There are so very many things wrong with these six minutes of audio from Rush Limbaugh’s entertainment program.
All of it, of course, centers on the notion that business is entirely responsible for everything good in America and government only serves to impede the wonderful things that businessmen can do. When President Obama claims that the owners of businesses actually benefit a great deal from being part of a country with a government that undertakes major projects on behalf of the citizenry, this is — for Limbaugh — patently false. And the evidence? Henry Ford.
Every time. It’s Henry Ford every time.
That guy did it all himself. He made cars all by himself, he invented the assembly line all by himself, he educated himself and then, in turn, educated all of his workers by himself, he actively fought (with weapons) against union organizers all by himself, he was a virulent anti-Semite and a supporter of Adolf Hitler all by himself … and so on.
The amazing thing about Ford is that without him we wouldn’t have roads and bridges, two of the very things that Obama keeps mentioning as important government contributions to American business. Without cars, which were built entirely by Henry Ford without a lick of help from the government, there’d be no roads or bridges. At least that’s Limbaugh’s take on things.
Too bad about the railroads; they’re just a minor government-financed project that likely had no impact on the United States in any way. Indeed, it’s almost certainly the case that all of Ford’s raw materials came from the city of Detroit and thus nothing ever needed to be moved anywhere. Right?
But, anyhow, my favorite part of Limbaugh’s latest rant is that whenever he doesn’t have an explanation for something the government did that assists the owners of businesses, he just claims that Obama hates that part of the government or the country.
A good example is the internet. Rather than attempt to refute the idea that the internet assists business and wasn’t created by the businessmen themselves, Limbaugh simply notes that hates the military and Department of Defense. This is pretty amazing, given that the single most serious complaint liberals have about Obama is that he has whole-heartedly embraced the military and military options like drone warfare over the past four years.
But the problem, at bottom, is that I’m listening to this endless stream of nonsense and trying to make sense of it. For most people who regularly listen to Limbaugh, it doesn’t actually matter if it makes sense; all that matters is that it confirms what they already believe to be true.
And that’s the last part of the clip:
I think it can now be said, without equivocation — without equivocation — that this man hates this country. He is trying — Barack Obama is trying — to dismantle, brick by brick, the American dream.
There’s no other way to put this. There’s no other way to explain this. He was indoctrinated as a child. His father was a communist. His mother was a leftist. He was sent to prep and Ivy League schools where his contempt for the country was reinforced. He moved to Chicago. It was the home of the radical left movement. He hooks up to Ayers and Dohrn and Rashid Khalidi. He learns the ruthlessness of Cook County politics. This is what we have as a president: a radical ideologue, a ruthless politician who despises the country and the way it was founded and the way in which it became great. He hates it.
The thing that’s so interesting to me is that this actually resonates with people. Millions of people. They listen to this and they think to themselves — or they say to their friends and co-workers — “Yes! This is exactly what’s wrong with America: The President hates this country!”
So what I want to know is this: What would my life have to be like in order for this to resonate with me? Would I need to make a lot more money every year? Would I need to actually own a factory? Would it help if I hadn’t spent so much time in a classroom?
I’m guessing that none of this would help, that plenty of Limbaugh’s listeners make the same amount of money that I do — maybe a little bit more or a little bit less — and that plenty of them are well-educated (and by public schools, even).
So, again, why does all this nonsense about socialism and birth certificates and perfectly self-sufficient corporate overlords resonate with them and not with me?
I ask because I’m honestly trying to figure out how to talk to people who are certain that it’s Obama and not Limbaugh who’s the radical ideologue. Because, regardless of the outcome of the November election, it’s going to be important — at some point — for Americans to figure out how to talk to one another across the chasm that Limbaugh helped to create and that keeps him living his outrageously opulent lifestyle.
How are we going to find any common ground on which to stand?