In Part 1 of this series, we looked at a majority of what Rush Limbaugh said throughout his career which were the cornerstones of his beliefs. He called them “Undeniable Truths.” The first two levels of this house of cards focused on the less egregious statements. Ranging from agreement to picking apart each of the half-truths, it’s one worth checking out first to ease you in.
Written By: Anton Sawyer
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This piece is going to focus on the remaining statements and why they are not only outright lies, but they also have a sort of disdain for American history within their contents. Because of this, these deceits really should, as Limbaugh himself would say, “assume room temperature.” Again, these are in no particular order as one is no more important than the other, according to the original text.
Outright Lies/Are You Serious?/An Utter Disdain For American History:
“Ronald Reagan was the greatest president of the twentieth century,” “No nation has ever taxed itself into prosperity,” and “The 1980s was not a decade of greed but a decade of prosperity; it was the longest period of peacetime growth in American history.” Though dissimilar at first glance, these statements do have a specific connection. Since the “success” or “failure” of a president is really in the eye of the beholder in many regards, I can’t look at some of the numbers that occurred during the Reagan administration as a success for the largest number of social classes. Double-digit inflation, record spending for several government entities, de-regulations, and other legislative actions propelled us towards the largest stock market drop in history since the Great Depression in 1987—lovingly dubbed “Black Monday” by historians. If I were going to throw out my opinion, the greatest president would be Franklin D. Roosevelt. I’ve spoken before about the specific numbers, dates, cause-and-effect in previous articles here—i.e. “Minimum Wage And Income Inequality,” “All Of History’s ‘Winners’ Have Failed Us,” or “Democrats Voted To Increase Income Inequality Over The Next 4 Years” to name a few. In a nutshell, the greatest time of American prosperity in the modern era for all income levels was during the 1950s, 60s, and most of the 70s. During this time the top earners were taxed somewhere between 60-70%, and minimum wage was set as a living wage with it being raised every few years to compensate for inflation—for example, it was raised five times alone in the 60s. It was that talking point about a nation not taxing itself into prosperity that was most repeated by all of my conservative family members that need to perish. It’s factually incorrect and makes the person who says it sound like they are proud to not grasp High School Social Studies/Civics courses.
“Using federal dollars as a measure, our cities have not been neglected, but poisoned with welfare dependency funds,” “Progress is not striving for economic justice or fairness, but economic growth,” and “Liberals measure compassion by how many people are given welfare. Conservatives measure compassion by how many people no longer need it.” When you look at the actual numbers and see what works on both the local and national level, versus what doesn’t, these somewhat unrelated statements become completely contradictory to one another. The first statement about federal dollars and neglect ignores all other contributing factors, specifically the actions of the Governor of each state and the municipalities they are responsible for. Even if you remove all the facts above when it concerns F.D.R. and nationwide economic growth, there are other, more recent state-level examples to look at. Turning our attention to the recent calamity that was The Great Recession of 2008 and beyond, all we need to do is look at Kansas. More specifically, the economic realities of former Republican Governor Sam Brownback. In a 2018 report by The Center On Budget and Policy Priorities, the income tax cuts he enacted during former President Obama’s second term, they found some interesting results. “In 2012 and 2013, at the urging of Governor Sam Brownback, lawmakers cut the top rate of the state’s income tax by almost 30% and the tax rate on certain business profits to zero. Under ‘supply-side’ economic theory, these deep tax cuts should have acted—as Brownback then predicted—like “a shot of adrenaline into the heart of the Kansas economy,” stimulating strong growth in economic output, job creation, and new business formation. But in reality, Kansas underperformed most neighboring states and the nation on all of those measures after the tax cuts.” While the recession did take years to dig out of, the report shows that it took Kansas even longer. “Kansas’ 4.2% private-sector job growth from December 2012 (the month before the tax cuts took effect) to May 2017 (the month before they were repealed) was lower than all of its neighbors except Oklahoma and less than half of the 9.4% job growth in the United States.” Governor Brownback ran on this platform and won twice. He told his constituents exactly what he was going to do, and did it. He had everyone convinced that any idea brought about by any Democrat is nothing more than an attempt to destroy America to such a degree that both he and his failing agenda got a second round. I at least respect his honesty. So with this example alone, there’s not really any economic growth—which shoots that Limbaugh quote dead. And, they can’t measure compassion by getting people off of welfare when they are extending the amount of time people are on it via legislation.
