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Posts Tagged ‘Rush Limbaugh’

The leaders of the Republican Party are fond of pointing out that they are the Party of Lincoln.  Indeed, Abraham Lincoln did belong to the Republican Party, but the Grand Old Party is not what it used to be.  Once upon a time it was the champion of civil rights for enslaved Africans who were born and died on Southern plantations.  The Republican Party was a champion of the cause for human rights and equality for all.  On the other hand it was the Democratic Party that had aligned itself with the South, an alignment that persisted until President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, thus ensuring that Southern blacks received the rights that Abraham Lincoln had envisioned.  The point I am making here is that the Republican Party, at one time, was the party of the people, the party of the downtrodden, the party that wanted to help people who had been abused by the wealthy.

How times have changed. Today’s Republican Party is the champion, not of the suffering people at the lower end of the economic spectrum, it is the Party of Capitalism – the Party of the Wealthy.  It is this new alignment with the wealthy class of Americans that spells doom for the Republican Party, but they are blind to its coming.  Instead, they have crafted a new philosophy of self-determination, rugged individualism, every man for himself, complete freedom from governmental oversight, and absolutely minimal taxation – particularly for the wealthy.

It is an appealing philosophy for some – particularly the wealthy, i.e. the people who are at the top of the food pyramid of Capitalism.  The business owners, the bankers, the insurance people – anyone who is in a position to make a lot of money from scamming the average American citizen loves Republican philosophy. It can be summed up like this: you should be free to make as much money as possible with the least interference from government and you shouldn’t have to give a dime to the government for anything other than maintaining a strong army, navy, and air force that will protect our capitalist enterprises.  Republicans of today, unlike those of Lincoln’s time, are adamantly opposed to helping the poor in any way at all.  For them, the law of America should be “Every man for himself”.

There is, however, a fatal flaw in the philosophy of Sarah Palin and John McCain. There is a mathematics that doesn’t work in the world view of John Boehner and Mitch McConnell.  There is a lack of logic in the bluster of Rush Limbaugh, the rantings of Glenn Beck, and the befuddled musings of Lou Dobbs, the former Republican turned Independent basher of Hispanics.  The flaw in their thinking is their religious adherence to the purity of Capitalism. Why is this a flaw you might ask?  It is a flaw because, despite our nearly religious American fervor for the word itself, Capitalism is not perfect. Capitalism is not some sort of gigantic marketplace computer that always comes up with the right answer.  Capitalism, pure and simple, is more akin to the Law of the Yukon (I wonder if Sarah Palin could quote that?):

“This is the Law of the Yukon, that only the strong shall thrive;

That surely the Weak shall perish, and only the Fit survive.”

In pure Capitalism, as in the Yukon, there are a few really big winners.  There are also a whole lot of losers.  No doubt this works well for the wolves at the top of the food chain. But there is a problem for a political party that espouses extreme Capitalism, i.e. today’s Republican Party: it is inevitable that it will dwindle and diminish because eventually it will only be made up of the few who feed on the flesh of the overall population.  Uncontrolled, pure Capitalism leads to financial ruin for the majority of people.  It leads to the domination of the economy by a small number of mega-businesses, just as it leads to mega-banks that charge usurious interest rates because they can and they will not control themselves.  Ultimately, the Republican Party is doomed to become the Party of the Few.

This then is the error of today’s Republican Party. They are blind to the fact that they do not represent the vast majority of Americans.  They are blind to the fact that most Americans depend upon their government to help them make it through life, whether it is in education or health care or jobs or protection from criminals or so many other aspects of life.  It is the government that the American people turn to when in need. Yet, it is exactly this sort of government that today’s Republican Party wants to dismantle.

These people are blind.  They don’t see the inevitable lop-sided society that results from uncontrolled Capitalism, they only see the vast amounts of money that can be accumulated by the top dogs of Capitalism.  But everybody can’t win the game of Capitalism, just like everybody can’t win the game of Monopoly.  The result today is that the American people are leaving the Republican Party by the millions.

Yet the leaders of the Republican Party still don’t see their fundamental error: Pure Capitalism creates an economic pyramid, with the vast majority of people at the bottom where they will inevitably be unhappy.  These unhappy people, inevitably, will no longer identify with the Republican Party.  The Republican brand of Capitalism produces an unstable society and therefore it inevitably becomes an unstable political party.  It can never be the dominant party for very long in a democracy.  In the long run – maybe even in the fairly short run – it is doomed.

Even Glenn Beck should be able to understand that.

