One of the perks of being a big time blogger (hah) is that sometimes people send me stuff for free. As in a free copy of Zev Chafets’ biography of Rush Limbaugh, An Army of One.
Which now occupies a hallowed place on my bookshelf next to two of my favorite autobiographies by other famous dissidents, Vladimir Bukovsky‘s”To Build a Castle – My Life As A Dissenter,” and Lev Kopelev‘s “To Be Preserved Forever.”
For one, Chafets exposes some disconnects between Limbaugh’s private life and public presence. Chafets has seen more of the pundit’s personal world than any other journalist, and reveals some distinctly grandiose tastes in this self-imagined tribune of Middle America.
It might seem ominous for an intellectual movement to be led by a man who does not think creatively, who does not respect the other side of the argument and who frequently says things that are not intended as truth.
Frum cannot seem to distinguish between intellectual leaders and political leaders. Most people think of Ronald Reagan as a political leader, not as an intellectual leader, and the same is true of Limbaugh. Conservatives in the 1980s weren’t going to elect William F. Buckley or Irving Kristol, but that didn’t mean they weren’t intellectual leaders.