5 THINGS TO LEARN FROM RUSH LIMBAUGH ... Despite not liking him.
1. THE ART OF SPIN AND PROMO TRANSITION
Having listened to Rush for several years; I came to realize, what I think at least; is the true reason why he should be considered media icon. The man was a master of spinning any story his opposition offered to favor his conservative allies. He would masterfully craft re-tellings of currently events and spin stories that often put Republican politicians in a bad light. As a pundit, I found him to be less articulate when compared to Neal "Adolph" Boortz, Sean Hannity, or Herman Cain; however, as a purely suggestive commentator, he carried a more firmer command over the conservative populous.
His clever and somewhat witty delivery of "re-contexted" information to fit right-wing views coupled with smooth lead-ins to promo spots for his sponsors were second to none. Despite hurling hours of fear inducing insinuations, suggestive communist accusations, and cloaked racist implied statements; he somehow made run-on commercial spots pleasantly palpable and informative. Overall, his speaking techniques and clever "word dancing" would make for a incredible tool to add to any journalist's arsenal. On another note... There's also the occasional nostalgia he would have for old television programs that I've never heard of and would often find myself Youtube searching some of the character references he'd make on his broadcast... but I digress...
2. HE INADVERTENTLY FUELED LIBERAL CANCEL CULTURE
I have often found that passionate conservatives have always been outspoken and often unfiltered in their views on gender, race, national pride, defense, and social climates. These views are in encompassed in such statements as "America First," "Keep'em Honest," "Individual Liberty," "Natural Law," "Limited Government," "Trickle Down," "State's Rights," "Free Market Capitalism," and "Deregulation." These views were expressed sometimes overly blunt and with a lack of proper decorum by Rush whenever he ascended to a national stage or public platform. I personally found his opinionated statements coupled with his apparent desire to drive controversy often caused a rippled negative sentiment from a large contingent of the populous that only grew over the years as his controversial soundbites grew in number. If there was ever a wrong way to express conservative views, Rush Limbaugh showcased it masterfully.
Its quiet easy to see why such incidents as his public claim that actor Michael J. Fox was exaggerating his Parkinson's disease, his "slut" comments on law school student Sandra Fluke, and his claims of overrated black favoritism for Donovan Mcnabb from the media became the foundation for strong liberal activism that has fueled mainstream media and politicians to strongly back calls for the removal of certain public figures who make such unfounded public accusations. It was also his birtherism attacks on President Barack Obama, his "deep state" conspiracy theories, his approval of political violence in the immediate aftermath US Capitol insurrection, and his dismissal of the coronavirus a "common cold" being "weaponized" by members of the mainstream press to bludgeon Donald Trump that drove U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to call for the reigning in of the free press based on the spread of misinformation in favor of ratings.
I honestly found myself agreeing with her at the time as I had felt that we can't move forward as country with parties pushing for division based on false hysteria and classism masqueraded as capitalism. Rush Limbaugh's influence on the public's decreased tolerance of wild public accusations has become even more present over the past year. In fact, one need only look to the recent removal of Gina Carano from the Star Wars franchise to see the continued growth of the public's political culling on individuals who freely express extreme views on society.
3. WE ALL HAVE SOME CONSERVATIVE VIEWS
No matter your political stance on the state of the country and perhaps the views of your chosen faith; I personally believe with some certainty, that "we all" have some conservative views after listening to Rush Limbaugh and other right-wing pundits. Whether you believe in some aspects of deregulated free market capitalism after Robinhood recently screwed some investors or you think that their should be overall restrictions on immigration after having a bad experience with some Mexican immigrants; I think we all have some common ground with our conservative neighbors even if some of us are ashamed to admit it. I have often found an air of blind contradiction in my own community as an African American mostly democratic voter. Sometime I often find myself pointing out to friends and family the need for gun ownership rights in the interest of national defense and public safety... DESPITE.. my personal support for a national crackdown on gun ownership rights in some areas due to public abuse, racist internal militias, and increased urban homicides.
There is also the conflicts faced by church congregations and religious groups who's beliefs conflict with the liberal abortion rights pushed by the party they support. Sometimes I ask myself... Do I really want higher taxes on the rich? How would I feel if I ever managed to make it to the 1% and found myself at the voting polls? Are they just pushing for it to make the poor feel better about life and keep the rich from de-powering the Washington's status quo? Honestly, I personally believe that its okay to want lower taxes even if you don't support deregulation. I know that some liberals voters do support restrictions on labor unions yet there are some who have lived in "right to work" states their whole lives and have never experienced a union environment.
