Hugh Hewitt: Seventy percent of Americans know they’ve been conned
By: Hugh Hewitt
August 29, 2010
Minimum estimate of Saturday’s crowd on the Mall: 300,000 Maximum estimate: One million people.
of the crowd: An enormous upheaval in the emotions of average Americans
is coursing through the country, with a certain significance for
November’s elections. It will have a lasting, profound impact on
America’s political direction.
Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin provided
an occasion to glimpse this undeniable phenomenon. Of course, the
interpretations of what the phenomenon is and what its consequences will
be will keep the chattering class busy for weeks, if not years.
on the left are trying, with increasing desperation, to use old and new
media to brand this surge in public participation in politics as
sinister, even though it was preceded by a surge from the left of people
and energy into President Obama’s campaign.
The new tools of
communication and the ease of movement have unleashed a tumultuous era
of politics driven by the demand that elites not attempt to speak for,
or condescend to, average citizens. They will not quietly or passively
be lectured to, or insulted by, the president, House Speaker Nancy
Pelosi, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg or any anchor on any network,
any columnist in any paper, or any blogger on any Web site.
people on the Mall and the millions more who watched the gathering with
satisfaction rather than fear are quite simply sick of the left, and of
its vast sneer toward the traditions, values and, yes, faith of the
American middle class.
The American Enterprise Institute’s Arthur
Brooks has quite accurately described America as a 70/30 nation, with
the 70 percent presently massively underrepresented in the federal
government, the Manhattan-Beltway media elite and academia.
percent is appalled by the placebo economics practiced by the president
and the Congress over the past two years, shocked by its profligacy
with the wealth of the republic, and sickened by the looting of the next
The 70 percent did not want Obamacare, but it has been thrust upon them.
The 70 percent did not want federal judges to declare "game over" in the complex discussion of what marriage is and means.
70 percent want a fence on the border that works, and do not want their
concern over unregulated immigration dismissed as nativisim.
70 percent are not ashamed of their belief in God, deeply resent being
labeled bigots because they view ground zero as land that ought not to
be exploited for "messaging" of any sort by any group, and are enraged
by the scorn which they encounter everywhere in media except Fox News
and talk radio.
The 70 percent believe that the federal government
is remote and clueless, and that the Constitution’s principles of
enumerated and limited powers and the sovereignty of the states are
vibrant, important core values to the republic.
The 70 percent
think Iran is in the grip of an evil, theocratic fascism, and that
Israel is our true friend and ally deserving of our full-throated
We are in the middle of a perilous economic passage to a
new competitiveness across the globe. We are watching other countries
across the globe respond to the new demands of competitiveness by
shrinking the public sector and encouraging private-sector growth. But
American education is crippled by bureaucracy and burdened by the
inability of a political class to demand reform of the practices and
pensions of the public sector. Children have been hostages of this
countrywide collapse of common sense for a generation, despite wave
after wave of "reform".
Two years into what had been sold as a new
politics and a new approach, the 70 percent are fully aware that they
have been conned, suckered, and taken to the cleaners by a
hyper-ideological amalgam of leftist public intellectuals, snarling
bloggers, career politicians with limited abilities who are often
corrupt, and a president wholly inexperienced in the management of
complex problems who is in way over his head and prisoner to slogans and
schemes that make for great campus debates — but for disaster in the
The people on the Mall were saying much more than
"this far and no farther." They were saying "rewind and restart." They
will hold that thought and that purpose as they peacefully, but with
great passion and purpose, insist on real change come Nov. 2.
Hugh Hewitt is a law professor at Chapman University Law School and a
nationally syndicated radio talk show host who blogs daily at