He never seemed to deal in any depth with the issues that concern me and a lot of other conservative-minded Americans. Immigration? The border issue? The Hispanicizing of America? The demographic doom that seems to be looming over us? The veering of 'conservatism' into liberal dogma? None of these things are ever dealt with on Rush's program. He would rather discuss football than trivialities like the future of our country, the loss of American culture, the selling-out of our birthright, the threat of Islam (except in connection with the War on Terror [sic], which to him simply meant the war in Iraq. And on that subject, he faithfully toed the Party Line. We have to whup them in Iraq so that we won't have to fight them here. Well, Rush, we DO have to fight them here; they are here in our country. But Rush never acknowledged that aspect of the Islamic threat. He faithfully repeated the talking points and anyone who questioned that was being defeatist, or was a liberal in disguise, or a Bush-basher.
So now, in his morning-after-the-election broadcast, Rush confesses that he has been 'carrying water':
The way I feel is this: I feel liberated, and I'm going to tell you as plainly as I can why. I no longer am going to have to carry the water for people who I don't think deserve having their water carried. Now, you might say, "Well, why have you been doing it?" Because the stakes are high. Even though the Republican Party let us down, to me they represent a far better future for my beliefs and therefore the country's than the Democrat Party and liberalism does.'
So he has been carrying the water -- for whom? I have always said he is a faithful party follower, doing the bidding of the RNC or the administration. His job is to lead the malleable public, to keep them shepherded within the Neocon fold. To keep them on board with the 'War on Terror', to ridicule and dismiss anyone who is concerned with the direction of the war. To keep the party faithful, faithful. To focus attention on the evil liberals/Democrats (and Lord knows, many of them truthfully seem evil), to cast everything, and I mean everything, in partisan political terms. Republican Party=good. Any other party=evil or deluded. Of course none of Rush's listeners are likely to be led astray by the Democrats but they might be tempted to go third-party, and Rush and his ilk (Hannity, Hewitt, all the rest of the water-carriers) ridicule and dismiss any independent leanings. It's all about the GOP. The GOP is the all-in-all, in the worldview of this group.
But does Rush come right out and say whose 'water' he has been carrying? No; he merely makes cryptic remarks. What is that about? Will he come out and say that he disagrees with the adminstration on anything, or with the RNC? Not likely. So it seems to me that he is still carrying water, still doing someone else's bidding, and won't even come right out and say who is calling the tune. Of course it's obvious, but he could come clean and name names.
But that might endanger a lucrative career.
Has he been given remuneration for this faithful water-carrying? Given perks or privileges of some sort? Or is he simply a faithful true believer, doing it for 'principle?' His speech about feeling 'liberated' indicates that he felt under pressure or felt less than free.
And how are his listeners to trust his pronouncements now, after he admits that he was being used or directed or whatever you will? Can we assume that what he says now is what he really believes, or is it being fed to him?
But Rush need not worry, it appears. I just read a very long thread on one of the GOP-faithful message boards, and out of the scores of comments, not one of them asked the question 'whose water is he carrying? What is he talking about?' Not one of them questioned his integrity. Rush, it seems, is above reproach; he can do no wrong. Although some conservatives jumped ship after his drug scandal, they seem to have come back to the fold, and his fan base seems as loyal as ever. And he seems set to continue to be the 'voice of conservatism' for the average American. Never mind that his 'conservatism' has little in common with historic conservatism.
Take this quote, for example:
There hasn't been any ideology in the Republican Party, any conservatism, for at least two to maybe four years. You could argue Bush was more of an ideologue in the presidential campaign of '04, but in looking at what happened yesterday, it wasn't conservatism that lost. Conservatism won when it ran as a Democrat. It won in a number of places. Republicanism lost. RINO Republicans, country club blue-blood Republicans, this nonpartisan Republican identity, that's what went down in flames. I've always believed that those of us who are conservative believe in the ideology. We believe it wins. We believe it's best for the country. We believe it's best for the people. We believe it's ultimately compassionate, and it has not been present.
And this passage:
Two years after '94, the conservatives made the mistake of thinking that the country had become conservative, and they stopped being ideological, and they stopped teaching. They stopped leading a movement and began what they began. It happened here again. The assumption that: "Okay, conservatism is in power now. The people know who we are. They like who we are. Stop teaching."
You can never stop teaching.''
