Guest post: Pondering Limbaugh

A friend wrote on Facebook:

I’ve been pondering Rush Limbaugh all day. I’ve read many postings from my friends and many tweets from strangers. I don’t have any sort of hate for Rush (although I honestly did, some years ago). There are some things that I’d like to say about him, however.

We should note that Rush Limbaugh, about whose death many honestly good people (and some not-so-good) are admonishing others not to celebrate, for various good (and some not-so-good) reasons: Rush Limbaugh said, upon hearing of the death of Jerry Garcia of “Grateful Dead” musical fame (who although certainly not an angel did spend his life mostly bringing happiness to a lot of people): “Just another dead doper. And a dirt bag.”. And of Kurt Cobain: “Kurt Cobain was, ladies and gentlemen, a worthless shred of human debris.” In the 1980’s, during the height of the AIDs epidemic, he would read off the names of people on-air who’d died of HIV, while playing Dionne Warwick’s “I’ll Never Love This Way Again” and Johnny Lee’s “Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places.” Regarding Eric Garner, who was choked to death by police after being arrested for selling cigarettes without a tax stamp (not exactly a violent crime), and whose last words were “I can’t breathe”, Rush had this to say: “I CAN breathe because I follow the law” (conveniently overlooking the many times that he did not follow the law, of course, either literally or morally–prescription hopping in the former case, to feed his opioid addiction, and sex tourism in the latter). And perhaps the worst, Rush was a covid-19 denier and anti-masker, and a vocal one with a wide-reaching platform at that, who likely did his part and more to get some of those hundreds of thousands of sufferers killed. On twitter, Rush wrote:

“The coronavirus is the common cold, folks”

“The coronavirus is an effort to get Trump”

“You can’t believe the virus numbers”

“They’re using the mask as a symbol of fear”

So, say what you will about Limbaugh’s life and whatever good choices that he made, he spread hate towards people who could no longer reply, was eager to celebrate their deaths, and in some cases he probably actively got some easily-led people killed by encouraging them to indulge in risky behaviors. I think that’s what irks many people now, when they are told that they must not say ill of the dead.

We do reap what we sow.

We’ve all spread waves of at least distaste and disdain about ourselves as we’ve navigated through life, and we need to remember that there are people out there who will not remember us kindly. And, you know, accept that. Let people vent their anger. Soon enough the memory of Rush Limbaugh will fade and be nothing more than a few lines in a textbook about the political climate of the late 20th century.

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