Anguish of the Apostate: Second Thoughts Are Best

“Intellect loses its virtue when it ceases to seek truth and turns to the pursuit of political ends.” – Robert H. Bork

In a “Big” way, Andrew Breitbart has injected into our modern cultural/media zeitgeist a foundational reminder of why it is so intellectually critical, even fun, to inspire and embrace the notion that “there’s nothing better than having convivial relations with people with whom you disagree.”

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To that end, may I humbly share my own ideological apostasy and second thoughts that began in 1989.

In that year, my oldest child was born and I found myself – as do many Los Angeles parents -- driving around the city to various ‘play-dates’, supermarket excursions, pediatrician visits, and the 12-miles-distant playground of the ‘progressive’ pre-school where my wife and I intended to enroll our children. (I also began more closely scrutinizing and fearing the withholding taxes from my paycheck increasing the governmental intrusion into my young family).

It was during those hours of drive time that I would engage our little ones with music from a Raffi jingle or the Beatles on my car’s now obsolete cassette player (yay, iPods!). When they’d invariably be serenaded to sleep -- in their child-safety seats with the Bert & Ernie steering wheel attachment – I’d tune in the Howard Stern Show on 97.1 KLSX FM radio.

I’d been enjoying Mr. Stern & Co. for years, and found his provocative, often hilarious and creative show reminiscent of the crude, in-your-face counter-cultural style to which I’d grown so attached in my teen years during the ‘70s. A style (with all due and biased respect to Mr. Stern) innovated by his broadcast predecessor, Chicagoland’s iconic Steve Dahl.

“Shock Jock” radio’s inherent vulgarities aside, for me its main troubles are the inevitable programming lulls. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate and admire the challenge of sustaining a three-hour comedy and variety show in any medium – let alone without visuals -- and the herculean team effort that goes into such undertakings on a daily basis. Bravo!

However, as any objective listener and talent might do, during those lulls I tended to channel-surf.

It was during those car radio surfing safaris, in particular the nine-to-noon slot, that my fingers led me to KFI-AM 640 Radio. I began listening to what I first thought was just another loudmouth Shock Jock. Except this guy was different. He played little if any music beyond his bumper rotation. His material was intellectually-based, creatively entertaining, and unabashedly biased in ideological terms.

As a young & liberal parent, I’d discovered Rush Limbaugh. I’ve been a dedicated listener ever since.

Rush’s countless words and twenty years of wisdom, provocations and humor is an inspiration to me and his tens of millions of listeners to read and investigate further controversial issues, current events, history, and philosophy.

Most beneficial have been the corroborating authors and resources he admires and/or recommends to this day: from Jesus to Blaise Pascal, John Adams to Ronald Reagan, the American Thinker to IBD, John Locke to Mark R. Levin, Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Sowell.

As Mr. Limbaugh distilled it so beautifully:
“I love being a conservative. We conservatives are proud of our philosophy. Unlike our liberal friends, who are constantly looking for new words to conceal their true beliefs and are in a perpetual state of reinvention, we conservatives are unapologetic about our ideals. We are confident in our principles and energetic about openly advancing them. We believe in individual liberty, limited government, capitalism, the rule of law, faith, a color-blind society and national security. We support school choice, enterprise zones, tax cuts, welfare reform, faith-based initiatives, political speech, homeowner rights and the war on terrorism. And at our core we embrace and celebrate the most magnificent governing document ever ratified by any nation--the U.S. Constitution. Along with the Declaration of Independence, which recognizes our God-given natural right to be free, it is the foundation on which our government is built and has enabled us to flourish as a people.”

How can reasonable Americans ‘convivially’ argue against that?

The modern media (“Algore’s Internet”) has, Moses-like, led us to the promised land of instantaneous access to the widest diversity of information and accountability that mankind has ever known. There is no better example I know of human freedom.

So, how should people take advantage of that, and what does all of this have to do with the Anguish of the Apostate?

Hi, my name is Adam, and I am an apostate to the faith of Modern Liberalism whose ‘anguish’ has been relieved.

Anyone with second thoughts out there care to join in that relief?

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