Friday, 09 July 2010

Townhall's "100 Americans The Left Hates Most"

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The popular conservative Townhall magazine recently published the 2010 list of the “100 Americans the Left Hates Most.” According to the editorial staff of Townhall, “the American Left is trashing everyone who dares to stand against them. The more effective the voices that oppose their agenda, the greater the venom the Left spews in their direction.” While several of the names on the list are scarcely known, the top ten most hated Americans by the Left are as predictable as Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s votes.

If it is the effectiveness of opposition that the Left most despise, it should come as no surprise that the person the American Left hates the most is none other than the tenacious Glenn Beck. Townhall claims that Beck has been under the radar of the Left for years, but it wasn’t until his move from the lowly rated CNN to the popular Fox News network that Beck became a target. Even more than Beck’s presence on the despised Fox News channel, however, is his ability to propel a book as old as F.A. Hayek’s Road to Serfdom to the number one spot on Amazon’s best-seller list. Above all, “Beck’s real sin is that he has successfully combined his concern for the direction of this country — a direction currently being dominated by progressives who hate what America has been — with a powerful defense of American exceptionalism and a passion for the Founding Fathers and the system of government and nation they created to produce a show that both educates and entertains.”

Another Fox News host made the list, though his placement at number nine was certainly a blow to his pride. Of course, that host is Bill O’ Reilly, who boasts the highest-rated cable news program on television for ten years and running. Townhall attributes the Left’s hatred for O’Reilly to his “staunch opinions and common sense with a conservative slant.” O’Reilly likely upped the ante when agreed to co-host the “Bold & Fresh” tour with the Left’s most hated Glenn Beck.

A close second only to Beck is self-proclaimed “pit bull in lipstick” Sarah Palin. Palin seemed to grow in popularity, gaining momentum after her failed run for Vice President on the McCain ticket in 2008. Townhall writes, “As a favorite of grassroots conservative tea partiers, Palin has used her star power to bring attention to various underdog candidates and issues facing voters this fall.” The Left has criticized Palin in every plausible way, from ridiculing her teenage daughter for her unplanned pregnancy to the way she speaks. The Left is irked by her unstoppable “down-to-earth independence, patriotic spirit and no-nonsense can-do attitude.”

Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, and Michelle Malkin all made the Top Ten, third, fifth and sixth respectively. Similar in characteristic, these three have served as popular outspoken opposition to the Leftist agenda for years.

With 20 million listeners, Limbaugh has earned a sizeable living from ridiculing and partially exposing the Left, and as Townhall says, “if there’s one thing liberals hate more than the truth about their agenda being exposed, it’s people who make money off exposing that agenda.” Opposition plus capitalism equals ire. Townhall accredits Limbaugh for leading the flood of conservative talk radio shows, and “right-wing talk is the top target of liberals, who are always looking to shut down talk radio once and for all.”

Coulter has mastered the art of ridiculing the Left in a way unparalleled by most others, and her book titles make no attempts at sugarcoating those efforts: How To Talk to a Liberal (if you must), If Democrats Had Any Brains, They’d Be Republicans, etc. “Political correctness finally met its match with this conservative bombshell,” asserts Townhall.  Most impressive is that Leftist disdain for Coulter is not isolated in the United States, but has even spread to Canada, where protests were held to stop Coulter from appearing for a college speech at the University of Ottawa.

Malkin has encountered “racist rants from left-wingers, been assaulted by some of America’s nastiest political activists, had her home address published by progressive crazies, moved from the D.C. area to get away from the threats, and been spat on, screamed at, and cursed by ever-so-tolerant liberals.” If nothing else, behavior like this is indicative that Malkin “must be doing something right” contends Townhall magazine.

Unsurprisingly, President George W. Bush appeared in the number 4 spot of the list. Throughout Bush’s administration, he has been ridiculed for everything from his alleged arrogant smirk to his policies to his public speaking skills. Ironically, though the Left may very well hate Bush, it appears that they need him now more than ever. Townhall astutely points out, “More than a year and a half into the new president’s term, these same haters are the first to bring Bush back into the public debate.  Trouble in the Middle East? Blame Bush. Al Gore’s getting a divorce? Blame Bush.” Without Bush, the Obama administration may actually have to accept blame for something. Shudder at the horror.

Bush’s Vice President, Dick Cheney, has also earned the ire of the Left, not only through his association with Bush, but for his adamant criticism of the Obama administration. Likewise, Cheney’s policies on national security and interrogations of potential terrorists did little to woo the American Left (any more than they did freedom-loving libertarians and constitutionalists on the American Right). For these reasons and more, Cheney landed in the number 8 spot.

Tea Party Patriots stole the number seven spot on the list of Americans hated most by the Left, especially the left-wing media. What has fueled Leftist hatred of the Tea Parties most is the almost instant success of the movement, which began as a Facebook group and grew to amass millions of members. More than that, “As this grassroots movement continues to grow, liberals know they don’t stand a change — their agenda cannot stand up to the greatness of America’s founding and the citizens who will stand to defend it.” Leftist contempt towards the Tea Parties has driven the media to report that the Tea Parties are violent, racist, lunatics with very little political influence, none of which is grounded in fact.

Perhaps because of her reputation as a Tea Party favorite, Michelle Bachmann found herself in the number ten spot for those most hated by the Left. Bachman propelled to fame through her obstinate criticism of Obama’s healthcare overhaul, encouraging Americans to stand with her in protest. Townhall writes, “Bachmann stands as a strong conservative woman who, like Palin, challenges liberal women to think outside the liberal box.”

While most of the choices for the “100 List of Americans the Left Hates Most” certainly do rankle the Left, some of the names included reveal a certain naïveté on the part of the compilers, who obviously do not fully comprehend the cross-political-spectrum influence of the internationalist Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), several of whose members made the list. These incude the aforementioned Dick Cheney, as well as Newt Gingrich, Rupert Murdoch, John Bolton, David Petraeus, and Condoleezza Rice. Neither do Townhall's editors understand the difference between genuine opponents of the Left (such as Ron Paul, Rand Paul, and Phyllis Schlafly, and Glenn Beck, all of whom were included) and the neoconservative ("neocon") controlled opposition that merely plays into the hands of the Left. Some on the list (Cheney and Gingrich, for example are both CFR members and neocons) and others falling into the neocon category include the previously mentioned Limbaugh, George W. Bush, and most significanetly of all, Bill Kristol, editor of the neocon Bible, the Weekly Standard, and the son of the late Irving Kristol, who was called "the godfather of Neoconservatism" and authored Neoconservatism: The Autobiography of an Idea.

But if Townhall is correct in asserting that there is a causal relationship between the effectiveness of the listed individuals in at least annoying those on the Left and receiving Leftist hatred, making the list should certainly be deemed a badge of honor. One wonders, however, why Townhall correctly included patriots of the Tea Party movement, who have been annoying the Leftists for a couple of years, but did not include members of The John Birch Society, who have been a thorn in the side of the Left for over 51 years.

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