As defined by yours truly, a victim complex is when someone projects injustices of the past as insurmountable obstacles to success, so that ultimately what holds them back is the fallacies of their own mind. That certain people embrace this complex (to avoid confrontation with their own fears and insecurities; as an excuse to be lazy or to do bad things) is a given.

But the way Limbaugh talks——constantly bemoaning this complex as though it were an epidemic of Biblical proportions——you’d think self-pity and sloth were the sole reason anyone is poor. Crying foul this victimization excuse has become an excuse onto itself (sort of an excuse-excuse) Limbaugh uses to dismiss welfare and other forms of public assistance as enablers of poverty.

In describing welfare and its recipients, Limbaugh uses imagery that’s intentionally ugly (and unintentionally self-referential). He compares government welfare to a giant sow and compares poor people to piglets. ‘‘The poor in this country are the biggest piglets at the mother pig and her nipples. The poor feed off the largesse of this government and they give nothing back. Nothing. . . . They’re the ones that are always pandered to.’’ And he asks whether the poor ‘‘pay anything back? Do they pay any taxes? No. They don’t pay a thing. They contribute nothing to this country. They do nothing but take from it.’’

In addition to portraying welfare recipients as lazy piglets who do nothing but take, take, take without ever giving anything in return——70% of recipients get off welfare within two years——Limbaugh also compares them to drug addicts. ‘‘Helping people to become self-sufficient is much more compassionate than drugging them with the narcotic of welfare.’’ And who’s the drug pusher? Why the evil liberals of course! He accuses liberal leaders such as Jesse Jackson of encouraging the American people to ‘‘reduce ourselves to the lowest denominator; to emulate the poor, rather than encourage them to emulate those who produce.’’

Limbaugh suggests the government’s being sucked dry because liberals are encouraging everybody to become dependent on welfare. ‘‘We’re getting to the point where the tax producers will someday be outnumbered by the tax eaters of society.’’ And according to him: ‘‘  . . . while the sow is large she is near death. She’s not fat and flourishing, she’s emaciated.’’

And once the liberals fulfill their Utopia of getting everybody hooked on welfare, there will be no more taxpayers to provide for the giant sow, and then the government and our society will self-destruct. That’s a logical scenario, huh? Sheesh, for someone who ridicules scientists for their doom and gloom hysterics (about things like the cholesterol content of movie theater popcorn!), Limbaugh certainly doesn’t hesitate to insinuate doomsday-like scenarios of how welfare’s gonna bring down America.

Just about all I can think of to explain the attitude of those fundamentally opposed to welfare is an attachment to romantic notions of our past. This is certainly evident in Limbaugh’s repetitious tendency——usually when decrying the heinous ‘‘welfare state’’——of singing flowery, near-saccharine praises of how our noble forefathers founded this country out of a rugged work ethic. (Funny how Limbaugh so romanticizes our forebear’s struggles, as if, had he lived in those times, his behemoth behind would have been trailblazing across the unsettled plain. It’d certainly have given new meaning to ‘‘where the buffalo roam.’’)

There’s no denying that hard work is the main key to success in life, but what about those for whom harsh circumstance has put them in dire straits? What about those who could use a life preserver in today’s sink-or-swim society?

The immediate past most likely was a simpler and more pleasant time in which to live, back when it was still reasonable to just stake some land, grow your own eats and live a relatively simple existence raising a family. Were it an option, surely many people would prefer to live back before this country became paved, before all this technology erupted and complicated everything. But there is no denying this technology——you’d think someone who met his third wife on CompuServe (like Limbaugh did) might recognize this——or how hectic all this change has made modern survival.

In the wake of these changes, it’d be awfully irresponsible not to have public programs to help those drowning from circumstance, teaching those unlucky few to swim these sudden high tides.


Who exactly are these vermin-like poor Limbaugh claims is sucking the government dry? The sick, the elderly, and women are the lazy piglets to whom Limbaugh refers, and most of them women with children. And who arguably could be in greater need of financial assistance than a woman raising children all by her lonesome?

But Limbaugh argues that child subsidization and welfare encourages illegitimacy. ‘‘. . . the federal government has replaced the wage-earning husband and father with a welfare check. The man is no longer essential for financial support. Welfare . . . has emasculated John Q. Stud. He has reverted to irresponsibility.’’ But by saying such, Limbaugh contradicts his own ideals of individual responsibility. It is he who is shifting responsibility away from the individual by claiming John Q. Stud acts irresponsibly because of welfare. These men don’t do this because of the government, they do it because they’re heartless scum who care about no one but themselves——and you’d better believe they’re going to feel this way welfare or no welfare. These guys are responsible for their own selfish behavior, and to suggest their immoral actions are simply a response to this government program is to soften the blunt of responsibility such scoundrels must be forced to bear.

