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Adam Bessie: The Savage Nation Party?

Column by Adam Bessie
Reprint from

Michael Savage, host of the controversial conservative talk show “The Savage Nation,” who claimed in his New York Times best-seller Liberalism is a Mental Disorder that “the president should demand one barrel of oil from Mexico for every illegal that sneaks into our country,”- and who has called Barack Obama a “Marxist” – and believes that he might “stir a race war” – is now considering founding a new political party, out of disgust with not only the liberals who he has made a career mocking, but the Republican Party itself.

On Thursday (10/9) Savage announced his plans to consider starting a new party after this election concludes, which he now calls The Savage Nation Party:

“It is code red in the United States of America ” – because both parties are sacking this country. Both parties have sacked the treasury, and the only thing left for them to take is the grainery. And believe me, unless they’re stopped, they’ll sack the food off your table. Your daughter will be sold in the street like a prostitute and they’ll tell you they feel your pain.”-

Referring to Democrats and Republicans as “gangs” – and “vermin” – Savage goes on to announce the platform for the party–borders, language (English), and culture – which he says neither major party will support.

In other words: McCain is insufficiently conservative for Savage.

Though Savage has said he will vote for McCain because of his stance on defense and has said he is “not a McCain hater,” he has not withheld his disdain for the candidate, calling him a “dunce.” Recently, Savage took a swipe at both candidates, swinging particularly hard at McCain:

“Obama is a disaster, but at least we know what we’re going to get. McCain is too stupid to even know what we’re going to get. Because he doesn’t know what he’s going to give us. Someone hasn’t told him yet.”

Savage, who broadcasts from San Francisco on KNEW, has also referred to Palin as an “unqualified hack”-, spending a majority of one program mocking her.

Savage’s vitriol with the Republican ticket speaks to the fragmentation of support for McCain in the “die hard”- conservative base he speaks to daily, and more broadly, it suggests another sign of McCain’s slowing momentum.

Some liberals might applaud Savage’s announcement, which sounds like just another nail in McCain’s coffin. The in-fighting within the Republican Party will be music to their ears. And others might find the whole thing a publicity ploy (which this writer has then gotten sucked into), or even joke. A radio talk show host starting a third party? You gotta be kidding.

But Savage is no joke. He is heard on hundreds of stations across the country, and claims to have 10 million listeners a week (Media Matters, a progressive media watchdog he regularly rails on, has put the number somewhere near 6 million). In either case, he is one of the most popular radio jocks in the country, who has gained his popularity with no-holds barred rants against liberalism. Each of his books has been a New York Times bestseller. And he brags that his latest book Psychological Nudity, which contains stories from his life and “What If John McCain’s Middle Name was Jesus?”- has already outsold House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s latest book Know Your Power: A Message to America’s Daughters.

And this is a man whose MSNBC TV show was cancelled because he told a caller to “get AIDS and die, you pig.”

Savage’s popularity speaks to a raging anger in America today, which no doubt explains, in part, the rock bottom approval ratings of Bush and Congress. And when we look at Bush’s low approval rating, or McCain’s slipping support, Savage shows us that more people aren’t necessarily siding with progressive/liberal values–in fact, they might be mad that our nation isn’t conservative enough, that we aren’t tough enough on terrorism or illegal immigrants or prisoners.

And as the economy continues to shudder, as the wars continue to rage, as disillusionment rises, as Americans become angry and fearful, so may vitriolic voices like Savage’s carry wider across the airwaves, exploiting and encouraging that anger and fear, as we’ve seen McCain and Palin do at recent rallies.

But for now, The Savage Nation Party hasn’t yet gotten off the ground. In fact, 53 percent of respondents were against the idea on his Savage Nation website.

The poll was pulled off the website shortly thereafter, and replaced by story mocking Obama, above an ad for a conservative T-shirt: “I’d Rather Be WaterBoarding.”


Adam Bessie is a San Francisco based essayist and community college writing/adult literacy instructor. He tries to keep himself fresh by writing on as wide a range of topics as possible, including education, music, film, immigration and most recently, travel. He has written and presented on the use of the graphic novel in the college classroom, with an article forthcoming (2009) in an academic journal. Beyond his own work, Adam greatly enjoys working with students, watching them expand their minds and voices through pen and paper (or, I suppose, keypad and screen).

augusta free press
augusta free press