Rush Limbaugh makes people angry.
I don’t mean just the people who disagree with him. I mean the ditto-heads who hang on his every word.
I hate to generalize. There may be some sweet and open-minded Limbaugh fans out there. To them, I apologize, because those I’ve come into contact with through the years are generally apoplectic, humorless and unwilling to listen to anything that goes against the party line.
Can this be good for a person’s physical or mental health? Does it make people happy to be so angry?
I say this even though I’m a conservative on most issues.
My latest such encounter came this morning, right after I’d flipped on the lights and fired up the hard drive. The phone rang. On the other end was a man wanting to know why I would say Rush was uniting the nation against him.
I write a little humorous take on the news each Monday called “On second thought.” This week, I referred to Limbaugh’s tirade against a third-year Georgetown law student who had testified to Congress about the need for mandatory contraceptive coverage. He called her a slut and a prostitute. He said he wanted to see tapes of her having sex.
My caller launched into a defense of Limbaugh, demanding to know why I thought Americans should be forced to pay for the contraceptives of promiscuous people.
The thing is, I don’t think that. But the minute Limbaugh started throwing around words like “slut” and “prostitute,” all rational debate ended. My side of the argument got lost under an avalanche of incivility and hate.
I try to be nice to callers, even one who is shouting that no one he knows disagrees with Limbaugh and that I’m just part of the liberal media cabal. (He didn’t actually use that word. “Cabal” likely is a bit large for him.)
But then he turned me over to his wife, and the fun really started. Each time I tried to interject that I agreed that insurance companies should not be forced to provide contraceptive coverage, she would yell, “I don’t care if you agree with me!” I hung in there until she began shrieking swear words in my ear. That’s when I aborted the conversation.
So far, seven sponsors have pulled out of the Limbaugh show. Sponsors care about their customers, first and foremost. My caller insisted they were just knuckling under to pressure from “the libs.”
Limbaugh has apologized. You can read it here. He said, “My choice of words was not the best, and in the attempt to be humorous, I created a national stir.”
That was his first mistake, trying to be humorous to a crowd he personally has trained to be humorless.
Of course, my caller would see the apology as something forced on Rush by “the libs.” It’s a world-view that conveniently explains everything and eliminates the need to explore arguments or defend positions.