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Monday, March 5, 2012

Rush Limbaugh Has Hurt You, Me, and the United States

"Rush Limbaugh is just entertainment.  He uses absurd examples to be funny", writes a friend.

Update May 8, 2015:  I wrote this column three years ago, but I can't find reason to change one word.  Rush is still hateful, still outrageous, and still destructive to this country.  I do think that he says much of what he says for ratings and listeners, but that doesn't mean that he isn't harming this country every time he is on the air.  

"I don't agree with Rush Limbaugh, so I don't listen to him.  The answer is simple:  If you don't agree with him, don't listen to him."

Hmmm.... I don't think so.....

I don't listen to the guy either.  I used to listen to him from time to time,  but he was too negative, too revolting.  I haven't tuned into him for several years now. 

But even though I don't listen to him, Rush is important.  He's important to all of us..to all of us who care about our futures or about the future of this country.  

Whether you lean Republican or Democrat, whether you listen to Rush or have never tuned your dial to him in your life, this man has hurt you and he has hurt me.  


He is one of the reasons why this country is so polarized and why the rhetoric is so mean and so divisive.  He is one of the reasons why it is so hard to listen to each other and hear the other side. He doesn't just discuss issues; he twists things, he libels, he verbally assaults people.  His attacks on President and Mrs. Obama are outrageous and full of half truths and innuendo; and many millions of his listeners, many millions of our fellow citizens and voters, can only see the world through the filter of a man whose intent is to obfuscate and slant the truth in the pursuit of bundles of cash. 

We've Changed Since 1988...

He engages in legal lying;  He legally spews garbage over the airways.  He pollutes our public discourse and hinders our ability to come together and figure out what is best for our country.  He appeals to the basest traits in the electorate.  Is there anybody out there who doesn't see that the political realm in our country has become more hostile and less constructive since 1988 when Limbaugh first took to the airwaves?   

You May Not Listen to the Guy.. But What About Your Neighbor?

Whether or not we listen to the guy, we are all hurt by what he says because our neighbor in the next house may be listening to him.  That gentleman next door who is an avid Rush listener may become increasingly polarized and may increasingly begin to take and endorse positions that are contrary to what is healthy for him and for all of us... positions based on deception, fabrication, and stereotypes. 


For Rush has, over the last 25 years, managed to tap into the frustration of a whole segment of the population who ARE being harmed by the relentless concentration of wealth and income inequality:  But he turns that frustration around and funnels it back against people and political parties who might help those frustrated people! He is a big reason why this country is going backwards instead of moving forward. He has convinced his audience that the problem isn't the concentration of wealth and decreasing opportunity for the middle and working classes.. but instead the problem is black people, women, immigrants, unions, gay people, and Democrats.  Anyone who might need help from time to time is an enemy according to Rush and his minions.  Anyone who might help to get our country back on track is an enemy according to Rush and his minions.


We are in danger of becoming a third world country, and much of this is due to Rush. 

Unfortunately, too many people either lack the time or are too intellectually lazy to research or investigate the various issues and determine what is the truth.  And others, as I mentioned above, are very frustrated and can't see the Truth. Quite frankly, it says really disturbing things about the American public that people listen to this man and believe and support him. 

As a friend said: 
People have become too willing to accept bullshit as angel-food cake because some clown on the radio screams that it's so. 
If you ignore him, are you complicit?

Many of us who disagree with Rush have just ignored him.  We have let him get away with rhetoric that is absolutely outrageous, and that may even make us complicit in this mess-- just a little. 
 

So, yes, we can and should not listen to the guy.. but, listen or not, his negativity influences all of us and we should not continue to ignore the lies and the slander.  He's hurt you; he's hurt me; he's hurt our children. Nobody in this country can escape his influence.  
(I just came across this blog with excellent commentary about the recent events concerning Limbaugh.  As I said, I haven't listened to Rush at all for several years now. But based on some of the comments  related in this blog, it is clear that Rush has consistently and regularly crossed the line of public decency, particularly regarding women.   If you remember Limbaugh's attack on Sandra Fluke, MediaMatters listed every last slur that Rush visited upon this young lady.  It was worse than I thought.  Please read for yourself HERE.) 
For Your Reading Pleasure:

21 comments:

  1. It is time for the FCC to start doing it's job and get this hate monger off the air before there are more deaths, death threats, and propaganda. Rudh does not tell the truth, he is like FOX NEWS-a propaganda machine.

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  2. Excellent - I really find a link between him and the outspoken racism, misogyny, anti-Muslim, etc attitude that has become part of the rhetoric of our national conversation....
    PLEASE HELP US IN THE EFFORT TO BOYCOTT HIS SPONSORS -
    http://boycottrushlimbaughssponsors.com/

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  3. The problem has never been Limbaugh as much as its been the lack of any meaningful counterpoint. If people only ever hear one side, then that side becomes disproportionaly powerful

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  4. Patt Russell and Middle Class Lives, I fundamentally agree with you. Thanks, Middle, for the link to the boycott Rush site. I know it has had an effect, how permanent an effect is still to be determined.

