Don't Call Me A Hater
A common description of conservatives is that they can't embrace the 'Browning of America'. That as the population of Latinos grows, as blacks gain political clout, and as women of color expand their influence in political circles, many mostly white voters, and especially older white men, are struggling with the idea that America is now equally divided by ethnicity and gender. So older white guys like me are angry, and supporting racist, nationalist leaders like Donald Trump.
Media talking heads call us "Haters".
The demographics may well show that America's color may be darkening, but assigning the dispepsia of conservative voters to xenophobia is totally bogus, and in many ways, bigoted. Sure there are always going to be vestiges of white power racism in our culture, just as there are significant numbers of people who like creamed spinach (not me!).
But to place the blame for our cultural divisions solely on the back of one group, one political point of view (conservatism) is myopic. Suggesting that older white men resent people of color is, in and of itself, an ignorant and intolerant generalization. If people like me don't stand up and reject these charges, we become complicit in the lie.
The problem is some people cannot separate attitude from policy. Modern cultural attitudes conflate racism with sovereignty. Too often the issue of breaking immigration laws is brushed aside, and intermingled with emotional issues like the separation of mothers from their children.
Was anyone worried about the future of Ruth, Mark and Andrew Madoff when Poppa Madoff was escorted out of the courthouse and committed to jail for 150 years?
I am a 68 year old white conservative. I voted for DJT, not because he is a racist and ergo so am I. No, it was because he was willing to address a serious problem of protecting our borders and keeping our communities safe. Not safe from people of color, but safe from intruders who disrespect our laws. All the other candidates capitulated to the bogus charges of racism.
It is as simple as that. I view Trump as an advocate of law and order, not white power! Most conservatives don't care what the color of your skin is, we just want migrants to assimilate, become an American who understands what that is and what responsibilities come with it.
The idea that our country is suffering from unregulated illegal immigration should not be arguable: there is simply too much evidence that citizens are suffering from crimes and job competition by people who are by law not supposed to be here. The color of their skin is irrelevant. When a migrant starts out by immediately disrespecting our laws, it is easy to assume they will continue to do so as they encounter challenges while struggling to survive in our competitive society. Admittedly, they will be handicapped by a lack of family resources, education or job history, so it is just too easy to turn to crime.
How else do we explain that 30% of the population in American jails are illegal immigrants?
Beyond the obvious issue of illegal immigration, what many Americans are worried about is the 'diluting of Americanism' wherein our heritage of self-sufficiency, respect for law, a sense of entrepreneurship and pride of ownership, and a commitment to engaged understanding and participation in civic decisions and community building will be replaced by a return to tribalism and social isolation. That if we do not require our immigrants and our citizens to follow the law, we will devolve into something unlike the America we inherited from our folks.
Watching groups attempting to breach our border security while carrying flags of their country of origin is a red flag for anyone who naively thinks these people just want to become Americans.
So please spare me the bigoted assertion that Trump is a racist and those who support him are haters. If you really believe that, you are delusional and misinformed. Just like Colin Kaepernick won't stand for the National Anthem because he considers it 'unjust', I won't stand for people calling me a hater.
In light of the recent election results, and in response to the burning question, "Where does the Republican Party go from here?" I am passing on a sneak preview from my new book Trump's Reckoning: Bulldozing Progressivism, Rebuilding Americanism. It explores the idea that for Republicans to rebrand themselves, to attract minorities and women, they must find common ground. Here is a taste of what I recommend they do...
"Pie in the sky idealism results in chaos. Progressives want the world to conform to their idyllic worldview, so they act as though it already has. That is why it is important that they redefine language and history, so it comports with their convoluted illusionary reality.
Our priority as Republicans must be to protect our family first. To make sure our members have realistic views of reality, that they are armed with the truth so they can exercise their freedom to create jobs, homes, schools and security rooted in what the Constitution deemed 'the pursuit of happiness.' To live safely in reality.
So I believe Republicanism is synonymous with what I call Familyism. It is about starting every day with the idea that your family comes first, then the family of your community, and then your state, and then your country. By taking care of and providing safety and security for your extended family, you are actively supporting what the founding fathers envisioned for the United States of America, a family of individual states and communities, all with different personality types, but all pulling the collective boat in the same direction.
We are all roots and branches of the same tree, America.
It is time for Republicans to embrace and brand ourselves with a new definition, a new motto, a new moral imperative: Republicans, the Family First Party."
