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Thoughts on Rush and Judgment

Rush LimbaughSpeaker of the Missouri House of Representatives, Steve Tilley, is planning to honor Rush Limbaugh in the Missouri Capitol’s “Hall of Famous Missourians” this year. He thinks Rush Limbaugh should be on display in the People’s Capitol alongside real heroes like Mark Twain, Walt Disney, Harry Truman, George Washington Carver, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Sacajawea, and Josephine Baker.

I think that's great! Now our state capitol will have busts of two famous Missouri clowns: Emmett Kelly and Rush Limbaugh.

According to the modern rubric, apologies are never an expression of true remorse for bad behavior, but more likely only regret over being caught or being called out. I’m pretty sure in Rush’s case, the desertion of advertisers exerted a persuasive argument for his duplicitous apology. Recantations for crimes and/or deliberately crude, insensitive statements are, more often as not, proffered as “mistakes” rather than acts of criminal malice or bad intention.

I would be more impressed with the (to-date largely nonexistent) expressions of remorse made by politicians and pundits BEFORE they are discovered or called out. I have rarely ever heard of a burglar or even a Wall Street ponzi schemer having pangs of remorse and turning himself in prior to being found out.

Also on the subject of Rush Limbaugh...

Years ago, during a particularly vicious hurricane season, Rush was commenting on what he called the “hubris of environmentalists” who blamed global climate change on something as innocuous as “the emissions from my SUV.” I actually felt sorry for him. I realized that, not only did he not understand anthropogenic global warming; he was actually intellectually incapable of understanding it. Such an outrageous mental defect so obviously and shamelessly demonstrated was more to be pitied than hated.

Why then the widespread phenomenon of the “Dittohead?” The process of creative, critical thinking is no walk in the park. In this country, the capacity for higher levels of thought can only be achieved and maintained with great difficulty and strenuous discipline in the face of overwhelming cultural odds. Secondary schools no longer attempt to teach reasoning—only a madrassa-like memorization of test answers. The popular press and the people’s representatives count on the absence of critical thinking in those they represent. (American politicians prefer their constitutions sick, frightened, poor and stupid. They are more easily governed that way.)

Is it any wonder then that so many celebrate Rush Limbaugh? Such deficiency is to be pitied in any leader or citizen. I do not however pity the resultant meanness of spirit embodied by Rush, his followers and rank and file Republicans in general. The farther out of sync with reality people with this kind of mental defect find themselves, the more irrational and violent they tend to become.

This is exactly the kind of easily manipulated base over which despots from either the left or the right can rule with impunity.

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