 

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There was a time when Americans could agree to disagree.  There was a time when rational debate was possible, when one side would listen to the other and would then respond with their criticisms and their own point of view.  No more.  With the election of Barack Obama to the Presidency, Change has occurred – but not the Change we were expecting.  This Change has come from the “right” – the extreme “right”, which sadly now seems to include most of the Republican Party.  It seems the Change to the Republican Party took place almost overnight.  Leaderless after the McCain/Palin combo failed to win the election, the flailing Party faithful looked for new inspiration.  They looked for other voices to lead them, and they found people like Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck, people of dubious intellectual ability, to provide a new vision for the Party. And a Hellish vision it is.

Remember the Town Hall meetings of the summer?  Remember how free speech was throttled by a well organized gang of “American”  thugs who refused to hear or discuss any plans for health care reform? Their only plan was to prevent the exercise of free speech and an intelligent discussion of the issues.  Now, the new Republican Party, a faint shadow of its former self – no longer recognizable as an American institution, but rather an instrument that strives to stifle public discussion and prevent the free expression of opinions, has sunk to a new low.  It’s members are now shrieking about President Obama’s planned speech to the school children of America. In doing so they have forever demeaned the office of the Presidency, and they have done so without reason nor regard for our values of freedom of expression and our culture of holding the office of the President of the United States in high regard.

Today, the President will release the text of his speech in advance in order to prove to the Republican Gestapo that his message is not political but is instead intended to simply encourage children remain in school and do well.  But the damage has been done, not only to the reputation and culture of the United States, but also to the reputation of the Republican Party.  This formerly legitimate political party has descended into some sort of imbecilic Hell, a morass of rotting ideas and lunatic leaders.  More and more they have concentrated their appeals to the lunatic fringe of America – people who refuse to believe that Barack Obama was born in the United States, people who have stocked up on guns and ammunition in the insane (and dangerous) belief that President Obama plans to somehow restrict this right. These are people who are unable to debate an issue intelligently, and thus would rather drown out the opposition with screams and shrieks and rants. Anything to prevent free speech.

Today is Labor Day in the United States.  So where is Glenn Beck?  Shouldn’t he be ranting insanely about how this holiday – Labor Day – celebrates unions and labor? Surely, if  he can connect the dots, in what serves as his brain, and determine that President Obama is either a Socialist or a Communist, shouldn’t he also determine that our Labor Day holiday places us in solidarity with worldwide Socialism and Communism? Shouldn’t the Fox television network be staging a day-long campaign to ban this un-American holiday?  Shouldn’t people who take Labor Day as a day off from work be investigated for their obvious Communist sympathies?  How did Glenn and Rush miss this? Or could it be that noting this close association between an American holiday and the united workers and unions around the world doesn’t suit their propaganda campaigns against the President?

The Republican Party, and its mouthpieces and minions, have taken a desperate path.  They have taken the path of denial of free speech and the deliberate distortion of truth  – all to gain political advantage. They have done so at the expense of our Constitution and our Freedom of Speech, and now they have done so at the expense of the dignity of the Office of the President.  In their insatiable lust for power and wealth, the Republican Party has crossed a line.  They are deliberately destroying those rights and values that they claim to treasure.  They have descended into hypocrisy for the sake of gaining political power and in doing so they are endangering our nation and its long held values of fairness and freedom of speech.

I suppose Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh would defend themselves by saying they are inciting all of this chaos for the “good of the country”.  What else would you expect them to say? Perhaps besides enjoying our Labor Day today, we should pause for a breif moment and take note that this is also a truly a sad day for America. A major political party has completely lost its sense of American values and has turned to the politics of desperation, and now allows itself to be led by men who admit to having chemically fried their brains.

I suppose it won’t be long before they start saying that Jesus was a communist too.

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She said she was stepping down for the sake of her State.  There were too many investigations, too much of the good people’s money being spent on her defense. She would do the right thing and pass the Basketball of State to her lieutenant governor.  But she’ll be OK, Alaskans, don’t worry – she’ll find a way.  But what about Alaska?  What will Alaskans do when Putin rears his head and flies over Alaska and then where does he go?  What about that? What will the Alaska newpaper industry do now? Remember how she said she reads all the newpapers and news magazines? But then she couldn’t recall the name of any of them?  Of course not.  Could you if your mind was so chock full of facts from non-stop reading of every possible news magazine and newspaper available in Alaska?  Of course not, you would barely be able to think straight or even talk in complete sentences because of all the information overload you would be experiencing.  Think of the financial impact this will have on the news publishing industry – who’s going take up where Sarah left off , who’s going to buy the newspapers, I mean all of them, like Sarah did?