Conservatism is not so much an 'idelogy' as it is an outlook; a worldview.The word 'ideology, as defined by Brittanica:
The term was coined in 1796 by the French writer Antoine-Louis-Claude, Comte Destutt de Tracy (b. 1754-d. 1836), as a label for his ''science of ideas.'' Certain characteristics of his thought proved generally true of ideologies, including a more or less comprehensive theory of society, a political program, anticipation of a struggle to implement that program (thus requiring committed followers), and intellectual leadership. Destutt de Tracy's ideas were adopted by the French Revolutionary government in building its version of a democratic, rational, and scientific society (see Directory). Napoleon first gave the term a negative connotation with his scorn for what he called ideologues. Ideology is often contrasted unfavourably with pragmatism. ''
It's telling to note that the word was coined in the late 18th century and adopted by the French Revolutionary government. Ideology implies a set of abstractions about society and people, which is what liberals, revolutionaries, and neocons traffic in. It is not what conservatives deal in. Conservatism has more to do with an attitude, a recognition of certain basic facts about human nature, and the world. Conservatism starts from a realistic recognition of realities, not from any mental construct of a utopian ideal. Liberalism sets out to re-cast human nature and human societies on the basis of their imagined social order. Conservatism accepts human nature, flawed as it is, and instead of embarking on endless projects to remake human beings and reality, posits a modicum of order and laws which curb the worst in human nature, without attempting to deny or eradicate human failings. Conservatives do not expect miracles; they merely hope to preserve what is good, to prevent the worst excesses of human nature, and to preserve laws, standards and traditions that have proved to ameliorate the human condition, to make the world livable and tolerable. Conservatives know that human nature is prone to selfish and wayward actions, and towards evil in many cases. Conservatives know that this human nature cannot be perfected; any attempt to create perfection must rely on an intrusive, coercive government. So conservatism prefers social conventions that counter the worst human tendencies rather than relying on a strong government to keep people in check.
Conservatism is part of the basic common sense which is part of a mature person's makeup: the recognition that we preserve and keep things which work well, which make life more civililzed, and we regard all change with a certain caution; we don't recklessly seek wholesale change, which will inevitably have unintented consequences. Conservatism says 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it.' Conservatism also says 'you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear', and you can't change base metals into gold. Conservatism says life has limits, and there ain't no such thing as a free lunch. Conservatism values stability, continuity, the tried-and-true, the time-tested, the traditional.
Ideology belongs to the liberals, the leftists, the Marxists, the libertarians, none of whom seem to have more than a passing acquaintance with hard, cold reality. All of those ideologues base their goals on some imagined 'new man', or new order of things, in which we will all be equal, and everybody will eat strawberries and cream, and the world will live as one. Now the only way we can get from here to there is by some coercive, heavy-handed government which compels us to share, and compels us to sacrifice personal will for the 'common good'.
And ideology belongs to the group of unreformed liberals called 'neoconservatives'. They have never, it seems, reconsidered their leftist view of human beings as being absolutely equal in ability and potential, hence their belief in the 'anti-racist' creed, in affirmative action, 'No Child Left Behind', etc. They believe that Americans, being the guardians and keepers of all 'liberty and democracy', have to go on foreign adventures to deliver democracy and freedom to the deprived masses everywhere. It is their birthright, according to the neocon creed; everybody is entitled to 'freedom and democracy', and it is our destiny to bring it to them, somewhat like 'democracy-on-wheels', delivered to your door, all ready for consumption. In contrast, the true conservative is inclined to take care of his own hard-won freedom, realizing its fragility, and to shy away from untoward involvement in far-off lands.
The neocon belief in crusading for 'democracy' bears a suspicious resemblance to the Maoist doctrine of perpetual revolution. It would truly be a never-ending project, remaking the world in our image, or should I say, in the neoconservative utopian image.
The neocon ideology, which has been termed 'invade the world, invite the world' eagerly embraces multiculturalism and its evil twin, open borders. And the neocon ideology declares that America is a mere 'proposition nation' -- a nation centered on an ideology. This bears no resemblance to our historic American nation, which is a discrete nation, based on common Anglo-Saxon ancestry and culture, and on Christian precepts. Making America into an ideological proposition is one of the biggest crimes of neoconservatism, from where I stand.
No true conservative could think of supporting open borders, or the ethnic replacement of a whole nation of people -- which is what the end result of mass immigration will be. No conservative would support the multiculturalism which will result in unimagined changes, and ultimate social chaos. All of these things, so important to the neocons as well as to their soulmates on the left, are the antithesis of conservative. They bring about wholesale, reckless change and disruption. They destroy the identity of this country, with the existing culture and heritage. Thus the neocon project results in the same chaos as the leftist utopian delusion.
So if Rush Limbaugh insists on 'ideology' as paramount, he is defending neoconservatism, not the conservatism I embrace, and not the conservatism handed down by our forefathers.
Rush needs to read some history books, and acquaint himself with what conservatism means in the context of our historic American nation, and with the West in general. If he weren't so busy carrying water for his neoconservative pals, he might be better informed. And if Rush cares about this country, he ought to be concerned about the wholesale changes that are being engineered in this country, and about our country being remade to someone else's demented plan.
Meanwhile, the reality is, Limbaugh influences a lot of malleable people; millions follow him faithfully. That kind of influence demands some responsibility, and Limbaugh does not seem to exercise it. I see him as a pied piper, leading many people farther away from conservatism, into neocon-never-never-land.
I think I need another label by which to identify my leanings: the term 'conservatism' has been so distorted and bastardized. To most people now, it is hopelessly tainted with all the neocon folly, that I don't wish to be called 'conservative' anymore. And I am finding that I have less and less in common with the dittoheads, the Hannity fans, the Hewitt cultists, let alone the GOP party lackeys, and they are equally unhappy to be associated with those like me. I think a divorce is in the cards. Lots of us are going to jump ship, unless the ship is put back on a true course very soon.
In the meantime, I am a traditionalist, not a conservative.
Or call me a 'right-winger' or whatever you will, just as long as you don't mistake me for a neocon. That is a label I will not wear.