Two Heroes of Mine: Rush Limbaugh and Dinesh D’Souza
I’ve been a regular listener of Rush Limbaugh since about 1987. I first tuned in because Rush gave me information I didn’t get from the mainstream media, and because he had a way of affirming my conservative beliefs. I have remained a steady listener for these reasons – but also because, now and then, he speaks at length from the heart about the greatness of the American spirit. When he does this, he can bring tears to these old eyes.
As a regular listener, I am also aware that Rush feels that the culture wars are being won by conservatives and traditional Americans, and that the left and the deviants are losing. Unfortunately I don’t agree with him on this. Everywhere I look I see increasing pornography in our movies and television, and increasingly our young women are dressing like and acting like whores; and casual sex is more and more presented and celebrated as normal. I see more and more attacks on religion and on traditional values and historical heroes. I see the ACLU destroying parents’ rights and every day degrading whatever authority remains in our public schools. I see young fools shouting down speaker after speaker on college campuses, and college leaders enabling them.
Another one of my favorite people is author, Dinesh D’Souza, a consistent defender of the American experience. Unfortunately, D’Souza agrees with me, as his recent book clearly shows. Below is an exerpt of a recent review of his book, The Enemy at Home: The Cultural Left and Its Responsibility for 9/11, Dinesh D’Souza, Doubleday, 352 pages
by Tom Piatak, The American Conservative Magazine
D’Souza sees America as profoundly divided by cultural issues, views these issues as being of great importance, and fears that conservatives are losing ground to the Left. “[W]hat has changed in America since the 1960s,” he writes, “is the erosion of belief in an external moral order. This is the most important political fact of the past half century.” He provides numerous examples of how this changed view of morality has transformed America, from the debasement of popular culture, to the rapid spread of pornography, to the widespread acceptance of what was universally regarded in the past as sexual immorality, to what D’Souza regards as the inevitable result of such changes: the breakdown of the American family.
He is generally a clear-eyed observer of the Culture War, recognizing that this attempt to redefine morality has produced an America perhaps more divided than at any time since the 1850s. He also realizes that much of what drives the Left is hatred of traditional morality, especially sexual morality: “If there is a villain in the liberal story, it is traditional morality itself.” And, finally, D’Souza recognizes that Middle American consumption of popular culture and acceptance of some of the products of the new morality means that “Liberal values have penetrated the heartland. In this sense liberals are the dominant side in the cultural war.” He is even willing to utter a few unpopular truths, including the observation that art actually flourishes more under mild censorship than in an atmosphere of license.
(Anyone who doubts this need only compare the movies of 1939 to those of today.)
D’Souza carries this analysis a step further by showing that the Left has made its struggle against traditional morality a global one, engendering hostility toward America in traditional societies around the world where “the family is not a venue for self-expression, it is the basic unit of survival.” He chronicles how the Left is active in supporting abortion, no-fault divorce, the legalization of prostitution, and “the elimination of the concept of the husband as the head of the household” throughout the world. These efforts, in which liberals have sometimes succeeded in enlisting the aid of the United States government, have provoked resentment toward America. D’Souza provides many examples of this leftist cultural imperialism, including how American delegates to the UN Conference on Women in Beijing attempted to introduce their sisters to the joys of lesbianism, only to have the Third World delegates forcibly expel them from their sleeping quarters. “[T]he left wants America to be a shining beacon of global depravity,” he writes, “a kind of Gomorrah on a Hill.”
HO', HO', HO': DOLLS TO MAKE YOU CRY
By KIRSTEN POWERS
December 14, 2006 -- WHEN did the doll section turn into a porn shop?
I'd gone to FAO Schwarz with a friend and her three small children; while they shopped for stuffed animals, I wandered over to recapture some of the innocence of my childhood. What a mistake.
Just feet from the Etch-A-Sketches and paint-by-numbers were dolls dressed in garter belts, bustiers, fishnet stockings and high heels. "Ella" was in a teddy; "Justine" in an evening gown with her breasts overflowing. Cleavage and lingerie were the order of the day.
As small children filed by, I felt myself panicking, wanting to cover their eyes or steer them away, as if they were going to be exposed to something they weren't meant to see. Never mind that they were the target audience for these hyper-sexualized dolls. I was, after all, in a toy store.
A 4-year-old girl was mesmerized by one of the dolls with the flowing cleavage. Next to her was another doll wearing just a black bra and panties, set on a mini sofa, with legs splayed. The girl's father mindlessly pulled her away, seemingly unconcerned.
A few feet down was the worst of the dolls - with baby faces, but the bodies of grown women. The cherubic faces, with painted lips and eyes, sat incongruously atop stick-figure bodies - interrupted only by the requisite bustiness - clad in revealing evening gowns and other adult outfits. None were named JonBenet, but the point was clear: What's sexy is a child made up to look like a woman. Bizarrely, parents seem to by buying it.
What's next? Dominatrix Barbie?
My lawyer/mom friend helped me cross-examine a store clerk, who claimed that "it is in the eye of the beholder" whether these dolls are too sexualized for children - then led us to an installation of dolls set in glass boxes high up (but not too high for a child to see). Most looked like hookers.
These, the clerk proudly explained, were done by a famous designer, and created for adults, not children. So why were they on sale in a doll section for young girls in a toy store? She wasn't sure.
The now-famous Bratz dolls - which imitate celebutante Paris Hilton, actress Lindsay Lohan and their pop-tart cohorts - seem to have just been the warm-up act. What an act they are: Dressed for a night of clubbing in hip hugger jeans and tight tank tops, these dolls reinforce the message of MTV and the cottage industry of celebrity magazines that being female means baring it all, sexing it up and being really, really tacky.
Feminists used to complain that Barbie sold girls an unrealistic body image. Modern dolls make Barbie look like what she was meant to be: child's play. There were no bustiers and garters for Barbie when I was growing up, nor did she sell a particular lifestyle. She could be a stay-at-home mom or a working woman, depending on who was dressing her.
The new dolls have gone beyond selling a body image and now sell a materialistic, hyper-sexualized, party lifestyle. Where Barbie had no real-life counterpart, the newer dolls are clear rip-offs and reinforcements of what's already being sold 24/7 to girls through movies, reality TV, music performers, MTV and glossy magazines:
Be like Spears - the fading pop star who made out with Madonna on national TV and has been photographed in the last few weeks drunk, falling out of her dress and wearing no underwear.
Be like Lohan - actress and party girl, who at 20 attends AA meetings.
Be like the girls in the MTV videos, nameless bodies gyrating to the tune of another. Dress like a hooker, just because. (Needless to say, there will be no "washed up" Bratz girl doll - after she parties so hard she loses her career and respect of the public or ends up in rehab.)
And by all means, make sure you send these messages to girls as young as possible by buying them these dolls. Why wait for MTV or US magazine to tell them what females should be like when you can corrupt their views when they are 3 or 4 years old? Why wait until marketers start trying to sell them their first thong at age seven (you can get a "Hello Kitty" one if you like). You can start before they can even speak.
Kirsten Powers, a Fox News political analyst, was a political appointee in the Clinton administration.
Labels: Society in General