Sarah won’t be suffering, because, inevitably, she’ll be back.  Look at her poll numbers.  A recent Gallup poll said that 71% of Republicans would vote for her if she ran for President. It is here, in these statistics where we can get an idea of something far more ominous than the stepping down of Sarah Palin.  Our process for selecting our supreme leader, our President, is badly broken.  Sure, we elected Barack Obama – our candidate for change – but the jury is still out on him, and we have some time to go before we can say for sure if we will get the change we thought we were getting.  But leave President Obama aside for a few moments.  Just think back in time…

There was George W. Bush – a C student from Yale who managed to dodge combat duty in Vietnam.  He could stir people’s imagination by alluding to high sounding principles, but in the end had neither the intelligence nor the principles we thought he had.  Then there was Bill Clinton – a smart guy for sure – but his principles were a little shaky and his definitions of commonly used words, like “sex” weren’t the same as everyone else in the country.  If we go back in time we find that a good many of our Presidents were by no means the best and the brightest, nor were they the most honest and brave. Some,  like Richard Nixon had obvious character flaws, and others, like Ronald Reagan had a hard time distinguishing between reality and the movies – “Go ahead, make my day”:  a President ( a former Hollywood actor) who received his guidance for running the country from old movie scripts.

So is this our meritocracy?  This is the land where anyone – literally anyone, it seems – can become President.  Is this a good thing?  What does it say about America that approximately 1/3 of Americans have already said they would vote for Sarah Palin to be President?  We have so many truly gifted, intelligent people in America who could undoubtedly perform admirably as President.  We have so many principled, honest, and forthright people who would work tirelessly for our country. But where are they?  Where are all the truly gifted people who have what it takes to be a legendary leader?

There is a flaw in our democratic system – a very serious flaw.  Somehow we have evolved into a system where, more often than not, we are forced to choose, not between the better of two individuals, but the lesser of the evils.  Why?  Is it the hidden oligarchy that pulls the strings of our government via its enormous wealth?  Has our system become so corrupt with big business and lobbyists shoving money at candidates and elected officials that no intelligent person or person of principle can even be considered for our highest office?  How is it that in a country of 300,000,000 people that, not too long ago we had to choose between George W Bush and John Kerry for President?  Is that truly the best we can do?  That, in itself, is absolute proof that the wheels have come off our system.

Is it possible that the Republican Party, the party of Abraham Lincoln, has fallen so far that its guiding lights and inspiration are now Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, and Glenn Beck?  Is this some kind of a joke?   Is it possible that of all the potential candidates for President that Sarah Palin is the best the Republican Party can do?  Surely there are at least 299,999,999 other Americans better suited for the job.  But, it’s true – the majority of Republicans today want her.

The situation is truly sad, but Sarah is right, we shouldn’t cry for her, Alaska.

We should cry for ourselves.

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Rush Limbaugh preached his views to the CPAC choir yesterday, and the choir responded as expected.  It could hardly be called an intellectual speech.  Instead it was sort of like his radio show, full of exhortations to the faithful and lots of appeals to patriotism.  However, it is with his appeal to patriotism that one can see his sly manipulation of opinions begin to take place.  A minor, seemingly innocent substitution of words, that once swallowed by the eager, unquestioning listeners leads inevitably to the errant philosophy that is similar to that which caused the current crash of the U.S. and the world economy.  It all starts with a lovely little word: liberty.

Liberty – who can say they are against it?  Jefferson declared that liberty  is one of our inalienable rights, and Rush was right there yesterday, saying the same thing, and in fact even improving on Jefferson’s words, because Rush said, “we are all endowed with certain inalienable rights, among them life, liberty, freedom – and the pursuit of happiness”. Whoa, hold on there Rush. Just wait a pea pickin’ minute.  Freedom? I don’t recall Jefferson saying anything about freedom.  What version of the Declaration of Independence were you reading? Or was it that you were just trying to help the poor, uneducated people in your audience who perhaps didn’t understand the word “liberty”. Were you just trying to explain to these poor people that freedom is a synonym for liberty?  Well, that’s where I have a problem with you, Rush. That’s because freedom and liberty are not synonymous. Liberty is freedom under the law. Freedom is just doing whatever you want to do – no rules.

And that is where Rush Limbaugh, and the Republican Party with him, have gone adrift and over the waterfall. And they took us with them.  It seems like such a small thing doesn’t it? Why quibble over semantics?  Freedom – liberty – aren’t they really just the same thing and don’t all Americans love them equally? No. They are not the same and we don’t love them equally.  Here’s an example of freedom:

Imagine a wild black horse running as fast as it can over the green hills of the West. The wind is blowing its mane straight back as it comes over the hilltop towards a glorious sunrise.  Suddenly a torrent of shots ring out. The horse falls dead on the ground and a lone hunter, devoid of any license, lays his AK-47 beside the horse and promptly proceeds to butcher it.  A week later the ground horsemeat is sold as prime beefburgers in three states and the hunter heads off to enjoy his profits from killing the horse and selling the wild horsemeat as beef.  That’s freedom. There are no rules.  You can do whatever you want, whatever you can get away with. That is not what Jefferson was talking about.  But that sort of no rules freedom is exactly what our Republican government gave to the financial industry. It is that sort of “no-regulation” that Rush preaches and the the choir laps up.  It’s not American.  It’s not patriotic. It benefits no one except the selfish people who get the drop on unsuspecting citizens and then take the money and run.

