Thursday, December 11, 2014

Achieving the American Dream. By Bill O’Reilly.

Achieving the American Dream. By Bill O’Reilly. Video. Talking Points Memo. The O’Reilly Factor. Fox News, December 11, 2014. YouTube. Also here, here, here.


When I was a kid growing up in modest circumstances, my parents told me that I could succeed in life.

They didnt say much more than that, only that I could be successful.

From my vantage point, the American dream meant that I would lead a happy life and contribute to society, but each one of us has our own definition of the dream.

A recent New York Times poll asked, “Do you think it is still possible to start out poor in this country, work hard, and become rich?”

Sixty-four percent of Americans say it is possible.

Thirty-three percent say it is not.

Three percent don’t know.

Second question, “Do you think the economic system in the U.S. is basically fair?”

Fifty-two percent say it is.

Forty-five percent say it is unfair.

Four percent have no opinion.

For this poll, money was the basic theme, and for this memo we will stay on that subject.

As someone who started out with little – I was flat broke when I began my first broadcast job in Scranton, Pennsylvania – I know that you can become wealthy in America.

So the 33% who say it's not possible are wrong.  You are looking at the proof.

But there are things that you have to do to succeed economically.

Number one, you must get educated unless your athletic or music skills are so enormous that you can make a living that way.

Number two, you must be willing to work hard and conform to levels of performance.

That means you have to learn how to speak properly, you have to learn how to groom yourself ... you can’t have a face covered with tattoos unless you can punch like Mike Tyson.

Basically, succeeding economically is about being smart, working hard, and presenting yourself in a way that leads to making money.

That’s it.

Now some Americans work very hard, are smart, and don’t succeed economically.

That’s why life is not fair; you never know how it’s going to shake down.

But remember the poll question was, is it possible to start out poor and become wealthy?

Now here are some things that you cannot do.

First, if you feel America is a rotten, awful country, you will not succeed.

And that is what is being peddled by the far left:

On MSNBC on Dec. 10:

MICHAEL ERIC DYSON, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: “What’s the next institution that you think needs to be isolated and then challenged?”

ROSA CLEMENTE, HIP HOP ACTIVIST: “The economy.  Capitalism, I think that’s the institution that’s all over this country, right?  It is really what is the oppressive force.  And the police are actually, we have a lot of theory I think that proves this, are that force that are keeping us, as particularly working class people, from achieving this idea of, you know, economic justice.”

Ms. Clemente will never succeed in this country because her concept of economic justice is basically communism, and we are not going to convert to that.

If you want communism Ms. Clemente, Fidel and Raul Castro are just 90 miles from Florida.

Two, you cannot walk around with a sense of entitlement, that people owe you things.

In our system, nobody owes you anything.

Three, if you want to succeed, you cannot portray yourself as a victim of white privilege, of slavery, or of any other historical injustice.

It may be wrong, but the free market place doesn’t want to hear it.

And finally, if you behave badly; if you are disrespectful; if you act foolishly on a consistent basis; if you refuse to develop your talent; if you have three children by the time you are 20; if you abuse drugs and alcohol or do other self-destructive things, you will never succeed.

Talking Points laments that our leaders will not tell you the things I am saying right now.

Our political parties do not level with the folks; instead both Democrats and Republicans pander to them.

Capitalism is tough, very competitive, but the American dream is still achievable.

And I know what I’m talking about.

And that’s the memo.

The Democrats Lost the South Through Culture War and Elitism. By Timothy P. Carney.

Democrats lost the South through culture war and elitism. By Timothy P. Carney. Washington Examiner, December 9, 2014.

It’s Not Sour Grapes, Michael Tomasky Just Hates the South. By Charles C. W. Cooke. National Review Online, December 8, 2014.

Have Democrats Failed the White Working Class? By Thomas P. Edsall. New York Times, December 9, 2014.


Fritz Hollings, John Edwards, Zell Miller, Blanche Lincoln, John Breaux, Kay Hagan, Mark Pryor and Mary Landrieu. These eight Democrats have been senators from the South in the past decade.

