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10/20/03


 

WHAT WILL WE
TELL THE CHILDREN?

By David Podvin

The news that Rush Limbaugh is a pill-popping junkie who violates federal law in order to satisfy his addiction to narcotics has hit America like a ton of bricks. I, for one, had never even considered the possibility that a racist, misogynistic, homophobic demagogue might be morally flawed. Those Americans who truly love God and country - those Americans known as “liberals” – are now watching in righteous indignation as yet another conservative shamelessly shreds the moral fabric that once fortified our blessed nation. The haunting question that echoes across the land is:

“What will we tell the children?”

What do we say to the little ones, so young and so impressionable, who are being bombarded with stories of Republican depravity? The revelation that this country’s most successful broadcaster coerced a menial laborer to be his drug supplier coincides with the election in California of a man whose disdain for family values is an affront to every bible-believing citizen. How do we explain to the children the existence of such decadence in high places?

Those of us who were fortunate enough to be raised by liberals have a hard time identifying with the obsessive conservative lust for cheap drugs and even cheaper sex. My parents loved America so much that they were card-carrying members of the ACLU. As a result, our home exuded a wholesome environment that was totally devoid of the scandalous adultery and contemptible chemical abuse so obviously commonplace in right wing households.

I try – Lord knows I try – to empathize with the poor slobs whose parents were Republicans. I attempt to imagine what it must have been like for them to celebrate Lee Harvey Oswald’s birthday while eating vast quantities of Wonder Bread slathered with Miracle Whip. I strive to align emotionally with the children of people who stigmatized the entire family by voting for Nixon and Reagan; in all fairness, how could any human be expected to cope with the shame? I do my best to understand the trauma associated with a misspent childhood ravaged by constant exposure to blasphemous Billy Graham crusades. My heart aches for these conservative wretches, morally depleted though they are. And yet, I remain haunted by that question:

“What will we tell the children?”

What do we tell them about the enablers, those lost souls who seek to gloss over Limbaugh’s pharmacological march to oblivion and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s adulterous sexual deviancy? When Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly and Peggy Noonan rationalize the abuse of narcotics and defend the coercive fondling of distaff body parts, they are degrading the time-tested culture of our sacred America. These apologists explain away Schwarzenegger’s vile misbehavior by blaming the Bohemian influence of Hollywood. They minimize Limbaugh’s moral failings by saying that he is living in a fishbowl, and that he is in pain, and that he is under a lot of pressure.

Unlike conservatives, I reject the concept that criminals are products of their environment. I’m from the old school that requires people to be accountable for their own actions. I have little patience with these Republican bleeding hearts who choose sociological doubletalk over personal responsibility.

“Stop wallowing in self-pity! Pull yourself up by your bootstraps!”

That’s what I always say.

As far as living with pressure is concerned, true pressure is being the sole provider for a family. How I wish conservatives who earn forty million dollars a year would just once show a fraction of the character that is demonstrated daily by the average lower income single mother.

We must teach our youth to oppose the concept of “special rights” for these wayward Republicans. It is wrong for us to keep pretending that the unnatural behavior of conservatives is somehow normal. I do not have license to bully my maid into giving me hundreds of prescription-only pills per day, or to place my hands in every occupied brassiere on two continents. Why should Limbaugh and Schwarzenegger be granted carte blanche to do wicked things? Their moral turpitude is inconsistent with the Judeo Christian ethic that made this country great, of that I can assure you!

I can also assure you that God opposes gambling, especially when it is combined with lying. That is why I am outraged – “outraged” is the only word to describe it  – when I hear a flagrant sinner like William Bennett brazenly seeking to rationalize the immorality of Limbaugh and Schwarzenegger. Has America sunk so low that we are now accepting instruction on ethics from an apostate who violates the Scriptures by wagering and then bears false witness about it? Just exactly where do you think those Indian casinos got all that filthy lucre with which to pollute our otherwise pristine political system? From compulsive sickos like… guess who.

Have you no decency, Mr. Bennett? At long last, sir, have you no sense of decency left?

Moral people have the right to say, “Enough! Enough of imposing your so-called ‘alternative lifestyle’ upon those of us who honor the traditional customs!” If I want my children to indulge in tawdry misadventures involving drugs and flesh and sordid games of chance, I will send them to the Republican National Convention. Until that time, keep your decadent squalor to yourselves and your carnal sleaze out of public view. Americans who are virtuous should not have our offspring – the cherished fruit of our loins – exposed to right wing libertines whose personal conduct is less compatible with the American family than with the Manson Family.

The conservative assault on our cultural values is relentless. On television, there is Rupert Murdoch’s Fox network, with its foul language, graphic sexual content, and gratuitous violence. In theatres across America, there are the hedonistic films of Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis, and other GOP advocates of coarsening our society. And the profanity-laced music of conservatives like Charlie Daniels and Travis Tritt is just gosh-darned wrong, dabnabbit! It is one thing for adult senses to be bombarded with such appalling sewage, but…

“What will we tell the children?”

We should tell them that conventional standards of behavior still reign supreme, and that bad people who do immoral things must be punished. That punishment could consist of imprisonment, for example, or in certain cases electoral recall. We must impress on young American minds that misdeeds will have consequences. We should explain that discipline will be imposed reluctantly but firmly, and that retribution will be exacted with a heavy heart, yet with unshakeable resolve.

In the case of Mr. Limbaugh, his crimes merit being confined in one of our nation’s outstanding penal institutions that exist to separate the lawbreakers from what I like to call “the people of accomplishment”. Once incarcerated, he can learn to appreciate that good guys who obey the law earn freedom, while bad guys who commit crimes wind up being assaulted by fellow inmates whose race they have publicly disparaged for the last twenty years. This will be a valuable lesson not only for Rush, but also for all the little Rushes out there who might be tempted to follow in his illicit footsteps. Ironically, Limbaugh will once again be able to lay claim to leading society in the right direction, although this time he will do so while domiciled in the prison infirmary.

Insofar as Herr Schwarzenegger is concerned, there is no statute of limitations on being a degenerate. My father taught me never to touch a woman after she said no, but Pop was a liberal. He wasn’t part of the mainstream conservative movement that believes female strangers exist to be squeezed like ripe fruit at a Turkish bazaar, or that a gentleman should publicly humiliate ladies for the entertainment of his leering hangers-on. No, dear old Dad was satisfied with being a registered Democrat, so he never aspired to become a registered sex offender.

Arnold must be removed from office as a lesson to the young boys of America that treating women in a sadistic manner is not funny, regardless of what Jay Leno might think. Schwarzenegger should also be sued in civil court by every woman he violated as a lesson to the young girls of America that it is socially acceptable to stand up against someone who molests them, irrespective of how rich and powerful the molester might be.

“What will we tell the children?”

If the day ever arrives when Limbaugh is ensconced in prison and Schwarzenegger is forced to compensate the women he has victimized, we can tell the children that it just doesn’t pay to be a bad person in this country. Until that time, vigilant patriots should shield youthful ears from the amoral rantings of the lawless junkie on the radio. Most importantly, we must teach our precious daughters that if they ever cross paths with the governor-elect of California, the accepted protocol is to scream, “No, they’re not real!” and then run like hell.

Podvin Satire

Podvin, the Series

 


Last changed: December 13, 2009