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Rush Limbaugh and Conservatism

January 3, 2008

I gave up listening to talk radio a number of years ago. However, since today is the day of the Iowa caucuses and I am still on vacation until Monday, I tuned in to see what the moguls of the airwaves had to say.

First up was the Rush Limbaugh show. I found his attacks on Gov Huckabee and Sen McCain of particular interest. He went down his list of why neither Huckabee nor McCain are conservatives. No similar statements were made about either Rudy Giuliani or Gov Romney – neither of whom can even claim to be conservatives.

Newt Gingrich understood conservatism and demonstrated that knowledge through development of the Contract with America. Embracing the Contract with America swept Republicans into the first Republican-controlled Congress in over 40 years. It was the failure to deliver on many of the promises contained within the Contract with America that ultimately led to the loss of control of both houses of Congress. Some would claim that it was President Bush’s military adventures in Afghanistan and Iraq that cost control of the Congress, but they would be wrong.

So what makes a conservative? According to Limbaugh, there are several attributes that mark one as a conservative. Here are a few of those he mentioned:

·         Reducing taxes

·         Reducing the size of government

·         Pardons

·         No amnnesty for illegal aliens

·         Securing the border

·         Support for the war in Iraq

I’ll address the first two simultaneously. When you’re not spending billions of dollars each and every day engaging in undeclared wars, in direct violation of the Constitution, you can actually save a ton of money. By elimination of the Departments of Education, Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, Labor and Commerce, you can easily see that it might just be possible to eliminate personal income taxes while actively paying off the national debt.

Pardoning criminals is neither a conservative or liberal trait. It is an action undertaken for specific reasons, none of which must ever be allowed to consist of campaign contributions or payoffs.

Amnesty for illegal aliens is a difficult concept to sell to rational people. My own senator answered my concern by saying we shouldn’t punish the children of illegal immigrants; it wasn’t their fault that they are here illegally. The same argument could be made for allowing the children of violent criminals to keep the money and assets that were obtained through illegal activity. I don’t buy it, and I don’t think any sane person would entertain such an idea.

Securing the border is neither a conservative or liberal matter. National sovereignty is a tenant of the Constitution that every elected public official swears to uphold in his or her oath of office. Those unwilling to uphold their oath of office are unworthy of their office and must not be allowed re-election. They must be defeated and driven from political life.

Support for the war in Iraq. I can’t for the life of me understand how Limbaugh came up with the idea that support for the invasion of a sovereign nation, removing that nation’s rulers by force and continued occupation of that nation – in direct violation of the U.S. Constitution – is an attribute of a conservative. That undeclared war would never have taken place had a conservative been in the Oval Office.

Is it possible that Mr. Limbaugh doesn’t know the attributes of a true conservative?

Until next time,

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