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That Chinese dude is packing more in the pants than you

By Amanda Marcotte
Thursday, July 31, 2008 15:30 EDT
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This quote from Rush Limbaugh encapsulates why wingnuts are having a hard time reconciling their love of overconsumption with their responsibilities towards their children they insist are a requirement of proper “family values”.

Folks, I don’t know what the price of gasoline is in China and I don’t know to what extent, if any, it is subsidized — okay, it is subsidized. See, the ChiComs need their economy growing. They need people driving around, moving around. They need people to be able to afford fuel, so they’re subsidizing fuel. They’re not bailing people out of stupid home mortgage messes. They’re buying their gasoline for them, because they need an economy. Know what energy means to this, the whole subject of economic growth. So meanwhile, the ChiComs, a country certainly growing, certainly on the rise, but it ain’t the United States of America. How does it make you feel that Zhang Linsen has a big Hummer with nine speakers blaring as he pulls out into a four-lane road with so much smog he basically can’t see the car in front of him, and you are trading in all of your cars and trying to go out and find basically a lawn mower.

Emphasis mine (and DymaxionWorldJohn’s). It probably does seem oppressive and unfair to many American men caught up in the status-and-anxious-masculinity wars that are stoked by the right wing noise machine and marketers—your children or your Hummer? Which symbol of your virility and status will capture your vote?

Children have the strong love advantage, to the degree that it seems that their demands that you let them have a planet worth living on are made with an unfair advantage. Regardless of your intentions in bringing them here, once they’re here, they tug on your heartstrings and most parents feel a strong sense of obligation towards them.

But caring about the environment and even the children is just so fussy and hysterical. The ever-present danger the Republicans are always warning you about—that you’ll start to think, “Huh, maybe breathable atmosphere isn’t the worst thing in the world” and boom! your penis falls off and you have to start wearing a dress—lurks. Now the Chinese are driving Hummers, too, which is even more emasculating. Through smog, no less! What’s more manly than looking around a wasteland that you helped devastate? You can’t start fires, gay-bash or beat up racial minorities, torture animals, assault women, or beat children in our soft liberal culture. Hell, you can’t even litter! What’s left for a man to say, “I was here!” than to leave a thick coat of smog and a fucked-up climate for the next generation. Sure, you could leave your legacy through something positive, a cultural contribution that improves people’s lives, like an artistic contribution or some other betterment of society. But that’s for pussies.

Rush Limbaugh, who has no children, is clearly not torn. But I really think we’ve got a wedge issue here. Your children or your giant, gas-guzzling, smog-dispensing cock substitute? Decide!

Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte is a freelance journalist born and bred in Texas, but now living in the writer reserve of Brooklyn. She focuses on feminism, national politics, and pop culture, with the order shifting depending on her mood and the state of the nation.
 
 
 
 
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