Rush Limbaugh: Waking the Sleepers
TNTalk! America. © 2009 by Leon A. Walker
As Rush Limbaugh leads the Right-Wing Lunatic Fringe in the calculated spread of fear and hate, their desired outcomes are becoming a grim reality. As each corpse is laid at our feet, Americans of good character must pause to consider why and perhaps how these twisted icons find any measure of success, progress or even personal peace.
Clearly Limbaugh is the most well know and a vocal employer of outrageous tactics where radical and mean-spirited rhetoric is concerned. Even so, Limbaugh also manages to enlist support from a wide variety of his colleagues and like-minded politicians. Names like O’Reilly, Hannity, Colter, Bachman, Palin and Gingrich have become synonymous with the extreme conservative ideology that by their public statements, support inciting Americans to do harm to each other. They preach that Americans are to “kill” each other to satisfy their political, social, religious and moral arguments. So rabid are Limbaugh and so many right-wing media and political figures that they have issued a “call to arms” to the worst elements of American Society. This call to arms is plainly against America herself!
It is clear to me that the United States of America is evolving. The historic election of the nation’s new President is evidence enough of that. The most startling aspect of this new political milestone is that he was elected by a broad cross-section of our citizens. Americans of good will exercised their right to cast a vote for the leader of their choosing. Even for me, the outcome of this election was stunning. The election was also a litmus test, an indication that the old ghosts of the American psyche, ghosts of ignorance and apathy are fading.
As an event, the November Presidential Election was a magnificent social landmark. And as amazing and uplifting as it was, it is now clear, that to a segment of our society, the election result was an absolute worst-case nightmare. I cannot begin to imagine where such deep-seated fears and hatreds are rooted. As I have listened to the outrageous attacks and conspiracy theories, I am now convinced that there are those among us, other American citizens, who are absolutely convinced that there is a plot underway to destroy “their country”.
As for the concept of the proverbial “their country”, I doubt that I will ever be clear on what that means. I have repeatedly heard charges from right-wing conservatives of anti-Americanism. I have no ability to discern what that is supposed to mean either. I do believe that America is “the great social experiment”. I recognize that some in this country are extremely wary of people of different ethnicities and of people who harbor various ideologies that are not coincident with their personal beliefs. Still I must restate that the concept of American Culture and American Government is rooted in the stated purpose of recognizing the rights of all people. Truly the demographics of America have changed. The rules as applied by the Constitution have not.
I am continually baffled by those who seek to impose their moral, religious and social impressions of “their America” on other American citizens, who only seek to live their personal and very different “American Dream” according to their own personal desires. That’s all I see. Most Americans choose to live and peacefully co-exist according to their individual desires over a broad expanse of religious, non-religious, sexual, political, cultural and social morays. So what is the perceived problem with that? Where is the threat? What legal prohibitions exist for depriving such freedoms of choice and peaceful existence in America? What am I missing?
The only logical and rational conclusions I can draw from the intensifying and mean-spirited rhetoric combined with hateful and violent acts that are taking place is that they are rooted in selfishness and myopia. The thought process that many within the conservative right-wing of this nation says that Americans are not permitted these choices of freedom. They hold that the conservative right-wing ideologies represent the true spirit and model of the American way of life. Those who live outside of this political, social and intensely religiously-specific model are not good Americans. Let me rephrase that. Those who do not subscribe to the right-wing conservative ideologies are somehow anti-American. Apparently they believe that they, and only they, know the only ways Americans may look, love, live, think and worship.
This right-wing exclusive thinking is pretty simple to understand although it is not the least bit rational, and certainly not emblematic of the rich diversity that American life has evolved into. We must not fail to mention those additional small details contained in our founding documents and governing documents; “the Declaration of Independence, “the Constitution” and “the Bill of Rights”. The documents are intended to guarantee all Americans their freedoms to live peacefully according to their beliefs and desires.
