Need To Know with Mona Charen and Jay Nordlinger
Episode 9: Silver Linings

National Review's Mona Charen and Jay Nordlinger
Nov 9, 2012

This week on Need To Know, Jay and Mona lament the election results, bat around some of the data we’ve gleaned from the exit polls, kick around what Romney might have done better, then get more positive by discussing the way forward, laying out their hopes for the future. Cheers!

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  1. KC Mulville

    How to combat the liberal advantages, in the schools and the media?

    Nothing will succeed immediately, of course.

    How about long term? Can we convince the people that big government is not the way to go? Sure. Whether we convince them or not, the long term has a resolution of its own — we will run out of money. The only question is whether we can avoid the explosive disaster that will occur. 

    That’s part of the difference between economic and financial policy.

    • When the economic choices are growth versus stagnation, the people can choose stagnation, and maybe they won’t be forced into facing reality. 

    • But financial disaster is not a choice. It’s coming whether we like it or not.

    Persuading others to our perspective is an intellectual privilege when times are good. But reality comes whether people are persuaded or not. 

    The spectre of the bill coming due is close at hand.

  2. Benjamin Glaser

    Loved the Cotton Mather reference Jay. 

  3. BlueAnt

    “We are not a remnant yet”?  I sense a jab at my mission to post all of Isaiah’s Job over the next week…

    Let me put it this way:  from Romney’s numbers, remove the portion that reflexively vote against Democrats every time, the portion that got offended by some minutiae in the election, the portion that distrust Obama personally, and the portion that voted against the generic incumbent because their personal lives were not so great.

    Do you have a majority remaining, or a Remnant?

    Or:  do you have a culture-defining core populace remaining, or is it a sincere minority loudly covering the others’ motivations under conservative rhetoric?

  4. Astonishing

    Just hearing your voices lifts my spirits.

    Some random thoughts:

    –Jay, you are right about majorities, but our constitutional system–even with all the corruptions of the last 65 years–still does a reasonably good job of hindering their worst impulses.

    –Mona’s idea of encouraging our children to enter the fields education, arts, sociology, entertainment, etc., is a very good one.

    –Israel made a terrible miscalculation not striking Iran before the election.  Doing so would have forced Obama to choose to back Israel or to lose the election. Israel is indeed on its own, at least for now. I hope Israel, understanding that Obama cannot be counted upon, plans accordingly. With Obama’s re-election, with his vacuous foreign policy, a wider and spreading war in the middle east and Africa, seems almost inevitable. Who knows what Russia will try now.

    –On a cheerier note, yes, we’re in for some tough times, but I do still have faith in our wonderful system of government–in our constitution, both the document and the constitution of “The People.”  ”The People” will come around. We will help them come around.

  5. genferei

    What a pleasure to listen to these folks.

    That said, Jay offers a false choice between collaborating with NPR etc. and “surrender”. Surely the path to take is to undermine — well, destroy — the MSM, not prop it up by participating in its deceptive rituals of ‘balance’.

  6. Richard Fulmer

    For the last 50 years, Americans have been taught – by priests and preachers, by teachers and professors, by TV, movies, books, newspapers, and magazines – that businessmen are evil and the free market is based on greed.

    Romney is a good, decent, generous man. But he is a “businessman,” and too many people react to that word as so many Pavlovian dogs. To them “business” equals “evil.” They are good people and good people will not vote for what they believe is evil. Many probably held their noses as they pulled the lever for Obama, but at least (in their minds) he has good intentions, not like a businessman who “thinks only of profits.”

    We have to be able to explain the morality of the free market – not just the market’s utility, but its morality.

  7. Daniel Halbach

    I was so disgusted after the election that I didn’t want even to think about politics.  But by Thursday I found myself wanting to hear Mona and Jay. It worked.  I feel better. Even your cynicism is heartening.

    I went on the NR Cruise last year and loved it. Got to meet Mona and have dinner with Jay.  I’ve regretted all year that I can’t afford to go again this year.  Tuesday night I told my wife that the one up side to the miserable night was that I no longer missed being part of the next cruise.  After hearing that Mona and Jay will both be there, I now wish I could go again.

    Have fun.  The flagship podcast is recording their next on the boat.  You should, too.

  8. Richard Fulmer
    Jay,    I’m looking forward to your recount of the cruise.  You always make it seem as if we’d been there ourselves. 
  9. Joseph Stanko

    I agree with you, Mona, I think a major reason we lost was that we failed to explain to the American people the true causes of the financial crisis.  In fact I posted something similar myself on Election night.

    http://ricochet.com/member-feed/Why-We-Lost-the-Economy-is-NOT-Obama-s-Fault

    As a result, when Obama claimed that Romney would repeat the policies that caused the recession the public bought it hook, line, and sinker.

  10. Palestrina

    I’m only halfway through the podcast and had to stop and comment. I am so relieved to hear that someone (Jay) isn’t jumping to the “we have to change” conclusion.

    I’ve read (and heard) so much analysis that says the Republican party needs to become more like the Democrats. What need is there for this? If people want to vote for the Democrats and liberalism, they already have the perfect choice.

    So many here and outside Ricochet think we need to change. Conservatism is not wrong, it is not flawed, and it doesn’t need to be packaged or tailored for countless permutations of demographics. Let’s stick to our principals, which includes holding individuals accountable for their choices. The American people, at least 50% of them, have made the wrong choice and are beyond persuasion via editorials, debates, podcasts and talk radio. At some point down the road, the reality of their lives will convince them to consider an alternative. And when that happens, the Republican party needs to be a clear and honest choice, not a pale shadow of the Democrats inviting them to try something that is only a bit less liberal.

  11. ChrisnGreta

    If America is going to head down the tubes I want to hear it all narrated by Mona and Jay.

  12. Paul Dougherty

     There is a hole in my learning. Why again is “might makes right”, not true?

    This has always been rejected by thinkers protected by the might of western civilization and Judeo-Christian tradtion. 

  13. David Carroll

    I really do not feel better.  I agree with Jay that the problem at its heart is the leftist control over the schools and to a lesser extent the media.  As long as the left has that stranglehold, downhill to socialism it is.  That stranglehold will not get released as long as the left continues to win elections.  It is a snowball effect.

    Our ideas lose not because they are wrong or are weaker, but because the left controls the minds of the young. 

    The only other solution is a total economic and political collapse as experienced in the Soviet Union, but only if it comes soon enough that most living Americans remember what it was like to be free.

    For me, I am looking at my options.  Do I go for more free stuff from the government?  Or get out of the US while I still can?

  14. Matt Bartle

    Just listened to this and Jay expressed my despair eloquently – we gave the people a clear choice, they know Obama now, things are bad, and… they chose Obama again anyway! If the county is made of such people, what hope is there?

    Mona did mention the 2% margin and I guess that’s something to hold onto, but it’s a thin reed. 

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