Overall, I think Rush Limbaugh showed us the true moral lines in our personal contradictions when he constantly crossed them on his broadcast. I think America will come together when everyone can realize that conservative views are as much a part of preserving American freedoms as liberal views... HOWEVER... before a healthy balance can be reached; conservatives must be willing to completely step away from the hysterical extremes pushed by figures like Rush Limbaugh.
I find that the extreme persecution of new societal ideals, the suppression of gender equality, the continued push for racial division, the neutral stance on white nationalism, the supportive stance on capitalist classism, the strong-armed villianizing diplomacy on other nations, the false perpetuation that Mexicans and Hispanics are all akin to urban crime, the fantasized prosperity of 40's thru 60's America, a continued fictional spin on America's disgraceful politics, and the disregard for environmental restoration in favor of economic expansion are all conservative aspects that inhibit the full reunification of this nation.
On the other hand, the extreme liberal aspects I noticed that should be addressed goes as follows: Its not okay for America to spend its wealth policing other nations, its not okay to force feed LGBTQ culture into the public despite a real valid need for its acceptance, its not okay to overly support a "welfare state" on a country that was build on the ideals of working hard to achieve a dream, its not okay to blindly open our borders to all immigrants, and its not okay to turn a blind eye to the real problems plaguing the country once in power and flout calls to improve real infrastructure issues.
Additionally, I think we on the left need to realize that its not okay for mainstream media to byassly depict the national news. Its not journalistic news when individuals like Don Lemon and Van Jones allow their political coverage of events to quickly devolve into tear filled cries for racial justice live on the air... no matter how justified their stance... I say this because there are principles to journalism in place for a reason and while calls for social justice by news anchors can be justified in certain instances; it does not give all of mainstream media a license to embody a moral god with their hands on the proverbial compass of the American conscience. In turn, this does not mean that conservatives should blindly view FOX News as a faultless source of untainted news because not only is their networks shrouded under a historic veil of internal interpersonal gender conflicts and employees who openly express racist views; they also engage in an abundance of issue dodging and controversial story spins.
4. HIS VIEWS HINDERED AMERICA
In a rare political comment regarding the state of Hong Kong and China amid a heavy protest year; Jackie Chan once expressed that too much freedom isn't good. He stated that "If you’re too free, you’re like the way Hong Kong is now. It’s very chaotic. Taiwan is also chaotic.” He further stated that Hong Kong had become a city of protest, where people "scold China, scold the leaders, scold anything, protest against anything." I noted this to highlight that the on-air cries for various freedoms from AM radio right-wing pundits like Michael Savage and Mark Levin constantly sedition conservatives into a kind of aggressive public nature under the guise of defending their freedoms from a society hell bent on taking them away. There are many who would argue that Rush Limbaugh was a champion of American Freedom. Perhaps this is why Donald Trump saw fit to bestow upon him the Medal of Freedom. But I would ask anyone this: Where do we draw the line on what can and cannot be present as factual public information? Can you say with absolute certainty that Democrats are determined to completed disarm the country? Can you say with absolute certainty that Republicans will repeal the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments? Is China really our enemy or are they just playing their role as our lender? I think all these and many more questions should be considered before presenting such extreme arguments to the American people.
The main issue with Rush Limbaugh's views were that they were often buried in a deep sense of reverence for a past America what was ripe with social issues of which he could not possibly relate. In that sense, I often viewed him as a poisoner of the American mind. I have always felt that everyone is entitled to an opinion but I don't know if I can ever in good conscience even consider Rush Limbaugh's opinions on the violent events in Charlottesville and his stance on Donald Trump's comments regarding their being "very fine people on both sides." This can be related to whenever a right-wing pundit has spoken about these kinds of incidents. My father was born in 1935 and somehow lived in Georgia throughout some of the worst treatment of black people in the country's history. He had to go the back door of restaurants, work on white owned land for pennies, and endure times when a single off word would see him hanging from a tree. I share this with you the reader to bring to light some perspective on the legacy and stories that have been passed down generationally in black families and communities as a whole. This is not to mention the plethora of racist media, news coverage, and old video depicting this America that right-wing pundits always try to avoid considering when sharing their opinions on incidents involving the Ku-Klux-Klan, Neo-Nazi's, and white nationalists.
