Friday, December 16, 2005

Idiot Limbaugh II

Survived another term of grading, so it's now back to ranting.

Overall, today has not been a bad day for Americans. The election in Iraq went as smoothly as we could have hoped, the president was forced to accept the "no-torture" amendment proposed by John McCain, and the Senate was not able to overcome a filibuster of the Patriot Act. Maybe some of our civil liberties will be restored.

On the other hand, there is the story in the New York Times about Bush ordering the National Security Agency to secretly monitor citizens' international phone calls and emails. The reaction by the conservatives is typified by Rush Limbaugh. Rather than be offended by the violation of citizens' privacy, he is calling for the Attorney General to investigate who leaked the story to the Times.

Of course, this is a man who calls himself "America's anchorman", not understanding that the primary function of the news media is surveillance of the environment, not opinion dissemination. We should be aware when the government violates our rights.


Blogger Aging Bureaucrat said...

I tend to agree with most of your positions. However, one of the things that irritates me most about the conservative media is how it tends to label anybody who disagrees with them as an idiot. That approach, using cynicism and personal attacks, turns many people off.
Limbaugh and the like won their huge audience by tapping into the anger that many white middle class folks already had about the government. There is a tendency for these folks to seek opinions that validate and reinforce that anger. Therefore, the Limbaugh approach works for its type of audience.
The trouble is that I don't think this works on the other side. I think middle-of-the-road and progressive folks are turned off by that and want to hear serious dialogue and to listen to both sides of a story.
Stated in another way, I think conservatives tend to be self-centered folks primary motivated by their own personal interests (business profits, less government paperwork and interference in their lives, lower taxes). They are angry at what they perceive as the ever-increasing size of government and seek ways to channel or express that anger. Liberals, on the other hand, tend to see problems in society that need to be solved. And they know that this requires serious research and understanding. Cynicism and name-calling do not seem to contribute to that.
I think you offer many valid points. However, the "attitude" that you portray might be counterproductive in influencing those in the middle that could go either way on an issue. These people, like myself, need information and reasoned dialogue. I would hope that you, as a learned man, could help provide that.
Good luck.

11:40 AM  

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