“The only way liberals win national elections is by pretending they're not liberals.” This is an outright lie. Go back to the 2004 Presidential Election when John Kerry did his best to try and be less liberal-looking by donning hunting gear and then posing awkwardly in an attempt to look like he’s trying to fire it into something. He did a lot of those conservative-type looks to win and ultimately failed. If you’re talking about policies specifically, there’s a reason that candidates push towards their base voters during primaries and then try to go more moderate during the main election … well, it was that way before 2016.
“The Earth's ecosystem is not fragile.” It is though. I know that everyone has an opinion about climate change and how it is or is not being impacted by humans. If you want to look at some of the more specific information about the realities of climate change, check “The Climate, The Unions, The Future: Do Gen Z and Alpha Stand A Chance?” The most important part to know is that whether caused by humans or not, the Earth isn’t cooling down any time soon. There have been more weather-related catastrophes—each growing in size—this century than we have had before within the same brief amount of time span. I know that the GOP is not known for their understanding of how science works most of the time, and this is another prime example.
“Compassion Is No Substitute For Justice,” and “The Los Angeles riots were not caused by the Rodney King verdict. The Los Angeles riots were caused by the rioters.” These really go hand-in-hand. To say that justice is more important than compassion would be correct. Whether you agree with the death penalty or not, that element in our society shows the absolute epitome of justice over compassion. But to be able to look at the events that took place during the Rodney King beating, and then look at the legal results, you can’t definitively say justice was served; compassion was. Compassion for those fine police officers who just had a bad day. Compassion for the futures of those poor law enforcement agents who may not be able to get another job because of the stigma attached to beating a man nearly to death on video. I was initially going to put these quotes in the second section under “needs more context,” but due to the overwhelming amount of hypocrisy that these two statements generate against each other, I think it’s time they both die off as well.
“There is a distinct singular American culture—rugged individualism and self-reliance—which made America great.” By itself, this statement is nothing more than personal philosophy. As was written previously in the piece “The Eternal Wellspring Of American Exceptionalism,” using phrases like the one Limbaugh does here is a platitude. To some, yes, that could be a valid viewpoint as to what it means to be an American. Philosophy is healthy and usually inspires positive changes that come from such a dialog. But over the years, he has morphed this pillar of his core being down a number of different avenues; each fitting what he needed at the time. The most emphatic statement he’s ever made about what makes America truly great is as follows. "The history of the world is dictatorship, tyranny, subjugation, whatever you want to call it of populations — and then along came the United States of America. They led an exodus from Europe to this country, people of the same mindset. For the first time in human history, a government and country was founded on the belief that leaders serve the population. This country was the first in history, the EXCEPTION. The exception to the rule is what American exceptionalism is.” He made this statement in 2013, two decades after his last update to the Undeniable Truths. One could say, “two decades, that’s a long time! Do you remember something you said/wrote/did 20 years ago?” That would be a valid argument if he didn’t consistently send it to his followers via his “Limbaugh Letter,” with the last one being sent in early 2018.
Rush Limbaugh is considered the G.O.A.T. of conservative talk radio. I would completely agree. From him going national in the late 1980s until his passing in 2021, he was truly a juggernaut. If you are in any kind of industry that connects with the public, to have 25 million listeners consistently EVERY week is an almost insurmountable number to attain. Whether you agree with him or not, that is true power. If The Indie Truther is really dedicated to exposing the misdirection and hypocrisies of those with power, I can’t imagine anyone in the media business with more power than Limbaugh; dead or alive.
Make sure to check out In Part 1
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