Archie Bland: Exactly what kind of an idiot is Rush Limbaugh?

FreeView from the editors at i

Share
Related Topics

The question about Rush Limbaugh is this: is he an idiot, an old idiot, an old-fashioned idiot, or a right-wing idiot?

I raise this possibly strange-seeming problem a full week after Mr Limbaugh, a US "shock jock" of some notoriety, decided it would be fun to call a student who argued in favour of free contraception a "slut" and a "prostitute" who had to be having "so much sex it's amazing she can still walk". He also suggested that she should post videos of her sexual adventures online for him and his cohorts to watch.

So that's Rush. It is to be hoped, if not expected, that his outburst and the resulting fury will have the massive upside of making him irrelevant. I don't like him much; nor, indeed, am I a big fan of the Republican Party's weird inability to fully disown his bilious, lecherous routine.

Sadly, we are obliged to contend with his chunterings. That's why I asked that question at the top. If we have to think about this guy, maybe it's best to think in terms of what he represents, so as not to get too close. In other words: is the idea that only sluts want free contraceptives the stupidity of an old man? Is it the stupidity of a bygone era? Is it the stupidity of the right wing? Or is it simply the stupidity of Rush Limbaugh?

The question is important because it helps those of us who find Limbaugh's bile offensive to figure out where to direct our distaste, and what to do about it. The easiest thing – for someone of my political persuasion, anyway – is obviously to tick all of the above.

But there are obviously plenty of people on the right who wouldn't dream of making such a pronouncement. And whereas Limbaugh and his ilk might like to suggest that we will all come round to his way of thinking in the fullness of time – that is, that his position is the inescapable result of hard-won wisdom, and those who disagree just haven't realised it yet – there are many others of about his age who consider him repellent. What Limbaugh's views are, mostly, is outdated; the spittle-flecked ranting of a man whose time has passed.

It is true that men like Limbaugh tend to be old. It's true they end up on the conservative side of the spectrum more often than they do elsewhere. But those are coincidences. Blame the Republican Party for letting him thrive, sure, but don't ascribe his view to the whole movement.

Instead, consider these cheering facts: because Limbaugh's views have nothing to do with him being old, we are not bound to generate more of his ilk. And because they have no more to do with the right wing than they do with the left, there is no need for his squalid sensibility to ever take hold again. Rush Limbaugh is an idiot, and an old-fashioned idiot. But he doesn't stand for anything else.

 

 

React Now

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Geography Teacher

£130 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Ilford: Secondary Geography Teacher Lo...

Do you want to work in Education?

£55 - £70 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: Are you a dynamic and energeti...

SEN Teaching Assistant

Negotiable: Randstad Education Group: SEN TAs, LSAs and Support Workers needed...

Private Client Senior Manager - Sheffield

£50000 - £60000 per annum: Pro-Recruitment Group: The Sheffield office of this...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Letter from the Arts Editor: The Great Character Actors of Football

David Lister
 

What I saw on the night my husband was hit by a car

Rebecca Armstrong
Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter: The man who could have been champion of the world - and the Bob Dylan song that immortalised him

The man who could have been champion of the world

Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter and the Bob Dylan song that immortalised him
Didn’t she do well?

Didn’t she do well?

Miranda Hart lined up for ‘Generation Game’ revival
The Middle East we must confront in the future will be a Mafiastan ruled by money

The Middle East we must confront in the future will be a Mafiastan ruled by money

In Iraq, mafiosi already run almost the entire oil output of the south of the country
Before they were famous

Before they were famous

Can you guess the celebrity from these British Pathe News clips?
Martin Freeman’s casting in Fargo is genius

Martin Freeman’s casting in Fargo is a stroke of genius

Series is brimming with characters and stories all its own
How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Jury still out on Pellegrini

Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players