Twenty years ago or so, I listened to Rush Limbaugh on the radio. I’d heard of him and wanted to know what was so special. Even though I didn’t agree with his politics, I thought it was appropriate to hear what he had to say and judge for myself.
I hung in there for a couple of months, listening to his newspaper-rattling and sighs of disgust while slurring and maligning any person or idea he didn’t like or agree with.
He claimed he was just an “entertainer.” But his stated goal was to destroy liberalism. I listened as much as I could. And then one day I said to myself, “That’s enough.” I switched him off.
Every once in a while I’d come across a story about him and wonder, “Do people still listen to him?” Yet I’ve read he has millions of listeners—5 million–20 million. Whatever the number, it’s a lot.
In spite of his stated objectives—however misguided—no good can come from his hateful speech. Limbaugh’s inability to see it underscores his own delusion. And 20 million pats on the back each day is a lot of encouragement to stay in the dark. Yet because millions believe he’s right doesn’t mean he is. Twenty million people can be wrong.
We are fortunate in this country that physical assassination is a rare thing. But character assassination is acceptable, legal, and prevalent. Rush Limbaugh is not an entertainer. His recent attack on Sandra Fluke is character assassination. Not that she’s his first hit, but she is suddenly in the spotlight over an issue that’s important and personal to many people.
The caricature above suggests Rush Limbaugh is the face of the Republican party. The face is where the mouth is. While the Republican candidates stumble all over each other trying to prove who is the more conservative, the mouth of the party is busy spewing hatred and contempt. If the mouthpiece is delusional and morally corrupt, what we say about the rest of the party?
Some of us believe it’s proper for a government of by and for the people to help those in need. It’s a point of view, not a disease. The real disease festers in the mouth of Rush Limbaugh.
The Occupy Movement has more territory to cover.