Those of who conspicuously display conservatism are often denounced by foes with epithets. Common terms include “racist, sexist, imperialist, and homophobe,” but occasionally a fresh utterance is tossed in, such as “dittohead.”
A “dittohead” is one who listens to Rush Limbaugh’s radio program. The person is thought to agree with his viewpoint, although specific characteristics differ depending on the source. Wikipedia defines the word fairly elucidating, both its positive and negative aspects. Dittoheads are “people who love the show and what he’s doing, and hope he never stops doing it,” and, less charitably, are “listeners [who] simply copy his political views without any independent thought.” No doubt the latter is what leftists have in mind when they apply the label to conservatives.
In the case of this conservative, the allegation was false. I had listened to his program no more than a handful of times before March 2008. My lack of familiarity was not due to disinterest, but simply a result of my employers not regarding listening to the radio as constituting “work.” This changed a couple of months ago after some fellows at QubeTV relayed that his show was available online 24/7.
Impressed by a few free morning updates I soon subscribed. The decision was timely. The infamous host was in the midst of orchestrating “Operation Chaos,” an attempt to fracture the Democratic Party by convincing Republicans to “cross over” and support the weaker candidate in their home state’s primary. Another element to the disorder has been Limbaugh dishing out advice to Democratic Party superdelegates in the overly optimistic hope that they might be listening.
Limbaugh appointed himself “commander-in-chief” and is anything but covert about his intentions. He takes daily calls from operatives, announces weekly strategy, and even scoffed at attempts by Ohio bureaucrats to combat him with legal action: “Look at this as a badge of honor, ladies and gentlemen. If anybody gets indicted, if anybody has to go to jail, it will be me — and I’ll do my program from jail for the short amount of time I will be there before I am excused and the charges dismissed. I had the temerity, ladies and gentlemen, to tinker with a tradition, a liberal Democrat tradition: voter manipulation.”
Despite the transparency of Operation Chaos, the popular press either deliberately misrepresented his statements or incorporated only a fraction of their collective attention spans into analyzing them. Some deemed the neo-carnival a sinister plot while others were so confused that they attributed his efforts to a hitherto non-detectable admiration for Hillary Clinton.
Some avoided mentioning the provocation entirely, as doing so would render dubious the storyline of Democratic transcendence. This year’s swelling tide of crossover voters from right to left might reflect the radio icon’s strategic vision rather than the nation’s lust for “Change We Can Believe In.” Eventually, after the Indiana contest, the Obama campaign confirmed this presumption as they put out an email suggesting that the results were impacted by the “Limbaugh Effect.”
The chess master beamed over his achievement: “I think they are just jealous that I out-organized them [the Obama campaign]. I am extremely proud of Operation Chaos volunteers. I never doubted they would triumph and it is a delight to see.”
Obviously, victory is too distant to claim at the moment, but Limbaugh’s pride is legitimate. Unlike the fake “issues” debate between the left-wing Clinton and the farther left-wing Obama, Limbaugh’s sideshow had purpose and meaning.
The host’s perspicacity regarding recent events along with his corresponding lack of humility would have earned him the enduring enmity of the press had he not already earned it twenty years ago. Saying that Limbaugh is the most hated conservative alive is no overstatement. His undeniable effectiveness and aggressive manner make him anathema both to political leftists and their mainstream media supporters, an entity he dubs “the drive-by media.”
When attacked, the standard conservative response is to equivocate. Conservatives passively explain to their foes why they are not racists and oppressors, instead of battering them back with aplomb in the manner of the man who goes by “El Rushbo” who drills at their positions with the assuredness of a dentist. Upon hitting a nerve, his work then intensifies until the type of anguish produced can only be treated with dentures or heroin. Limbaugh possesses workmanlike dedication to his craft as well as an artist’s flair for satire.
Being openly mocked is not something leftists can tolerate for very long because what they want more than anything else is to be admired and esteemed. They are, after all, on a mission to save the world and it is paramount that others acknowledge the sanctity of his goal.
Many acquire the views and affiliations they have for therapeutic reasons, as membership in the Democratic Party makes them feel good about themselves. It announces to society that “they care” while those on the right do not. Such a configuration is discernible in their approach to diverse issues like poverty, the environment, the schools, taxes, social security, and health care. They care; we don’t. They help; we harm. They love; we love our wallets.
Theirs is an emotional truth or, more cogently, emotion posing as truth. Reducing and traducing politics into a Manichean affair — they are light; we are dark — swells their souls and gives them a sense of purpose. Conservatives pointing out that their method of self-affirmation may ruin the country is merely proof of our own divisiveness and pessimism.
An excellent example of such thinking is evident in a series of videos at youtube.com in which a Republican and a Democrat appear side by side. So many straw men are constructed that one wonders if the writer had ever met a conservative before in his life. Predictably, the good guy is relaxed and cool while the Republican is an overweight, dressed up, geeky schlep whose argumentation consists of “what do you mean by better?”
As with much left-wing strategy, the clips are all about race. In one segment a black man appears and the bad guy becomes noticeably uncomfortable, claiming to not speak his language. In another the scarecrow is vehemently opposed to Barack Obama’s candidacy due to his own racism: “No, not him. Anybody but him.”
Despite evidencing cowardice and intellectual sloth, the filmmaker’s perspective is unfortunately quite common. Republicans are seen as slovenly, mean-spirited, and selfish. The perception then allows the pseudo-liberal the luxury of never having to take his opponents seriously — a state of affairs that produces yet more cowardice and mental sloth. When your opponents are beyond the pale, one never has to critically analyze their beliefs or contemplate the law of unintended consequences.
Given the holiness with which most on the left regard their political orientation, what role is assigned to Rush Limbaugh in their fabricated morality play? He is cast as the cluster bomb that destroys actors, the stage, the auditorium, the building, and the city housing their utopian dreams. His brand of diversity is not the kind of diversity that can be tolerated.
While those on the left do occasionally acknowledge that some conservatives are not evil — think David Brooks or Tucker Carlson — Limbaugh is satanic in their eyes. Rush Limbaugh refuses to treat them with the respect they feel they deserve. When the views of the sanctimonious are met with sarcasm, their outrage reaches the level of DEFCON 1, which is precisely what happens after Limbaugh lampoons them. His parodies feature the work of comedian Paul Shanklin, and the host torches sacred cows on a regular basis. Just as Ann Coulter does, he mounts assault after assault and never apologizes.
Judging a man by his friends is best practice, but a man can also be judged by his enemies. Rush Limbaugh’s foes are a testament to his success.
He discombobulates the entire left side of the political spectrum, and has managed to become a protagonist in their daily affairs. That’s reason enough for conservatives to cherish him.