Dispatches from the Trail

I am writing this on the plane returning from Ohio to California. This past week, I joined my Salem radio colleagues, Hugh Hewitt and Michael Medved — as well as Jon Voight, one of the few Hollywood stars to come out as a conservative– to speak to thousands of people at events in the battleground states of Florida, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Ohio.

A few impressions:

1. Among the left’s many calumnies of the right, few are such bald-faced lies as that of the right as haters.

One example is “hate radio,” the left’s epithet for talk radio.

Here we were, three nationally-syndicated conservative radio talk show hosts, talking to friendly audiences – and not a word of hate from us. Moreover, there was much laughter as well, and not a word of hate from the audience either.

The overwhelming emotion was worry – not about the election as much as about the republic.

2. For Jon Voight, Hugh Hewitt, and the audiences, no issue was more prominent – not even the American economy – than support for Israel. Voight, Hewitt, and the overwhelming majority of the audiences were/are not Jewish.

Most American Jews, living, as they do, with almost no awareness of the conservative movement, have no idea how profoundly pro-Israel the American right is. Despite liberal Jews’ frequent participation in the demonization of the right, that very right is preoccupied with protecting the Jewish people and Israel. I wonder if there is any parallel in American history of a group that loathed those who only showed them love.

3. There were very few members of minority groups among the thousands who came to our events. This is distressing. The left has thus far been wildly successful at depicting itself as the best friend of blacks and Hispanics. And conservatives have been as wildly unsuccessful at explaining core American values – such as liberty and small government – to virtually any minority. For the sake of the nation’s future, we have to turn this around.