How I hope “Six Weeks of Rush” can conquer the ideology problem

“The problem with any ideology,” Bill Clinton recently told Jon Stewart, “is it gives you the answer before you look at the evidence.” But why should we care what some godless, power-mad hillbilly pervert has to say to a known member of the Manhattan Jewish media elite, am I right?

We’re a week away from kicking off my horribly misguided Six Weeks of Rush challenge, and it’s obvious that ideology is going to be a driving and divisive factor. The account I’ve created on Twitter has gained close to fifty followers in its first week, and so far it looks like a good blend of conservatives and liberals. That’s a balance I want to maintain, and if I feel at any point like one side’s gaining too much ground, I’ll try and bring a few more people on from the other.

We’re bound to disagree with each other, and that’s fine as long as it’s not just because we’re on different teams. Important issues deserve critical thinking, and it’s my contention going in that critical thinking isn’t exactly what Rush Limbaugh is trying to encourage among his listeners. Whether or not I’m proven wrong, I can’t very well judge if I don’t take the high road. And frankly, neither can you.

Obviously, this cuts both ways. If you take pride in being a “dittohead,” agreeing with Rush because that’s what proud conservatives do, then critical thinking probably isn’t your “thing.” But on the other hand, if you’re a liberal, and you’re eager to dismiss Rush and his listeners because that’s what liberals do, then guess what?

This is the sort of dumb, childish divisiveness that I believe people like Rush encourage for personal profit. It’s the sort of thing I promised my wife I wouldn’t get involved in during these six harrowing weeks. It’s the sort of thing that people who really care about their country, and not just their team, owe it to themselves to rise above.

Norm, the fellow from who challenged me to do this, tells me it’ll change my life. If I stick it out with an open mind for six weeks, he says, I’ll see the truth and embrace conservatism. I guess if I don’t, then that’ll be proof that I just wasn’t serious about it – and who can blame me, given the fact that unlike conservatives, “liberal robots” are “afraid to question?”

Now, I’ve kind of gotten to like Norm, despite our political differences and his glaring, telling refusal to follow @SixWeeksofRush so far. I’m therefore going to be generous and assume he’s having some fun with me. Because if he’s serious, then I’d like to challenge him to come to Canada and give us all the same “everyone who agrees with Rush is a critical thinker and everyone who disagrees with him is a brainwashed liberal” speech, so our own Alanis Morissette can say “Oh, so that’s what irony is!”

To those of you who are up to the challenge, welcome aboard. If you haven’t already done so, please take a moment to follow @SixWeeksofRush – and to encourage your friends to do so, regardless of their political leanings. We’re just one week away from something hopefully not horrible!

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