More than a few conservatives are sinking to all-time lows promoting their agendas. Consider the following:
When Rush Limbaugh isn't calling unmarried women "sluts" for wanting the government to compel even religious-based schools to provide insurance coverage for birth-control pills, he's broadcasting right-wing nonsense to like-minded devotees. Last October the clown prince of hate radio blasted President Obama for sending approximately 100 U.S. troops to Uganda to help fight the Lord's Resistance Army and track down its leader, Joseph Kony. Limbaugh stated that the LRA is "fighting the Muslims in Sudan, and Obama has sent troops, United States troops, to remove them from the battlefield, which means kill them. So that's a new war, a hundred troops to wipe out Christians in Sudan, Uganda."
As a consequence of his "I hate Obama and everything he does" mind-set, Limbaugh completely ignored the LRA's history of atrocities. The International Criminal Court states that the LRA "has established a pattern of brutalization of civilians by acts including murder, abduction, sexual enslavement, mutilation, as well as mass burnings of houses and looting camp settlements." The Catholic Herald, a British publication, reported that in 2009 the LRA "crucified" seven people in the Sudan. In 2005 the ICC issued arrest warrants for five senior LRA leaders (including Joseph Kony) for "Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes committed in Uganda since July 2002." The U.S. government considers the LRA a terrorist organization. These are the good Christians Limbaugh is defending via his attack of the president. Even when presented the facts about the LRA, Limbaugh posted the bogus information on his website. Small wonder that listeners of his program (and Fox News) are so misinformed.
Republican chickenhawks led by Romney, Gingrich and Santorum are beating the war drums regarding Iran, with Santorum stating that he would launch airstrikes against that country's nuclear facilities. Tough talk from men who have never served in the military. In a recent interview, the former Pennsylvania senator stated that holding elective office was comparable to serving in the armed forces. I suggest Santorum visit Walter Reed Army Hospital and ask horribly wounded soldiers and Marines if they agree. Then he could visit the families of the thousands of men and women killed in Iraq and Afghanistan and get their opinions on the subject. As far as I know, none of Santorum's children has served in the military.
Like their father, Mitt Romney's sons decided that wearing the uniform of their country wasn't for them. When questioned about this, Romney stated, "My sons are adults. They've chosen not to serve in the military in active duty, and I respect their decision. ... One of the ways my sons are showing support for our nation is helping me get elected because they think I'd be a great president." Translation: "Hell no, my sons aren't off fighting stupid wars on the other side of the world. Come on, people; serving your country in wartime, being blown apart by land mines, that's not what rich people do. No way. Ask Dick Cheney. That Army stuff's for poor people. Military service is part of my economic safety net, job creation for inner-city kids and country folks."
Although I disagree with almost all of Ron Paul's positions, he deserves credit for being the only Republican presidential candidate who served in the armed forces and has been a staunch opponent of the nation's recent military interventions. Calling Newt Gingrich a chickenhawk, Paul stated, "I think people who don't serve when they could and get three or four deferments ... they have no right to send our kids off to war." Gingrich responded, saying that he was married with a child during the Vietnam era and didn't ask for a deferment. Ron Paul countered with, "When I was drafted, I was married and had two kids, and I went." Listening to Gingrich, one would think that receiving a military service deferment meant that it had to be accepted. All war talk and no guts, Gingrich could have served but didn't. It's that simple.
In a radio interview promoting his book, "The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future," Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe stated, "Well, actually the Genesis 8:22 that I use in there is that 'as long as the earth remains there will be a springtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, day and night.' My point is God is still up there. The arrogance of people to think that we, human beings, would be able to change what He is doing is most outrageous."
If God is controlling the climate, it follows that He is also controlling the weather and virtually every other aspect of the natural world. Makes you wonder why God chose to unleash a tsunami on Japan that killed almost 20,000 people, or the earthquake in Haiti that killed tens of thousands of desperately poor individuals. Was it also God's will that resulted in the deaths of 80 to 100 million people in 20th-century wars? If human beings are so arrogant as to think that they can change the climate, are we equally arrogant in believing that working for peace can reduce the number of murderous wars that are God's will? Clearly, Sen. Inhofe worships the wrathful, merciless, Old Testament God. No room for science (or common sense) in his theology.
Finally, Rick Santorum sharply criticized President Obama's call to increase the number of Americans who pursue a university degree. For Santorum, colleges are socialist "indoctrination mills" staffed by liberal professors who turn our young people into godless communists. I have to admit he's correct on this score. Over the 28 years I taught sociology and criminology at the university level, I always had barely audible music playing in the background during my lectures. What my students didn't know was that they were hearing a subliminal message repeated over and over again, about 30,000 times during the course of a semester. And the message? Just what you would expect from a liberal, commie-pinko sociologist: "Communism good; capitalism bad; God is dead."
I'm happy to report that upon graduation, most of my students purchased one-way tickets to China and are now employed in sweatshop-type factories making running shoes for $10 a day. From their cards and letters, I can only conclude they are deliriously happy. To express their undying gratitude for exposing them to the good, the true and the beautiful, they often send me autographed pictures of Chairman Mao.
George J. Bryjak lives in Bloomingdale.
Caldwell, S. (Sept. 25, 2009) "Sudan: Christians are 'crucified' in Guerilla Raids," Catholic Online, www.catholiconline.org
"Fox News Viewers Know Less than People Who Don't Watch Any News" (Nov. 2, 2011) The Huffington Post, www.huffingtonpost.com
Johnson, B. (March 9, 2012) "Inhofe: God Says Global Warming Is a Hoax," Think Progress Green, thinkprogress.org
Krugman, P. (March 8, 2012) "Ignorance is Strength," The New York Times, www.nytimes.com
"Limbaugh Defends Lord's Resistance Army" (Oct. 17, 2011) The New York Times, www.nytimes.com
Oliphant, J. (Jan. 12, 2012) "GOP Debate: New Gingrich and Ron Paul spar over military service," Los Angeles Times
Partridge, T. (Nov. 13, 2010) "Mitt's awkward answer about sons' military service, too awkward for Politico," Fire Dog Lake, my.fireddoglake.com
Rich, F. (March 8, 2012) "The National Circus: The GOP's Dismal Week" New York Magazine, nymag.com
"Santorum compares holding elective office to military service" (Jan. 5, 2012) The Daily Caller, thedailycaller.com
"Santorum says he would bomb Iran's nuclear plants" (Jan. 1, 2012) ABC News, www.abcnews.go.com
"Warrant of Arrest Unsealed Against Five LRA Commanders" (Oct. 15, 2005) The International Criminal Court, www.icc-cpi.int