By MARC McDONALD
Today marks the inaugural edition of our Nazi of the Day Award. The first recipient of this award is: Rush Limbaugh.
True, any one of the right-wing talk show hosts that pollute our nation's airwaves with their toxic bile could be eligible for this award. (For example, Mark Levin is a truly creepy, twisted fascist who actually makes Limbaugh sound like a moderate and reasonable fellow at times, by comparison).
But let's face it: Herr Limbaugh is in a different league by virtue of the fact that he's been doing this so effectively and for so long. His racist, bigoted, Nazi ramblings long ago short-circuited the outrage meters of Liberals (and for that matter, anyone who isn't seriously mentally disturbed).
It's gotten so bad that Limbaugh can call First Lady Michelle Obama "uppity" and his use of that racially charged insult is only good for a moderate 12-hour news cycle before it is forgotten.
Quick question: in the past half-century has anyone ever used the word "uppity" in anything other than a Ku Klux Klan-like context? Has anyone ever used the word "Uppity" who wasn't a angry white bigoted male who was slamming African-Americans? If so, I've certainly never heard about it.
But using racially charged language is what Limbaugh excels at. His brief, after all, is to act as a matador of sorts for the Rich and Powerful in America. As a matador, he waves a red flag as a distraction to trick millions of gullible angry white working class people into voting against their own interests.
But how does Limbaugh achieve this feat of manipulating his audience into voting for the party of billionaires? It's simple. He does it by shamelessly scapegoating African-Americans.
Hence, tens of millions of Limbaugh's listeners are convinced that the source of all their problems is that the government supposedly is stealing their hard-earned dollars and handing it out to lazy black people who don't work.
Never mind that America's social safety net for the poor is already embarrassingly threadbare for a First World nation. Never mind that millions of low-income people never receive a dime of welfare in this country. Never mind that corporate welfare and welfare for the rich and powerful is vastly more costly than our nation's skimpy programs for the poor.
I've long believed that, for all his hundreds of millions of dollars in income, Limbaugh has the easiest job in America. All he does is sit on his fat ass and spew lies into a microphone for three hours a day.
The Pig-Man does zero research and zero fact-checking. Of course, none of this matters, as his audience laps it all up with a spoon. They dismiss Media Matters and other fact-checking sites that expose Limbaugh's many daily lies and his blatant racism.
"It's all a Librul conspiracy to hurt Rush," the Ditto-Heads claim.
But while Limbaugh has an easy job, one thing he does do very well is the way he skillfully dances around the "N" word. Although he doesn't actually ever use the "N" word to demonize blacks, he very artfully dances around saying the word "n*gger" on the air.
In doing so, Limbaugh can use the language of the KKK in calling First Lady Michelle Obama "uppity" and then claim with a straight face that he is no racist. (This, despite, an established decades-long track record of making outrageously racist and bigoted statements).
You know, on a certain level, I think I actually have more respect for the likes of the KKK than I do for Limbaugh. After all, the KKK openly admits its racism. It doesn't try to hide anything. Give the KKK credit for one thing: they're honest and upfront about it. By contrast, Limbaugh truly sickens me the way he uses KKK-like language and then disingenuously claims that he not a racist.
So in addition to being a racist, he's also a liar.
Oh, and he's also a Nazi. In fact, I have no doubt that Reich Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels would find much to admire in Limbaugh's technique.
After all, Limbaugh is scapegoating African-Americans in much the same manner that Goebbels scapegoated the Jews.
Just as Limbaugh manages to convince his gullible audience than black people are somehow to blame for their problems, Nazis like Goebbels managed to convince millions of people that the Jews were the cause of many of Germany's woes. (The "stab-in-the-back legend" in which people like the Jews were blamed for Germany's World War I defeat is a good example of the latter).
Like Goebbels, Limbaugh is spewing his toxic nonsense in a decaying, declining nation. And I believe that, as was the case in the Third Reich, it's a situation that could eventually turn tragic.
After all, the more Limbaugh convinces his audience to vote against its own interest, the more we'll see the U.S. increasingly turn into a Third World nation. And the more the latter happens, the angrier and more bitter Limbaugh's audience will become. It's a vicious circle---and I believe it could someday lead to serious violence. These people are already heavily armed and they're very bitter and angry.
After all, America already has a sinister history of racial violence (although most Americans remain unaware of tragedies like the deadly 1921 Tulsa race riot).
Thanks to the legacy of three decades of increasingly extreme GOP policies, the U.S. today is a fading power. America's corrupt political leadership and the criminals run many of our largest corporations and financial institutions have driven this nation into the ground. Although the Top One Percent have never been a bunch of angels, I believe that today, they're more corrupt than ever. And, tragically, they now exercise total control over our government more than they ever have in our nation's history, thanks to Supreme Court rulings like Citizens United.
In previous decades, America's rich realized that while it's OK to gorge themselves at the banquet table, it's smart to occasionally brush off a few crumbs onto the floor for the rest of us. Today's wealthy elite don't even bother to do that. I mean, why bother when you have the likes of Limbaugh to poison the minds of millions of working-class people and to persuade them to vote against their own interests?
As Bill Maher once said, democracy doesn't work when people vote against their own interests. So, in addition to his other crimes, Limbaugh is playing a key role in the dismantling of democracy in America. Clearly, Limbaugh, with his outspoken support for wars of aggression, stolen elections, state-sponsored torture, and his contempt for democracy, would feel right at home in the Third Reich.
So there you have it: today's Nazi of the Day Award goes to Rush Limbaugh. I'm sure that Adolf Hitler would be proud.