Opinion | Limbaugh’s legacy deserves no sympathy


Photo Courtesy of Allen Eyestone

Conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh introduces Donald Trump at the Turning Point USA Student Action Summit on Dec. 21, 2019. Columnist Dennis Austin argues that Limbaugh should not be remembered in a positive light.

By Dennis Austin, Columnist

Rush Limbaugh is dead. Good riddance.
Tradition dictates that it is never appropriate to celebrate someone’s death even if we found them to be reprehensible. Such thinking is backward and morphs us into hypocritical creatures.
Suppose we have spent years acknowledging and criticizing an individual’s immoral and unethical behavior and suddenly avoid any critique of their lives upon passing to maintain proper etiquette for the memory of the deceased.
I cannot help but laugh.
In retrospect, my condolences are to his cancer that unfortunately resided in an empty, soulless character with no regard for even the slightest of human decency. Perhaps the only positive development from his prognosis was his eventual succumbing to the illness, an act that could crown cancer itself as performing a humanitarian deed. My only regret was that he did not succumb to a drug overdose many years ago.
Rush Limbaugh was an obese, drug-addicted white supremacist who profited off the doting fears and ignorance from his predominantly white, conservative base. Limbaugh spent several decades fueling racial tensions, mocking those with disabilities, even bullying people with AIDS purely for his sickening pleasure. There are many other tales of impropriety, far too much to include in this article.
Months before his death, Rush Limbaugh was part of the conservative media clown cavalcade that refused to acknowledge Joe Biden’s victory and stoked flames which led to a momentous day of reckoning in American history. The U.S. Capitol was overrun by criminally intent, morally devoid Trump supporters. This encouragement of treason is nothing beyond the pale for modern-day conservative media.
The cult of Trump did not begin alone with Donald Trump. It had a much more insidious genesis, one that predates the rise of internet conservative punditry, even Fox News’ existence.
He was a culture warrior, yes for those who believed that brown people were invading their pure, white, Anglo-Saxon nation, that abortion should be banned, and every church in America was at risk of turning into a mosque.
It was no coincidence that Rush Limbaugh captivated the hearts and minds of the conservative movement. His program went national during the latter period of Ronald Reagan’s presidency. The conservative movement would lose one of its most prominent figures but would soon gain another one, just more brutish.
He appealed to the lowest common denominator, low-IQ voters who couldn’t piece together coherent political thought. That didn’t matter. It wasn’t the truth that his listeners were seeking. It was affirmation. They didn’t want to be told their views were racist, sexist or homophobic. They wanted to be told that they were proud Americans who felt it was right to bash immigrants and attack racial justice movements.
Threatened by the first Black president’s existence, he continued to promote doubt that he was not an American citizen. He questioned Obama’s intellect, painting him as an anti-Christ who was on a mission to tear down democracy and replace it with radical communism. It was all a ploy to ensure conservative influence and power. It worked.
From burning Obama effigies to Sarah Palin declaring that senior citizen death panels were a real thing, the country became engulfed with the Limbaugh-inspired Tea-Party mob that gave Republicans a majority in both houses of congress.
I often say in conversation that if not for the Tea Party, Donald Trump may have never been president. There was a restless, racist base ready to tear at the seams. All they needed was someone who could take advantage of the situation. Establishment Republicans hesitated to throw their arms around the growing extremities of their party. John Boehner and Paul Ryan resigned, and Eric Cantor, an influential GOP lawmaker, lost his seat in a primary.
Soon, the Republican Party’s transformation had taken hold, giving rise to Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley’s likes. These men encouraged the violent, attempted coup on our democracy last month. It has become a hub for ‘Fake News’ and QAnon conspiracies. The past four years were nothing but North Korean-inspired bootlegged propaganda from government and right-wing media centers.
It serves as no surprise that he was an early supporter of Donald Trump in 2015. The current degenerate state of the Republican party is part and parcel of Rush Limbaugh’s doing. He wanted an opportunity to influence American politics and culture. The Trump presidency was his chance to do so — and he did. It was reported various times that Rush had a personal line to the White House, and during an interview with Fox News last week, Trump seemingly confirmed that.
For Limbaugh’s nearly 33 years on the air, it culminated with a Democratic president’s inauguration. Let’s not mistake ourselves here. While Rush Limbaugh may be physically dead, his ideology is still very much alive. Please pay attention to the outpouring of support from his equally morally bankrupt mourners. Many of your modern-day conservative political figures grew up as fans of the Rush Limbaugh program.
He was as much a part of their lives as their own family. He inspired these heathens and their quench for racism, greed, corruption and thuggery that now occupies power in our social, political and economic landscape.
Rush Limbaugh was not a saint, nor does he deserve praise in any context imaginable. He succeeded in dividing a nation to the point of no return. Rush Limbaugh cared about only Rush Limbaugh. Some argued that it is impossible he believed his drivel.
Narcissists tend to believe their delusions, questioning those who refuse to agree with them. He was an opportunist, benefiting from his low-IQ listeners who probably couldn’t point out California’s state on the map.
I am honest in saying that an image of his lifeless carcass in some cold basement does make me chuckle. It seems to be the appropriate ending for such a rotten human being.
Farewell, Rush. I genuinely do hope that wherever you may be, it is in a relatively warm climate.

Dennis is a senior in LAS.
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