Thursday, the weather was frightful as I started my drive to Washington, DC: fog, icy roads, mist. On the radio, I tuned Rush Limbaugh, noted verbal abuser of soldiers and children, and I listened to him whine. From the Republican debate on CNN, Rush had two main points to impart to his audience. First, there is no "new conservatism" and "he" will not allow conservatism to be watered down. Second, CNN with its destructive debate format disrespects the office. Now, I was confused in that I was not certain which office he was speaking of, as I didn't think that "candidate" was an office to disrespect, especially given all the real disrespecting he does towards candidates he disfavors. According to Rush, his fears were justified further when CNN rolled out the kooks and non-issues like religion, gays and confederate flags during the Republican debate.
Well someone should not so gently tell extreme conservative Limbaugh those ARE the defining issues of his fundamentalist conservatives. A retired National Guard Army General, who is gay and actively supporting Hillary, asked if the US military was professional enough to end the "don't ask; don't tell" policy. The general was booed and the tap dancing on stage was amazing to watch. Another gay related question, by a Log Cabin Republican supporting Obama, completely upset Rush who shrieked that "gay" is not an issue. Well from the sounds of the audience booing the General, it certainly is an issue with what remains of the conservative movement and the Republican Party.
Another question from an Edwards supporter concerned what would Jesus do. Rush was screaming foul. Mr. Limbaugh, I don't know how to break it to you but I wager these supporters of Democratic candidates are still or were recently Republicans. The dirty little secret, that I am certain your frequent issue polling indicates, is that many of that vast audience you claim to have are simply people who don't care to listen to music all the time or who require traffic information. Almost all the near-monopoly talkers are owned by your fundamentalist conservative fellow travelers. But, you do entertain us. THAT is why you found it so necessary to paint religion, gays and racism as dead or uninteresting issues. Your polling must show those issues will only expose fundamentalist conservatives as intolerant and nasty. You even accused CNN of attempting to expose conservatives as racist because of a questioner who had a confederate flag as his background and in his question.
Mr. Limbaugh went on to rant that immigration was a hot issue. Again, as your frequent polling must show, Rush, the majority of your listeners are not racists but your fundamentalist conservatives often are VERY racist. I troll conservative blog sites and I urge all of you to join me. Please spend an hour or two on any conservative blog addressing immigration and it is immediately clear that a virulent strain of racism runs throughout most discussion. At several anti "illegal" immigrant rallies in Pennsylvania, the crowds were heavily made up of neo-Nazis, skinheads and assorted "other" white supremacist organizations and members. Rush desperately attempts to hide this aspect of extreme conservatism from his listeners. Immigration presents serious challenges to our country. Illegal immigration, by the way, is yet another direct result of fundamentalist conservative George Bush's near total incompetence which clearly complicates the challenge facing the country. Conservatives scream, "illegal immigrant" indicating a crime akin to murder or certainly some major felony. In the real world, on the criminal totem pole, being an illegal immigrant is a crime ranking lower than jay walking or a parking ticket.
Reality check! Here is a dose of reality. Walk across any military base. Walk the halls of Walter Reed, as I do. You will see the "real" America. We are all there in the military: gay and straight soldiers and generals, fundamentalist conservatives and atheists, children of illegal immigrants and I suspect illegal immigrants. Would you like more? The military has the brilliant and the challenged along with every color and racial mix under the sun. This is AMERICA at its absolute best. Like a great stew every flavor is identifiable and not easily blended into a wonderful creation. The REAL America is not Rush's fundamentalist conservatism of black and white, of obey and pay or of every"man" for themselves. The REAL America is much more like the military, especially at the unit level: a sometime bruising mixture of all Americans nonetheless watching each others backs to the death and totally committed to defending and building America.
Rush, if you do not know that, then no amount of polling will ever help you nor will it help your acolytes. Immigration is a real challenge. As this country strives to deal with the huge influx of immigrant workers Bush allowed into this country, we need to behave as the great nation we are and the military that represents us; not the racists and greedy Limbaugh is attempting to cloak.