Thursday, March 15, 2012

Rush Limbaugh is no sexist

The mob is calling for Rush’s head. Rachel Larris, communications director of the Women’s Media Center, is now making the media rounds asking people to contact the FCC to take Rush off the air. The 20 year campaign against Rush, a giant in the talk radio industry and a man who has almost single-handedly defined talk radio as we know it today, is based upon the false accusation that he is sexist. This charge is one of a long line of smears lodged against him by his enemies on the left.

The rage against Rush is due to the fact that he has done more for conservatism than anyone since Ronald Reagan. Rush appeals to the everyman and the everywoman, the very people the elitist left likes to claim it represents. Rush resonates with the man on the street who is  working full time and paying 40% in taxes with depreciated dollars. Rush connects with real people. His left-wing opponents are the elitist 1% ers and their hapless and unwitting allies.

Rush’s comments about Sandra Fluke were out of line and actually out of character for him. Such ugly and sexist personal characterizations of women are much more typical of left-wing commentators such as Bill Maher, Ed Schultz, and Stephanie Miller who often portray those to whom they disagree who happen to be women in the most vicious terms. Who could forget the nasty personal assaults on Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann, Ann Coulter, and Phyllis Schlafly, women who dared to be conservative in public. Those relentless left-wing attacks were the very essence of sexism at its ugliest.

In his trademark sarcastic and bombastic style, and in the tradition of such great American commentators as Mark Twain, H. L. Menken, and Westbrook Pegler, Rush was, in the case of Sandra Fluke, commenting on the phenomena of a woman testifying before Congress in support of a U.S. Government policy that would coerce American businesses and taxpayers into paying for birth control pills. Rush’s comments, while disgusting, were motivated by Ms Fluke’s advocacy, not her gender. Likewise, as another example, Rush’s past portrayals of the National Organization of Women as “Feminazis” was not based upon whether the members were women but rather his claim that NOW members were advocates of a brand of Feminism that he compared to the philosophy and tactics historically associated with the National Socialists.

Rush does not attack or denigrate women but rather he engages in political criticism against individuals and agendas that he disagrees with in a sharp style that draws strong attention to the issue. His main issue, generally, is that big government is dangerous. He denigrates advocates of big government because of their advocacy and not because of who they are. Rush does not criticize women who don’t advocate big government. Rush does not denigrate women.

Rush Limbaugh’s opponents are not interested in reasoned debate, a debate they know they would lose, so that seek to silence him and the ideas he espouses. While Rush has apologized for his gross and indecent statements regarding Ms Fluke, he has not backed down from the political idea that he was at the time un-artfully trying to express. His courage is commendable given the nature and the tone of the criticism that he is now facing. He is fighting for us all.

No doubt the war against Rush will intensify and get uglier if Barack Obama is down in the polls as the election approaches. The war on Rush is a war on free speech and the right to free expression. If you, dear reader, dis-agree with Rush than take him on by calling his show or writing letters. Don’t try to have him banned. If Rush goes, who knows, you might be next. 

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