Here's a classic column I'm taking down from my Fictionpress account that I wrote right after the election on November 3ed, 2004.
I've witnessed the birth of children before, and constantly kept in mind just how low the infant mortality rate is in the developed world, which averages less than five percent, so births weren't all that dramatic to me, despite all the hours waiting.
A modern presidential race in America is something else. You spend the same amount of time waiting for results to come in, watching realities shift, erroneous reports, reversals, moments of intense anticipation, bathroom break, walk around, gorge on transfats, drink.
I can remember when the doctors told me the heartbeat of my unborn niece was fading, and when they told me my sister would need a caesarian section. That was real danger, when my niece, my sister, or both could have died in the hospital. My sister has a heart defect, anyway, and she'd had trouble breathing the whole twelve-hour ordeal.
But you know what? It was a yawn, a mild distraction, in comparison to Election Day, 2004. The popular count varied by only 600,000 in 2000, and all hinged on one state, as we all know.
I woke up knowing Bill Clinton would be president until January, but that was all I knew. Remember? We all saw angry crowds, goofballs peering up the butts of ballot cards queerly, a recount in three counties, a charge of cherry-picking the precincts being recounted, charges of voter suppression, Bush's lead shrink to a wafer edge in the later recounts, and finally, lawyers, and a divided court decided the counting had gone on long enough. That was the backdrop of Election Day, 2004.
Coverage started early. On November first, I went to bed immediately after seeing some returns from early voting in New Hampshire. I knew that state was considered 'bible belt,' so I wasn't surprised to hear that Bush held tight with Kerry in the exit poles. Democrat pundits, including the candidate himself, had dismissed "moral issues," because they desired the focus to be poor economic figures, even though these were only mixed, in my opinion. I found myself agreeing with "the most obnoxious man on television," Bill O'Reilly, that the "Culture War" would be a critical sleeper issue, because I've listened to plenty of "real" people firmly behind populist economic policy, the sort Kerry seemed to support, but really wanted a leader to appoint certain types of judges. These types of voters watched mainstream news every evening, and I'm sure the DNC researchers knew this, but I knew something they didn't.
The "red state" people I know also watch religious news programming, Christian journalism reported by figures like Pat Robertson, Hal Lindsey, and Paul Crouch. Like them or loathe them, these guys are the real rulers of alternative media, entering homes via cable and satellite, normally in the standard service packages, and at no extra charge to the consumer.
Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) relies on donations, and chances are, is one of the networks you flip through or simply program out, but it's there, it's watched, and it's Christ-centered, meaning it doesn't differentiate between religion and politics. This is Crouch's network. and of course, Christ's, too.
Here's where it gets interesting: all three, Robertson, Lindsey, and Crouch, take long analytical looks at foreign policy and all the geopolitical hotspots. They explore the meaning of trade and defense, and offer interpretations of all the raw data. They are three "faith-based intelligence analysts," if you will, and on some levels, I'm impressed by what they cover and how. They site major think tanks like the Cato Institute, and quote publications from the Counsel of Foreign Relations, and all the major international organizations, like the World Trade Organization, and G8. Most cable and broadcast news stations seem to ignore these groups, almost as if they HAVE AN ISOLATIONIST BIAS!
I suspect the secularist outlets just neglect to do the legwork of proper journalism, but the popular belief is their coverage is ratings-generated, and the Christian journalists, well, they don't mind advancing the theory that their rivals are in league with the devil:-)
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