Conservative Billboards Take Just a Few Leaps Of Logic

A private group announced that a series of conservative images will soon grace an electronic billboard in Tennessee. While most people won’t see these ads (they will appear by a state highway in a town with a population of around 8000), the ads are significant because they are not dictated by professional operatives, but by grassroots conservatives and reveal the ill-informed and sad worldview that the Republican Party has fostered among large swaths of the population.

What exactly is happening here? I’m not just talking about the accusation that some unknown freedoms are at risk that Obama decided to let slide for 4 years figuring he’d wait until a hypothetical second term to tackle. But what’s up with the picture? I’m assuming we’re looking at the asses of a couple of soldiers. I say that because if they’re facing us, they’re saluting with the wrong hand. And why is the male soldier clear and the female soldier disappearing? Are we supposed to assume women in the military is a freedom Obama is opposing?

Why is “d” lower case there? Why not compare the flag of the Soviet Union with the flag of the United States? I doubt the authors of this billboard thought through the selection of a French statue symbolizing an open immigration policy. Seriously though this billboard should offend every American and we should vigilantly denounce anyone who suggests comparing the Soviet Union with the United States. Suggesting that a 3% tax hike on the wealthy in order to provide enhanced education opportunities to the poor and subsistence benefits to the elderly and poor is morally equivalent to a state that executed and tortured millions in a matter of decades is shameful. Unfortunately, the efforts of the Republican Party to build a reliable base requires cultivating this mindset.

Numerous adherents to Christian Socialist parties around the world might disagree. There are also socialists in other religions but the picture suggests the authors might not recognize those as religions anyway. As the tipster who sent this to me noted, there is a certain irony with employing a dove of peace with a Republican Party that mired America in an unnecessary war in Iraq and continues to agitate daily for a full-scale invasion of Iran. But again, the insinuation that the Democratic Party advocates socialism and therefore must support the anti-religious tendencies of orthodox Marxism is akin to the business plan of the Underpants Gnomes.

If anyone finds themselves in Lenoir, TN over the next few weeks keep an eye out for these ads. And if you see any other more crazy or offensive ads…send them to me at and I’ll see about featuring them in a future story for everyone’s entertainment.

4 comments for “Conservative Billboards Take Just a Few Leaps Of Logic

  1. mls
    September 25, 2012 at 7:48 am

    In the early 1990s, I first became aware of Rush Limbaugh’s radio show, which, as a conservative, I found entertaining for a while. As time went on, however, the appeal started to wear thin. Day after day, Limbaugh would bring up examples of liberal foibles- in some cases these seemed to exist mostly in Limbaugh’s own mind or were exaggerated, but this wasn’t the main problem. My primary concern was that by selectively pointing out the faults of liberals, Limbaugh was presenting a false picture of humanity. Not that liberals aren’t all of the things he accused them of being- hypocritical, irrational, inconsistent and sometimes downright delusional. The problem is that by presenting these as liberal faults, Limbaugh implicitly suggested that conservatives did not share in them. In fact, these are human failings. As Madison noted, men are not angels, and this observation applies to liberal and conservative men (and women) alike.

    Considering how much liberals profess to despise Limbaugh, it is surprising (although Madison would not find it so, I suppose) how many liberals seem desperately to want to emulate him by seizing on every example of conservative stupidity, real or imagined, and suggesting that conservatives as a whole are morally and intellectually debased. Again, the problem is that it implies that liberals (or progressives, if you prefer) do not equally suffer from these failings of human nature. I am afraid, however, that they do.

    So, for example, the fact that some people bought a billboard equating Obama’s policies with Soviet communism is certainly silly, and perhaps even, as you say, “shameful.” But then what to say about a Vice President who equates opposition to Dodd-Frank with slavery?

    Madison was right, men are not angels. We get it. Time to move on.

    • Joe Patrice
      September 25, 2012 at 9:56 am

      Unsurprisingly I disagree, but it may be surprising that I disagree even to the extent that I like Limbaugh more than you seem to. By that I mean I occasionally listen to Limbaugh and I appreciate his selective attacks on liberals too. Limbaugh’s sarcastic attacks, especially in the 90s before the “New Democrat” model began slowly stamping out the old liberals, may have been unfair at times but they often revealed the prevailing attitude that had set in among the rank-and-file and illuminated the electoral problems facing the party.

      When Limbaugh lampooned liberals as weak on defense it exposed that liberals couldn’t articulate their security vision and were undermined by their own voters acting like dirty hippies. That’s obviously changed because the lowest level Democrat now wildly cheers drone strikes and polling reveals that the electorate prefers Democrats on defense.

      My article is even more upfront than Limbaugh, who is seeking pure derision and only stumbles into the truth accidentally. I don’t think that John Boehner believes that the last 4 years were socialism, but what the base thinks has value. Viewing a grassroots opinion unfiltered by professional political operatives reveals the conservative movement’s current “dirty hippie” problem — exalting an anti-intellectual, anti-news agenda may have had a political purpose but has created a joke of a base that is now taking over the party itself (e.g. Akin).

      Until conservatives can stamp out these attitudes among the base, their electoral chances are going to continue to erode just as “flower power” pushed Democrats into the wilderness for the better part of 20 years.

  2. mls
    September 25, 2012 at 11:10 am

    The problem with the Limbaugh/Patrice approach is not that it is unfair to the people being mocked, although I am sure that it often is, but that it creates a false sense of superiority amongst the mockers. Indeed, it seems to me that this, rather than constructive criticism, is its primary purpose. Surely you don’t think that attacking the Republican base (ie, millions of your fellow citizens) as low information, anti-intellectual, bible-thumping ignoramuses is going to get them to change their bad habits. You know, like they way they are always stereotyping.

    • September 25, 2012 at 11:19 am

      I hear you, there is a fine line being walked of appealing to listeners/readers with “red meat” and trying to make a cogent point. And I don’t think mocking these voters will change their opinions, just like making fun of hippies didn’t change their opinions — it takes concerted strategies from inside the parties recognizing that their base needs to be squelched and reeducated that yields change.

      I don’t personally agree with every aspect of the right-ward tilt of the modern Democrats, but the systematic purging or reeducating of liberal voters during the Clinton-era created the image of a party not beholden to the crazies at its fringe. If they want to govern over the long-term, Republicans need to start recognizing that their base is actually detrimental to their chances.

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