Dear Rush Limbaugh...

What were you doing supporting McCain?


I'm going to start off by introducing myself.  I'm a 25 year old, white, Conservative/Libertarian leaning resident of Minnesota.  I waited until after the elections to write this so that I would have a better time proving my point without the cloud of an election in our minds.

Rush, you talked today about how the Republican party has lost its roots and needs to return to them.  There is another part which you need to look at and that's the man whom YOU look at every morning in the mirror.  I believe that the conservative movement is still there and when energized it can move mountains, but I and many others who consider themselves free-thinking conservatives have lost faith in you along with many of the main stream talk show hosts on the right.

When you started making the pitch for John McCain it was one of the hardest things to hear.  It was bad enough that we were stuck with him, but what was worse was that he represents almost nothing of what the conservative base stood for.  You, Sean Hannity, and even Laura Ingraham had told everyone about the load of malarkey the Republican "Maverick" tried to push through - a great example being "McCain-Leiberman" and another being "McCain-Feingold".

I remember listening to you when he wanted to leave the Republican party to join the Democrats after the 2000 election, and I remember when he was a probable running mate for John Kerry in 2004.  I listened, Rush, and when I would hear you plugging him for president, I remembered.

I showed up at the polls, but I didn't cast a vote for John McCain or Barack Obama.  I wrote in Mickey Mouse.

I stood in the election booth for 20 minutes as my pen waved over John McCain, Barack Obama and even Ralph Nader.  I didn't know much about the other candidates and I knew that I couldn't wake up to look myself in the mirror if I swallowed my pride and plugged my nose to cast my vote for McCain.  Nor could I give in to peer pressure and vote for Barack.

Rush, the conservative movement is not about a particular party, nor has it ever been.  It's been about the ideology that we the people should have the right to choose our own destiny as God permits without the tyrannical intervention of government.  That we keep what we reap and we reap what we sow.  It's one of the big differences between Conservatives and Liberals.

There is also another difference between Conservatives and Liberals: we will think and remember before we cast a vote for someone that has wronged us in the past and we know when we are being given a line of bull.  A liberal will vote just because they "Hate" Republicans.

The talking heads will have their say as to what made this election.  What lost my vote was that the Republican party left me and left many conservatives out.

I don't mean this by our religious beliefs, because there are conservatives who don't wear their religion on their sleeve.  After the last 8 years of a president that spent us into mounds of debt and helped bring us into the housing crisis (I'm not leaving Congress out, they're just as guilty), I've seen the Republican party deviate so far from its roots that it looks no different than the Democratic Party.

There is more to conservatism than an "R" behind a name.  It is the ideas, Rush, that made the conservative movement what it was and still is.  John McCain assumed that we would follow just because he had an "R" behind his name in the ballot box.  He was wrong.

John assumed that by placing Sarah Palin, a completely unknown woman, by his side it would secure the base.  He was wrong.

We don't care who is up there as far as their race, gender or whether they are a decorated war hero that somehow feels entitled to the presidency.  We care about what they are going to do for the country; and the best way that politicians can "buy" our votes is by being true to themselves and conservatism FIRST before being true to the Republican party (or in John McCain's case.. being true to the Democratic Party).

If you yourself try to revive the Republican party, I believe that it will be a harder task than what Barack has before him when he steps into the Oval Office.  People have lost faith in the Republican party and I believe that we are all disheartened with the party.  A good start would be to get rid of every single incumbent that's served more than two terms.  Urge people to get involved with politics and help support them from a grass roots level.

The Republican party also needs a definite image make-over.  I know that you're paid to do what you do and I'll never damn that, but if you feel that you're the one to revive the party from the ashes then you too need to return to what got you to where you were today - not just being a Republican party member and supporter, but a free thinking Conservative that's out for what is right, no matter who is on the Right or Left.

Al Termind is a guest writer for Scragged.  Read other articles by Al Termind or other articles on Partisanship.
Reader Comments

Greetings from Minneosta, too! I agree with the general points. But I don't think Rush supported McCain because he thought McCain was the best guy for the job. Clearly, throughout the primaries, Rush was very clear about who McCain was and where he stood. He warned the Republicans of what would happen. In fact, the whole primary field of Republican candidates where lumped together.

