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.