Month: February 2021

So Rush Limbaugh is Dead

Rush Limbaugh has destroyed any bipartisanship or sense of decency that used to exist in American politics.

These are my experiences with Limbaugh:

High school: I learned of his existence through the 700 Club, which brought him on now and then.  I was still in the brain fog then, but didn’t listen to him.  I was in high school, and couldn’t listen to talk radio even if I wanted to (which I didn’t).

1993: Intro to Mass Media teacher brought in a tape of Limbaugh, and showed us how Rush would quickly talk down any dissenting opinions from his callers and get them off the air, while anyone who agreed with him could talk longer.  Rush was good at making sure his point of view got through and nobody else’s.  I didn’t like this, though I admired his abilities.  I wasn’t sure what to think of what Rush Limbaugh said, but I didn’t like how he said it.  One guy in the class, would take any chance he could to talk (in his fascinating Eastern accent) about Rush Limbaugh.  It was Limbaugh this, Limbaugh that: He adored Limbaugh.  It did get annoying after a while.  This was after Pat Robertson had falsely predicted Bush’s re-election, the second crack in the facade.

Eventually, Rush Limbaugh came on the campus pub TV.  We sat there ripping on him, and Muskie Pat, who was working behind the bar, said, “If he says anything about femi-nazis, I’m gonna throw something at the screen.”

1994: I dated a guy for a short time, but the spark wasn’t there.  We also had different political opinions: We were both Republicans, but his opinions were much farther to the right.  One evening, he turned on Rush Limbaugh’s TV show, to my dismay.  I kept my mouth shut to avoid trouble.  He was always complaining about liberals this and liberals that.  And he could get vocal with people who disagreed with him on politics.  He embarrassed me when, to an innocent comment made by a sweet, elderly Southern teacher, he blew up and yelled at her.  He said he was so sick of people saying such-and-such.  I don’t remember what she had said or if she meant it politically, but he made it so.

1995: I started dating my husband; over time, my new brother-in-law proved to be a duplicate of the guy I dated in 1994.  BIL was a proud Dittohead.  Said liberals have a mental disease.  We couldn’t even get through a typical family gathering without BIL yelling and screaming at my husband for saying something even vaguely moderate–until FIL and MIL finally said NO POLITICS.

He, Rush Limbaugh, and other Dittoheads were a big factor in turning me off Republicanism for good.

I often feel like that side of the family has been brainwashed by Limbaugh, even though only BIL is rabid about it.  I often hear them say things that are racist or sexist or anti-poor.  Even while still a Republican myself, I heard it, I saw it.  For example, the day they said Goodwill wanted to build in their town.  It was one of those swanky upper-middle-class suburbs of Milwaukee, and the in-laws were all upset about Goodwill moving in.  BIL said, “Can you imagine the clientele that’ll bring in?”  Then there was the time I’d bought some clothes from a thrift store and the in-laws got a look on their face like I’d been digging through trash bins–even though I’d grown up wearing the occasional item from a garage sale.  My family did it, my friends did it, but now it felt like buying clothes secondhand was Verboten.

Sometimes I think I was always liberal, but had been brainwashed myself for many years–not by Limbaugh, but by religion, family and Pat Robertson.  Fortunately I had integrated schools and media to show me that racism and misogyny are wrong, even if the teachings were very different at home.  After I found the first crack in Robertson’s delusion in 1991, I was out of his influence by 1994.  I still had other influences saying that Christians have to vote GOP because Democrats are atheistic baby-killers.  But that fog continued to lift until I was finally out of it in the early 2000s, and realized that abortion was the only issue on which I still disagreed with the Dem Party–and I was starting to wonder if I’d been lied to about that, too.

2010s: I was now Democrat; BIL unfriended me on Facebook whenever I posted anything in favor of liberals.  For a time, I had two accounts; I kept him on one which was barely used, and never brought him or the in-laws over to the main one.  I eventually deactivated the account.

Various controversies continued over Limbaugh’s racist and misogynist antics, including mocking the college student who needed the Pill for a medical condition, but he said it was because she was having “so much sex.”  Hubby started listening to Limbaugh, though he wasn’t a Dittohead.  We used to watch the Daily Show together, but nowadays I wonder if he’s been lost to the right-wingers because of Limbaugh and others.  He isn’t a Trumper, but I can’t talk to him about politics anymore.

I pray for Limbaugh’s soul as I do for everyone, because I feel I must, and am kind of OCD about it.  But I cannot say I’m sorry he’s gone.

The Xenophobia is strong in this town

Not sure I should post the name or screenshots or links because it may bring a City Council candidate too much online attention that she may not want….But I will say that a new friend is running for City Council in Fond du Lac.  I’ve written here before about how newcomers often find the town unfriendly.  If you’re a shy introvert, it’s even worse.  It’s not my imagination: I’ve heard this from a number of people; I’ve found online forum threads dedicated to the subject; and articles have been published in the local newspaper about it.

At best, they may simply not realize that you–unlike them–don’t have a ready-made social system from having grown up here.  You don’t have a mom to drop off your kids with.  You don’t have a BFF from high school to go out for coffee with.  You don’t have a cousin on the other side of town, or Grandma a couple of blocks away.  It’s just you and whatever family members you brought with you.  So they don’t think of you.  You see on Facebook that they have a weekly meetup of the girls (sisters, cousins, friends since Kindergarten) to watch some TV show, but nobody thinks to ask you to come.  They invite a friend to coffee right in front of you, but don’t think to include you.

