Op-Ed: US Elections: Balance? Who Needs Balance?
Prof. Paul EidelbergProf. Paul Eidelberg (Ph.D. University of Chicago), former officer U.S. Air Force, is the founder and president of the Israel-America Renaissance Institute (I-ARI), www.i-ari.org, with offices in Jerusalem and Philadelphia. He has written several books on American and on Jewish Statesmanship. His magnum opus The Judeo-Scientific Foundations of American Exceptionalism: Today’s Choice for the “Almost Chosen People" is in process of publication. Prof. Eidelberg lives in Jerusalem.
As a patriotic American who has studied and written extensively on America’s brilliant Founding Fathers, it was not the least bit difficult for me to cast my presidential ballot for Governor. Not that I deem Romney a great statesman, but how could I possibly vote for an incomptetent—a not very American incompetent— like Barack Obama?
Indeed, it’s difficult for me to accept without criticism how the media can be “balanced” in its coverage of Romney and a schlemiel like Obama. Admittedly, Romney is a far throw from a George Washington or an Abraham Lincoln. But how can you be “balanced” vis-à-vis the two men now vying to become President of the United States of America?
Obama, with or without his teleprompter, strikes me as an “affirmative action” president. How else could he have been admitted to Harvard and the University of Chicago? Unless their admission standards have fallen precipitously, his entry into these universities had nothing to do with his intellectual qualifications.
No less disturbing is his pejorative statements about America. Obama seems to be animated by a leveling hatred of meritocracy—the meritocracy Albert Einstein attributed to America when he arrived in New York back in 1920.
Yes, as recent quantitative studies indicate, America’s Founding Fathers were far more influenced by the Biblical ideas and moral values that adorned the curriculum of eighteenth-century Harvard, Yale, Columbia, and what was later called Princeton, than by the secular ideas of Enlightenment manifested in the writings of Locke, Hume, and Montesquieu. I
ndeed, Harvard and Yale, influenced by the Puritans and Calvinism, abhorred the materialism and skepticism of the Enlightenment, as may be seen in the writings of James Wilson, perhaps the most learned and, next to Madison, the most significant architect of the America Constitution.
Thanks to the countervailing influence of the Bible vis-à-vis British and European philosophers, and bearing in mind the extraordinary influence of George Washington and Alexander Hamilton’s on the first eight years of the new American government, it is hardly an exaggeration to say that these founders conceived of the American democracy as a democratic aristocracy.
But let’s talk about being “balanced."
How are you going to be balanced between the “good” and the “bad,” between the “competent” and the “incompetent”?
How are you going to be balanced between a politician like Romney who loves and admires “America” as opposed to a politician like Obama who disparages America’s foundational documents, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution?
By his own boast of being a “cosmopolitan," Obama is a “man without a country." He has rightly been called America’s first multicultural president, a person steeped in moral relativism. How nicely “balanced” are his moral and cultural values!
Well, it’s not difficult for a man without a country to be a multicultural moral relativist, especially today when so many college or university professors luxuriate as multicultural moral relativists, sheltered academics who like to appear intellectually superior to the unwashed multitude.
Intellectual conceit and moral obscurantism are the staples of academia in post-modern America. This is why Obama is a favorite among half-educated journalists who would give equal time to Socrates and a Sophist. This is being “balanced" or “even-handed”—as are so many diplomats dealing with the conflict between the Jews of Israel and the Muslims of the Palestinian Authority. That is not what we need in the Oval Office.
Did I say “even-handed”? Can you be even-handed between good and evil without undermining morality, hence the good?
Alas, this is a subject that diminishes the distance between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama, because all attempts to dissolve the conflict between the Jews of Israel and their “Palestinian” enemies has dignified the latter and dishonored the former. Excuse me for my lack of “balance."
Of course, there are occasions when balance can be a virtue. But Washington chose Revolution to “balance," and Lincoln preferred Civil War to “balance."
In politics you often find schlemiels across the political spectrum. But today we need a Washington or a Lincoln, not an Obama; and for any journalist to be so “balanced” as to obscure Obama’s beliefs is tantamount to being a propagandist.
But isn’t this a sad reflection on what has become of American democracy, in contrast to what I said above regarding the vision of America’s Founding Fathers?