Rush Limbaugh and a Disturbing New Authoritarian Phenomenon: The Brick Throwing “Patriot”

Talk about pushing the Overton Window to the right. Yesterday Rush Limbaugh (who calls himself a “Christian”) equated Barack Obama with Hitler and put up this rather uncharitable battle cry against Democrats:

We need to defeat these bastards. We need to wipe them out.  We need to chase them out of town. . . They must, my friends, be hounded out of office.  Every single Democrat who voted for this needs to know, safe district or not, that they are going to be exposed and hassled and chased from office.

Well, it appears that Limbaugh’s wish is being acted upon because there are now people scattered throughout the country who have taken it upon themselves to break the windows—Kristallnacht style—of Democratic congressional district offices.

Here is a blog site promoting and celebrating this sort of activity. And the site calls the image below a “Liberty Tool.” I call it the breakdown of the necessary civility that makes a bourgeois democratic Republic possible. A brick is not an argument. It is a tool for irrationality, intolerance, anarchic authoritarian intimidation, and general mischief. It is part of the politics of cruelty, not of humanity, and befits the politics of 1930s Germany, not America in the 21st century.


One of these bricks bore a note attached quoting Barry Goldwater:

Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice.

But Goldwater himself would not have been pleased. A brick thrown through the office window of a democratically elected member of America’s Congress is fascism masquerading as liberty.

Let the American flag image through cracked glass below sink in. This is what a “patriot” did to an Arizona congressman’s office. It is an attack on reason, democracy, and civility itself. This is what fascism looks like.

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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2 Responses to Rush Limbaugh and a Disturbing New Authoritarian Phenomenon: The Brick Throwing “Patriot”

  1. Pingback: Conservative Brick Throwers and Tim Pawlenty: Did Tim Pawlenty Call on Republicans to Smash Federal Government Building Windows? « Prometheus Unbound

  2. G.I. Joe says:

    The problem seems to be that these people are really upset. But they are upset at the wrong reasons. The people holding them back are the same ones that inhibit their freedoms, that dumb down their media, that turns their media into propaganda and tabloid journalism, that enfoce our differences, instead of our similarities and that takes away their education. That leads us to fear. The Unted States need to be more United, with all your neighbors and not your politcians, or radio talk show hosts, or newscasters, our corporate movie music and TV cszars, and learn from our neighbors coworkers friends and families.

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