Last week, in one of his first White House meetings, President Barack Obama warned Republicans to stop listening to conservative radio personality Rush Limbaugh if they wanted to work successfully with the new administration.
Obama was discussing the stimulus plan with top Republican members when, according to a New York Post article, Obama said, “You can’t just listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done.”
While this could be construed as an off-shoot comment, it seems more like a gag order for those who disagree with the president’s plans.
It is a blatant attempt to turn the opposition into blasphemers. Either bow down to the church of bipartisanship or be an outcast.
In fact, the whole talk of bipartisanship has made me wonder what that even means. It should not be used to mean that one party remains silent while the other has their way with the country.
This also brings up the issue of the role of the media in American society. I always thought of the media as the “Fourth Estate.” They have the freedom to report on politicians and make sure the government does not abuse their power.
Admittedly, Rush Limbaugh is not the most objective person on radio, and he doesn’t pretend to be. But just because some people attack your views doesn’t give you the right to shut them out by telling others not to listen to them, or else.
Overall, this incident shows that Obama’s agenda includes shutting out those who are critical of his ideas, and this isn’t the first time he has tried to scare people into agreeing with him.
In his New York Post interview, Obama also said, “We are experiencing an unprecedented economic crisis that has to be dealt with and dealt with rapidly.”
Doing things rapidly seems very important to Obama. By using the current crisis as a scare tactic he is creating an excuse to enact his plans for the “good of the American people” without opposition.
When former President George W. Bush was in office, there was a lot of controversy surrounding his “with us or against us” mentality in the war on terror.
Now that we have a new president, the same concerns and questioning should apply. We must not allow fear to convince us to give up any more of our rights, especially not freedom of the press.