Off the Cuff: Rush Limbaugh and Political Division

Rush Limbaugh was an important voice in the conservative movement, though he never held Donald Trump accountable — and may be the reason Joe Biden is president.

That’s the topic of my Off the Cuff audio commentary this week. You can listen to it by clicking on the play (arrow) button below.

 

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Terror on the Right

President Biden has ordered the Justice Department and Homeland Security to “deal with the rise of white supremacy.”  He calls it the “greatest terror threat” to the country.

ISIS killers were stunned to hear that.

There are violent groups on the racist right like “Order of the Nine Angles” and the “New Aryan Empire.”  Ever hear of them?  I hadn’t either.  But the feds know them and some members have recently been arrested for illegal activities.

Some.  Not many.

In 2020, the Department of Justice brought exactly five criminal cases against “white supremacists.”  14 individuals were charged.

In 2019, another five cases.  75 people charged.  Many of them members of the “1488s”, a vicious Nazi-type group that deals narcotics and assaults people.

It’s a similar situation on the state level.  Last year in all 50 states there were only three prosecutions tied to “white supremacy.”  Nine individuals were charged.  Nine.  In 50 states.

In 2019, the number of white racists charged: eight.

So, what exactly are Joe Biden and his far left supporters talking about?  I mean radical leftists occupied blocks in downtown Seattle last summer.  Based on arrest statistics, the white supremacists barely have enough personnel to occupy a deli.

After I heard the President define the reactionary threat from the extreme right, I tweeted a question:  where is “the rise of white supremacy?”

Almost immediately the Twitter assassins emerged smearing your humble correspondent.  The worst was The Huffington Post, possibly the most hateful outfit on the planet.

The outrage against me was designed to send a clear message: you better not question the theory that white supremacy is dominant in America.  If you do, we on the far left will hurt you.  And it’s not enough to condemn white racism, you have accept that it’s pervasive.

So what’s REALLY going on here?  Let’s examine a theory.  Joe Biden doesn’t especially care about contextualizing the danger from the right.  His supporters like the issue so he’s behind it.

The reason that white supremacy is being promoted as a dire threat to America is because it diverts attention away from the real pubic safety menace – left wing governance.

Chicago is the most dangerous city in the country.  A place where thousands of African-Americans have been murdered.  For decades, Chicago has been run by liberal politicians who have failed to stop the violence.

New York City is dangerous and falling apart. Hundreds of thousands of residents are leaving.  Far left mayor Bill DeBlasio is a disaster.  Liberal Governor Andrew Cuomo is on the ropes after botching Covid.

Gavin Newsom, the uber-liberal governor of California, will likely be recalled and may not survive the year.  His home, San Francisco, is almost unlivable because of far left policies.

Should I mention Seattle, Portland, Oregon, Baltimore, Minneapolis, and Philadelphia? Leftist management has grievously hurt them all.

The fact-based truth is that many thousands of Americans are being hurt, killed, and deprived in radical left precincts far away from any white supremacy.

Maybe someone should put that in a teleprompter so President Biden can read it.




Bernie’s Q&A: Limbaugh, Chung, Graham, Peterson, and more! (2/19) — Premium Interactive ($4 members)

Welcome to this week’s Premium Q&A session for Premium Interactive members. I appreciate you all signing up and joining me. Thank you.

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Now, let’s get to your questions (and my answers):


Years ago, Connie Chung on 60 Minutes interviewed Newt Gingrich’s mother (I think for a feature on Newt). At one point, the mother told Chung that she couldn’t reveal what her son really thinks about Hillary Clinton. Chung learned forward and said, “Why don’t you just whisper it to me… just between you and me?” The mother learned forward and whispered, “She’s a bitch.”

It was good television, but this struck me as journalistically unethical. It seemed clear to me that Chung was assuring Mrs. Gingrich that that specific part of their conversation would be ‘off the record’. Yet, it ran on national television anyway. What are your thoughts? — Ben G.

First, it wasn’t a 60 Minutes interview. It was on Connie’s show Eye to Eye with Connie Chung. I was a correspondent on that show. We had good ratings — until Connie did her “just between you and me” bit. Here’s my answer to your question: You can’t say “just between you and me” to an elderly woman who might take you literally. But … there were at least two cameras shooting the interview and lots of lights. So Connie figured Mrs. Gingrich knew it WASN’T just between you and me. Finally, the show got so much negative response that it was cancelled not long after the interview.

Bernie, we know you didn’t vote for either viable presidential candidate this time around, but here’s a question for you: Which presidential candidate (since you started voting in U.S. elections, whenever that was) did you take the most pride in voting for? In other words, which one were you most satisfied with, and confident and optimistic in their abilities and vision for the country? — Rusty M.