If not for Southern Democrats, Republicans would have nearly had a filibuster-proof Senate supermajority after the 2002 elections, giving George W. Bush some real clout. Without Southern senators, Democrats wouldn’t have taken over the Senate with Jim Jeffords’ party switch in 2001. If not for Southern Democrats, Obamacare wouldn’t have become law.

For the foreseeable future, though, Democrats will have make do without Southern senators.

With Mary Landrieu’s gigantic loss on Saturday, following Hagan’s surprise loss and Pryor’s thumping, the Southern Democratic senator is officially extinct. In the House, there are no White Democrats from the South.

Why did it happen?

In short: Democrats waged a culture war against the South, trying to force Southerners to stop “clinging” to their guns and to God. When you try to make it illegal for people to conduct their own affairs according to their conscience, you tend to lose their votes.

The self-soothing story the Left tells itself is that it’s all racism, that Democrats have lost the Southern vote because they’re not as willing to be racist as the Republicans are. Liberal columnist Michael Tomasky cheered the Democrats loss of the South, which he lovingly called “one big nuclear waste site of choleric, and extremely racialized, resentment.”

Any full accounting of Southern politics has to involve race and racism, but it isn’t a top reason for the realignment.

Tomasky and other liberals may not have heard of Sen. Tim Scott, the first black Southerner elected to the U.S. Senate since reconstruction. South Carolina not only elected Scott to the Senate in a special election this fall, it gave him 757,000 votes — 85,000 more votes than his South Carolina colleague Lindsey Graham received the same day.

South Carolina’s voters re-elected their Republican Governor, Nikki Haley, nee Nimrata Nikki Randhawa. The state that defeated Mary Landrieu has had an Indian-American governor since the 2007 elections.

White racism can’t explain the GOP takeover of the South.

The best explanation comes from the mouth of President Obama himself. Speaking to San Francisco donors in 2008 about white voters in the Midwest, Obama lucidly expressed his low opinion of all non-rich voters in flyover country: “they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion.”

Naturally, Democrats and the Left have tried to pry Southerners away from their guns and religion. Gun control has largely been a culture war effort for Democrats. “Some of the southern areas have cultures that we have to overcome,” was Congressman Charles Rangel’s explanation for why gun control was both needed and difficult.

The Washington Post’s Gene Weingarten cursed the Second Amendment as the refuge of bumpkins and yeehaws who like to think they are protecting their homes against imagined swarthy marauders desperate to steal their flea-bitten sofas from their rotting front porches.

Obama and his party waged this culture-war crusade with glee — and failed, but not before making it clear that they disapproved of the way Southerners live.

And the Democrats have made it clear that they are willing to use government to impose their morality on others. Through the courts, the Left has banned prayers at high school football games and forced states to remove the Ten Commandments from public grounds.

The Obama administration, through its birth-control mandate that includes abortifacient drugs, has told Christian employers that they can’t run their businesses as Christians.

There’s no mystery here, and no need to assign widespread racism to why Southerners have rejected Democrats. It’s simple: Democrats and the Left have tried to outlaw Southerners’ way of life.

Here’s a related factor in the realignment: Democrats have given up on being the populist party, and — as they have increasingly won over the wealthy suburbs and the college-educated — have embraced their status as the party of the economic elite.

As crony capitalism and corporate welfare have grown, and as the Washington region has sucked in more and more of the nation’s wealth, Republicans have started to take up the populist mantle.

Alabama’s Jeff Sessions, whose populism flares up in many ways, joined Louisiana’s David Vitter in co-sponsoring a bill to break up the big banks. Sens. Landrieu, Hagan and Pryor all campaigned unsuccessfully on their support for the Export-Import Bank (a federal agency that subsidizes U.S. manufacturers and the banks that finance them).

Democrats have become the party of Hyde Park and Chevy Chase — elitist on culture and economics. It’s no wonder they can’t also be the party of Charleston and Shreveport.