On Inauguration Day, I wrote how some left-leaning "radicals" had been arguing that President Obama's success would only serve to prop up an inherently flawed system. I rejected this perspective as missing a chance to see Obama's election as creating space for "people power" to flourish. Later that same day, the story broke that Rush Limbaugh had come out with his now-infamous quip that "I hope Obama fails," making me wonder whether Rush was somehow in league with the radical left even as he had become the ostensible standard-bearer for the mainstream right. Methinks something is amiss in all of this.
For starters, you've got to give Rush credit: no one else could make such a successful career out of total self-marginalization and by being so out of step with the times:
"I'm happy to be the last man standing. I'm honored to be the last man standing. Yeah, I'm the true maverick.... It's what Ann Coulter was talking about, the tyranny of the majority, all these victims here, we gotta make sure the victims are finally assuaged. Well, the dirty little secret is this isn't going to assuage anybody's victim status, and the race industry isn't going to go away, and the fact that America's original sin of slavery is going to be absolved, it's not going to happen. Just isn't, folks."
Change may be blowin' in the wind around America, but for Limbaugh it's just him blowing smoke over and over again:
"I think Obama wants me to fail.... President Obama, by telling you and the elected Republicans in Washington to not listen to me because I am not how things get done in Washington, he has said that he wants me to fail."
But you know, in the end the guy just might actually be right after all....
Consider that Obama's success will likely mean a lot of things that Limbaugh disdains. If the new President brings closure to current wars and staves off economic collapse, it quite possibly will once and for all bury the neocon legacy deep in the dustbin of history. It could even spell long-term disarray, if not outright doom, for the modern Republican Party and its unique brand of lockstep asininity. Indeed, Rush has a vested interest in seeing Obama fail, and in pinning the whole thing on liberalism in general in the process:
"Look, what [Obama's] talking about is the absorption of as much of the private sector by the US government as possible, from the banking business, to the mortgage industry, the automobile business, to health care. I do not want the government in charge of all of these things. I don't want this to work.... Why is it any different, what's new, what is unfair about my saying I hope liberalism fails? Liberalism is our problem. Liberalism is what's gotten us dangerously close to the precipice here. Why do I want more of it?"
Yes Rush, it was definitely those rabid liberals in the Bush Administration who moved us to the economic precipice. Certainly President Obama is a secret socialist who is clandestinely attempting to nationalize the U.S. economy and turn us into Cuba North. Those dangerous Democrats are utilizing a crisis to impose their will and create a tyrannical regime -- geez, they're almost becoming like real Republicans!
I can see why this upsets you. And I want to lend a hand to your logic. You may be correct, that the Liberal Media Elite have been complicit in covering up the truth and fostering a culture of victimization. So let me try to atone for this mess by highlighting a few important ways where you're right in noting that Obama's success will truly suck.
* The Future of Free-market Capitalism: If Obama successfully socializes the U.S. economy and it actually works, it will likely mean the end of free markets; if he fails, then free markets win out and order is restored to the world. We can't sit by and let the "invisible hand" get turned into a regulatory fist -- next thing you know, they'll get the idea that freedom itself should be regulated. Our cherished "free markets" have allowed the rich to get fantastically richer, have pushed the planet's life-carrying capacities to a critical point, have led to innumerable wars over dwindling resources, and have finally crushed workers and farmers around the world. We simply cannot give all of that up.
* The Tyranny of the Majority: Surely the Founding Fathers are spinning in their graves over this one. James Madison warned of the potential for minorities to become "insecure" when a majority becomes "united by a common interest." Thomas Jefferson likewise spoke eloquently on such matters:
"A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine.... All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression."
Better to get back to old-fashioned, common-sense, minority-rule oligarchy in such important matters that are beyond the capacity of "uninformed or ignorant people" to fully understand. Democracy, as our Founders implied, is too important to be left to "the people." All sorts of nuts invoke "democracy" for their own fascistic ends, and we ought to return to the good old days of stable systems like slavery where an enlightened minority could rule with beneficent impunity for the good of all.
* Bush Kept Us Safe, Obama Will Not: It cannot be said enough times that George Bush prevented terrorists from striking America -- after 9/11, that is. Hey, everyone is entitled to a second chance, and Bush really stepped up after that botched first opportunity. It's obvious that Obama and the Democrats are in league with the terrorists, as Rush has repeatedly noted: "Terrorists have voted Democrat." Wake up, America! With Obama at the helm we are going to be taken over by Al-Qaeda any day now. They will then proceed to wreck our economy, shred the Constitution, conduct torture in secret prisons, and impose a religious theocracy on the entire nation. We cannot let this happen.
* Those People Are Going to Get All Uppity: Perhaps the worst outcome of Obama's success would be all those pitiful peons out there getting the idea that they are equally entitled to speak up and exercise power. Rush was right in calling out the full implications of this troubling trend of so-called "multiculturalism" way back in 2005:
"What multiculturalists is, is balkanizing this country.... People are coming here from various parts of the world and they're bringing their cultures with them and the multiculturalists are saying 'your culture is better than the American culture. The American culture is discriminatory, it's racist, sexist, bigot, homophobic.'"
Everyone knows that native American culture is the best, and all those immigrants coming over here with their Puritanical notions are hell-bent on destroying all that is good and sacred on these fine shores. Next thing you know, "these people" will take over the whole place and try to impose their will with some kind of "manifest destiny" talk. Rush is right, once again: America is for us native Americans, and no one else!
Listen folks, Rush is on something -- I mean, onto something -- here. Liberal do-gooders couch their authoritarian tendencies under the mantle of "progress," "education," and "opportunity." We need a return to plain old-fashioned authoritarianism that doesn't need to cloak itself behind bogus ideals. Obama's success will only serve to bolster the Big Brother government, and I'm with Rush in opposing this. Thank you, Mr. Limbaugh, for having the courage to speak for all of us fellow radical left-wing anarchists -- like your colleague Bill O'Reilly, for instance -- everywhere. See you at the next meeting!