In the beginning, when I was a liberal, I voted for Jimmy Carter and was happy about that. He was the last Democrat I voted for. Then, I sat out presidential elections because I was, politically speaking, in transition. So I didn’t vote in either of the Reagan elections. Later, I voted GOP in presidential elections and while I’m glad I did, I can’t say that any of my choices, looking back, made me feel especially confident and optimistic. I’m still hoping to vote for just such a candidate. Maybe in 2024. I hope.

I was born in Dallas in 1963, so I know a thing or two about conspiracy theories. It seems like they are all the rage today along with socialism. I know you have said the reason young people gravitate towards socialism is that they like free stuff, but I think it’s more than that. Like conspiracy theories, socialism promises order out of chaos. I think it’s no coincidence that the more chaos exists in the world, the more people falsely grasp for explanations and solutions that tie things together from the top down. Your thoughts? — Steve R.

I’m tempted to say, Steve, that this is too deep for me. That said, I don’t know that people are grasping for order when they embrace socialism. I think they may be registering their opposition to capitalism because capitalism — though it provides the masses with great opportunity — leaves some people in the dust. Not a great answer, I know, but I don’t have much more on the subject. You weren’t on the grassy knoll as a toddler in ’63, were you?

I’ve kind of checked out from watching any daily cable news and it’s been kind of refreshing. But when I do take a peak now and then I almost feel like I’m checking in to a pure propagandist driven society. It’s shake my head level stuff. How’d we get here? I know you’ve predicted it. So, how do we get back to say a Pre-“Bias”? Will it take generations for a somewhat Free & Fair Press to reappear? Will today’s Press need to start taking on their own fellow Left colleagues and politicians to reaffirm proper checks and balances? Is this foreseeable at all, or should I just stay checked out and call it a day? — Thanks for keeping us aware, ScottyG

You are one of many, Scotty, who have tuned OUT of watching daily cable news. And many others, when they do tune in feel the way you do — like they’re watching propaganda. It’s all about the business model. Cable is only giving the audience what it wants. And most who are still watching want to hear their own views given back to them by someone on TV. The future? Doesn’t look good from here. I don’t see a return to a pre-bias media (whenever that was) … but I do see a media that has gone beyond bias. Maybe if enough of us turn off the cable tv crapola, they’ll get the message. But I don’t see a revolution like that coming

I’m not sure if you have read anything from Dr. Jordan Peterson. Recently, his publisher held a meeting with the staff to discuss his second book. Apparently some staff members came to tears because they were publishing it. I’m curious, was there any such events when you published Bias? Or is it much worse today that so many fear books? — Tim H.

There were no issues like the one you described with Bias … but Bias was published by a conservative company. This business of staff members coming to tears makes me want to puke.  They’re almost always young and they have too much influence on cowardly older staffers. In short, Tim, it is FAR worse today than when Bias came out 20 years ago.

Lots of talking heads in the right-wing media have been complaining that the mainstream media is still “obsessed” with covering Trump, even though he’s been out of office a month. I’m not sure what they’re talking about. Trump’s impeachment trial was obviously a huge story (as it would be for any president, especially one who caused an insurrection), and the rest of the coverage, which has been far from “obsessive” in my view, has had to do with inner-party conflicts about where the GOP may go from here (which Trump of course fueled the other day with his rancorous statement about McConnell). Theoretically, I understand why the media would want to “obsess” over Trump (ratings), but so far the coverage has seemed proportional. Am I wrong? — Jen R.

Let me answer it this way, Jen: CNN and MSNBC need Trump for ratings reasons. We know that. Fox needs to bash CNN and MSNBC … for ratings reasons. CNN and MSNBC hate Trump but love the ratings he brings in. Fox loves Trump and knows if it doesn’t bash CNN and MSNBC its ratings will continue to go downhill.  Now, are the media obsessed with Trump? You’re right, he’s still legitimately in the news. And knowing him, he’ll find way to continue to stay in the news. I don’t know about you, but I’m watching less cable news. Most of it is crap.

HOW do woke leftists like the ones you spoke of in Oregon actually ATTAIN positions of power and how do they get their ridiculous agenda actually ACCEPTED by the public based on the notion of— “Yeah, objective answers ARE signs of white supremacy and the only way to remedy this is to make wrong answers acceptable whenever they come from black students because we all know black students aren’t capable of actually learning objective answers” in the classroom?  — “2 + 2 = White Supremacy” Regards From The Emperor

As in institution, the educational establishment is basically left of center. In some places, way left of center. Education czars are pretty much elected along party lines. So liberal states elect liberal czars who appoint liberal bureaucrats. When the public has had enough, they’re be something resembling a revolt. Until then, they’re getting what they voted for and what they deserve.

