"Rush" to judgment
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by Ron Cruger
          Although not being a militant soul by nature, I would probably be the first person in a First Amendment march to protect Rush Limbaugh’s right to air his diatribes and incendiary comments. The vitriolic vendor of vituperation remains protected by our Bill of Rights to enjoy his freedom of speech as inflammatory and irritating as it is.
           Two mornings ago I decided to forego the ardor of any of the television morning talk and interview shows for the background noise of the radio. Behold, the irritating and familiar voice; that of Rush Limbaugh, filled the airwaves.
            I decided to listen to the rotund disparager.
            Limbaugh was expounding on the utter crassness of vice president Joe Biden during his appearance at the recent debate on television. He went on and on in the most accusatory of terms about the hatefulness of the vice president’s actions. He also wildly praised the performance of vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan.
            It’s fascinating how Limbaugh can get so worked up to vilify, rebuke and sneer at the basic personalities and beliefs of members of his opposition – seemingly any man or woman espousing beliefs with even a tinge of liberalness.
            When Limbaugh opened his microphone to callers the scathing and sharp tongued dialogue continued. One lady phoned in and said she had watched the vice presidential debate and would have liked to have punched out Joe Biden. “Smacked him in the face.” She sounded as if she meant it.
             Now I know that what Limbaugh says is part of his show business theatrical performance. The man has become a millionaire a score of times over by spitting out nuggets of hatred and diatribe, mostly directed at President Obama and any Democrats still left standing. I know that there are probably millions of his listeners out there in “hate-land” that believe everything that Limbaugh says and that’s what perturbs me. I worry that there are gullible individuals who listen to the man and believe everything he pronounces without activating a scintilla of discernment. They display little or no powers of doubt or judicious judgment of the accuracy of Limbaugh’s volatile statements.
             Limbaugh wisely combines the attractiveness of show business with the titillating power of accusation. Using slur, innuendo and fact he points his poison tongue at those who are entrusted with safeguarding these United States.
Limbaugh doesn’t halt his rancor at governmental office holders. He reserves time to aim antipathy at other well-known individuals. Referring to Michael J. Fox and his debilitating disease Limbaugh said, “He is exaggerating the effects of the disease. He’s moving all around and shaking and it’s purely an act…This is really shameless of Michael J. Fox. Either he didn’t take his medication or he’s acting.”
             Referring to President Obama, Limbaugh stated, “Obama’s got a health care logo that’s right out of Adolf Hitler’s playbook…Adolf Hitler, like Barack Obama, also ruled by dictate.” 
             Blurting out his feelings, Limbaugh said, “Look, let me put it to you this way: the NFL all too often looks like a game between the Bloods and the Crips without any weapons. There, I said it.”
           There are millions of Americans who can measure Limbaugh’s statements and separate show business and self-promotion from intelligent criticism and observation, but there are also millions who are inert and remiss in investigating the validity of what the man says. Too many listen, hear and believe whatever is offered through the airwaves.
           Personally, I have certain objections about the performance of our current President. I have criticism for some of his actions and non-actions. I have freely and openly stated my disapproval.
           I believe that the president and his opponent Mitt Romney are good and loyal Americans. I am not sure that spewing visceral nuggets of embittering, sensational and vicious bombshells does much other than to incite the citizenry to hatred of their representatives. Change can surely be brought about with less grotesque and malice-filled knee-jerk accusations.
           Perhaps we give Limbaugh too much credit for being a political observer when we should observe the full name of his daily enterprise – “The Rush Limbaugh Show.”
           It’s a “Show,” folks. Listen to the contents in that context and then carefully measure what you have heard.