Terrible reactions that I saw yesterday about the death of Rush Limbaugh:
You may or not have agreed with his politics but no one can dispute his impact.
Who will take his place?
And this one, by Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, saying he was “sad to learn today of the death of #rushlimbaugh.” DeWine endorsed my book and I know he actually read much or all of it. If you liked my book, you can’t possibly be sincerely “sad” to learn of the death of for-profit people-divider like Limbaugh. In hot water for his mild Trump resistance, maybe DeWine felt this was an easy way to let Trump voters know he’s at least still down with the Ditto-heads.
And one of the very dumbest things said yesterday about Limbaugh, was also said by me, when I was younger: He was entertaining!
I used to say I admired Rush Limbaugh as a showman, who all communicators might learn from. Not a serious person or a true propagandist—a clown prince, more than a menace.
I listened to Limbaugh a lot when I was driving. National Public Radio only plays Brahms in Indiana, Michigan, Iowa, Ohio. And against those dreary interstate landscapes, Limbaugh’s act passed as entertainment: “Greetings, conversationalists across the fruited plain,” the New York Times obit quotes him. “This is Rush Limbaugh, the most dangerous man in America, with the largest hypothalamus in North America, serving humanity simply by opening my mouth, destined for my own wing in the Museum of American Broadcasting, executing everything I do flawlessly with zero mistakes, doing this show with half my brain tied behind my back just to make it fair, because I have talent on loan from God.”
Ha ha! I prided myself on my intellectual remove. Didn’t people understand this was an act? It was funny?
I was gently, lovingly humiliated about that once and forever a dozen years ago, in a brief conversation in the middle of an overnight Lake Michigan sailing passage, by a guy who I’d never met before and haven’t seen since.
He’d witnessed his own beloved father, terrified of emphysema, gays, dying, going broke, the government, the gathering mist of dementia and immigrants and Blacks—not in any particular order—huddled in the corner of his kitchen for three hours every weekday, taking in Rush Limbaugh, like a kind of reverse valium that told him he should feel anxious. Or a reverse dialysis, adding toxins in. Or a reverse prayer, asking for annihilation.
“No,” my sail mate said softly into the wind. “I don’t think Rush Limbaugh is funny at all.”