I’m not one of those guys who usually suggests “they’ve got something on him,” but is it possible Trump’s got something on Lindsey Graham? As hard as it is to watch, I at least get why Republican leaders kiss up to Trump (so the base doesn’t primary them out of office), but Graham JUST won re-election. He’s safe for 6 more years, and yet he’s out there promoting “Trump Plus,” and going after Trump’s critics in the GOP, and declaring that Trump’s the future of the party. He’s even now saying that Trump’s not at all to blame for January 6th (a reversal from just a few weeks ago). What is with this guy? — Baker W.

Good question, Baker. First, Graham is from deep red South Carolina. He may not be up for reelection for 6 years, but maybe he’s figuring: Why take any chances? But even with that, his sycophancy is stomach turning. Does Trump have something on him. Let’s just say if he does, he wouldn’t hesitate to use it. That’s how nasty Donald can be.

Bernie, any thoughts on the passing of Rush Limbaugh? — Michael R.

He was very generous to me after Bias came out. I was on a show on CNBC and there was supposed to be a panel evenly split, about 3 on  on my side, and 3 critical of the book. The producer lied to me. EVERYONE was on the other side. No problem. I was able to handle every shot they threw at me. Since the interview was not live but on tape, any time I made them look really stupid they cut it out before the show aired. And, by the way, none of the critics even read my book! They just knew they hated it.

Anyway, Rush heard about this and had me on the very next day after the show aired. The book shot up the best seller list landing at #1. He had me on again when the paperback came out. He was very generous and very kind.

But … his adoration of Donald Trump left me cold. He said Trump’s personality didn’t matter, later slightly changing his words, saying it shouldn’t matter. Rush was a bright guy but he was wrong about that. Joe Biden is president today because Donald Trump’s personality mattered a lot.

Rush was the one voice in both media and politics who had enough clout to tell Donald Trump to knock it off, that ordinary Americans didn’t like Trump’s toxic, combative style. If he had, and IF Trump had listened, Donald Trump might have won a second term.

Detesting what the Left stands for is one thing. Embracing a man like Donald Trump is something else altogether.

Let’s end on an upbeat note … a few thoughts from an editorial in the Wall Street Journal:

“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.”

And this: “But unlike others on the talk-radio right, he kept his sense of humor and rarely let anger drown his fundamental optimism about the United States. His great strength was never to take himself too seriously. Limbaugh knew he was an entertainer, not an intellectual or politician, and he said so many times. He was popular because he was superb at his craft and represented traditional American values that the dominant culture too often demeans.”

RIP, Rush.

This excerpt from a recent New York Times profile on Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger grabbed my attention:

“Two days after Mr. Kinzinger called for removing Mr. Trump from office following the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol, 11 members of his family sent him a handwritten two-page letter, saying he was in cahoots with ‘the devil’s army’ for making a public break with the president.”

Bernie, as someone who was publicly critical of Trump over the past five years, I’m curious if members of your own family ever sent you a similar letter. Or did they figure out that you were in cahoots with the devil’s army long for Trump ever came on the scene? — John D.

I’m not only “in cahoot’s” with the devil’s army … I’m a 5 star general in that army. Started as a private and worked my way up.  Don’t ask the things I had to do to get promotions. Actually, the devil gets a bad wrap. She’s not all that bad. Has many fine points, which I can’t go into right now — I signed a non disclosure agreement. But I can say this: She knows who you are, Mr. John D … and she knows where you live. A word to the wise, if you know what I mean.

 


Thanks, everyone! You can send me questions for next week using the form below! You can also read previous Q&A sessions by clicking here.

 

 




Off the Cuff: Is Math Racist?

Is mathematics racist? Some educators in Oregon think so.

That’s the topic of my Off the Cuff audio commentary this week. You can listen to it by clicking on the play (arrow) button below.

 

Editor’s Note: If you enjoy these audio commentaries (along with the weekly columns and Q&A sessions), please use the Facebook and Twitter buttons to share this page with your friends and family. Thank you! 

Side note: If you’re a Premium Interactive member (the $4 tier), and have a question for this Friday’s Q&A, make sure to get it to me before Wednesday night at midnight. You can use this form on my website.




Given How Flawed Human Nature Is, America Has Been a Remarkable Moral Achievement

Given how flawed human nature is, America has been a remarkable moral achievement.

This is the truism that separates the wise man from the fool.

This is the truism that separates the left from the anti-left.