Rush stated then, and I think he agrees now, that you cannot redefine conservatism and win. That was what McCain tried to do, that is what most of the primary candidates--Romney, Huckabee, almost the whole lot of them except Ron Paul--were doing. The were going populist, sliding center.

Sarah Palin, when given the chance, expressed conservative ideas mostly unadulterated. That is what excited the base. Unfortunately, McCain wouldn't let her be Aaron as he was Moses. McCain wouldn't be conservative--because he isn't.

When the choice was between a Marxist and a centrist, he promoted the centrist as the lessor of two evils. Rush warned us all what would happen if McCain got the nomination, and it came true. He warned McCain what would happen if he continued to court the left, and it came true. He only promoted McCain as a last ditch effort to keep a socialist out of the White House.

Unfortunately, if all conservatives had voted Mickey Mouse, Obama still would have won. He brilliantly hid who he was. Said nothing better than anyone else and allowed the country to project what they wanted as to who he really was.

Rush never left the conservatives... but the Republican Part has.
November 11, 2008 9:04 AM
I couldn't agree more. The bumper sticker will have to be changed to "Rush Is SOMETIMES Right".
November 11, 2008 9:55 AM
After it was over, Rush said:

"The reestablishment of principled conservative opposition begins today. McCain did everything the Wizards of Smart on our side told him to do, and he failed. Moderate Republicanism lost. Conservatism didn't"

This seems to agree with your point. But it also seems to contradict what Rush said in the months before this.
November 11, 2008 11:03 AM
I would like to think (knock on wood) that this election marks the death of the Lesser Of Two Evils argument.

There will never be an election again where this argument holds more power than in 2008 - an ex-POW who loves his country more than life itself, vs. a totally inexperienced neo-Marxist. Yes, McCain held many political views far to the left of the conservative core, but nobody could possibly question his patriotism.

Plus, McCain had a history of appealing to centrists. All the smart money said that if any Republican could beat Obama, it was McCain.

And it didn't work. We would have been far better off had we nominated a hard-core, fire-breathing conservative who could go down to noble defeat while laying the groundwork for later victories, as did Goldwater. Instead we are left with nothing - total loss of power, total loss of credibility, AND total destruction of the brand.

Anyone who attempts the Lesser Of Two Evils argument in future should immediately be written off as unserious and unconservative. No, we are not going to have exclusively politicians who support 100% of the conservative agenda. But if someone can't come up with a positive conservative argument for why a given politician should be proactively supported, beyond "the other guy is worse," then we're better off with them losing.

Maybe if we had been more disciplined this way, we would have fewer Republican scoundrels in office and a brand rating somewhere above Enron.

Much as I admire Rush, I fear he fell into this trap. He is a brilliant man, both intellectually and tactically; I would be shocked if he has not realized his mistake, and suspect that at some point in the coming months, he will loudly place his McCain support firmly in the 1.3% of the time when he's wrong.

No worries about his average though, with total lib domination he can maintain a 100% average for at least the next 2 years with 3/4 of his brain tied behind his back.
November 11, 2008 11:12 AM
Good article! I look forward to reading more Termind pieces.
November 11, 2008 11:13 AM
Rush was NOT a McCain supporter in my view--I think he was like alot of us--holding his nose and voting for McCain as a way to keep an extremist like Obama out of office. (Hannity definitely was behind McCain.) But please send the letter to Rush anyway. It surely expresses the feeling of TRUE conservatives..... BTW, love your pen name!
November 11, 2008 11:57 AM

"Rush never left the conservatives..."

Are you sure about that?

I feel that yes, he does have many conservative views but in the end, he was still pissed off that McCain didn't win. All of the funny campaign adverts about McCain (Remember "Viva McCain" and "the bank of Amigo card"? All of these are coming back now, but for awhile.. these were gone and all I could hear on Rush during the last few months was why NOT to vote for Barak Obama. If you remember back when Rush was rooting for Hillary to with the Democratic nod; the whole "Operation Chaos" objective was to get Hillary to either win or to create so much turmoil in the party that people would be too disgruntled to vote and thus make a McCain victory easier.

