7 July 2003

Rush, Newspeak and Fascism

An 87 page, 40,000+ word essay on Rush Limbaugh, newspeak, and fascism. A scholarly study on the word fascism and whether or not it's an obsolete term or a significant political threat facing America. David Neiwert, author of In God's Country: The Patriot Movement, argues that the term has been abused, but that the political right now has morphed the word into meaningless newspeak. Neiwert discusses Limbaugh and his successful role as a propagandist serving as newspeak transmitter for the extreme right.

The closest historical parallel to Rush would be the radio reign of Father Coughlin in the 1920s and 1930s. While Clinton was in office, Limbaugh offered up a steady palette of anti-government rhetoric to "drive a wedge between middle and lower class workers and the one entity that has the capability to protect them from the ravages of wealthy class warriors and swarms of corporate wolves". Now, with Bush in power, anti-government is out and the only "evil" people in government are liberals.

It's not just Limbaugh, but the tone of many right wing media pundits has started to become dangerous - by associating anybody that disagrees to President's Bush's policies as "anti-American" and equating liberals with Nazis and other fascist regimes.

Another central theme embedded in this booklet is the transformation of the far right into the dialogue of mainstream conservatism. Rhetoric and outlandish speech, once only the domain of militia groups and white supremacy patriot movements now are part of the Republican political machine. Much of the charge against Clinton began with neo-Confederacy scions and other far right extremists, propped up by wealthy corporatists from the mainsteam, using the far right as a wedge. During the Florida Election 2000 debaucle, the participation of a white supremacist organization protesting was never denounced by the Bush people nor did they distance themselves from this bunch. While the Republicans wish to move away from their Southern Strategy, they still do a chameleon bit and cater to the audience they are speaking to.

To ease bandwidth costs, the author is suggesting a $5 donation. Or maybe you can just browse his blog.


I'm still not entirely sure whether or not azplace.net is a satire site. Anyway, I often wonder if any of the people who lambast Limbaugh have actually listened to him. For example, Limbaugh has recently been BLASTING Bush and the Republicans for the proposed prescription drug plan. This is obviously not consistent with the hypothesis that Limbaugh et al construe criticism of Bush to be "Anti-American", etc. Sigh--why do I even bother...