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Preview: RealClearPolitics - Articles - Vasko Kohlmayer

RealClearPolitics - Articles - Vasko Kohlmayer

Last Build Date: Mon, 15 May 2006 13:17:45 -0600

Copyright: Copyright 2007

Rush Limbaugh and Liberalism's Fatal Flaw

Mon, 15 May 2006 13:17:45 -0600

It surely cannot be due to a lack of trying or will, since they have done everything they could to prop up their hopefuls, even to the point of raising donations in this consummately commercial medium. All to no avail. But rather than to reevaluate their obviously failing approach, they stubbornly carry on in the same way with predicable results. Again and again they run headlong into the same wall, each crash more pathetic and embarrassing than the one before. So bad things have gotten that most recently they placed their bets on Al Sharpton, hoping that the kooky reverend would carry their water on national airways. A futile dream if there ever were one. Rather than pursuing vain hopes, liberals would do much better to take a pause and search for the root cause of their fiasco. Any such effort would have to begin with a hard look at the format in which they are trying to succeed. In the type of political talk show invented by Rush Limbaugh, the host openly takes an ideological stance (conservative or liberal) and then applies it to the issues of the day during his hours on the air. What this in effect amounts to is in-depth analysis of current affairs from a specific political point of view. The key to success in this kind of enterprise is the host's ability to articulate his positions in a logical and cogent manner. This is because most people will not listen for very long to an analysis-driven program if the analysis itself does not make rational sense. And this is precisely where the crux of liberals' problem lies. They are simply not able to explain and defend their views in rational fashion. This is not at all surprising, for how does one justify high taxes, gay marriage, abortion, multiculturalism and such? They are all based on false premises and they all produce disastrous outcomes. Anything more than a superficial examination must reveals them for the frauds and failures that they in truth are. This is why liberalism cannot withstand the analytical vigor of talk radio and why it has failed so abysmally in it. Talk radio has thus exposed in a striking way a fatal flaw at the very heart of liberalism - its indefensibility by rational argument. Without having yet grasped it, it is the medium's format that became liberals' stumbling block. However abysmal their current predicament may be, the future holds bleaker prospects still. Most liberals do not yet realize that they will never be able to succeed in talk radio. To make it there - at least in the form in which it is currently practiced - requires that hosts do something which liberals simply can't: logically and rationally expound their views. To make matters even more desperate there is nothing they can do about it short of abandoning their untenable ideology. In popular parlance, they are cooked... completely and utterly cooked. Things used to be infinitely more palatable (for liberals) when the television talk show was the main forum for the mass dissemination of political opinion. Its relatively short broadcast time - rarely more than fifty minutes - is usually intensely contested by several guests. As a result of severe time constraints, the discussants rarely speak for more than a couple of minutes at a time. This, of course, makes any serious analysis all but impossible. This problem is made all the more acute by the fact that the guests' statements are routinely intended to rebuff points made by their opponents which themselves are often quite irrelevant to the topic under consideration. This format is just fine with liberals who - knowing instinctively that their positions cannot withstand thorough scrutiny - are always happy to avoid in-depth discussion of anything. Conservatives, on the other hand, are badly disadvantaged in this kind of environment. Conservatism requires methodical exposition, quite unlike liberalism which can only survive in the realm of disjointed statements and unsupported assertions. The television talk show is thus liberalism's perfect vehicle. Often nothing more than a scattered clash of personalities, it is normally[...]