Although he didn't like McCain, he still rooted for him to some extent and even went so far as to call him "McGenious" regarding the pick of Sarah Palin. Maybe it was because of people being more into what Sarah Palin might have brought to the table. But, Rush still had put aside being critical of McCain, probably in hopes that if he made the other side look worse than who we had on our ticket, maybe people won't feel so bad about the GOP ticket.

Also, I could point out that during the last 5 years I've been listening almost regularly, Rush has never taken the Republicans to task for how much they've been spending. If he was a true conservative he would realize that government is best as being small and manageable rather than the over bloated mess that we are left with.

November 11, 2008 12:05 PM
This is the same reason I stopped listening to Sean Hannity. I don't believe that Rush Limbaugh went as far as Hannity. I think Rush just fell apart at the end when times looked bad. But Hannity went from hating McCain to loving him almost overnight. You have to have SOME kind of intellectual honesty if you expect to keep your listeners.
November 11, 2008 1:04 PM
"This is the same reason I stopped listening to Sean Hannity"

November 11, 2008 1:05 PM
I hate to say this, but if we as conservatives are calling Rush Limbaugh a traitor, then we might as well give up and go home. It would not be too far-fetched to say he is the only hope of conservatism.

Now, to say he was mistaken, or that his fear of Obama outweighed his long-term common sense, is quite a different matter and I think justified.

It's reasonable to call Rush on his mistakes, just like he does to everyone else; and Al's letter does so, very eloquently. But for true conservatives to crawl in a hole and punch anything that appears in its mouth is a recipe for total marginalization. Nothing would please the Obamorons more.

Regarding Hannity, well, I would say that he is more helpful than harmful. In the media, we need all the help we can get; 100% purity is not required. The standard for elected officials should be far higher than for the commentariat.
November 11, 2008 1:45 PM
"I hate to say this, but if we as conservatives are calling Rush Limbaugh a traitor, then we might as well give up and go home. It would not be too far-fetched to say he is the only hope of conservatism."

NO.. We don't need him! Rush showed us when he came on the radio that there were people that think like us and want the preservation and success of this nations people. Ronald Reagan was elected before Rush came on the radio, does that mean that somehow Rush had a hand in it? Rush did not originate Conservatism, he capitalized on it. I believe the idea of Conservatism has been around longer than any of us have been alive and its ideas and preachings are alive and well with in our constitution.

Conservitism is in the hearts and minds of us and to give up and go home is to snap defeat out of the jaws of victory. Have they really won? Are there Soviet breadlines outside my apartment? NO! Notice, they may have won this round, true. But, until every heart and mind of every person in this nation is goosestepping to the forced tune of complete Marxism, I do believe they have not won and the American people will soon see what lies behind the mask of both Obama and the Democratic party.

People are calling this gloom and doom.. I do hear the news every day and I still listen to talk radio. What we need to understand is that until the Sun doesn't shine upon a new day, there is always a tomorrow. We should focus on what we have learned from this and how we will rebuild. We need to see that what this does is gives us an oppertunity to learn from our opponents. An oppertunity to call to arms every conservative not for battle, but to rebuild and generate a movement from the ground up. It is a time for us to ask ourselves, what did they do right in their race for the white house? I believe that it is all in the advertisement and conveyment of message. What message did we deliver with John McCain? What message have we been delivering with other canidates with an "R" behind their name on the ballot? One of the greatest problems in the Conservative movement is the lack of organization and our tendancy to rest on our winnings after someone is elected to represent us is "close enough" to the flavor we like.

Liberals don't tolerate this, why should we?

Conservatism was not on the ballot this time.. and other than the media defined Conservatism which is anyone that bangs his/her bible, completely supports the war in Iraq, and praises lower taxes during their campaign. I don't believe that a Conservative "in practice" has ran in a long time.. probably not since Ronald Reagan. It has been these stereotypes that got us the RINOs we have today.

