Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“In the country of the blind the one-eyed man is king.”     Erasmus

February 12, 2009

Rush Limbaugh: A Big-Government Conservative

by Doug Mataconis

If there was any question that Rush Limbaugh was the voice of the future of the Republican Party, this should make that idea laughable:

They will not control government forever, and when our turn comes, we are going to turn the power of government against the left. We are going to investigate them. We are going to hold public hearings. We are going to humiliate them. We’re going to nationalize their unions. We’re going to fund our groups for a change.

If they can give ACORN $4.1 billion then we can start paying our groups with federal money. We’re going to do exactly to them what they have done to us. We’re going to build and use the Big Government that they have built and turn it right against them. We are gonna turn the power of government against the left, and against Democrats in ways they cannot imagine. They will not know what hit them. They are using the law. They are using government to advance a cause that is un-American. We are going to use the power that the left is centralizing in the federal government to punish them, to break ‘em up, and to make them pay for this. It’s time for tit-for-tat. Nice guy playing by the rules when they don’t, is over. It’s time they got a taste of their own medicine, and it’s going to happen, folks, because they’re not going to hold power forever.

(…)

We’re gonna come after the left’s favorite corporations. We’re going to come after your favorite political constituents. We’re going to come after your favorite media outlets. You want to try the Fairness Doctrine? Fine. We’ll impose it on network television. We’ll impose it on newspapers. You want to try censorship? Fine! We will censor you when we get the control of the government back. We will reapportion districts using the Census to help conservatives. We’re going to turn the power of government against the Democrats and the left and weaken and you break you into little pieces. Because, my friends, the day has passed when we can become passive and be passive about what they are doing. We will use the political and the legal system as they have and are, and we will use it to promote our party and to diminish theirs. We will use the power of government and legal system to promote our movement and our agenda, just as they are.

(…)

It’s going to be a bigger, more powerful, stronger government — and we’re going to turn it against the left in ways they could have never imagined.

This, I think, puts the lie to any idea that Limbaugh is a small-government conservative.

If anything, he’s a two-bit thug who wants to use the power of the state to attack his enemies. That’s wrong no matter which political party you belong to.

In the past, Limbaugh has talked about his admiration for thinkers such as Ayn Rand and Milton Friedman. If he truly understood their ideas, he wouldn’t look at the state as a weapon to be used against your enemies.

But there is an alternative:

The answer is not to use tyrannical power as “payback” for what the “liberals” are doing to consolidate their own powers. The answer lies in something which brings all of us together, regardless of our political party affiliations, religious backgrounds, racial identity or ethnic origin: freedom. Freedom brings people together. This is the beauty of the new movement that has grown out of the Ron Paul presidential campaign, which continues through various groups and organizations such as the Campaign For Liberty, Young Americans for Liberty, the Future of Freedom Foundation, the Ludwig von Mises Institute, and United Liberty.

Forget Rush Limbaugh. Let him be angry and rant and rave all he wants. He does not stand for liberty. He stands for power and vengeance. If this is what the “conservative” movement has come to, then let it die. There’s a new movement bringing people together to promote the things the “conservative” movement once claimed to stand for: freedom, limited constitutional government, and the rule of law.

It’s up to Republicans to decide which course they’ll take.

Cross-posted at Below The Beltway


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