POLL STUFF: LIMBUAGH, JFK, AND THE TOMB OF THE UNKOWNS
Posted by Andrew Roman on November 30, 2009
It won’t surprise most to learn that talk show host Rush Limbaugh is considered by Americans to be the most influential conservative in the country. In fact, according to a 60 Minutes/Vanity Fair poll issued yesterday, Limbaugh sits comfortably ahead of the pack with 26% of the tally, 15 points ahead of Glenn Beck.
To many, however, that number sounds too low. Way too low. The general perception persists among influential lefties (i.e., the mainstream media) that all conservative thinkers, talkers and pundits get their daily marching orders from Limbaugh in some form.
He is the puller of strings, issuer of swastikas, and mentor to all who hate.
It cannot be denied that no other conservative can twist the panties of the mainstream media like Limbaugh. They obsesses over no one else on the right like they do Limbaugh. All other conservatives combined don’t draw the attention that Limbaugh does on a daily basis. (Yes, even the current Sarah Palin fervor will subside over time).
But that’s okay.
It has almost become a spectator sport to see which news outlet can take a Limbaugh quote and render it most unrecognizable from its original meaning each day.
That the most influential conservative in America is not a politician is both telling and predictable. The reality is, Americans are infinitely more likely to hear conservative values articulated more eloquently and more thoroughly on talk radio than from almost anyone serving in Washington.
Incidentally, both former-Vice President Dick Cheney and former-Governor Sarah Palin came in one point behind Glenn Beck at 10%.
Two other tidbits from the poll are worth touching upon.
First, President John F. Kennedy was chosen by 29% of those polled as the face they’d most like to see added to Mount Rushmore. President Ronald Reagan finished behind him at 20%.
This is not the least bit surprising.
In all honesty, I am actually quite astonished Reagan pulled in as many as 20%. I say so not because Reagan is undeserving. To the contrary, I can think of no one more worthy of such an honor.
Unfortunately, President Reagan is not nearly the popular culture icon JFK is. (Who is?) That Kennedy was a politician is almost secondary. Kennedy is revered much the same way John Lennon, Elvis Presley and James Dean are.
To this day, he personifies “hope” and “promise” and “what might have been.”
Those are big ones on the lefty hit parade.
He was young, charismatic, uncommonly photogenic, as quick on his feet as any one in public life has ever been, and murdered in the prime of his life.
All the ingredients are there.
To this day, Kennedy is regularly referenced and cited by Democrats who long to build bridges to their party’s storied past; and yes, even by Republicans who routinely claim that he’d actually be a conservative on many critical issues by today’s standards. For whatever reason, it seems mighty important to folks on both sides of the aisle that they are able to claim their share of the JFK pie.
Ronald Reagan, meanwhile, couldn’t even muster a mention by the current President during the ceremonies earlier this month commemorating the fall of the Berlin Wall. As I recall, there was that whole “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall” thing that might have been interesting to bring up, but Reagan’s name never came from Obama’s lips.
Obama did, however, manage to quote JFK.
The President exemplifies how America is hard-wired.
The fact that one of America’s greatest presidents – largely portrayed by the mainstream media as an overrated, yet likable, cowboy who could never have accomplished a damn thing without the great Mikhail Gorbachev to guide him – still manages 20% of the vote behind someone as culturally deified as John Kennedy is quite astounding.
Finally, which of these events did Americans say they would most want to participate in?
Laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier; lighting the Olympic torch; tossing the coin to open a Super Bowl; starting the race at the Indianapolis 500; ringing the opening bell at the stock exchange; or throwing out the first pitch at the World Series?
Believe it or not … half of Americans said that laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns is the ceremony they’d most like to be a part of.
Maybe there’s hope yet.