- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 8, 2007

Age of Rush

“In 1988, this country was a conservative wasteland. Our president was leaving. We had CNN. We had ABC, NBC, CBS. We had the New York Times, The Washington Post, the newsmagazines, and that was it. Here I came, storming onto the scene. Look what’s happened since. …

“What more do you want? Obviously what I have given you is not enough. I have spawned an entire conservative cable news network. I have spawned an entire new media from blogs to talk shows. … There is an entire alternative media now that people are able to rally to and get alternative news from, spawned by me. …

“Are you supporting people who are running? Are you talking to friends about these issues? Are you trying to spread the word in your own circle? Do you work at polls? Do you vote?”

— Rush Limbaugh, on his radio show, quoted by Joe Kovacs in WorldNetDaily at www.worldnetdaily.com

On his own

“Ronald Reagan said ‘Family Ties’ was his favorite show and reportedly offered to appear in an episode. Even today, young Republicans cite Fox’s character as an early role model. …

“How did this happen? Partly, no doubt, it was the sheer absence, before ‘Family Ties,’ of explicitly conservative young people on network television. And much of the credit must go to Fox himself, whose specialty as an actor was playing the smug, arrogant brat that you like in spite of yourself. …

“Still, it’s tempting to conclude that Keaton’s near-iconic status requires more explanation. Last summer in the New Republic, Rick Perlstein, the left-leaning author of a book on Barry Goldwater, argued that, even now, after years of Republican rule, the ‘culture of conservatives still insists that it is being hemmed in on every side.’ Having been ‘shaped in another era [the mid-1960s], one in which conservatives felt marginal and beleaguered,’ conservative culture … still feeds on this antagonism, reflecting a sense that righteousness is always at odds with the decadent mainstream.

“Alex P. Keaton fits this vision perfectly. Throughout the show’s run, he was on his own: His parents were liberal, his sister was a ditz, and his one conservative ally, Uncle Ned, was a fugitive and then a drunk. Still, he persevered.”

— David Haglund, writing on “Reagan’s Favorite Sitcom,” March 2 in Slate at www.slate.com


“We revered something called ‘authenticity’ back in the ‘60s. Dressing neatly, grooming ourselves, even basic hygiene — all such activities were condemned as ‘plastic.’ Conformist. Hypocritical. Real beauty sprang from the heart, we told each other, and anyone blind to such beauty had, like, no soul, man. … Decency demanded dressing like a Biafran refugee and smelling like a dog’s bed.

“It never occurred to us, in our innocence (no, let’s be honest — our arrogance), that inner beauty might also involve some small concern for the noses of others, and that cleaning up, smelling good, and covering ourselves with attractive clothing might also be a way of striving for greater peace and universal consciousness in the world.

“Of course we were young then, our generation, and some of us actually did look good without clothes on. …

“[T]he ‘Now Generation’ of the ‘60s is entering its own 60s, and the percentage of us whose bodies bear close inspection has … well, I just had supper and I’d rather not think about it.”

— Lars Walker, writing on “Furl the Freak Flag, Already,” at www.brandywinebooks.net

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