I have a hard time calling myself a conservative these days, despite the official definition of the term. Why? Because Rush Limbaugh is a conservative, and all he seems to want to conserve is people's stupidity. Probably because it makes him rich.
Conservatives are a monolithic bunch, don't you think? I once made the mistake of thinking liberals are the same way, but I'm starting to realize it's not true.
While I was on the way to get a Subway sandwich at lunch today, I heard a lady call into the Rush Limbaugh show claiming she knew the answer to why there were hardly any liberal radio talk shows. Rush praised her for coming up with the "right answer", which allegedly was that liberals controls all the newspapers, magazines, newscasts, etc. 'Oh, and don't forget Hollywood movies,' Rush intoned.
Here's the real reason that Rush--along with Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, and others of this ilk-- is so popular, but that liberal talk show hosts aren't. Liberals tend much more frequently to think for themselves. Most
Not all liberals think, to be sure, but most do. Contrarily, not all conservatives don't think, but most don't.conservatives have a hard time doing this, but rather feel a rush of euphoria when they discover that they have become conditioned to agree with some million-dollar talk-show host that makes a fast buck by doing their thinking for them.
They let Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Bill O'Reilly do their thinking for them.
While liberals have their own often carefully thought-out opinions, most conservatives are content to be served up a mind full of not much more than mush.
This idea became clear to me the other day as I read a DailyKos article. First, let me ask a couple of questions:
(1) How many died-in-the-wool conservatives would criticize George W. Bush, Rush Limbaugh, and the Republican Party. Answer: Not many.
(2) How many liberals criticize Democrats when they think they are wrong? Quite a few more. It was this article by mcjoan about FISA at DailyKos that helped clarify the conservative conundrum for me (H/T The SideTrack). In the article, mcjoan criticized the Democrats for capitulating to Republicans in the battle over FISA legislation (a point, by the way, with which I agree):
Have Dem leaders really moved in the discussions from whether to provide amnesty to how to provide it? Beyond that, why in the hell do the telcos have a seat at the negotiating table on this issue at all?And it dawned on me. Liberals' principles are much more likely to be something other than of the whim-of-the-day wolf-pack-mentality variety.
This concept has been on my mind as I have begun to read The Mighty & The Almighty, a book by former Secretary of State Madeline Albright, a book which in bygone years I would never have picked up, because I was content to let Rush Limbaugh do my thinking for me. Ms. Albright is a far more dynamic individual than the dimwitted Mr. Limbaugh would like anyone to know as he so many times has attempted to squelch understanding by referring to the Madame Secretary as Madeleine Halfbright.
In her book, I am impressed to find out, Ms. Albright talks about the importance of discussing religion in public, a view that she did not always subscribe to. As I do, Madeleine Albright believes that essentially all religion is valuable, and that everyone should be left to freely choose what religion will be theirs. She believes that an attempt to understand Islam will be of great benefit to achieving liberty and peace across the globe--another point that is right on target in my book. Most importantly, she says that while liberty and democracy are "mankind's best inventions" and superior to any other form of society and government, it is a precarious situation to go around the world compelling others to accept America's form of democracy.
Rush Limbaugh must be less than half bright.
Not all liberals think, to be sure, but most do. Contrarily, not all conservatives don't think, but most don't.
They let Rush, Sean, and Bill do their thinking for them.