Here’s a challenge: Can you name one difference between what the media refer to as “world opinion” and Left-wing opinion?
Take all the time you need. But no matter how much time you take, you probably won’t come up with any examples.
Here are examples of major world issues and what is deemed “world opinion.” They happen to all be Leftist views as well.
— hatred of President George W. Bush and admiration of President Barack Obama
— Manmade carbon emissions lead to global warming and devastation of the environment. Therefore, the world’s nations must tax carbon-based energy.
— The American invasion of Iraq was morally wrong, motivated by desire for oil.
— Israel is bad, as exemplified most recently by the Turkish flotilla incident.
— The American free-enterprise system is inferior to Europe’s welfare-state systems.
— The American health care system is inferior to that of all other wealthy countries (see last week’s column).
This list in no way differs from a list of Leftist positions. Nor would any other list of “world opinion” positions differ in any meaningful way from Leftist positions.
Why is that?
The most obvious answer would be that much of the world is Leftist in its views. Therefore, Leftist positions and world opinion are the same.
The truth is, for reasons to be explained, there is some validity to this explanation.
But there is a deeper and more accurate explanation: The world’s media and virtually all international organizations are Leftist in their politics, and they both define “world opinion” and in turn shape it.
Of course, there are other powerful institutions in the world that shape public opinion. But virtually none contravene the Left-wing views of the world’s media and world organizations on world issues.
Take Islam, for example. Islamic institutions shape the opinions of the majority of the world’s billion Muslims. But while the Left and Islam diverge on a great number of issues — women’s rights, gay rights, individual rights, press freedom, freedom of dissent, religious pluralism, just to name a few major ones — they coincide on international issues and views of America.
The Islamic world, Leftist media and the United Nations agree on virtually every international issue — on the villainy of Israel first and foremost, on support for the United Nations, on weakening American influence around the world, on opposition to the use of American force in Iraq and Afghanistan, on abolishing nuclear weapons, etc.
Another highly influential institution is the Roman Catholic Church. But its differences from Leftist positions are only on personal moral matters such as same-sex marriage and abortion. It is not a strong voice against the Left, and like the Left, it is largely silent on moral problems within the Muslim world. When the current pope did make a statement critical of Islam, the world press — and therefore “world opinion” — were united in condemning him. The world media, in keeping with its Left-wing agenda, is incomparably more critical of the Catholic Church than of Islam.
To better understand how the Left, the United Nations and most international institutions determine “world opinion,” take the issue of manmade global warming. The United Nations declared global warming a closed issue, the world’s media uncritically echo the U.N. report, and that’s it.
According to a BBC World Service poll of 22,000 people in 21 countries (as reported by WorldPublicOpinion.org, in 2007), “Large majorities around the world believe that human activity causes global warming and that strong action must be taken, sooner rather than later, in developing as well as developed countries.” It is remarkable how similar “world opinion” on global warming sounds to the Left’s position on global warming. The Left believes it is the vital environmental issue of our time, the United Nations announces it is, the media around the world report it as such, and lo and behold, the “world” demands immediate and drastic action to combat something that may happen (if at all) sometime in the distant future.
The great exception to all this is the United States. A vigorous conservative part of the American population has contempt for “world opinion,” rightly regarding it as useless against real evil and as a mere reflection of Leftist views. Equally important, and almost unique to America, there is a vigorous conservative news and opinion media. Compared to the Leftist domination of virtually all mass news media — newspapers, magazines and television — the conservative media are almost tiny. But talk radio, the Internet, Ronald Reagan and his ideological heirs in the Republican Party, Fox News and the Wall Street Journal editorial page have made an impact that belies their numbers.
But they are only powerful in America. And even there, it is often difficult to overcome the United Nations, the Left, the universities, the media and “world opinion.”
And conservative influence in America and everywhere else is in direct proportion to the public coming to understand that “world opinion” is a creation of the Left, reported by the Left.