In the past 25 years I have found groups to hang out with, but something always seems to happen: You change churches to escape Calvinism, and suddenly find yourself with no social contacts.  You change jobs and people forget about you.  They drift away but you have no clue why.  Or your spouse starts arguing and breaks off contact with them, and even though YOU didn’t drop them, you don’t feel right going to their parties.  Or a pandemic starts up and you don’t see anybody for a year, making you wonder who’ll be left when you go back, especially since two of them were Trumpers harassing you on social media and another got mad at you for posting to wear masks.

But a nasty smear campaign against my friend, who moved here several years ago, is showing a strong deliberately xenophobic attitude: Not only is she being smeared for being an “outsider,” but she’s being smeared for being a liberal.  And apparently that is Not Welcome here–even though I know plenty of liberals in Fond du Lac.

She’s been giving her side of the story, and posting screenshots of the smears which are being shared around social media.  Sounds like a bunch of lies and half-truths.  The high school mean-girl attitude is astounding.

The local Republican Party has even joined in, even though she’s hardly the first or only liberal candidate who’s ever run for City Council.

(Heck, I know another of the candidates, who’s liberal and knows her.  Yet he’s not being attacked.  He was born here.  Hmmm….)

The Republican Party posted this on their Facebook page:

…One of the candidates running for City Council posted on Facebook concerned that the party would get involved in the City Council race to promote conservative values. We’re happy to explain why.

As a Party, we find it essential to support conservative candidates against those who will do everything in their power to advance a far-left socialist agenda. This same candidate is also touting their endorsement by a far-left political action group ‘Citizen Action of Wisconsin.’

Candidate ******* signed off on a platform to bring “Medicare for All in Wisconsin (including illegal immigrants)” and ‘free college for all,’ along with a slew of other far-left issues. It’s simple, a candidate with these extremist views has no business being on an elected body in Fond du Lac County.

If Fond du Lac County is going to succeed we cannot elect far-left candidates to local office who claim they will ‘refuse to sit down with conservatives.’

This is why the Republican Party of Fond du Lac County highly encourages you to vote for up to three of the following candidates by February 16th.

Great professionalism there, guys.  You DO realize that there are liberals and progressives in this town who want and need representation, that we’re not all a bunch of QAnoners and Grothmans?

Sounds like they’ve been learning at the feet of the only god they worship nowadays, Trump.  Also sounds like they’re being influenced by one of our current Council members, who’s been arguing with this candidate for a couple of years now.  He has extremely thin skin, and constantly acts like he’s being “persecuted” because he’s a Christian.  He plays petty games of whataboutism.  He should never have been elected to begin with, but apparently there are people here who think that behavior is just fine.

None of the attacks in the Rep Party post is true.  For example, the candidate’s own spouse is a Republican.  She says she’s never signed off on any such platform.  I googled Citizen Action, and it’s a progressive group of which a THIRD of the members are Republican–not a group of Commies.  I find their views very attractive.  Nope, there’s nothing there about outlawing religion or the state owning all the businesses or Big Brother watching you.

And the City Council has nothing to do with federal issues such as Medicare for All or “socialism” etc.  They’re about frickin’ TRASH PICKUP.  Deciding how to plow and fix the frickin’ roads.  Deciding–or not–to transform Lakeside Park, a current source of angst and fighting.

It’s the usual partisan buzz words like “far-left” and “socialist” and “extremist” even though you’re nowhere near “far-left” unless you’re a Communist who reads Marx and worships Pol Pot.  (That would be Antifa.  Antifa hates the Democrats for being too conservative, by the way.  Not our people at all.)  Meanwhile, the screed comes this close to accusing the candidate of eating babies and getting checks from Soros.

Seriously, people, the Democratic Party is more properly Center Right compared to the rest of the world.  A lot of us don’t even want the socialism that people like Bernie are looking for; the last batch of presidential candidates had many moderates.  Biden is practically a Republican.  Dems are an umbrella, not a monolith.  The Republican Party has just gone so far to the right that they’re ticking off all the boxes of fascism, and censuring and threatening to boot out anyone who isn’t a full-on Trumpist.  I’ve seen right-wingers get scolded on TV by British right-wingers for being too far gone.

The constant refrain in screeds written about this City Council candidate is that she’s an outsider/not from this community, that we should elect people who are from this community, that she’s bringing in ideas that don’t belong in Fond du Lac.

Except they’re already here.  They’ve been here for a long time.  I hear them from people who were born here.  I’ve been here 25 years and I have many of these ideas.  As I commented on that post by the Republican Party, liberals are here in Fond du Lac, too–unless you want to kick them all out and make Fond du Lac a conservative enclave.  (And well, I own a house here, so you’re not kicking me out that easily.)

And now we can’t have City Council members who weren’t born and raised here?  Since when was that a requirement?

As someone “not from this community,” I get the very strong impression that these people wouldn’t like me simply because I wasn’t born and raised here.  That they would call me an “outsider” even though I’ve lived here since 1995.  I wonder if these are the same people who yell and scream on Facebook at anybody who suggests that Fond du Lac is unwelcoming.