More Hair Tonic

More

Via Andrew, here's Rush Limbaugh:


What have I told you about diet and exercise? Exercise is irrelevant.... "How do you know all this?" One of the reasons I know what I know is that I know liberals, and I know liberals lie, and if Michelle Obama's gonna be out there ripping into "food desserts" and saying, "This is why people are fat," I know it's not true. "Rush, do you really believe that? It's that simple to you, liberals lie?" Yes, it is, folks. Once you learn that, once you come to grips with that, once you accept that, the rest is easy. Very, very simple. Now, my doctor has never told me to restrict any intake of salt, but if he did, I wouldn't. I'd just spend more time in the steam or the sauna sweating it out.

On some level, this should not be taken literally. But I thought about this kind of thing a lot while reading that Walter Williams column. More than diet advice, this strikes me as a declaration of tribalism. It is a declaration of borders--"Whatever they are against, we're for." 

Again, I doubt that Limbaugh believes what he's saying. I also doubt that his listeners believe it--Michelle Obama no more invented the idea of cutting back on sweets, then Limbaugh invented demagoguery. It's simply about resentment. There are people out there, for whatever reason, who resent the Obamas. Some of them don't know why, and others can't articulate why. Limbaugh gives them a speakable reason. What he is offering isn't conservative rhetoric. It's just anti-liberal rhetoric. 
Jump to comments
Presented by

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

A Technicolor Time-Lapse of Alaska's Northern Lights

The beauty of aurora borealis, as seen from America's last frontier


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

What Do You Wish You Learned in College?

Ivy League academics reveal their undergrad regrets

Video

Famous Movies, Reimagined

From Apocalypse Now to The Lord of the Rings, this clever video puts a new spin on Hollywood's greatest hits.

Video

What Is a City?

Cities are like nothing else on Earth.

Video

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity

Video

In Online Dating, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

The co-founder of OKCupid shares findings from his analysis of millions of users' data.

Writers

Up
Down

More in National

From This Author

Just In