The important question for John McCain today is, is he going to learn the right lesson from this, and what is the lesson? The lesson is liberals are to be defeated. You cannot walk across the aisle with them. You cannot reach across the aisle. ... They are snakes. If the right lesson is not learned from this, then it will have proved to be of no value. linkI know many people think highly of Rush Limbaugh, including my colleague on this blog. However, I have long believed Limbaugh to be a cancer on our society and uniquely responsible for the much of the hatred, partisanship and decline of America. Even looking at this brief statement we see how Limbaugh condemns cooperation and labels fellow Americans in unfair and unwarranted ways. Sadly, this has always been the case with him.
Rush Limbaugh changed America by doing something that tyrants and dictators have long done; dehumanize others and create false enemies. Prior to the rise of Limbaugh and the right wing, people held opinions. I might hold mostly liberal positions while you may have mostly conservative opinions and someone else might mix and match their ideas. With Limbaugh and the right wing it is not opinions that are liberal or conservative - it is people. I am not an American with opinions to be considered, I am a liberal .... and liberals are snakes (one of the kinder things he has called us non-ditto heads over the years).
That division and distinction between types of people is critical to the survival of Rush Limbaugh and the strain of conservatism that has recently taken hold in this country. Through the years any person who disagreed with Limbaugh or the right wing was labeled a "liberal" (again the person is a liberal not just the policies they believe are best for the country). To this day, some on the right still feel the need to test politicians and pundits for "conservative purity" lest some of that bad blood get mixed with the good. After all, they are not merely people who hold conservative opinions, they are a superior type of person - "A Conservative!"
Rush Limbaugh doesn't believe in Reaching Across The Aisle because his mentality can't survive the light of day. There is a reason why Limbaugh does his show alone and never engages in a real debate with those who hold different opinions. Frankly, it's because his logic and arguments don't hold water. This being the case, he long ago chose not so much to debate politics on a policy level but instead on a personal one. It is easy to build up enemies to hate but much more difficult to defend a set of ideas with a record of almost universal failure.
So for Rush to remain a viable force on the radio and in Republican politics he has demonize his opponents and try to generate real hatred between Americans with different opinions. It's really tragic that a man with so many natural communication skills made that choice but in the USA that's his prerogative. But to me it's a sign of ultimate weakness to dismiss cooperation and generate animus between good and sincere people. In my opinion, it takes a real man to Reach Across The Aisle. That's the lesson I've learned. Thanks Rush!