I am left only to speculate. Perhaps those on the extreme right in this country missed or overlooked the social transitions that have taken place in this nation over the past forty or fifty years. Or perhaps they have simply been steaming and seething in hatred all of this time, as America has welcomed all from around the world and opened her eyes to accept broader viewpoints on lifestyle choices and sensitive social and moral issues. Perhaps they really just want to go back in history to the good ole days as one entertainer put it: “The days when TV was in black and white and so was everything else”. This was a time when certain peoples and women were treated and viewed to be some percentage less capable and less significant. I remain baffled as to how the right could reasonable imagine an American existence to be other than that which we are currently exist within. I am convinced that there will be no going back. True American ideology and freedom has a life of its own. We live in the now, not in the past.
The fear and hate mongers will continue to feed their demons. There are many frustrations and challenges that all Americans currently face even without the antagonists. But we must not pretend that the strains that some feel, due to incendiary and pointed negative verbal attacks are not now yielding deadly results. These are no longer simply selfish, power hungry ego-centric fools entertaining and manipulating people for self serving purposes, if that wasn’t shameful enough.
Now we are witnessing the awakening of the worst elements of our society on command. Right-wing conservative lunatics drone their mantras of hate and fear to the feeble, ignorant, desperate and vulnerable that they are controlling through the media and sacrificing in the name of the cause to death or imprisonment. They are knowingly doing so to further their agendas and twisted moral, social and religious arguments. As long as they can periodically shock or frighten the dormant “lone wolf” or worse, “a group” into further violent action that might cast a pall on the American psyche they will continue to feel empowered. Through these provoked violent actions, they hope these actions will somehow reflect badly on the government and obviously our President. They vainly long for the day that they might again gain control and convince the majority of a progressive population that they would really rather go back to the Bush/Cheney years or sometime into the past.
Does it really make any sense that America will voluntarily regress into the past? Does it seem that the majority of our electorate and population believe that America has been somehow hijacked as those on the right would have us believe? Or is it that they believe that we don’t understand that they are actually the ones trying to hijack our freedoms. I have never lived in small town America, but I fully support anyone’s choice to live that quaint way of life. I have never worshiped in a Synagogue, but I celebrate my American brethren who do. I also understand that the self-serving demagogues on the right are privileged to speak their manipulative minds as free Americans. I can accommodate such nonsense because it is the American Way and because ultimately I believe that the demons within these demented few will be overtaken by the better angels within our masses.
These “better angels” support the direction this nation has taken and have voiced that opinion through their votes and with their support. When murderers take the lives or our doctors, soldiers and law enforcement officers on command as they respond to the messages of hate that saturate their lives, we are hurt and sickened. America remains both watchful and resolute. That resolve is what brought us here today. That resolve and the undisputed, undeniable growing good among the people of this nation is what has changed America.
The leadership of the Republican Party has crumbled under the weight of a corrupt and ignorant Bush/Cheney legacy. The only remaining shreds of their party is the conservative Christian right-wing base. From within them come the voices that would prefer to awaken sleeping rabid dogs than to function as reasonable Americans. They are the antithesis of what the American ideal represents and ironically are boldly using a warped mantra of anti-Americanism to galvanize their forces in an effort to do what is destructive to our social fabric and counter to national interest. We will be resolute and this too shall pass. As the last bastion of white male-dominated society (to borrow a phrase from Pat Schroeder) marches toward geriatrics, their dwindling numbers are drowned in progressive liberalism. We will continue to hear their screams of horror as this nation continues to blossom socially. Rest assured the rhetoric from the right will be no less hateful, insidious or ridiculous.
Let us only hope, and pray if we must, that their orchestrated campaign of evil and violence will fail as resoundingly as their closed-minded politics due to their moral and social turpitude.
America has undergone many periods of social transition and we have survived them all. If you question our ability to endure and overcome yet another transition, I can tell you that this American believes with unwavering confidence… “Yes…we can”.