acclaimed, veteran psychiatrist" and a "board-certified forensic psychiatrist," wrote a book, "The Liberal Mind," claiming (in an echo of right-wing radio host Michael Savage) that liberal ideology is a mental disorder: "Like spoiled, angry children, they rebel against the normal responsibilities of adulthood and demand that a parental government meet their needs from cradle to grave." Needless to say, WND sells it alongside Savage's book. Rossiter's Nov. 26 WND column purports to apply this reasoning to Obama voters:
On Nov. 4, 2008, massive numbers of immature and ignorant American voters failed to understand the ominous implications of Barack Obama's personal history.
Rossiter also joined the parade of ConWeb writers who took a 2oo1 radio interview by Obama out of context, claiming that "Obama lamented the U.S. Constitution's 'blind spot' regarding "redistributive change" and the fact that the Supreme Court had 'never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth and [into] more basic issues of political and economic justice in this society.'" As ConWebWatch has detailed, Obama lamented nothing; he said that "tragedies of the civil rights movement was, because the civil rights movements became so court-focused, I think that there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing, and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalitions of power through which you bring about redistributive change." Obama didn't say that the courts should have implemented "redistributive change"; he said that such change should come from the grassroots, and that it was not a good idea for the civil rights movement to rely so heavily on the courts.
Further, Obama's reference to a "blind spot" was not about "redistributive change"; the full transcript in context shows that he was referring to racism.
How immature is it for Rossiter to pull Obama's quotes out of context to smear him as a radical? Enough that it discredits his argument that Obama's supporters are the ones who are immature.
Syndicated columnist Ben Shapiro, whom WND usually publishes, has also pushed the immaturity meme. In a Nov. 6 column that WND did not publish (but CNSNews.com did), he criticized "Americans’ puerile need for unity through self-congratulatory, cathartic membership in a broad, transformative political movement," adding: "Americans think they grew up during Election 2008. They think they moved beyond the past. In one way they did. In another, more important way, they regressed dramaticallyto a time before politics mattered. In the next four years, there will be plenty of growing up to do."
In a Nov. 12 column published by WND, Shapiro whined that Obama supporters aren't just immature but bloodthirsty too:
There is no question that the Barack Obama Movement was led not by elder statesman, but by college students and twentysomethings. This election cycle provided Generation Y a chance to assume unearned moral superiority over their elders by promoting a black president. It also provided Generation Y a chance to live out the precepts of their public school educations, which focused on "changing the world," as well as "diversity" and "tolerance."
Such a petulant and mean-spirited expression of sour grapes suggest that person who has "plenty of growing up to do" is Shapiro -- along with Reb Bradley, Lyle Rossiter and Joseph Farah.