Out of sync with national good
Conservative radio commentator Rush Limbaugh showed his true colors this week — which are anything but red, white and blue — as he repeated on his show one of the Republican Party’s mantras of the moment: “We don’t need more revenues, folks, we need less spending! We need less spending.” And then he added, “and I, by the way, I still want Obama to fail, lest there be any doubt.”
First, let’s just mention the hypocrisy of the statement as he is opposed to less spending on anything that has to do with the military or defense, and with lessening the numerous corporate subsidies and tax breaks that have ballooned beyond control over the past decade. And, just for the record, let’s acknowledge that the spending cuts that he champions (seen in the recent call for two trillion dollars in cuts by Speaker of the House John Boehner) would decimate Medicare and Social Security, government pensions (for all but the military), and much of the state aid that boosts spending for roads and bridges, school spending, and countless other programs that largely benefit middle and lower class Americans. Let’s also recognize that he is a self-serving megalomaniac who promotes political viewpoints that enriches himself at the expense of the majority of his listeners.
How is it, then, that so many conservatives consider Limbaugh a leader when he openly states that he wants the effort to close the wage gap between the rich and poor to fail? Why does anyone support this guy when he chastises President Barack Obama for spending too much to rescue the nation’s financial institutions and automotive industries in the aftermath of the greatest recession this country has seen since the 1930s — a problem he inherited? Why do followers not heckle Limbaugh out of a job when he openly hopes that Obama’s plan to get American soldiers out of Iraq and Afghanistan goes up in flames?
And just how is it that Limbaugh can hope the president fails in his efforts to modernize our immigration policy, to end our dependence on foreign oil through renewable energy (and create millions of jobs in this new economy), to expand high speed rail, to change the status quo of a health care system that is impoverishing our business community while depriving millions of adequate health care, and dozens of other popular initiatives — and still be in the favor of any American?
The opposite of failure, after all, is success. Does Limbaugh not want America to be successful? Is he so self-centered that he would rather have America fail than to see it succeed via viewpoints that are directly counter to his? Do his followers hold similar beliefs?
We can only hope his followers do not want America to fail, and Limbaugh’s appeal lies in the bull-headed manner he tosses around insults and criticism, while his listeners don’t expect him to offer practical solutions.
That he gets paid tens of millions of dollars each year to be ugly toward others and act so irresponsibly is simply another manifestation of how out-of-sync with the common good the private marketplace can sometimes be.
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