So Tell Us Who You Are, Rush

I’m reading an article about Rush Limbaugh’s CPAC convention speech, which I didn’t have the stomach to watch on television. So did he really say this —

We believe that the preamble of the Constitution contains an inarguable truth, that we are all endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights, among them life, liberty, freedom — and the pursuit of happiness,” he said, pausing several times for enthusiastic applause.

And, of course, the preamble of the Constitution says no such thing. He’s mixing up the Constitution with the Declaration of Independence, and garbling the quote at bit, at that. But I’m willing to assume that Rush misspoke in the excitement of the moment and really does know the difference between the two.

This was the part I found more interesting —

“We conservatives have not done a good enough job of just laying out basically who we are, because we make the mistake of assuming that people know. What they know is largely incorrect, based on the way we’re portrayed in pop culture, in the drive-by media, by the Democrat party,” the conservative talk show host told a mostly young crowd of energized supporters.

So who are you, Rush?

We want every American to be the best he or she chooses to be.

We liberals want every American to be the best he or she chooses to be, too, which is why we support universal health care, unions and fair labor laws; good public schools; regulations to keep the economy stable and not a series of roller-coaster boom-and-bust cycles. So, Rush, exactly what have conservatives done to enable people be the best they choose to be?

(Cricket chirps)

OK, let’s go on.

We recognize that we are all individuals. We love and revere our founding documents, the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.

And, of course, we liberals can sincerely say the same thing. So what is it that distinguishes conservatism from liberalism? What is the essence of conservative philosophy, the foundation upon which conservative policies are built?

I’m not going to post it, but here’s a YouTube snip of Rush’s speech in which he says “Let me tell you who we conservatives are [dramatic pause]. We love people.”

OK, I’m sorry I didn’t warn you about that one. I’ll pause for a moment until you stop gagging.

I found a transcript. If your stomach is still queasy, skip the quote between the asterisks.

* * *

We don’t hate anybody. We don’t — I mean, the racism in this country, if you ask me, I know many people in this audience — let me deal with this head on. You know what the cliche is, a conservative: racist, sexist, bigot, homophobe. Excuse me, ladies and gentlemen of America, if you were paying attention, I know you were, the racism in our culture was exclusively and fully on display in the Democrat primary last year.

* * *

Anyway, Rush goes on to say that conservatives believe people will be just fine if they didn’t have to deal with too much taxes, too much regulation and too much government.

And you know what? Surely there are parts of the world in which people don’t have to deal with taxes, regulation and government. I’m thinking of some lost tribe in the Amazon jungle, but maybe there are other places without taxes, regulation and government, and if Rush’s tribe wants to pack up and go there, I sure as hell will not stand in their way.

But instead they stay here, where they can enjoy a political and economic system enabled in part by taxes, regulation and government. And they bitch and moan about it and do whatever they can do to destroy it and turn the U.S. into some third-world sinkhole.

But one thing Rush cannot do, which is tell us who he is and who his followers are. They can’t tell us, because they honestly don’t know.