How We Can All Learn From Rush’s Mistake

Ever since I caught wind of the latest Rush Limbaugh absurdity, I have been irritated. Truly, seriously, endlessly irritated. I need to tell you upfront, I really, very seriously, dislike Rush Limbaugh. I think he thrives off the type of attention he’s getting, I think he has zero remorse for anything he’s done and most of all, I think he’s wrong about 100% of the time. But that’s not really why I’ve been irritated, it’s because I’m finding that I’m not sure I’m any better than him.

It is entirely and completely unacceptable to me that Rush Limbaugh called Sandra Fluke a slut and a prostitute. And yes, you can play the, he didn’t actually call her that, he said she was being one, but frankly, when my husband says I’m acting like a bitch, it isn’t any less offensive than if he were to outright call me one. The point is the same, what Rush said was entirely out of line.

I won’t even get into how entirely uneducated his rant was because clearly he believes that birth control is like erectile dysfunction medication and must be taken only when having sex, therefore the cost of birth control is directly related to the amount of sex. And he also seems to struggle with where insurance companies get their money, which, hint, it’s not from your taxes. But anyway, that is neither here nor there.

It was wrong and no matter whether you are Republican or Democrat, you need to see that. Calling a woman a slut is wrong. Period.

And you know what? His apology was pathetic. His apology was his way of saying that he’s sorry that everyone is pissed off at him. He’s sorry he used the word slut. He’s not sorry that he thinks she’s one, he’s not sorry that he implied she’s one, he’s just sorry that he used that word. It’s like the time my sister called my mom a bitch and when asked to apologize said, “I’m sorry for calling you what you are.” And I think it’s fair to say that Rush’s apology went over about as well as my sister’s did.

But there’s another issue here, and that’s whether we’re being fair about our outrage. Rush Limbaugh is far from the first person to publicly name call when it comes to politics. Hell, just last week I called Republicans in Congress assholes. I’m not particularly outraged with myself, but I am kind of plagued with a feeling of hypocrisy. How can I be so upset about what Rush said but think that my name calling is okay?

On the same token, it’s not acceptable when democrats call republicans names, and for the most part, I think everyone understands that. It’s not okay to call Sarah Palin terrible things or insult her children, no matter how stupid her political opinions are. It’s probably not okay for me to call Santorum all the things I want to in my head, simply because we disagree on every political and personal item in the universe.

There’s just something about politics that makes us completely lose our rational heads.

This was made clearer to me last week with all of the articles praising Andrew Brietbart’s death. Look, this shouldn’t have to be said, but I don’t give a flying fuck how much you disagreed with or hated a person, unless he’s responsible for genocide or the downfall of civilization, you do not celebrate when a 40 something year old father and husband dies suddenly. It doesn’t matter how awful you thought he was, it doesn’t matter if he celebrated when someone else died. Two wrongs do not make a right and they never will.

It’s time we take a look at the rhetoric we’re spouting and consider what it says about us. Instead of telling you why I was disgruntled with Republicans in Congress (which, warning, would be a very long post), I took a shortcut and called them assholes. Rush Limbaugh is so (wrongly) passionate about depriving birth control to women across this country that instead of discussing his position rationally like an adult, he called a relatively innocent young woman, and every other woman in this country who would like to have her birth control covered by her insurance, a slut.

And I would say that we all need to stop for a minute. We all need to think, we need to collect our thoughts and present our problems with the issues, present our problems with a candidate’s position. No one’s mind is being changed by name calling, but you might actually succeed in making a difference by discussing the issues. You might actually bring about change if you take the time to discuss something like an adult instead of flinging insults like a child.

I’d love to see us all learn a lesson from Rush. Learn to think before we speak, learn to respect others, even if we disagree with them. Republican or Democrat, we’re all human and we all deserve respect from our supporters and opponents. Maybe it’s just me, but I’d love to see an election that isn’t rife with insults and instead is filled with passion to make positive changes to our country.

7 Responses to “How We Can All Learn From Rush’s Mistake”

  • Stephen:

    And this, Katie. This kind of writing, and thinking, is why I have come back to your words for years. Hypocrisy, trully is the enemy.

    [Reply]

  • Editdebs:

    I totally agree. I hate the crap that gets thrown. Calling Palin an ugly name is no more acceptable than Rush calling Fluke a slut–even if I hate Palin’s politics.

    [Reply]

  • Becca:

    Agreed. I actually agreed with Rush’s overall point, however, he could have made his point without calling someone names. Ever since then, a lot of conservatives have been linking to articles and audio from liberals where some disgusting things have been said and it’s gross. My mother, who is strong conservative voice on Twitter, has been called a c**ksucker (I can’t even type that word), bitch and had someone say something about her lady bits. I don’t understand this. I don’t care how much I disagree with someone, it is NEVER ok to say something so gross.

    This topic is why I tend to hold back from political discussions. I can’t even count the number of times I have been called racist for not liking Obama. Why do we have to constantly label people? Can’t people that disagree with us still be good people? And even if they aren’t, why is it so hard to stick to the issue without attacking someone? Will this ever really stop?

    [Reply]

  • Litenarata:

    This has been making me so angry this week. I got in a Facebook comment war with a woman I used to be good acquaintances, with from church mission trip overseas, because she agrees with Rush that women who dare think their health insurance should cover birth control are irresponsible sluts who should use some personal responsibility (even women who need BC for non-contraceptive purposes and women who have no choice about whether to have sex) instead of asking for others to “pay them for sex” and worst of all “you should just ask the man to wear a condom”.

    Another “friend” added “what do you call a woman who is paid for sex? A college student!” as thought it’s a big joke. And these are “good Christian” women who even pulled the “I used to have your beliefs until I found Jesus Christ” on me when I tried to explain my side of the debate.

    If I hadn’t been in a public university computer lab I might have had a giant fit.

    How can you even hope to have a rational discussion with people like this? They may, and probably do, have perfectly valid reasons for their position but calling me a slut, and either an atheist or a lesser Christian than them makes it impossible to have a conversation. I’m SO glad it was on facebook and not in real life because I can avoid facebook…

    [Reply]

  • [...] How We Can All Learn From Rush’s Mistake by Katie at Overflowing Brain Filed Under: Life, Money, Navel Gazing, TMI Tagged With: money patterns, Overflowing Brain, self-awareness, Six Year Itch, Tiny Buddha [...]

  • Badself:

    I would hardly call his discourse of calling a non-public person a slut and a prostitute a “mistake”. The next day he asked her to film herself having sex and send him videos. That was not a “mistake”. Repeated attacks are not a slip of the tongue. It was weird and embarrassing to everyone but Rush.

    [Reply]

  • Kayte:

    I love this post. You are so right. The slings and arrows that are thrown over both sides of the fence are so immature and ridiculous. It’s astonishing that anyone from any party has the nerve to call anyone else names.– Entirely hypocritical. I oppose(d) the politics of both Bush and Obama, but I would never call them the names that individuals on both sides have called the other. I would love to hang out with either one of them, as they both seem like great people, but that does not mean I want them to be President. (This goes for many of my best friends.) Once someone’s politics devolves into name-calling, they lose all credibility. Kudos to you for recognizing that.

    [Reply]

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I'm Katie, a 30-year-old, wife, mom, former teacher-turned PT, who also had brain surgery in November of 2007. This blog chronicles my daily life, from mundane to crazy, often with far too much detail. Sit down, get comfortable and stay for a while.
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