You never know someone until you hear what they listen to on the radio.
On the way to a client meeting yesterday, a colleague of mind began railing about Obamacare. Usually, I'll just tune out rather than engage this kind of debate because it's exhausting and doesn't resolve anything.
Then, he put on the radio to and from the meeting.
There - Rush Limbaugh.
Back - Mike Savage.
Now, I've never spent too much time listening to these boneheads because I can't disagree with their view on life more. Sure, I'll hear their comments second hand, either on the news or flipping channels. Having to sit through their entire set, however, gave me a pretty solid understanding of why republicans are the way they are.
Both of of these guys spew hatred. Ugly, nasty, disrespectful, racist hatred based on the slimmest of through-lines. I tried, seriously, to put myself in a republican's shoes and try to reinterpret what I hear on the more liberal stations (Maddow, ODonnell, etc.) and there isn't a single word our side says that has the vitriol, foulness or pyrotechnics of these two.
Our side may portray their side as buffoons, but rarely do they attack in such a personal way. Our side at least maintains our politeness, even the most vocally aggressive of us (Alan Grayson).
Savage particularly is the worse of the two. He's seems just short of using the "N" word about Obama at every turn. He talks about liberals as if we're gutter trash, not even human, and not worth a moment's thought if we die.
It occurs to me that it's less a case of ideology with republicans than it is venting their anger at the world around them. My colleague HATES Obama and the liberals at an explosive level - and it's clear to see what's fueling that.
These mouthpieces feed into the worst in people. They are the new Hitlers, and will say whatever works to get the response they seek. Screw the truth. It's a case they can't make. Their whole argument that the democrats have gotten everything they want, are the worst kind of socialists, hate this country and want to turn it into Russia is laughable. Who's been fillibustering everything and its mother? Who's spent zero time trying to find an alternative to Obama's healthcare program? Who brought this country to the brink of financial disaster and threw our credit rating in the toilet over a 5-year-old tantrum? Who has spent the last 14 years stripping everything away from the rest of us so that Fund managers and the richest 1% can enjoy every ounce of wealth they earn "because they deserve it all as job creators?"
It's too bad so many on the right don't have the kind of abstract thinking in place to step back, assess how and why they feel they way they do, and regroup. But hatred is a drug. Savage and Limbaugh are no worse than any other dealers.