In 1991, I was a dutiful Republican, a Bush-supporting neoconservative extraordinaire. I’d come close to tears in 1976 as the GOP rejected Ronald Reagan, staying with that charismatic pillar of small government, Gerald Ford.
Reagan roared back, winning it all, four years later, his glorious rhetoric intact. Of course, Reagan’s rhetoric was only that, as he successfully delivered even bigger government to America, complete with higher taxation and more federal regulations as he made his exit.
But that wasn’t his biggest offense.
His biggest blunder occurred prior to his assuming the presidency, when he selected a GOP establishment golden boy as his running mate. Reagan became a PINO – president in name only, as Bush loyalists ostensibly ran the Reagan White House, including Reagan’s own chief of staff, Howard Baker.
I didn’t know or care at the time, as I was a GOP homeboy, assuming the company line was true: Republicans were for small, limited government, and opposed to all forms of welfare. Thus, I would vote in each cycle for anybody with an “R” by their name. I was all in.
I remained all in as Bush the Senior lied, and raised taxes. Then he shooed the Iraqis out of Kuwait. But it was all justifiable, because after all, he was a Republican.
It was during his Gulf War that I first heard Rush Limbaugh on the radio. Limbaugh confirmed everything I believed, preaching conservatism, touting all-things military, while demonizing Democrats, or anybody who wasn’t a Republican. He was, and is, an extremely gifted showman, as comfortable behind his “golden EIB microphone” as Bruce Jenner is at Victoria’s Secret. His funny parodies, and perpetual mocking of the liberal bad guys, was hugely entertaining. And people listened. Boy, did they listen. At his peak, Limbaugh single-handedly saved AM radio, while drawing an audience of 20 million. He was a force to be reckoned with.
By the middle of George W. Bush’s second term, the scam was up for me. By that point, I had come to realize what a shell game American politics is. No matter how many Republicans took office, the result was no different than having a Beltway full of Democrats. Government, huge already, only grew exponentially. The welfare state grew, taxes grew, regulations grew, more bureaucracies were created, crony capitalism between the governmental monolith and Wall Street had its choke-hold on the American economy, and perpetual war was the order of the day.
Was. And is.
Ultimately, I realized the Beltway Oligarchy for what it is, an amalgam of huge government-loving cretins who exist at the expense of taxpayers, and live to rule and remain in power.
I seceded from it all.
Limbaugh has not.
He remains, faithfully trumpeting his adoration of the latest gaggle of GOP goons who would assume power and carry on the same policies employed by the Bush dynasty. He claims to be a conservative. And he is correct, for conservatism has become clearly defined now as a philosophy which seeks to conserve what is.
And all the while, I had thought conservatism mean to reduce what is.
Boy, do I have egg on my face. Sucker!
So here The Big Bag Of Gas sits to this day, booming his worship of the Walkers, Rubios, and Cruzes, while never bothering to ask the essential, “So, what are any of you boys gonna do to actually reduce the size of the federal government?”
He doesn’t ask, because he doesn’t care. Limbaugh is all in for perpetual war, never bothering to actually consider the folly of the Bush policy. Never does he call for an obliteration of any federal department. He just sits there, blustering his disapproval for wretched Supreme Court decisions, ever failing to put two and two together.
Yo, BBoG: Just who the hell do you believe put these robes into power?
Anyone who actually seriously proposes a true reduction in the size and scope of government is demonized and ridiculed by Limbaugh, and dismissed as a crackpot. Anyone who actually would eliminate entire federal departments is either ignored completely, or treated with scorn and contempt. Put Ed Snowden in the electric chair. Rush will be happy to throw the switch.
Anyone who dares to question Limbaugh will be wed to futility. One caller sought to enlighten him as to the truth about the Reagan presidency, and how “Ronaldus Magnus” actually delivered bigger government. He was cutoff in mid sentence and summarily dismissed with Limbaugh bellowing that “you are the prime example of an ideology which simply must be defeated at election time!”
You want the truth, El Rushbo? You can’t handle the truth!
There he sits, safely ensconced behind his golden EIB microphone, ignorant coward that he is, a man who simply will not have his philosophy challenged for the simple reason he cannot defend it. Ever the American nationalist, Limbaugh is quick to wave his flag and idolize the military which for him can do no wrong, never pausing to consider that, hey, buddy……this is big government, too.
Any encroachment upon his camouflaged god will never be tolerated. Limbaugh pukes out a lie, such as “Obama is gutting the military!” (would that he actually were) while praising American bomb-dropping on innocent Christian civilizations which have NOTHING to do with the actual defense of the homeland, for in Rush’s world, the military is holy and untouchable.
Such an utter waste of talent. Oh to have someone with such talent who actually espoused liberty and freedom. In the Limbaugh asylum, the state remains king of all. Liberty is foreign to him. Ultimately, his allegiance is the same as that of the aforementioned would-be tyrants up for the GOP nomination. The Taft-Goldwater roots of the Republican Party is utterly unknown to this man who, at the end of the day, is all in for huge and unfettered government.
Limbaugh is the typical Republican nowadays, and the legions of those he would call mind-numbed robots (oh, the irony) will follow in lockstep, dutifully voting in each election for anyone, as long as he has an “R” at the end of his name. He could be Hitler, but hey, he’s a Republican. Pull the chain, Agnes!
Such unfortunate souls fail to do the business of liberty, falling for the delusion that simply voting for Republicans will deliver political salvation for America. What is lost on them is there is no political salvation for America, no matter what letter follows anybody’s name. Voting is a sucker’s game, an illusion designed to pacify the sheep and give them the impression they are actually doing something which will benefit them and their homeland.
Such a delusion.
To all this, Limbaugh remains willfully ignorant, safely fortified in his Palm Beach compound, belching his big-government gospel five days a week, while labeling it conservatism.
Congratulations, Windbag. You have helped to successfully co-opt and redefine the term. So you can have it.
I’ll take liberty.
And if you ever get around to it, you might consider allowing someone to help untie the other half of your brain.
But only if you promise to use it.
© Copyright 2015 Tim Holcombe