Those who acknowledge how flawed human nature is compare America to reality. Those who do not, compare America to some utopian image: a country free of inequality, prejudices, intolerance, sexual misbehavior, greed, etc. This divide helps explain why those who hold a biblical worldview — usually religious Jews and Christians — are more likely to appreciate America than those who do not. It is fundamental to Judaism and Christianity that “the will of man’s heart is evil from his youth” (Genesis 8:21).

I offer a partial list of bad traits inherent to human nature. When perusing it, one can only marvel at how good a country America became.

No. 1: A yearning for power over others.

This yearning is what has animated nearly every political leader in history. There are people who do not have a personal craving for power and seek positions of power solely because of a calling. But these people are rare.

The American Founders understood this. They created a unique political system to minimize power and to maximize checks on power. That is the reason for the division of power among three coequal branches of government and the reason states were given so much power. Thus, America was established to be a republic, not a pure democracy. In addition, the Founders did not trust the majority with great power, which is the reason for two nondemocratic institutions: the Electoral College and the Senate. And that is why the left, which is rooted in a desire for power — and therefore a desire for evermore powerful government — loathes the Electoral College and the Senate.

No. 2: A yearning for fame and recognition.

This, along with the yearning for power, is what drives and has driven nearly all politicians in world history, but it is hardly isolated to politicians. For example, it is largely what animates Hollywood actors. That is one reason no other profession gives itself as many awards as does Hollywood. Increasingly, however, being a star is also what animates journalists and, to the extent possible, academics and other intellectuals.

No. 3: A yearning to feel and be considered important and morally superior.

This is nearly universal. People — historically men, but increasingly women — ache to believe they are important. There is nothing inherently wrong with this yearning. However, it can lead people to engage in irresponsible, even evil, behavior — solely because it makes them feel important. This explains why the left fights largely nonexistent evils such as “systemic racism,” “white supremacy,” “white privilege” and “capitalism.” Fighting evil, even make-believe evils, makes one feel important and morally superior to those who do not fight these evils.

No. 4: The sex drive.

Consider how many men have lost everything — their money, reputation, livelihood, even their family — in order to gratify their sex drive. The reason there has been so much irresponsible and sometimes evil sexual behavior is not because of “sexism” or “patriarchy,” but because of this drive. The wonder is not how much sexual impropriety exists in America; the wonder is how little there is compared to the past, compared to virtually every society in history and compared to many societies today.

This has largely been the result of the influence of Judeo-Christian ethics. Prior to the baby boomer generation, most American men were raised to believe that manhood was defined by marriage and by taking care of a family. With the left’s assault on Judeo-Christian religions, more and more young men feel free to revert to their animallike sexual nature, which is not monogamous and not naturally inclined to getting married and making a family.

No. 5. Greed.

The desire for more money and material possessions is built into the human condition. There is nothing wrong with wanting to make more money and have a nicer home. In fact, it is usually a good thing; it is what animates people to work hard and invent things. Greed, however, is the word we use to describe a yearning for material wealth so great that it overpowers moral considerations — which it has throughout history. It is the reason for corruption, an evil that constitutes the single greatest reason countries do not develop. Like every other country, America has always had its share of greedy individuals, but there has generally been far less corruption in America than elsewhere — a major reason for America’s unique prosperity.

This, too, is rapidly changing. Like the other negative impulses of human nature, greed was held at least somewhat in check by religion. Every Bible-based religion taught its followers self-control. With the demise of religion, the only thing left to control people is the state. But when the state becomes a substitute for religion in attempting to control human nature, one ends up with a police state, which may well happen here.

No. 6: Ingratitude.

Gratitude is not built into human nature. That’s why good parents tell their children thousands of times, “Say ‘thank you.'” Gratitude needs to be cultivated. And throughout American history, it was. The great majority of Americans and new immigrants to America were profoundly grateful to be American. Of course, many Blacks had legitimate reasons not to be grateful to be American. But, over time, that has changed. However, the left has told every group other than white males that they should have no gratitude for being American. One could say that most college and graduate school degrees today are degrees in ingratitude. The left knows it can only win elections when the majority of Americans are ungrateful.

Given human nature, America has been an extraordinary accomplishment. However, given the left’s largely successful elimination of Judeo-Christian and middle-class values — and the consequent unleashing of human nature — that accomplishment may not survive.

Dennis Prager is a nationally syndicated radio talk-show host and columnist. His latest book, published by Regnery in May 2019, is “The Rational Bible,” a commentary on the book of Genesis. His film, “No Safe Spaces,” was released to home entertainment nationwide on September 15, 2020. He is the founder of Prager University and may be contacted at dennisprager.com.

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Last Updated: Monday, Feb 15, 2021 11:25:23 -0800