Diana West

But what a day. It goes down in the annals as the day the demonization of conservatism achieved not consensus, but normalcy, and the day the marginalization of conservatives became not a public sport but a civic duty. Think about it. What happened Limbaugh didn't happen to a "dead white male" on a college campus; nor did it happen to a live white male in a government-mandated "sensitivity course." What happened to Limbaugh took place in a uniquely exclusive slice of the private sector frequented by the super-mega-rich and ostentatious, the kind of people with the kind of money that buys protection from the pressures of what is thought of as public opinion. But what happened to Rush Limbaugh - call it "Rush-baiting" -- reveals that what conservative blogger Lawrence Auster calls the "dictatorship enforced by the charge of racism" has absolutely no boundaries.

Limbaugh's critics were so desperate to make a racism charge stick, to tag Limbaugh as untouchably "controversial," that they resorted to demonstrable lies -- statements Limbaugh never made -- and purposely indemonstrable innuendo. Not that this mattered. As in all dictatorships, the charge itself suffices. It didn't even matter that the dictatorship's emissaries, the eternal charlatans Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, who actively lobbied the NFL to oppose Limbaugh, are themselves serially discredited race hustlers. Again, the charge is all it takes to demonize and ostracize the opposition. And Rush Limbaugh -- as the leading voice against the radicalism of the Obama administration, one of the most forceful opponents of the totalitarian social engineering we know as "affirmative action," as one of the great communicators of basic conservative principles -- definitely counts as the opposition.

But with the successful transformation of Limbaugh the potential team owner into Limbaugh the expendable "distraction," his brand of opposition -- a plain-speaking adherence to a conservatism best described as Reaganesque -- has been judged unfit, unworthy even, for the sports-loving mainstream and sentenced to the margins. And that is what is most disturbing about this story. Conservatism in our time has been publicly defined as extremism. Which means, for conservatives, it's time for some intensive historical revisionism of our own.


Diana West

Diana West is the author of American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation's Character (St. Martin's Press, 2013), and The Death of the Grown-Up: How America's Arrested Development Is Bringing Down Western Civilization (St. Martin's Press, 2007).