But Limbaugh suggests that if welfare didn’t exist, then these fathers would act responsibly and support their children. ‘‘We must quit rewarding fathers for leaving their families and mothers for having more kids out of wedlock. We must remove government as the father figure support base in these inner-city families and provide incentives for the real fathers to stay home.’’ I wasn’t aware that most people’s sense of responsibility in life was shaped by the government. And I’ve always been under the impression that for anyone with any sense of responsibility whatsoever, the incentive to ‘‘stay home’’ was to provide for the ones you love and care about. Is Limbaugh honestly going to have us believe that a father’s sense of love and responsibility for his children is dictated by welfare, what he refers to as a giant bloated pig?

Anti-welfare conservatives, though they believe they are, aren’t truly trying to end illegitimacy. Rather, they’re trying to end single parenthood by placing all the blame on the mothers.

Their underlying message is eons old traditionally: men aren’t responsible for sticking their dick in a vagina, and women are strictly responsible for any child that comes out of it. That since women bear and usually feel the greatest sense of nurturing for children, they are consequently responsible not only for their own egg but also the sperm that fertilized it, while men don’t even have to take responsibility for their own love-gunk.

The men who leave are the irresponsible ones. The women, on the other hand, are being responsible——they’re sticking it out, trying to do the right thing, trying to raise their children. But Limbaugh wants people to believe that these women are nothing but ‘‘a bunch of little piglets’’ who ‘‘feed off the largesse of this government and . . . give nothing back’’ because all they do is ‘‘sit around basking in self-pity.’’

Now isn’t that right Rush?




Fear of financial loss (sticking child support to deadbeat dads, married or no) is the only practical way for our government to help prevent illegitimacy. What else can be done? Preach: ‘‘Family values, family values——that’s the answer to all our problems. Happy thoughts and family values!’’? Or maybe force everyone to watch reruns of Ozzie and Harriet and Father Knows Best——strap everyone into chairs and pry their eyelids open. That’d fix everything, huh?

For quite some time now, from around when Dan Quayle made his infamous Murphy Brown speech, I’ve been trying to figure out just what exactly ‘‘family values’’ is supposed to mean. Hey, don’t get me wrong, I love and value my family as much as the next fella, but in no way do I believe this means I have family values. I’m still mostly unclear on the matter, but to the best of my knowledge family values is a mythical term meant to recall the artificially-produced halcyon days of the ’50s nuclear family. And, to a large degree, this myth is utilized to justify attacks against such sinister threats to the family system as single parents and welfare.

Either that or family values is nothing more than a Christian term for in-home Bible studies. If the lacking of this is what’s causing the decline of our nation, then may anarchy rule!

Limbaugh tells us that: ‘‘The real message of that Murphy Brown episode was that . . . total fulfillment and happiness can be achieved without men or husbands.’’ If showing a single mother on TV is tantamount to an attack against men and husbands, then isn’t showing two parents on TV tantamount to an attack against single parents? Well then, as someone raised by a single mom, I must call for an immediate boycott of these hateful shows.

This exaggeration is meant to illustrate how Limbaugh is an extremist in the truest sense. Meaning that not only does he hold extreme views, but through his eyes everything in opposition to his steadfast beliefs is equally extremist. He’s so fanatical in his belief that the ideal two parent household is the only acceptable norm that to him a television show which depicts a successful single mother is presenting an equally extremist and fanatical view that ‘‘. . . women don’t need men [and] shouldn’t desire them. . . .’’ Notice I emphasized successful, for I honestly don’t believe had Murphy Brown been depicted as a crackhead single mother on welfare that Limbaugh would have criticized the show . . . if anything, he’d laud it for illuminating the evils of single parenthood.

What makes people believe that a child raised by one parent will become a little delinquent, but with two parents they’re sure to become an upstanding citizen? One good parent is a hell of a lot better than two lackluster ones. Believe it or not, my mom raised four children almost completely by herself to, by most standards, excellent success, and she never preached the Ten Commandments or subjected us to any other ‘‘family values’’ either.

The benefit of having two parents, besides the financial support, is simply that the mathematical odds for having good parents is increased with the increased number of parental units; it’s not a guarantee of anything, though, nor a reason to stigmatize single parents. I mean, just imagine how much higher the probability for raising a well-adjusted child might be with three or four parents——would that then be a reason to attack two parent households?

The issue here is poor parenting, something which reaches across all households no matter how many parents are present, and it is this that should be the main focus of our attention in this nation’s ever-increasing problem of violent, out-of-control kids. But I can’t even begin to talk about what it takes to be a good parent. Not only because I have no children of my own but because I do know this much: a person is only as good a parent as they are a person in general. Meaning parenting is a reflection of who someone is as a person, and the quality of their parenting can only be as good as they are an individual. This isn’t to imply the less educated are more likely to be bad parents; the ability to love and nurture, that which is most essential, is one which too reaches across all households. But also do the sensibility of the parent’s beliefs and attitudes toward life play an enormous role in shaping their child’s psyche. And as perhaps I’ve demonstrated herein, one’s beliefs and attitudes can be a somewhat complex matter.


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