Opinion Perspective

Rush Limbaugh, American hatemonger

Piqua, Ohio, U.S.A. – “Hell is empty. And all the devils are here.” That line – famously uttered in Shakespeare’s play The Tempest –  has come to define everything wrong with the modern world.

Despite being taught the value of kindness and compassion in school, our society is dominated by people who outright rejected these simple teachings. For every decent person who tries to make the world a better place, there are 10 craven varlets who believe only in the old adage that there is a sucker born every minute.

Limbaugh was a rancid tar pit of self-righteous egomania, who for 30 years belched noxious bubbles of racism, homophobia, Islamophobia and misogyny

Evil permeates our lives, its vessels appearing on television, in corporate boardrooms, and throughout the halls of government. Fortunately for all of us, on February 17, Satan returned to his sulfurous dominion, dragging the bloated visage of a fateful servant behind him.

Rush Limbaugh – corpulent host of the Rush Limbaugh radio show – died that day of lung cancer.

Pundits and conservative luminaries mourned, with fellow petulant nub of spray-tanned gristle Donald Trump having the gall to call him a “patriot” and “defender of liberty.”

Make no mistake about it, Limbaugh was no defender of liberty. If his life proved anything, it is that he believed in nothing, but his own Mephistophelian talent for exploiting the weak-minded and uneducated.

Limbaugh was a rancid tar pit of self-righteous egomania, who for 30 years belched noxious bubbles of racism, homophobia, Islamophobia and misogyny, polluting airwaves and the minds of millions.

The business of white grievance is an exceedingly viable one, and Limbaugh served as the industry’s most prominent profiteer. He masqueraded as the cunning maestro of populist entertainment, transforming radio by merely “saying what everyone’s thinking,” and “telling it like it is.”

In truth, he was a talentless mediocrity of the worst kind, fomenting racial animus and culture war paranoia from the comfort of an air-conditioned studio. He crafted a cartoon world of dimensionless stereotypes, amorphous enemies destroying the United States from within.

Black athletes were “thugs,” women’s right’s activists were “feminazis” and “sluts” and transgender people “trannies.”

Empathy and understanding were replaced by sneering contempt, with Limbaugh as the cigar huffing avatar for his listeners and their troglodyte worldview. 

But Limbaugh was not some fringe character, an amusing sideshow totally irrelevant to the world outside his studio.

At his height, he reached tens of millions of people, in their cars, homes, and offices. Rather than being treated as an absurd nonentity, Limbaugh became a political kingmaker, utilizing his platform to shift the whole country rightward, and burrow our discourse into the muck, from which it has yet to escape.

The rise of Trump – and all of the vile, racist, jingoistic terrors that came with him – would not have been possible were it not for him. Some will say that Trump, Limbaugh, and their ilk are hideous distortions of the American dream.

In truth, they are not distortions of the American dream, but our clearest manifestations of it.

The narcissistic urge to remake the world in their image is exactly what this country was founded upon.

For hundreds of years, we raped and pillaged across the continent and then, from the ashes, those same rapists and pillagers built the institutions that these men wriggled to the top of.

Rush Limbaugh was a monster, but he was a distinctly American monster, a turgid, poisonous fruit, grown from our own rotten soil.

Zurie Pope is a Senior Reporter with Youth Journalism International.

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