I hate lazy thinking, i.e. non-thinking.
Consequently, I rarely use the word “just” when trying to characterize people. Moreover, I loathe the use of vague, substance less words, often employed after the word just, in an attempt to define someone or an event. This is usually the tactic of one that is losing an argument or one that knows they can’t win the argument on substance through logic.
In the courtroom we call it blowing smoke (pictured: Defendant Al Gore testifying in slander case brought against him by my client, The Sun) when someone can’t argue the facts or the law. It is mostly employed by the left in politics, but certainly not exclusively.
Now, to the words “entertain” and “entertainer”, in the context of liberals’ and moderate conservatives’ (or lazy thinkers of all stripes) attempts to diminish the importance of Rush Limbaugh. By the word “entertainer” I assume most people mean one who makes a living in the arts. But when they use the words “just an entertainer”, what I hear is an elitist attempt meant, not primarily to diminish the the entertainer, but, rather, an attempt to elevate themselves and those they consider their intellectual kin in “important” positions in politics.
Yet, some of us with a little distance from the Washington, D.C. Beltway elites understand that the word “just” is more accurately and appropriately employed thusly: Brian Williams is just a teleprompter reader or Senator Voinovich is just a yes/no voter on mostly easy choices in Congress.
Every person is entertained by different things. I am most animated by profound truths delivered in a way that makes it understandable and vivid. Consider a recent conversation (subscription required) between The Doctor of Democracy and a George Mason journalism student assigned to report on Rush Limbaugh to his class:
On Real Journalism
RUSH: We rejoin Andrew in Fairfax, Virginia, who is a journalism student at George Mason University. There’s a textbook that his class has been assigned with a highly critical chapter of me after acknowledging career accomplishments and success, and Andrew has a presentation on this chapter before his class. How much time do you have, by the way, to get this done, Andrew?
CALLER: Well, I’ve put together my presentation, but I don’t present for another two weeks.
RUSH: Okay. Very good. I want to repeat what I said. The first thing I want you to tell them is that they’re in a journalism class. And you are quite unique in one way, and that is, most of the existing journalists in America today — the vast, vast majority, well over 90% — who report on me, never call me, never ask for my reaction to what they are going to report about me. They take it from what I told you: Media Matters or other left-wing “watchdog groups.” Their purpose is not to get it right. Their purpose is to discredit — and it’s not just me. It’s any prominent conservative, because I feel they don’t think they can win a substantive argument. So the way they attack is to try to discredit people who threaten them in the arena of ideas. I clearly represent a threat. You’ve done something as a student that most practicing journalists today do not do. You have called me. You have asked for my reaction to this. You ought to get an A for that alone.
On the individual as the world’s smallest minority
RUSH: But as far as the factual aspects of my presentation on this program, or wherever I speak — as far as whether I make it up or lie about it or whatever — the greatest source for information on my show, the greatest source for proof of what I actually say every day is my website: www.RushLimbaugh.com. On my website, there is a complete and total transcript available for every word I utter. There are links to the news items or stories or reports that I have used to make the statements that I make. Why would I lie all the time when I provide the proof right there for everybody to see? Critics never mention this. The journalists never go to my website. They rely on others who take out of context what I say. The other thing I want you to tell these students is that I am a soul mate of theirs. You and your students — because of your age and your future and where you are in life — you’re very focused on yourselves as individuals, and I am the greatest asset individuals in this country have.
I believe that the smallest minority in the world is the individual, and I believe if you do not respect individual rights, you do not really respect minority rights. The individual is unique. No two people are alike. I resist the tug of popular sentiment. Please quote me: “I resist the tug of popular sentiment to basically conform with movements and ideas that are not based on thought, but rather are based on raw emotion.” I have nothing but a fervent desire for everyone in your class to succeed, to be the absolute best they can be based on how willing they are to work hard, use their passion and the ambition and God-given talent that they have been given. I have no desire for anyone to be held back. I do not see people as men, women, black, white, red, green, orange. I see Americans. I see human beings. I see human beings who, unfortunately, are co-opted into a conformist way of thinking that it is in itself erroneous — such as all the reporting about me and all the opinions of me that have been formed by people who do not listen.
Illustrating absurdity by being absurd: “caller abortions”
RUSH: I believe that all human beings have a yearning spirit to be free, that we are endowed with it. I believe the founding documents. I believe that our existence is owing to a Creator who created us with inalienable rights: life, liberty, pursuit of happiness. Our Founding Documents, Declaration of Independence mentions these rights. They don’t come from people, they come from God. Life. Somebody has to stand up for life; somebody has to defend it. Now, anybody can go on the radio and say, “I’m pro-life, and those pro-abortionists are wrong!” Big whoop. What I’ve always strived to do, Andrew, is illustrate my opinion. Sometimes… I have a phrase: “illustrating absurdity by being absurd.” So the caller abortion was — and I will admit, it irritated a lot of people. It caused… And the reason why, Andrew, is because it made people confront the reality of their belief. Do you know what the caller abortion was?
CALLER: It was a, I guess a sound bite “with a vacuum sucking sound followed by a bloodcurdling scream.” That’s what it says in the textbook.
RUSH: Yes, it was. See? Okay. That’s in the textbook?
RUSH: Yes. That’s all that’s in the textbook about it?
CALLER: Um, yes.