Mocking the Absurd
I started listening to Rush in 1985, as I was spending a great deal of time driving around Southern California, working as a manufacturers sales representative, and his show burst out on a powerhouse AM channel in mid morning drive-time.
I must admit that at first I thought the guy was a pompous ass. But I still listened, because he was funny too. And he had a way of talking about current events that reminded me of my college days. I always enjoyed a good, interactive lecture and discussion in a classroom atmosphere. I was bored by pop music, so I got hooked on talk radio, and Rush was not just a pioneer, but as I learned over time, a cultural and political genius, too. Limbaugh has built his audience on, as he puts it, "Explaining and illustrating the absurd using absurdity."
Rush has been properly credited with the resuscitation of AM Radio. He took it from a failing Top Ten records and DJ medium, which could no longer compete with the improved sound quality of FM broadcasts, to a whole new news, information, and interactive talk medium. He tapped into what is now SOP, but at the time had no outlet: the need for people to share their passions, their frustrations, and their anxieties about life, community, national politics and current events. Limbaugh's mostly "talking about what interested" him show format was the radio forerunner to Twitter. The public was slowly drowning in new ways to get their news and information, and they needed someone to help them sort it all out and talk about it.
Demographics show Limbaugh's audience is mostly older male, middle-class and conservative. My guess is, most don't spend much time on Twitter, either.
But the most fundamental reason Rush is still the leader in the huge talk radio market, is because he can make absurdity make sense. And as confusing and contradictory as some of the news is, he adds a semblance of humor to the equation. Just enough to diffuse the anger, but also to illustrate how convoluted and distressing so much of our public discourse has become.
Whether you agree with his perspective or not, the man is highly entertaining, and his brand of human interest conversation continues to compete successfully with hundreds of sources on radio, TV, the internet and on our cell phones. I could make the case that Oprah Winfrey, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, David Letterman, and so many others, all learned a lot from Limbaugh, and owe much of their success to his success.
In the late 90's, Limbaugh formed an alliance with recording artist Paul Shanklin to produce a steady stream of musical parodies around high profile celebrity and political characters. Combined with his cartoonish nicknames for his favorite targets like 'Dirty' Harry Reid or Debbie 'Blabbermouth' Schultz, his voice imitations and creative soap-opera-style replays of controversial and conflicting sound bites, Rush consistently sets new creative standards for the radio medium.
After uber-liberal filmmaker Michael Moore released his anti-Bush film Fahrenheit 9/11 in 2006, acclaimed Hollywood producer David Zucker (Scary Movie, Naked Gun, Airplane) jumped into the fray when he decided that some of Washington's shenanigans just couldn't be ignored by filmmakers.
He formed an affinity group of conservatives in Hollywood; he got Jon Voight, Dennis Hopper, Kelsey Grammer, and Chris Farley's brother Kevin Farley together and pitched a script. His subsequent film, 'An American Carol' spoofed the limousine liberals of Hollywood. It challenged their sense of patriotism and tendency to 'blame America first.'
The film would not have happened without the groundwork by Rush Limbaugh. That reality holds true for later proteges like Dinesh D'Souza, Sean Hannity, Dennis Prager, and Michael Savage.
Zucker had made a dramatic transition from being an anti-Vietnam war protester and ardent Al Gore supporter, to an outspoken JFK-style conservative. He had grown to resent Democrat's rejection of American exceptionalism and the way the Left was complicit in allowing socialism, anti-zionism and radical extremism to flourish around the world.
Limbaugh is still garnering nearly 30 million listeners any given week, and though he pioneered the format, his is still quite unique. Critics want to focus on his squeaky voice (when he gets agitated) but he has an uncanny ability to point out absurdities. Just this week, Joy Behar lamenting the election results on ABC's liberal circle-jerk daytime talk show "The View" said that Republicans increased their majority in the Senate due to 'redistricting'.
Rush, after squeaking about how it shouldn't be possible for someone so ignorant to hold a seat on a nationally syndicated TV talk show, reminded the audience that state senators serve entire states, and since there are, as directed by the constitution, only two senators from every state, there is no such thing as 'redistricting' in statewide elections.
As the self appointed 'Mayor of Realville', Rush spends a great deal of time mocking leaders in academia, entertainment and politics who constantly demonstrate little or no understanding of our constitutional republic and how it works.