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Monday, March 5, 2012

Limbaugh's Fake Tocqueville

On his program today, Rush Limbaugh said:
"America is great," Tocqueville concludes here, "because she's good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great. Liberty cannot be established without morality, nor morality without faith." The greatest threat that the nation faces is the absence, right now, of a moral core. Any attempt to establish one is fought tooth and nail by those who do not want one.
The "Liberty cannot be established" line indeed comes from Tocqueville.  But the first part -- starting "America is great because she's good" -- is a fake quotation that has circulated for years. As I have explained, Tocqueville never wrote anything of the sort. 

In using this spurious Tocqueville line, Limbaugh joins Glenn Beck, Australian Liberal leader Tony Abbott, and former president Bill Clinton -- among many, many others.