Talk radio – the oasis of the First Amendment. From Howard Stern to crazed political pundits, talk radio is an American icon that demonstrates some of the strongest values in the U.S., by which I mean being able to pop your mouth off about whatever you want for whatever reason and not get in trouble for it.
Take my friend Rush Limbaugh, for instance. The man made a name for himself during the 1990s and has gradually become another well-known mouth on talk radio. Of course, this guy’s rhetoric has not let up over the years.
On April 26, an article in the Tampa Tribune reported that Limbaugh implemented “Operation Chaos,” during which he advised Republican listeners to vote for Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., in the Democratic primaries to keep her in the race against Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill. Thus, the Democratic Party would be so torn between Obama and Clinton that it would eventually “implode,” or something like that.
However, it was Limbaugh’s comment on his own radio station on April 23 that caused eyebrows to raise.
“The dream end of this is that this keeps up to the convention and that we have a replay of Chicago 1968,” he said in reference to the upcoming Democratic Convention in August – with burning cars, protests, fires, riots and all that. That’s Limbaugh’s objective here.
Harsh? You bet. In fact, the man’s delusions reached their apex on his show on April 24 after listeners called in complaining about the statements.
“I am not inspiring or inciting riots,” Limbaugh stated. “I am dreaming of riots in Denver.”
Smart move, Limbaugh. Way to fan the partisan flames that have been destroying this country since the 2000 election. Apart from Limbaugh and his Mansonist fantasies.
For those of you who remember the 1990s, the fad battle among politicians was a “leftist, one-world government” versus the “right-wing” militia movement. Of course, Limbaugh clearly stated which side he was on in the Washington Post on April 25, 1995, just seven days after the Oklahoma City bombing.
“The second violent American revolution is just about – I got my fingers about a quarter of an inch apart – is just about that far away,” Limbaugh said, “because these people are sick and tired of a bunch of bureaucrats in Washington driving into town and telling them what they can and can’t do with their land.”
By “these people,” he meant the militias, which were later proven to have no connection with the bombing. Whether it was taken in context or not, Limbaugh caught heat for the fiery rhetoric. In fact, he even went on to write a one-page column for Newsweek on May 8, 1995, titled “Why I’m Not To Blame.”
And he was right. He was never to blame. The political turmoil of the ’90s was bound to explode, and it did in the fires of Waco and Oklahoma City, taking a lot of innocent people with it – children mostly. Such rhetoric was popular among those disillusioned with the government, just as it is today. When it finally did explode, anyone with any say in the situation immediately sought to distance themselves from the flames.
Today, unlike then, Limbaugh has no excuse if the Democratic Convention blows up. In fact, there is a leftist group out there called “Recreate 68,” which is exactly what it intends to do at the convention in Denver this August.
Cliché as it sounds: Be careful what you wish for, because you might get anarchy – or even a police state – in return.
Grady Bolding finally turned 21 last Sunday. Please send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.