De-legitimizing the Election

A good article on the Washington Post shows how the media is attempting to de-legitimize the 2004, comparing it to the last conservative victory the media de-legitimized 10 years ago, the 1994 New Gingrich Contract with America.

In 1994, when the Gingrich revolution swept Republicans into power, ending 40 years of Democratic hegemony in the House, the mainstream press needed to account for this inversion of the Perfect Order of Things. A myth was born. Explained the USA Today headline: “ANGRY WHITE MEN: Their votes turn the tide for GOP.”

Overnight, the revolution of the Angry White Male became conventional wisdom. In the 10 years before the 1994 election there were 56 mentions of angry white men in the media, according to LexisNexis. In the next seven months there were more than 1,400.

At the time, I looked into this story line — and found not a scintilla of evidence to support the claim. Nonetheless, it was a necessary invention, a way for the liberal elite to delegitimize a conservative victory. And, even better, a way to assuage their moral vanity: You never lose because your ideas are sclerotic or your positions retrograde, but because your opponent appealed to the baser instincts of mankind.

Plus ca change … Ten years and another stunning Democratic defeat later, and liberals are at it again. The Angry White Male has been transmuted into the Bigoted Christian Redneck.

Thanks to Lone Star Times for shining the flashlight on this story.

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