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Making Political Converts . . . Before Dave Rubin Had Second Thoughts, Rush Limbaugh Paved The Way

February 21, 2021 Frontpage No Comments

By DEXTER DUGGAN

“Political correctness” had been more than oppressive, but social controllers got worse with telling society — meaning you — to go “woke.” No longer did you have to speak only a certain way, but now show that you believed the craziest things as the new normal, like men invading women’s lavatories as a right mandated by Democrat usurper President Joe Biden.
You’re ordered not to “offend” anyone, meaning you can’t be sensible. But isn’t wokeness and its ancillaries offending many people so that they become more conservative in response? Not that you’ll see much attention given to this question in dominant media, which likes things just fine the worse they get going leftward.
However, veteran conservative talk host Mark Levin told his audience in mid-February that as he’s getting older, he wants to give an opportunity to be heard to those “coming up behind us.” Levin interviewed political commentator Dave Rubin, who described how his perspective changed in only a few years from having backed socialist Bernie Sanders.
“I was a Bernie-supporting lefty,” but “I have no problem being called a conservative at this point,” said Rubin, who blamed “the woke totalitarian progressive ideology that has now destroyed” most U.S. institutions and “is a relatively new phenomenon. . . .
“Liberals were not always like this,” but today’s liberals’ attitude is that you’re either woke or you’re out, said Rubin, describing Republicans as far more welcoming and even listening when he disagrees.
Today’s liberals with their focus on what the government can provide, he said, are the exact opposite of Democratic President John F. Kennedy’s 1961 inaugural exhortation to “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.”
Rubin said he likes conservative Republican U.S. Senators Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, and added that the media hated President Trump so much because he “showed people how to fight…I want to see more conservative fight.”
Northern California conservative commentator Barbara Simpson told The Wanderer on February 16: “This is just another way that Donald Trump has influenced our politics. It will never be the same again, whether Trump is in or out of office. He’s made it open and popular to speak out for, and defend, what you believe and not be afraid of liberal criticism.
“Like it or not, that IS the ‘American Way,’ even if the Democrats deny it and the liberal media do all they can to ignore it or criticize it,” Simpson said. “Donald Trump is a breath (no, a hurricane!) of fresh air on the political scene, which is why he won and why he still has, and is gaining, so many supporters for whatever the future holds for him.”
On February 17 webmaster “Kane” at the Citizen Free Press site touched on the same idea of waging the good fight, headlining an item about Florida’s assertive conservative Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis as “a streetfighter, and the closest thing I’ve seen to Trump.”
DeSantis, like Trump, comes right out and challenges reporters when he thinks they’re feeding him a line.
Regarding Rubin’s change of perspective, conservative Republican political consultant Constantin Querard told The Wanderer on February 17: “I’m not surprised to see people shift their ideology, even sometimes later in life than we might expect. The entire reason we get out there and evangelize our political views is to change hearts and minds.
“Quite a few on the left eventually see the fruits of their labor in places like Venezuela and realize it can’t ever work anywhere,” Querard said. “Some are all aboard shutting down conservative speech until they see the cancel culture swallow up someone on the left, and they realize that fascism from the left or the right is a danger to everyone.
“So while it is always good to see a prominent leftist shift, it isn’t a surprise. It happens from right to left as well, just not as often,” he said.
Taking up the theme of inspirational Republican leaders, Phoenix talk host Seth Leibsohn (KKNT, 960 AM) asked on February 16 whether people would be motivated to be Republicans if they see Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on a Sunday program, or wouldn’t watching conservative activists who stand for principle more likely provide winning role models?
Leibsohn gave examples like speaker Candace Owens, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, U.S. Senators Josh Hawley or Tom Cotton or Florida Gov. DeSantis.
McConnell wasn’t helping the Republican Party’s future, Leibsohn said, when he came out with a strong attack on Trump after the president was acquitted in his second Senate impeachment trial. Did McConnell just hope to please donors or lobbyists, Leibsohn wondered as he pointed out this won’t appease the hunger of the left-wing “alligator.”
Pondering where conservatism is going doesn’t preclude reviewing how it got where it is, with a hopeful future, by recalling recent decades.

