Richard Nixon, who was president of the United States from January 1969 to August 1974, coined the term “the Silent Majority” to describe tens of millions of Americans who simply worked hard every day and who did not take the time to protest loudly or to get involved in politics except to vote on election day.
He coined the phrase at a time when thousands of young students – whom Nixon knew to be a vocal minority that was being magnified by the media – were taking to the streets in protests over the Vietnam war and who were taking drugs, engaging in promiscuous sex, listening to demonic rock music and changing the face of America with a new brand of radical political thought.
Nixon claimed that the Silent Majority supported his presidency while the media and the university elite hated and marginalized the Silent Majority and Nixon himself. Then his landslide re-election in 1972 over uber-liberal George McGovern proved Nixon right. This further enraged the elites.
So the media continued to portray the Silent Majority as a bunch of hayseeds and rubes who had no idea what was right for the nation. According to the media template, the Silent Majority was made up of unsophisticated, uneducated, middle-class and working-class drones who had no business trying to influence the direction of our nation that was being largely controlled by liberal socialism from Hollywood and New York – through the media – and from Washington – through the political process.
Nixon was right on the money. The Silent Majority was an accurate description of honest people who generally lived in the suburbs, small towns and in rural areas all over the nation, who carried their own freight, who paid their taxes, who were self-reliant, and who expected or wanted little or nothing from the government except to be left alone.
Ultimately Nixon was way ahead of his time. Way, way ahead. Or perhaps more accurately, he was timeless. He would feel totally vindicated today. Because he was talking about people like the newly vocal Tea Party movement who have decided that enough is enough, that they are overtaxed, that their government is failing them and is wasting their hard-earned money, and is harming their futures and their children’s futures through corruption and greed.
The emergence of the Silent Majority appears to be a cyclical phenomenon. It reared up in the 1980s too. Conservative Ronald Reagan was elected in a landslide over Jimmy Carter and re-elected in 1984 by a huge margin by bringing out not only millions of Silent Majority conservatives, but also so-called Reagan Democrats along with a new force – the Moral Majority, a conservative/evangelical fusion movement led by Jerry Falwell that had, until that time, been politically muted. Until then many working-class and middle-class people of both parties long had held somewhat conservative or strongly conservative economic and religious views. But many had continued to vote Democrat because their parents had. They then decided in the 1980s that the Democrat party had abandoned them.
Alas Reagan was Reagan and they saw in him, both as a person and as a leader, new reasons to think fresh about the conservative ethos. They gravitated to conservatism for being strong on national defense at a time of continuing Soviet threat, and for focusing on economic growth after Carter policies had led to stagflation. They saw conservatism putting its essential faith in God and in a moral goodness that the Democrat party treated like a visitor from outer space.
Today Nixon’s Silent Majority along with Reagan’s Democrats and Falwell’s Moral Majority have coalesced with other new groups to become an even bigger force – the New Vocal Majority. And this time it is different. The New Vocal Majority is much more intense and outspoken because the stakes are greater than ever. And its very existence is built not around support for one single figure, but opposition to three – Obama, Reid and Pelosi.
Today’s New Vocal Majority will never make the mistake of being lulled into complacency again. Decades of fiscal abuse and national security neglect by the Democrats have caused millions of American to band together not only to to create the Tea Party movement, but all sorts of other anti-big-government, anti-tax, pro-property, pro-gun and pro-Constitution movements. These people are fed up and are speaking out against the waste, fraud and abuse that is causing the economy to slide into stasis and unemployment, and moral decay that is causing myriad social crises.
Indeed this time it is different. Because the backdrop is like none before since the 1930s and we have no wiggle room left. Our very economic survival is at stake and millions are frightened.
Yet the elite media have the same disdain for today’s New Vocal Majority that it had 40 years ago for the Silent Majority. Only problem is that the snobs in New York and Hollywood and Washington don’t have the same media monopoly on the public discourse as they did in the 1960s. And they cannot stop the New Vocal Majority from speaking out. Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin and Grover Norquist and many, many others are going to push this new majority through the roof in the coming November elections, while the Democrats and their media allies are battening down the hatches for a huge electoral drubbing.
It only took one arm of this new movement – the Tea Parties – less than three months to activate after Obama was inaugurated and went on an unprecedented national spending spree. On April 15, 2009, members of the Tea Party movement took to the streets in a show of force that is growing by the month.
Less than one year into its existence, Tea Partiers have held a national convention that garnered wide media notice. This is an organized movement that is much more akin to the organized Moral Majority of the 1980s than to the Silent Majority of the 1960s which was made up of millions of unconnected citizens joining to form an electoral web without even communicating with one another.
Since the first 2009 Tea Party, Obama’s big-spending Democrats have lost an astonishing percentage of the federal, state and local elections, and the New Vocal Majority is just getting started. The mid-term elections coming up in November are expected to throw many Democrats out of office in favor of fiscal conservatives who have been attacked by the media since the days of Nixon. No, the Silent Majority is silent no longer. Nor intimidated in any way. They even are running for office this time, and winning.
Indeed the Tea Party movement and the New Vocal Majority are exactly what our Founding Fathers envisioned would be a healthy development for a thriving Constitutional republic. The Founders warned that electoral democracy could lead to an entrenched political class – like congressmen elected over and over for decades – and a greedy, rapacious entitled class that could manipulate elections to funnel money its way.
The New Vocal Majority always has opposed both of those classes, embracing liberty for all instead as an infinitely more priceless goal than the fleeting entitlements of any one era.
During the American Revolution, the war had only about 30% support among the American people. In places like New York City, that support was even lower. Forty years ago, the elite New York media slammed the Silent Majority and today they have nothing at all good to say about the Tea Party movement and the New Vocal Majority. Only problem for the elites, however, is that even in once-liberal places like Massachusetts, the new majority is speaking loud and clear and winning elections. And it is frightening the Democrats and their media friends more than ever before in our history.
Please visit my website at www.nikitas3.com for more. You can print out for free my book, Right Is Right, which explains why only conservatism can maintain our freedom and prosperity.