RUSH: Yeah. See, that’s…
CALLER: Well, it says whenever you wanted to end the call, that you used the caller abortion.
RUSH: That’s a classic example of how what I do was distorted. That was actually a brilliant illustration of my belief about this. This took about 30 minutes to do, to set up, which also made it great radio. It gave us a lot of time spent listening on the ratings. But basically I wanted to illustrate this, and I looked at my telephone, and I asked the question, “When does a call become a call? Does the call become a call when you dial? Does the call become a call when you connect? Does the call become a call when I answer, the moment of conception? You call me. Your line connects with my receptacle. Bam! I answer the phone. Is that when the call begins?”
So I called the phone company, Andrew, and I asked them, “When does a call begin?”
They said, “What are you talking about?”
I said, “Well, does a call begin? When do you start charging for a call? When that call has life? When is there…? When you start billing for a call, does it happen at the moment the person has dialed it? Does it happen while it’s ringing? Does it happen with a busy signal, which means there’s call control on it? Does it happen when somebody answers?”
And they said, “Well, a call begins when it’s answered. A call takes two people.”
I said, “Thank you.”
So, that was to illustrate: When does life begin? See, I believe it can only begin at conception. When else can it begin? So I wanted to illustrate using the phone, making a phone call. Then I got a bunch of people pretending to be scientists and so forth on the phone to discuss this in great detail. But I said, “Until I decide to answer, that call’s nothing but a blinking light. That call has no life. That call has no meaning. That call has nothing to it until I answer it,” and then what happens? When I answer that call and I don’t want it? What if I’ve made a mistake answering that call? What if it’s a bad call? What if it’s somebody who’s not going to enhance the radio program? What do I do? I didn’t want the call. I took the call. I made a mistake! I went out there and I conceptualized the phone call, and now I’m stuck with a call I don’t want.
Well, I do what we do in the pro-choice movement: I simply abort it and pretend that the call never happened! So I turn on the suction device and I suck the call right out of the phone. That, to me, was brilliant, Andrew. I hope you’re recording this, and I hope you read this to your class. Because everything that’s done here, Andrew — whether it be done with humor or seriousness or with a satire or a parody, everything that’s done here — is designed to make a point. Nothing is done here frivolously. I don’t do anything just to make people mad, because that’s going to happen anyway when you tell anybody what you think.
On allegations of bigotry
By definition, people are going to not… Why do you think Tiger Woods doesn’t tell you what his politics are? Because he wants to sell all of his endorsed equipment to everybody, not just Republicans or Democrats.
But that’s not my business. My business is to tell people what I honestly believe. I love America. The racism and sexism and so forth? Yeah, I came up with the term “feminazi,” to describe the 12 women to whom the most important thing in the world is every abortion possible taking place — and the reason people get mad at that’s ’cause it’s dead-on accurate. As for racism, this is a constant, average, everyday charge the left makes against conservatives trying to fulfill the stereotype that we’re racists, sexists, bigots, and homophobes. But the truth about that is you can tell your class this: I look at the majority of the black population in this country and I cry, ’cause I see that they have been conditioned to believe that the Democrat Party and large government programs are going to raise them from the life of bondage they believe that they’re in.
And after 50 years of voting Democrat, after 50 years of complaining about the circumstances they’re in, after receiving all these benefits the Democrats have passed out (AFDC) they’re still complaining. Their lives have been stolen from them. The federal government has become the father; the father has become absent. Single mothers are raising kids in neighborhoods and schools that you would not send yours to. The Democrat Party refuses to close them, and insists that those people still go to those schools while still voting Democrat. I think it’s a shame. I think the federal government and the Democrat Party has destroyed the black family. I love Americans. I love human beings! I want the best for them. I want what’s happened to me to be experienced by every damn person out there, and the people standing in the way are my enemy — and that would have to be liberals in the Democrat Party.
On the comparative offensiveness of Barack Obama’s pro-life stands
RUSH: All right, Andrew, one more point that I want to make for you to include in your presentation to the students on the caller abortions. Your textbook says that critics say I reached a low point with the caller abortion. Let me ask you a simple question. If a fetus is not a human life, why would a caller abortion offend anybody? If a fetus, a human fetus is simply an unviable tissue mass, there could be nothing conceivably upsetting about it. The truth is, it is a baby, and the pro-abort, political pro-abort groups, the NOW gang and other feminist groups, they know it’s a baby, and thus they hate me for exposing their mind-set. But if a fetus isn’t a human being, why would a caller abortion upset anybody?
And finally, Andrew, this. I understand caller abortions are offensive. But then why is President Obama to be praised for his anti-life positions? Do you realize President Obama three times as an Illinois state senator voted for legislation that would allow doctors to kill a baby successfully born during an abortion? Now, what’s really controversial, Andrew? A bit, a vacuum cleaner with callers being sucked off a phone, or an Illinois state senator who’s now president voting three times to allow doctors to kill a baby after it’s born because the mother wanted an abortion? Ask your students to consider that.
Everyone feel entertained? Anyone think that a conservative Presidential candidate that could entertain like that might have a chance to beat any Democrat?
Rush is Right! I wish we had many more “just entertainers.”
[Free audio may? be accessed here. I can’t tell since I am a paying member of the website.]
“One man with courage makes a majority.” – Andrew Jackson
Originally published by Mike DeVine, Legal Editor for The Minority Report