Talk radio is the antithesis of NPR — loud rather than soft; throaty rather than nasal; commercial-full rather than ad free, its ideology sustained by the market not the public purse. But mostly Limbaugh not so much says as simply takes for granted things that liberals find outrageous, such as assuming capitalism creates more wealth for everyone without qualifying such second-nature assertions. In the world of Limbaugh the U.S. is the freest, richest, best country in the world and there is no reason to hide that fact, much less to feel guilty about it. Does Limbaugh have any self-doubt? Does he wonder who in the past and present has suffered for his privilege? Does he not grasp the moral compromises that his country so often makes? Perhaps he does, but in a world where the good does not have to be perfect, and 51% is better than 49%, Limbaugh lets others worry about footnoting, tweaking, and nuancing his diatribes. His one-dimensional self-assurance drives liberals crazy. He too is uppity, without a shred of recognition that others far more sensitive, educated, and aware deserve his megaphone.
Liberals hate entire countries too, especially Israel. Why? Is it because unlike its neighbors it follows the rule of law? Is Israel too fair to gays and women? When liberals visit the Middle East do they prefer to go to Jordanian dentists in a pinch or to stay in a Palestinian hotel?
Liberals hate Israel because like a Palin or Limbaugh, it seems too self-assured. Does not Jerusalem care that Harvard or Oxford professors despise it? Cannot it do the calculus of seven million versus the 300 million who hate it in the Middle East? Apparently not.
One thing that liberals cannot stand is its purported lack of self-awareness. Of course, Israel knows why and how the world spurns it, but liberals believe that Israelis either aren’t aware of such pariah status, or, just as bad, they don’t seem to suffer for such knowledge.
Like Sarah Palin, Israeli just keeps going, without much worry why and how liberals have contempt for it. It is confident that it must be doing something right to have created such prosperity and stability in a sea of self-inflicted misery.
For liberals, Israel is sort of like conservative blacks and thus likewise is too uppity, especially given that it does not play the perpetual victim of the past but has confidently moved on. Liberals are willing to pity a contrite and victimized Israel, but not to admire its confidence and independence.
Liberals sure hate the Koch brothers. At first glance, this too baffles. It is not the money per se. After all, they idolize George Soros, who predates the Kochs in subsidizing political causes. The Google bunch outsource and offshore money. Steve Jobs didn’t give much to charities. Soros is far more brazen in his partisan giving, and unlike the Kochs is a financial speculator who was tried and convicted abroad.
The Kochs still make things and are involved in everything from oil refining to manufacturing to agriculture. To the liberal, it is not fair that a conservative should have such mega wealth and the power it brings. Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Mark Zuckerberg, and others understand the complexities and responsibilities of wealth. The rub is that unlike Gates, the Kochs are boosters of the very institutions that helped make them rich. And like Palin, the Kochs have pretensions, in their case of giving to the fine arts and humanities, as if they think they are something more than they are. Yes, they are uppity as well.