Monday, February 02, 2009

Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dipshit

These guys floor me with their hypocrisy. They are absolutely terrified that Obama might succeed as president. Terrified. They are outraged that he is popular. Every element of criticism they dole out in their hate radio shows they exemplify themselves 10 fold. 

And the following is Limbaugh's description of how talk radio works. I could not have said it better myself, especially the last part where he says, "people call in and say do you really believe the stuff you say? I dunno thats for you to figure out". He truly doesn't know if he believes it, but just enjoys feeding half his audience conservative crack and outraging the other half so they keep listening. 


Anonymous said...


Lately, I've been considering what causal factors lead to conflict, whether at the interpersonal, organizational, or national level. All of these are, by nature, political conflicts. Perhaps there are many causes.

The most prominent one in my mind is a competition between two or more individuals for a scarce and desired resource. This may take the form of a high-paying job, a trophy, a coveted position at a university or corporation, an attractive mate one is trying to seduce, land, power, being favored above all others by one's boss, and so on.

Why do people fight domestically? Here, too, it seems to be about resources and scarcity: money, the distribution of work, sex, getting emotional needs met, and so on.

Why do they fight so bitterly about political topics that seem inane? Are they simply defending their honest beliefs, or trying to secure respect and status among their peers and constituents? In other words, are they simply trying to acquire influence, which is to say power?

The main feature of irrational conflict (as opposed to differing viewpoints where all parties respect each other and appreciate constructive criticism in order to arrive at the best way forward) seems to be dogmatism. One assumes that there is one--and only one--way to do things, and all other suggestions and their advocates are irrational or, to put it more bluntly, either stupid or insane. Many people seem unwilling or unable to tolerate ambiguity, which leads them to black-and-white thinking and hostility to those who oppose their preferred beliefs and desires.

Perhaps some people engage in conflict because it makes them feel better, in a strange, perhaps sadistic way. Sadism, without a doubt, gives many people pleasure, as horrific as that is. Still others perhaps engage in it to create intentional controversy for its entertainment value and to draw attention to themselves because they relish being in the spotlight (and that can open up opportunities to them for social and economic advancement).

Because conflict occurs so often, yet I'm ignorant about the academic literature on it thus far, I'm deeply curious as to its roots. This would help me enormously in my project management practice, as most of what I deal with is political. Complicating conflict as merely the competition for resources and power is different individuals' unique personalities, which of course influence what those individuals strive after. I haven't yet been able to put together a comprehensive picture to understand conflict, but because reducing it would (I believe) improve most of our lives, there is likely great value in studying the problem thoroughly and investigating approaches to mitigate conflict.

Rush Limbaugh, Anne Coulter, and others are public personalities that demonstrate conflict write large on a television screen or website. I'm more interested in the everyday conflicts that occur between parents and children or ordinary people as they interact each day. What are its primary causes, and can effective interventions be made to improve our overall quality of life within the American culture?

What are your thoughts?

Take Care,


upinVermont said...

I suppose the best analogy to draw is between Right Wing Talk Radio and WWE (formerly World Wrestling Federation). There are legions of boobs who take them seriously, even now but, unlike wrestling, Limbaugh's sham politics really *does* have malignant consequences.

Anonymous said...


It's unclear to me--a very distant observer of Rush Limbaugh and politics, in general--whether or not he believes any of what he's saying or if he's merely an entertainer trying to juice his job for as much money as possible (among other benefits, such as notoriety, high social status, power, and so forth).

I do agree that his rigid thinking is maladaptive for an environment that poses severe challenges to the majority of humans living today, particularly to poor nations exploited by the rich ones. Climate change appears to be irreversible, the consequences of which no one can predict.

The malignant consequences of dogmatic (ideological) politics is failure to adapt to the environment--both physical, social, economic, and biological--such that mankind is harmed. Leadership is stewardship, and President Obama seems to understand what should take high priority and what shouldn't. He appears rational, honest, and amenable to criticism. As such, he comes off as an ideal public servant. How well he'll be able to work with a diverse set of stakeholders, each with oppositional political agendas, remains to be seen.

We're all in this together. Not just a single person is needed to make a difference, but many of us, working together toward common goals. If President Obama can enlist the help of the idealists--almost invariably, college students--then perhaps we may make a difference yet. Or perhaps my own idealism is unfounded. We're living through an unprecedented set of conditions that will resolve in one form or another. Pessimism only harms us, especially when unwarranted. The panic through sensationalism that foments helps no one, except advertisers who prey on the public's usually unwarranted fears.

Few lives are easy, but in the West, we at least have the opportunity to decide for ourselves--for those capable of finding it within themselves to do so and to execute their plans, which is an heroic act--how we should live our lives, which goals we should pursue, and what constitutes meaningfulness and happiness. We can create new structures rather than allowing us to be coercively poured into existing ones. We can individuate. We really can live meaningful lives, but living meaningfully entails taking risks that will likely result in repeated rejection and fear from others. Rarely, one breaks the mold and is lauded and emulated, but such heroic successes are rare, so we're left to define our own internal concept of a heroic life that we, as unique individuals, can live, and then strive to attain it. This takes both opportunity and courage. Few of us are willing to exchange safety for adventure, knowing that the risks for loss and ridicule are very high indeed. But what good is life without dreams? It is a candle, unlit.

It is a fortunate situation to be young, healthy, to have talent, and to have big dreams and go after them. The external world will forever constrain us--economically, socially, and in innumerable other ways--but the hero's journey is one that is ultimately fueled solely from within. No two heroes are alike.

But each of us, I believe, has something to offer. The greater our gifts, the greater the demands on us are to make a difference to improve our live and the condition of the world.

Be a Good Steward,


Aaron said...

I would love to see Limbaugh debate someone. Particularly Paul Krugman the Nobel prize winning economist. It won't happen because any point Limbaugh tried to make would be refuted handily by real facts and examples and Limbaugh couldn't deal with that. The benefit of the talk radio format is that you don't have to subject your opinions to the scrutiny of knowledgable people in the opposition. Your call screeners can select those of the opposition who are mildly retarded. The result is that you convince very soft minded people that your points are irrefutable and anyone who disagrees must be stupid or insane.

I think that far right ideology is now mainstream republican party. Rush is the spokesman for it. In his own words, "moderate repubicans are liberals". And since anything "liberal" is equated with "the enemy" limbaugh and the republican party has painted itself into a corner of obsolesence. Somewhere around 50% of the rep party wants Palin to be the future of the party. Thats says a lot!

Anonymous said...

Yes, Aaron, it truly does. Our educational system is in an abysmal state, which may lead to dangerous instability in society caused by an ignorant and dogmatic fringe element.


Anonymous said...


It's been a long while since I've visited I did so just now, and I have a very difficult time understanding how Kevin Williams came to believe what he claims.

The stories on his site are anecdotal, perhaps fictional, and apparently contradictory. They seem like fairy tales.

It makes no sense that, if we all started out as part of god, we decided to differentiate into individual souls and enter animal bodies that conveniently evolved on Earth in order for us to learn lessons. What lessons? If we are God, what is there to learn? Why would we ever willingly expose ourselves to injustice or any other form of suffering, especially physical suffering?

It makes no sense. None.