Attack on Rush Limbaugh, Attack on My Common Sense

I don’t often get into the fray on famous people.  I don’t have much faith in any particular famous person out there.  Over the years, too many that I’ve looked up to, I eventually realized were fallible and would probably do something, or had done something, to disappoint me so it wasn’t worth my effort to defend anyone.

To characterize what I think of Rush, I listen to Rush occassionally if I’m driving around town while he’s on the radio.  Sometimes I think he makes good points and sometimes I think he needs to get to the point.  When I am listening to him, my radio is not glued to his station.  I will switch if he’s in one of those “needs to get to the point” stage. 

A friend, who doesn’t happen to follow politics at all, called me the other day asking who Rush thinks he is.  “He doesn’t have a college degree, he’s been a drug addict, he’s been married several times…why do people listen to him?”  I asked where he’d heard all of this.  “The Today show.”  Then I asked, “Does any of that mean that he’s not able to be right about something?  Don’t you think you should listen to his opinion and determine whether you agree or disagree based on the merits?”

I think the thing that bothered me the most about the personal attack was the inclusion of not having a college degree.  This reminded me of the ridicoulous attacks on Sarah Palin for having attended five colleges.  Those attacks did not include the information that Sarah Palin attended that many for financial reasons, not academic.  Much like how I scrapped together credit hours from three colleges to earn my undergraduate degree.  I earned those credit hours where I could. 

But, somehow, the message is that because of this, Sarah isn’t as smart.  Neither is Rush.  Neither is anyone without a college degree or a degree from a non-elite institution, unless the person has a degree from an elite institution and happens to be from a wealthy family, then we can’t trust the validity of the degree because it may be consideration for a sizeable donation from the family. That’s the reasoning we actually have to put up with.  That reasoning would have earned me an F in my junior high school classes, yet it passes. 

I’m not a die hard Rush Limbaugh dittohead (the term that has come to describe loyal Rush listeners and followers), but I’m not hater either.  As with most people who offer opinions, I try to listen to the points they make and their reasoning.  I try not to let their personal baggage get in the way.  In fact, letting personal baggage get in the way is a fallacy.  It’s one of the most insidious fallacies of our time.   How often do you hear, or say, “I’m just not going to trust what this person says because he’s done [fill in the blank]…”? And, unfortunately, when that happens people turn themselves off to what may be valid arguments.

Rush being removed from the list of potential investors in an NFL team goes beyond this.  Painting Rush as a racist, at worst, and a polarizing figure not worthy of owning an NFL team, at best, is an assault on my common sense.    I recommend reading Rush’s response here.

I could care less if Rush owns an NFL team, but Rush’s main point is valid:

These intimidation tactics are working and spreading, and they are a cancer on our society.

I think so.  These tactics kick reasoning out the door.   I also think people are catching on.  I think media credibility is in the toilet and this type of unbalanced, unsubstantiated character assassination doesn’t help it.


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