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  5. Rush is the paid propaganda minister of the far right. I don't think boycotting him will have much effect ad he is probably bankrolled by the puppet masters of the fascist cabal that wants a return to the guilded age. What needs to happen is that his lies need to be constantly exposed for what they are, lies sunshine is the best disinfectant. His positions and viewpoints could never withstand the scrutiny resulting from an onslaught of the truth, the main reason his calls are so stacked and filtered. The truth is what will destroy his faux credibility

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  6. Hi Oraxx... Thanks for dropping by!

    There is meaningful counterpoint, but not on the same place. People who choose to keep their dials tuned to Rush are generally not going to seek out the counterpoint. They are going to be content to have their lives.. and our lives... influenced in a very twisted and unhealthy way by the rhetoric of Rush and others of his ilk.

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  7. Rush has been exposed as the buffoon he really is. His mistakes and his stupidity are even now being recognized by sane Conservative Republicans.

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  8. Several years ago students at the City University of New York (the majority of whom are Black and Hispanic) staged a protest at City Hall over rising tuition costs.

    Rush's reply:

    "If the cost of tuition is too high for them, let them all go out and sell a few more vials of CRACK!"

    A vile offensive waste of flesh & breath.

    To call him a pig would insult pigs everywhere.

    Flush Rush!"

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  9. he sure keeps alot of a-holes honest. like him or not, there are more sides to a story you wont get on any other source. no transparancy,lies and coverups; we do need more like him somewhere.

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  10. Anonymous wrote: "Rush is the paid propaganda minister of the far right. I don't think boycotting him will have much effect ad he is probably bankrolled by the puppet masters of the fascist cabal that wants a return to the guilded age. What needs to happen is that his lies need to be constantly exposed for what they are, lies, sunshine is the best disinfectant. His positions and viewpoints could never withstand the scrutiny resulting from an onslaught of the truth, the main reason his calls are so stacked and filtered. The truth is what will destroy his faux credibility."

    I agree and disagree. His viewers believe that he is presenting the "truth" and none of them are turning off Rush and saying, "Rush said such-and-such, o.k., now let me see if he was telling the truth." They accept his view of reality as gospel. His view of reality colors their world, and it colors how they interact with others, how they perceive issues, and how they vote.

    I am not sure about a boycott of his sponsors.. some of the kickback from the Sandra Fluke issue seems to be subsiding and Rush is still on the air.

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  11. Anonymous wrote:

    "Rush has been exposed as the buffoon he really is. His mistakes and his stupidity are even now being recognized by sane Conservative Republicans."

    I'm not sure about this. Do you have a source? Perhaps someone is urging him to cool it, but I'm not sure there are many sane conservative Republicans these days. I suppose that is another issue.

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  12. No one is more disgusted with Rush than I am. He is the vilest creature that ever crawled out of the pond. He is a lying hateful racist. That being said, I see no benefit in forcing him off the air by the FCC. That is clearly a violation of his First Amendment right to be an asshole. Actually it would be a violation of every one's rights. Don't you people realize that there is a segment that would have your voices silenced? That is why the FFs thought of this right FIRST! Its in such cases that this right must be protected. Its easy to protect those we agree with, but standing up for Rush's freedom is what takes real guts. These are the times that test us. It we silence him then you better watch your back. You will be next.

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    Replies
    1. He has the right to freely speak his mind - but he doesn't have a right to spew hatred, bigotry, misogyny, and misinformation over the public airwaves.

      The most ironic thing about Rush Limbaugh is that he constantly complains about how the president has divided the nation as he himself polarizes the country.

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  13. The writer needs to practice what it preaches.

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  14. First, Is the anonymous poster before me Buffalo Bill from Silence of the Lambs?
    Second, is there any way to legislate the truth? Fox News isn't allowed in Canada because their law requires their news organizations to report the truth. Yes this windbag has first amendment rights, but isn't what he's doing the equivalent of shouting "FIRE!" in a movie theater?

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    1. Sorry that I didn't see your comment earlier, Anonymous, but I certainly agree. This man has really been destructive to the discourse in this country. He has ginned up hatred where there was merely disagreement.

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  15. I used to travel for business in the Missouri Bootheel where only Rush came over the radio. When he wasn't talking about whether Amy Carter or Chelsea Clinton were the ugliest children in the White House he was hammering on his anti Clinton rants. Couldn't help thinking, "This guy is going to get someone killed" and then Timothy McVeigh killed nearly 200 people in Oklahoma City. A mentally unstable man did iy but Rush pulled the trigger.

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    1. Many of the people in the lower middle classes of the southern, southwestern, and rural areas of the county are vulnerable to his rants. They want to blame someone, as I said above, and blaming Democrats, minorities, the educated... They'll go wherever Rush takes them.... to the danger of all of us; damaging the whole country.

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  16. Great post, Molly. I also used to think he is just irrelevant "entertainment" and would not (still don't) listen to him, but his poisonous rhetoric spreads like cancer unchecked.

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    1. That's the point, Robert. When the whole Sandra Fluke controversy erupted last year, many good liberal/progressive/Democratic types said, "Just don't listen to him!" But even if we don't listen to him, even if we ignore anything said about him, anything that he said that is repeated on the Internet, he's there, polluting the minds of the susceptible, making them even more extreme, more dangerous.

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I appreciate intelligent comments and questions, including those that are at odds with anything posted here. I have elected not to screen comments before they are published; however, any comments that are in any way insulting, caustic, or intentionally inflammatory will be deleted without notice. Spam will also be immediately deleted.