Not Your "Eisenhower Republicans"

     The 1992 Republican convention: That's when the Republicans openly and officially declared that their values were those of a classic destructive achiever: Rush Limbaugh. Paul Colford described the event in which Limbaugh was anointed as the model for their guiding strategy:

"Rush, Rush, Rush," went the chant inside the Astrodome when he took his place in Quayle's private box of blue chairs reserved for family and friends. There was Falwell seated behind Marilyn Quayle, Robertson on her left side, and Limbaugh on the right, at one point arm-in-arm with her as she glowed.

"Rush, Rush, Rush!"

These were his people and he was their hero.

     Ronald Reagan later wrote an especially revealing letter to Limbaugh: "Thanks for all you're doing to promote Republican and conservative principles. Now that I've retired from active politics, I don't mind that you've bevome the number one voice for conservatism in our country." And in 1995, U.S. House Republicans even made Limbaugh an honorary member.


Republican Values: 1990s versus 1940s

     In 1940, Father Charles Coughlin endorsed Republican candidate Wendell Willkie for U.S. president. To his credit, when Willkie heard of the endorsement, he said: "I am not only not interested in his support, I don't want it." (Reported in THE GREAT DEPRESSION, by T.H. Watkins.)

     Note that Fr. Coughlin is now on every historian's list as one of the most famous American demagogues of the depression.

     Contrast Willkie with today's Republicans, who welcome any opportunity to appear on Rush Limbaugh's radio program. The Charlotte Observer once reported Sen. Patrick Ballantine's (R-New Hanover) reaction to a stalemate in the NC legislature: "What we're going to do is put them (Republican ads) on Rush so we can get to our Republican base. That'll spread the word like wildfire."

     How times have changed. Whereas Republican Willkie publicly denounced the leading demagogue of the '30s, today's Republicans not only welcome Limbaugh's support, they actively curry his favor. Thus they endorse his values (such as the glorification of greed), his lack of ethical standards in communicating (i.e., half truths and innuendoes), and his lack of commitment to objective problem solving (such as distracting the public from the real causes of income disparity between the top 1% of Americans and everyone else).

     Actually, the reverse is true: Rush Limbaugh endorses Republican values. If he didn't, he never would have been elevated by Roger Ailes to stardom. And the same is true of the majority of radio and tv stars who now dominate the corporate-dominated news media.

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