Jeb Bush's fledgling not-quite-campaign has a lot of problems, not the least of which is that conservative radio talk show hosts don't particularly like the guy. That includes the king blowhard himself, Rush Limbaugh.
The grandaddy of conservative talk took to the airwaves on Wednesday to claim, in great horror, that a Jeb Bush presidency would result in all of America being turned into Miami. If you're suspecting that's a stealth argument to stir up anti-Hispanic fears amongst his listeners, well, you're probably right.
Limbaugh, of course, isn't particularly known for coming up with his own original arguments, and instead tends to rant and expound on the thoughts of others. In this case he centers his segment on a recent National Review article by Mark Krikorian, and he reads lengthy segments of it on air.
Krikorian agrees with Rudy Giuliani's recent comments that Barack Obama doesn't really love America. He thinks that Obama might like America OK, but he doesn't really love it on an emotional level. He contends that Obama is the first "post-American" president, and that Jeb Bush would be the second.
Why? Because, basically, Bush has turned his back on his white roots by taking up in the Cuban-American-heavy Miami:
Despite what some might say, the problem here is not that Jeb's wife is from Mexico, their kids grew up speaking Spanish, and they live in a Latin American cultural enclave in the U.S. -- it's that he wants to use government policy to "fix" America by making it more like Miami. If Jeb had so little affection for and grounding in his own heritage that he wanted to assimilate into a Latin-American milieu, that's a perfectly legitimate choice; I know a number of non-Armenians who've basically chosen to assimilate into Armenian life. But to try to impose that personal choice on the nation as a whole is beyond the pale. We don't need another president who thinks Americans are defective and need to be fixed by the State.
Limbaugh read that particular passage almost word-for-word on his show.
He then goes on to basically restate the Armenian-American Krikorian's argument in his own words.
"So Jeb thinks America is flawed, and he wants it to be something else," says Limbaugh. "He wants it to be more like the place he chose to live, the Latin-American enclave in Miami. But to take that personal emotional choice and to impose it on the nation as a whole is beyond the pale. And Obama is doing the same thing. They have different reasons, but their desired results are the same. I don't know how to react to some of these things that Jeb is quoted here as saying. It's clear that emotion is behind this, not reason."
Both the article and Limbaugh's rant also make reference to a 2013 discussion Bush had at the 92nd Street Y in New York in which he espoused the positive traits of immigrants. Bush claimed immigrants are "more entrepreneurial, they set up more business, they buy more homes, they're more family-oriented, they work in jobs that in many cases are jobs that have gone unfilled."
Krikorian and Limbaugh's message isn't hard to decipher. They think that somehow a man who is a member and continues to benefit from the privilege of one of the most powerful WASP families in American history has somehow turned his back on his white heritage by moving to a ritzy suburb known for its mansions, manicured lawns, and strict zoning laws, and has chosen to assimilate with Latin American culture, somehow. And he will force the rest of the nation to, in turn, assimilate to Latin American culture by being nice to immigrants.
The bigotry and ignorance here is palpable.
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