I have often sat back and wondered where exactly my obsession with politics came from. While I can’t seem to put my finger on it exactly, I know that it started when I was about 13 or 14.
Yes, sadly enough, when everyone else in middle school was worried about being in the “in crowd,” making the baseball team or talking to the hot girl, I didn’t worry about such things (probably because I could do none of them) and was already thinking about what the next election cycle might bring.
Honestly, I can probably attribute much of my obsession to the many members of my family who let me know exactly what it was that they believed. But when I sit back and consider where my everyday passion for the political realm came from, I can only give one honest reply.
Rush Limbaugh is responsible.
This may not come as an absolute shock to most of you, but I used to — and still do — listen to the Rush Limbaugh show on a fairly consistent basis, and I’m not alone. Rush has the largest radio talk show audience in the nation today, but it’s not without good reason.
You may not like the man, you may hate everything he says and you may think that his shows are full of nothing but a bunch of conservative B.S., but if you have ever listened to his radio show, one thing you cannot say is that it is not entertaining. Frankly, that’s half the reason for tuning into his show — no one does a Bill Clinton impression quite like the big man himself.
But the pure entertainment value is not the reason conservative listeners like me have stuck around for so long. In a time in which the Republican Party seems to have lost its way and the Democratic Party and liberalism have been allowed to flourish, radio talk show hosts like Rush remind conservatives that when it comes to their beliefs they are not alone, and they should not be ashamed.
Of course plenty of so-called, “controversy,” has surrounded Rush after his recent appearance at a conservative rally with much being said about disunity within the Republican Party — including Rush’s part in it all. I won’t deny that the Republican Party is disjointed and there are plenty of ideas out there on how to get the party back on track.
However, I urge any conservatives out there (and anyone else for that matter) to watch the talk show host’s recent appearance at Conservative Political Action Conference on YouTube and at least consider what the man has to say.
In it, he lays out perfectly what I have been saying ever since this election ended — conservatives don’t need to compromise, we don’t need to bring more people under the tent and honestly we don’t need bi-partisanship (which Rush defines accurately as conservatives simply checking their values at the door and agreeing with the other side). What we need as both a party and a movement is to get back to the basics of freedom for the individual, limited government intervention and fiscal responsibility.
Yes, many people still love the president — we are, after all, still in the honeymoon stage — but soon, that emotional attachment will wear off. People are going to notice that, as Rush pointed out, the Obama administration has spent more in its first six weeks in office then has been spent in the entire history of this nation. And to what end?
I truly believe that if we put in place leadership that is not afraid to preach the basics of conservatism, and we as a party and movement get back to our roots, the American public is going to be right there behind us.
It’s so simple, now all we need is the right leader.
Rush Limbaugh in 2012 anyone?
Caleb Thornton is a senior political science major. His column appears Thursdays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.