America, the land of liberty, is committed to just exactly that: LIBERTY. Freedom under the law. We are a land of law, a land of rules, a land of regulations.  That is because the founders of our country were intelligent men.  They knew that lawlessness always ends in disaster.  Men cannot have freedom; they can only have liberty.  Limbaugh’s conflating the words is a great deception, a deception of people who feel patriotic, who are easily duped and not sophisticated enough to see through Limbaugh’s sophistry.

I could go on and on about Rush’s speech, but I won’t.  There is just one more thing though that I think is worth noting about his sophistry.  A while ago, Limbaugh famously stated that he hopes President Obama fails.  Think about that carefully.  President Obama is the leader of the United States of America and Limbaugh wants him to fail. Imagine if Rush had said that he wanted the captain of the Titanic to fail.  Imagine if he had said he had wanted Captain Sullenberger, the commander of the US Airways plane that landed in the Hudson, to fail.  What does it mean when you wish that the leader in whom people have placed their trust and welfare to fail? It means that you wish them to fail too, for whatever doom happens to our leader will surely befall us too.  Limbaugh is essentially saying he wants America to fail, for that would be the only indication that President Obama had failed. Isn’t that right?  Is it possible for our leader and his policies to fail and America not to fail? Of course not.

So, I must ask. Where is Rush Limbaugh’s patriotism? Is he really pro-American? What do his sly words really mean?  I think I know exactly what he means.  His vision is not of a society with liberty and justice for all; it is a free for all, chaotic, grab it while you can and defend it with your guns land of outlaws (or no laws to be more precise).  This isn’t Jefferson’s vision. It’s not the vision of Washington or Adams either.  These are the cunning words of a great deceiver of the American people, and I hope he fails.

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It’s official, the Republican Party is in full blown self-destruct mode.  The inmates are now running the asylum as the Grand Old Party lurches towards its inevitable end as a viable U.S. political party.  A candidate for the leadership of the Republican Party, Chip Saltsman, recently sent out CDs of the song “Barack the Magic Negro” to Republican Party Committee members in the belief that it would help him to win the Chairmanship of the Committee.  His actions are being defended by the usual gang of Republican apologists saying that it is all in good clean fun. It’s the American way of satire they say.

Back in May, Rush Limbaugh played the song on his radio show, which still has a few fans in the hills and hollers of Red Neck America.  Rush thought is was great fun and no doubt believed it would advance the cause of the Republican candidates in the Presidential election.  Instead there was an outpouring of criticism by decent Americans who were offended by Limbaugh’s blatant attempt to appeal to the racist inclination of America’s rapidly disappearing population of rednecks.

So this is what the Republican Party has finally come to: a weird collection of extremely rich, self-centered, misanthropes; a group of sadly misled Evangelicals, who in their search for Christianity follow equally misled demagogues who only preach ancient Judaic Law; and ignorant, racist, poorly-educated, hicks who swallow everything Rush Limbaugh has to say as if it were the spoken word of God.  Limbaugh has long tried to use his radio platform to try to define and influence Americans but now, as the Republican Party dissolves into a little puddle  of nastiness, Limbaugh and his followers can now be seen for what they truly are: they are not mainstream Americans, they do not represent America or its values, they have become the definition of America’s lunatic fringe.

While Limbaugh has been chuckling over his adolescent prank of playing racist parodies on the air, the entire world has embraced Barack Obama as no other President since John F. Kennedy.  Remember the crowds that turned out to see him in Germany?  Remember his warm reception by both Arabs and Israelis?  Remember the excitement about Barack in France and England?  He is loved and admired around the world and many nations would be proud to claim him as one of theirs. As an example, listen to this song about Barack from Ireland.

Limbaugh doesn’t get it.  He’s beyond redemption. There are many in the upper echelon’s of the Republican Party who don’t get it either. We’ve moved on.  It’s a new world and the 21st Century will see a blending of the races and cultures. The old, selfish, misers of the Republican Party don’t get it.  Their day is over. Their scheming financial policies, and their complete lack of integrity has nearly destroyed the financial systems of the entire world. Yet, they still think they can rally people to their side with racist songs and idiotic gibberish from people like Rush Limbaugh.

Change is coming and will soon sweep over us like a roaring tsunami, but the blind don’t see it.

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