Rush Always Gave It His Best

On February 17, Ash Wednesday, of all days, conservative national talk-radio revolutionizer Rush Limbaugh died of lung cancer. After hearing his distinctive voice for more than 30 full years, it seems there’ll be as much a void as a death in one’s own family. But a family member’s death is unlikely to lead the hourly national news as did Limbaugh’s on the radio medium he loved.
Although Limbaugh repeatedly took days off from his broadcast for medical treatment after he announced his terminal cancer early last February, he always sounded like he was coming on strong and giving it his best when I happened to hear him. He didn’t sound beaten down and wasn’t bemoaning his status. The program was about his listeners, although he approached them with his personal flair.
Candace Owens was among millions of Americans feeling the loss as she tweeted on February 17:
“Heartbroken about #RushLimbaugh. He is an American that can never be replaced. Let the life he led serve as a reminder to us all to fight nonstop for truth. We face dark times in this country, but we can all be a light if we have the courage to speak up, unapologetically.”
Recalling that Limbaugh proclaimed he had “talent on loan from God,” Kristi Noem tweeted, “He understood that our gifts on this Earth are not our own — they’re a blessing. He shared his gifts with all of us. And we’ll miss him dearly.”
And saline-abortion survivor Gianna Jessen tweeted on February 17, “He taught me since I was 10 years old, riding in the car, listening to him teach me about America. He was an incredible teacher.”
Whether you were driving, at a restaurant, on the beach, walking down the sidewalk or visiting family out of state, there was Limbaugh’s voice, whether you’d dialed him up or not. I recall seeing his best-seller books on display in the early 1990s in the front window when I walked into a store to check out the newspaper racks — back before papers went online.

A Pro-Life Voice

While erudite William F. Buckley, Jr., had brought contemporary conservatism into twentieth-century consciousness beginning in the 1950s, Limbaugh gave it wider currency later in the century.
A Wall Street Journal editorial posted February 17 noted that Limbaugh “would spend an hour explaining supply-side tax policy or making the case for deregulation. Millions of Americans had never heard a coherent argument against the welfare state or Roe v. Wade until they tuned in to Limbaugh’s show. He played an enormous role in popularizing conservative ideas and policies.”
Indeed, Limbaugh gave the pro-life cause attention when many media members scorned or ignored it. In fact, I first heard of him while I filled in at the front desk for two weeks at a pro-life office in Phoenix in, I guess, 1988. A woman on the phone from Tucson eagerly told me of this wonderful talk host already on the air there, but not picked up by a Phoenix station yet.
His first name was “Rush,” yes, “Rush,” she pointed out, not something more conventional.
Querard, the GOP consultant, told The Wanderer that Limbaugh was a leading influence. “If conservatives had a Mount Rushmore, he would be on it. He gave voice to the silent majority while making talk radio what it is today. He used both humor and intellect to reach people and to educate them while he was entertaining them.
“He was heavily involved in charitable causes and was a champion for freedom. It is hard to imagine a life better lived, and he will be missed,” Querard said.
Virginia Catholic blogger and pro-life activist Mary Ann Kreitzer told The Wanderer on February 17: “I remember the days when nobody talked about the little ones being killed by abortion. Listening to Rush one day, I heard him say something like, ‘I don’t care what anybody says, abortion is wrong.’ Then he repeated it and repeated it a third time! I wanted to fall on my knees in gratitude.
“Rush was a man of courage and conviction with a heart of gold and a backbone of steel,” Kreitzer said. “He could teach some of our cowardly bishops a thing or two. I thank God for him and will be praying and having Masses said for the repose of his soul. ‘Mega-dittos, El Rushbo’.”
Trump’s White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany tweeted that when she was growing up in Plant City, Fla., “my dad would always play the Rush Limbaugh program in his pick-up truck. My fellow classmates from my all-girls Catholic school knew if they road (sic) in my car, we would be listening to Rush Limbaugh. I am the definition of a ‘Rush Baby,’ and it’s not just me. There are tens of thousands of us all across the conservative movement.”
The LiveAction pro-life site on February 17 recalled Limbaugh’s longstanding defense of the preborn. It said that when the Center for Medical Progress in 2015 exposed abortionists profiting off selling babies’ body parts, Limbaugh saw social rot at the core of the problem.
LiveAction quoted Limbaugh: “I just want to tell you something. I really think that abortion is at the root — you could do a flowchart — I think abortion is at the root of so much that has and is going wrong in this country. I think that the number of abortions themselves, but what in toto it all means, culturally, in terms of the sanctity of life, how that’s crumbled, I think it’s almost at the root of everything.”
Pundit Ben Domenech posted at the New York Post on February 17: “For his success, the leftist corporate press painted Limbaugh as a fool and a villain and worse. But if you actually tuned in, Limbaugh’s analysis was remarkable for its depth and breadth of knowledge.
“He gave an entire generation of Americans a way to think and talk about politics and the meaning of America, and a vocabulary for pushing back against what he believed to be — and we now know to be — a deeply anti-American and aggressively totalitarian left,” he said.
Speaking of an aggressively totalitarian left: Not sparing a moment for condolence, the laughably reprehensible, fanatically pro-abortion New York Times sneered: “With a following of 15 million and a divisive style of mockery, grievance and denigrating language, he was a force in reshaping American conservatism.”
And, said the Times, “Mr. Limbaugh, 70, who helped transform the G.O.P., pushed talk radio to the right with misogynistic and racist language and conspiracy theories.”
One is always grateful to the Times for its benign impartiality, a suitable pet-poop paper forever ready to see conservatives as Nazis and fascists fit to be censored, and no less than President Trump as a Russian agent. Ah, if only he were Beijing’s agent, then kissy-kissy.

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