By Wayne Allyn Root, Author
The Conscience of a Libertarian: Empowering the Citizen Revolution with God, Guns, Gambling & Tax Cuts
Back in 2006, I left the Republican Party after a lifetime of support, because of their Nanny State attitude about many social issues- prominent among them their ban of online gaming. I argued at the time that this issue was the very definition of personal freedom. Any politician or political party that wants to tell us what we are "allowed" to do in our own bedrooms, on our own computers, with our own money, cannot claim to stand for limited government (or freedom for that matter).
The ban of online gaming, while seemingly a minor issue to many political activists, is actually a huge issue. It represents the lengths government will go to, to try to control (and micro-manage) our lives and our personal freedoms. The ban of online gaming represented intolerance and the violation of personal freedom. This over-reaching of power is one of the reasons that the Republican Party lost control of every level of political power in America.
Yet this latest controversy about Rush Limbaugh's attempt to buy the St. Louis Rams is an example of why the Democratic Party and liberals in this country are even worse when it comes to the issue of freedom (and free speech). NFL players- particularly black NFL players- are incensed that Rush might become a NFL owner. They are demanding that the NFL prevent Rush from owning a team. They are blaming his supposedly "racist views." NFL players obviously won't let the idea of free speech or freedom of expression get in the way of their desire to ban Rush. Afterall, no NFL player ever said or did anything to offend the sensibilities of the American public.
Liberals tend to believe that if they disagree with your opinions, you or your opinions should be banned. Or you should be labeled a "racist" thereby destroying your credibility, and possibly your career. Liberals are the Joseph McCarthy's of today. Is there anything American about the idea that someone should be banned from ownership of a NFL football team because of his or her political views?
I would never have even thought of demanding that the NFL reject the purchase of a team by someone that I disagree with politically. Have we all forgotten that free speech and freedom of thought are at the very root (excuse the pun) of why we founded this great country? You mean someone should be banned from ownership of a company in America because of their political beliefs? Which beliefs? How do we decide which beliefs are offensive?
Is this what America has become? We are no longer free to have an opinion for fear of being banned from the right to buy a business? Should Rush Limbaugh be free to own a McDonalds franchise? Afterall, something he said at one time on the radio must be offensive to some group that may one day buy a cheeseburger. Should that group demand that McDonalds ban him from ownership? Is eating the food of a conservative now banned in America?
What about Glenn Beck? Should he be banned from owning a Century 21 real estate franchise? Afterall, something he said at one time somewhere on TV or radio must offend some group that may one day buy a home. How far should we take this? Personally, I'm offended by almost everything that comes out of the mouth of George Clooney. Should George Clooney be prevented or banned from buying a movie studio (or a NFL team) because I don't approve of his political views?
And exactly what is the definition of "racism?" Last I checked freedom of speech and opinion is allowed in America. "Diversity" is a buzzword constantly bandied about by liberals. Yet they don't support diversity of thought when it disagrees with their opinions. Check schools and universities in this country. The only unrepresented group on campuses across America is conservatives. There is no diversity of thought among the elite liberal education class- obviously they believe that only liberal thought is "diverse" enough to be tolerated. So let me get this straight- if you agree with liberals, or have a radical leftist view, that is the definition of diversity and it's encouraged. But if you disagree with liberals, that is labeled "racist" and it should be banned.
Ironically, Rush Limbaugh has stated views that a large portion of American voters agree with- some might call it "the Silent Majority." Not only is Rush Limbaugh the most popular and successful radio host in the history of America, but recent national polls prove that Rush's conservative views are in the majority, not minority. A recent poll of America's political opinions proves that conservatives are in the majority in all 50 states- yes, even in Vermont, Massachusetts, and Obama's Illinois. Another detailed political poll proved that the political identification "conservative" leads "liberal" by more than 2 to 1 across this great country. And a poll out only days ago proves that of all the political "brand names" in America, only one was a landslide winner with the American public- Ronald Reagan.
So are black NFL players accusing the majority of Americans of being racist? How about the people in the stands they buy the tickets, thereby paying for the multi-million dollar salaries of NFL players- are they racist too? Are NFL players accusing one of our greatest Presidents Ronald Reagan of being racist? Because Ronald Reagan's views certainly matched those of Rush Limbaugh on most issues. Would those same NFL players demand a ban on the right of Ronald Reagan to own a team?
I call myself a "Reagan Libertarian." I am fiscally conservative and agree with both Rush Limbaugh and Ronald Reagan on most economic issues. Should I demand a ban on the right of Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid to own an NFL team because I consider their political views offensive and insulting? Should the right of a player to play on a team in the NFL be based on his political views, or his talent on the field? Why would anyone's right to own a NFL team be based on anything different?
Should the majority in a free society that values free speech and diversity be allowed to ban anyone from owning anything? Well how about the minority? The NFL players who are demanding that the NFL block Rush from his attempt to own an NFL team are clearly- based on the latest polls- in the political minority. Should a vocal minority be allowed to censor the speech or rights of the majority? That's exactly what's happening here- and it's wrong, it's offensive to me, and it flies in the face of what America is about.
The reason I became a Libertarian is because I believe passionately in freedom, free speech and free markets. I may not always agree with Barack Obama (actually I never agree with Obama), or Rush
Limbaugh, but I would fight (to the death if necessary) to defend the rights of both of them to own any business, or any NFL team they desire.
The NFL players protesting Rush's freedom had better be careful- they are moving down a slippery slope. If they are successful in limiting Rush Limbaugh's freedom, then conservatives will protest whenever a liberal political figure tries to buy a NFL team. Worse, what if the wealthy conservative-leaning fans who buy the majority of seats (and certainly the majority of the sky boxes and luxury seats) decide to boycott NFL games because they don't like the political views of the players?
I wonder how NFL players would feel about free speech in that case?
My advice- Don't open that door. Keep politics out of sports. In a free and capitalist society, if you have the money, it is your right to buy any business you want. PERIOD. What an amazing country where a radio host can earn enough success and wealth to buy a $700,000,000 NFL football team. Instead of fighting over it, or denigrating his opinions, or trying to ban his options and opportunities, we should all be celebrating Rush Limbaugh's success. God Bless America, freedom, the NFL, and Rush Limbaugh.
But hey, if it doesn't work out because of protests by black NFL players…don't despair Rush. There's always hockey.
Wayne Allyn Root was the 2008 Libertarian Vice Presidential candidate. His new book is entitled, “The Conscience of a Libertarian: Empowering the Citizen Revolution with God, Guns, Gambling & Tax Cuts.” For more of Wayne's views, commentaries, or to watch his many national media appearances, please visit his web site at: ROOTforAmerica.com