My point is that Rush Limbaugh did not have family that worked on plantations. He can comfortably travel through "sundown towns" spread throughout our many states. There are no cartoons or movies that depict his people as lazy, half-witted servants who its okay to shoot at a moment's leisure. Rush Limbaugh also can't claim to be an authority on the merits of generations of poor Mexican families who took to heart the American creed and came over to brutally work their way up our societal ladder and build wealth.
When views like Rush Limbaugh's are spread into America's collective conservative mind, it only sows the seeds of internal strife based on limited opinionated assumptions made by an old wealthy white commentator living in the ever posh old money hub of Naples, Florida... Let that sink in for a minute. A wealthy white republican living in Naples, Florida is going to tell an impoverished African American.. generationally redlined... generationally deprived of financial literacy... generationally oppressed... ... what he should think about a situation involving the removal of a statue celebrating the General of an Army formed to uphold the institution of the enslavement of his ancestors....
For that matter, what validation at all could be deemed valid for an America trying to progress forward keeping monuments dedicated to Confederate figures. Are they a part of America's history? YES. Should they be celebrated as heroes? ... I say NO .. if you are truly American. Its when pundits defend these kinds of things that I feel they hinder America's positive evolution. Bottom Line, Sean Hannity and "Uncle Jeb" may be comfortable walking by a statue of Jefferson Davis adorned with a confederate flag, but that doesn't mean "Booker", "Juan," and "Zhang" will be.
5. THERE IS MORE TO LIFE THAN POLITICS
The one thing that always vexed me was the sheer amount of air-time and AM channels allocated toward right-wing views throughout the entire country. I was always astonished by the passionate dedication each host would display as they barreled through 3 and sometime 5 hours of continuous political jargon and right-wing babble. I'd often wonder if any of them, including Rush Limbaugh ever truly lived in the real United States of America outside of their wealthy township safe havens and away from their private citizen communities and golf courses. Do they know the feeling of joy that comes with going to truly locally owned businesses and interacting with real people living in this current country? Can they walk out onto a city avenue without feeling like "Pablo" is going to rob them or Rashaun and his "gang of thugs" are going to mug them? I say this to give an overall perspective of the possible social insecurities that come with having some of these extreme right-wing view points.
While I will always understand the need to take caution when out in public; I feel it becomes a true social barrier when you are in the mindset that everyone outside of conservative circles are a threat to your well-being. I seen examples of this on plenty of occasions when in the presence of openly conservative friends. It also doesn't help when conservatives running a municipal city government only concern themselves with improving the already refined parts of the community and often leaving the struggling neighborhoods and ghettos to be simply maintained by struggling local groups and wealthy commissioners who really have no authority to allocate proper aid. These struggle communities I speak of are often populated by minorities and immigrants who do not share the conservative government's conservative views and are often labeled as "rough areas" to be avoided at all costs. This is just my observation of how these mental views affect society and how people may experience it from either side. Can city hall understand the struggle on the "MLK Blvds" of America?
There's also the way these extreme views affect peoples views on other cultures and inhibit their ability to properly understand and respect these other cultures.... BUT.. that's a rabbit hole for another time. I want to say as my final point on this matter that I believe their is more to life than our politics and we can't use our conditioned political stances as guiding principles for interacting with everyday society and its many races and cultures. If Rush Limbaugh lived his life entirely by the extreme views he preached on the air for hours on end; then I think we all should feel a since of pity for an individual who's allowed his limited perspective to deprive him of some of life's greatest cultural experiences and social pleasures.
In closing I wanted to be clear about why I chose to post this editorial. I want everyone to understand that we all need to make some social and political compromises in order to help this country be better. AND.. despite the views of Rush's most avid supporters and passionate followers, I believe that America is becoming a much better place as individuals like him begin to die off and room for more positive speakers on the prosperity and united growth for this country is being made. I personally want to be able to turn on my radio and be able to listen to a right-wing pundit express their views while still keeping an air of educated decorum and maintaining a proper understanding that not all the views of their opposition can be grounds to hurl completely false claims, exaggerated narratives, offensive rhetoric, anti-American sentiment, and wholly racist views at a national audience all in the name of outdated ideals and ratings.
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