So I ask all of you, even those that do not post on here (who I urge to post and get involved)..

What did we learn from this?
November 11, 2008 2:51 PM
Let's be realistic--we can not expect 100% purity. That's why Obama won (other than the fact the minorities went for him). Too many conservatives ditched ANY purity because they couldn't get 100% purity. Conservatives are in the minority, folks. Especially religious conservatives.

And we DO need Rush. ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN etc etc are NEVER going to report things objectively journalistically (those days are gone), let alone favor the conservative cause. The truth is not getting out. In part, that's why people took lightly Obama's associations and accepted his financial promises and programs, without question. At least Rush gets some of the truth out to some of the people.
November 11, 2008 3:17 PM
This has developed into a very interesting discussion, exposing what I believe to be the very HARDEST truth to uncover in partisan politics. Namely: what is the acceptable purity percentage?

McCain was too far gone so we bounced him. But it's silly to only plan on supporting candidates that you agree with 100%. You'll never vote for anyone. So what IS the acceptable percentage?
November 11, 2008 3:28 PM
I don't think it is the purity level. I've never liked that term because terms like that have been used in Eugenics and in Nazi movement to define who was Aryan enough. It was used during the Obama campaign by the likes of Jesse Jackson who didn't think Obama was Black enough.

What we need to present are canidates who are more like us, who are able to convey the message as well as practice what they preach. Its not a precentage. we need to watch our people like the Democrats watch theirs, pay attention to what they say and do as well as making sure they hear us. If they say they are for big government or prove after a term that they are for that and are distasteful, we need to vote them out. For instance, anyone and everyone that supports the bailout of businesses that can't run their business, should be voted out.. No question.

It's not a matter of purity, it's a matter of what they've done to keep in favor with the conservative movement as a whole. What have they supported and not supported and why.

If it's a canidates first time running, I'll give them a pass and see what they do. If they don't do what they say they are going to do after elected.. boot them out, get another one to run who represents the ideas we have.
November 11, 2008 3:47 PM
"What we need to present are canidates who are more like us"

I do not want a leader 'like us'. I want one smarter, wiser, and more capable than 'us'. Someone that holds many of the same values, sure... but I don't want someone who watches American Idol (or similar pop-culture drivel that 'we' watch) or goes 'muddin' on the weekends (or similar 'stupid' things 'we' do) to run our country.
November 13, 2008 12:11 PM
"I do not want a leader 'like us'. I want one smarter, wiser, and more capable than 'us'."

A hard statement to argue.. I"ve heard this statement a lot and no one wants an idiot for a leader.

I only have two things to say to this.

1.)we can argue all day or agree to disagree, but I believe there is a disconnect between what the American people want, versus what we have shoved down our throats by our politicians, no matter what the party.

For example, There were probably very many smart people that created the patriot act, many of us agree that it's an invasion of privacy EVEN IF the intentions may have been good in the eyes of those that signed it. People have been known to say the same about NAFTA. Whether these people are qualified to lead is in the hands of the people that elect them.

For what it's worth, America elected George Bush twice. Whether he was qualified in everyone's eyes or not, the American people must have felt he was if elected for a second term, while this time carrying both the popular vote along with the electoral college.

My hopes by saying more people like "us" is that new blood will take interest in politics, serve their country and bring their personal experiences with them. If people are reading political blogs they are obviously interested in learning more and becoming involved in their country. What people do in their spare time other than that is their prerogative, I could really care less about what people derive their joy from. As long as it isn't hurting me, I'm quite fine with it. (I will assume that you're not an American Idol fan, which as far as brain drain factor goes.. nothing is much worse)

This can also come to personal opinion of whether someone is an idiot.. (IE George Bush) Maybe I'll write another article about this subject, because there are so many angles to this that can be taken.

2.) Most smart individuals choose to stay out of politics unless they are gluttons for punishment. ;-)
November 17, 2008 12:42 AM
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