In Thursday’s Wall Street Journal, Rush Limbaugh contributes aneditorial that proposes a “bipartisan stimulus”that allows for infrastructure spending but also includes major tax cuts for corporations and on capital gains.I think that’s still allowing Obama too much spending, but by setting it up as bipartisan, it’s a strategic effort to prove what actually stimulates the economy. I don’t know that it would prove anything and it doesn’t address draconian regulations and federal control of banks and so many other horrors now in process. But it’s an honorable effort in the right direction.
What I do oppose in the writings and broadcasts of Rush Limbaugh include his beliefs in religion as the foundation of America, and his derivation of morality from religion rather than from reality, leading to his belief that a fetus has rights over that of the mother, or that assisted suicide is immoral and should be illegal. I disagree with those and other religion-influenced viewpoints he expresses, especially those that support theocratic laws, and I also disagree with him on limiting immigration. He is a Conservative and not an Objectivist, so I would not try to defend him on his Conservatism.
Having expressed my caveats, when it comes to issues of economics and political power (outside of the issue of separation of church and state) his daily radio broadcast can be an indispensible guide to understanding the news and what important facts most mainstream journalists regularly fail to investigate.
Once he is on a topic that isn’t directly connected with religious conservative views, in my opinion he resorts to a common-sense type of self-interest and reason as his apparent, implied philosophy. Outside of sacrificing one’s life for the sake of a fetus, or sacrificing the right of a terminal patient to avoid pain via assisted suicide, he is not particularly altruistic or pro-sacrifice.
His whole persona is of one that enjoys the good life, the wealth he has achieved on his own initiative, rather than a persona of humility and guilt and slavish service to the downtrodden. He is opposed to a victim mentality and he applauds individual accomplishment and self-responsibility.
He does, however, ascribe his talent as on loan from God. He is wrong to suggest his talent is from a supernatural source, but on the other hand it doesn’t sound like he’s kneeling and bowing his head in atonement and guilt for his success.
In fact, he has often recommended “Atlas Shrugged” by atheist Ayn Rand,to explain capitalism to people. Not only that, but he is on the front lines of daring to question environmentalism and for the right reasons. He sees the scam of it, that it’s just a ploy to impose socialism and big government regulations. And I will always be grateful to him for being the only voice against feminism in the 1980s. At that time and in the later 1970s, everywhere men and boys were being unjustly criticized for their natural masculinity. Any differences they had from women were considered flaws, and flirtation in office settings was on the verge of becoming illegal. Since then,that type of feminism has lost most mainstream support thanks in large part to Limbaugh.
He also usually expresses a reasonable, self-defense based foreign policy.
So as we enter the Obama years, I consider Limbaugh’s radio program useful. It’s telling that Obama has said, “Stop listening to Rush Limbaugh”.
As long as Rush sticks to economics and political power issues, his clarity of thought and expression, mixed with satirical humor, is excellent. His points about how Obama/Congress’s stimulus packages are a new “New Deal” and that such programs cannot correct a recession, and only extends it or turns it into a full blown Depression, are on target. I would recommend that people listen to his broadcast, especially now.
For some transcripts of his recent programs, see www.rushlimbaugh.com.
Once the economic crisis is over and he returns to more religious-right issues, I don’t expect to find as much value in his program. And he is no substitute for the secular pro-capitalistic and rational philosophy expressed in Op-Eds and essays and speeches by Objectivists found at The Ayn Rand Center, the Ayn Rand Bookstore and The Objective Standard. But he covers more of the intricacies from day to day than they are able to cover, so he is a fine supplement, if you discard all his religionist inclinations.
The only philosophy that will protect individual rights is Objectivism, not Conservatism. Rush is a Conservative, and Conservatism needs to be rejected in the long run. If you can separate out his rational views from his irrational views, he is a valuable supplement to Objectivist sources like The Objective Standard and The Ayn Rand Center.
It’s because the TV networks and news magazines and newspapers are so reluctant–to an unprecedented extreme–to criticize, investigate and analyze the Obama administration’s and the Democratic Congress’s actions and motivations,that I recommend Limbaugh. But I repeat that I am not a Conservative and the only philosophy that can save America in the long run is Objectivism.
See www.aynrand.org and http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/author/robert_tracinski/ for Objectivist perspectives.
P.S. Another interesting radio program, which covers in depth various newsworthy topics that you won’t hear much about in most of the media, is The John Batchelor Show. This world-news oriented program heightens dramatic emphasis by means of musical intros, the host’s striking references to parallel events in history, and his use of dramatic language, metaphors and images. Batchelor recently spoke with Stephen Moore about his Wall Street Journal article suggesting that “Atlas Shrugged” is coming true.
Here are the links:
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