In his October 24, 2008 radio show, Rush Limbaugh essentially told Republicans who believe in abortion rights that they should leave the Republican Party:
Good Riddance, GOP Moderates
…We flushed ‘em out. We found out they’re not really Republicans and they’re by no means conservatives, and now they’re gone. Now the trick is to keep ‘em out.
…The minute you say that conservatism includes people who are pro-choice, you’ve destroyed conservatism because conservatism stands for “life, liberty, pursuit of happiness.” Without life, there is nothing else here, and if we’re going to sit around indiscriminately deciding who lives and who dies based on our own convenience, that’s not conservative. Individual liberty. The essence of innocence is a child in the womb who has no choice over what happens to it. Sorry. If we don’t stand up for that person, if the government doesn’t, then nobody will. And if we allow ourselves to get watered down by a bunch of people who are embarrassed over that position, they’re not conservatives.
No problem, Rush. I’ve already sent the following message to numerous Republicans at the local, state, and national level:
I used to support the Republican Party because I believe in individual rights, free markets, a strong national defense, and the right to keep and bear arms.
However, the Republican Party alliance with the religious right on “social issues” like stem cell research, abortion and gay marriage has turned off many former supporters such as myself.
Americans have a right to practice their religion as a purely private matter, and I defend everyone’s right to do so.
But the government should not force one group’s religious views on everyone. Hence, I no longer have a home in any political party. To paraphrase a quote from Ronald Reagan, “I didn’t leave the Republican Party, the Republican Party left me.”
Given that Rush Limbaugh has just confirmed that they don’t want members like me, I’m happy to oblige him.
If the Republican Party wants to become the party of the Religious Right, then they will lose big in 2008. And they will deserve to do so.
Update:An Objectivist friend has also contacted us privately to point out that in another show, Limbaugh spoke out to defend individual rights, but as part of a pro-McCain plea. As our friend notes (quoted with his permission):
And let’s not forget that his impassioned defense of individual freedom (which I heard part of, and which by itself was quite good) was made in defense of voting for JOHN MCCAIN… you know, the guy who blames the financial crisis on greedy Wall Street, who dismisses those who pursue profit instead of “service,” who thinks the First Amendment deserves scare quotes, who supports cap and trade, who opposes drilling for oil in Alaska, whose hero is Teddy Roosevelt, who chose religious nut-job and anti-intellectual populist Sarah Palin as his running mate, etc., etc., etc. What a sin it would be to elect that kind of nightmare in the name of *capitalism*!
If McCain and Limbaugh were the only “defenders” of individual rights against the likes of Obama, then our country would be in sorry shape. Fortunately, there are better defenders out there…