Words count. Some lift us up. Others tear us down. Rush Limbaugh and his radio brethren deal only in the latter variety.
Here is what the hateful Rush Limbaugh had to say right before the Democratic Convention in Denver in 2008: “Now, I am not inspiring or inciting riots. I’m dreaming. (singing to the tune of White Christmas) I’m dreaming of riots in Denver. Remember 1968?”
Then he said, “Riots in Denver at the Democrat convention would see to it we don’t elect Democrats – and that’s the best damn thing could happen for this country as far as anything I can think.”
And then he said, “I mean, if people say what’s your exit strategery, the dream end of this is that this keeps up to the convention and that we have a replay of Chicago 1968, with burning cars, protests, fires, literal riots, and all of that. That’s the objective here.”*
Thanks for those helpful thoughts, Rush. They certainly bring troubled Americans together in parlous times. Radio used to be a magic platform that gave people hope. It inspired them. It elevated their thinking. Contrast the hateful and incendiary words of the execrable Limbaugh with what President Franklin D. Roosevelt told frightened and depressed Americans over the radio upon taking office at the height of the Great Depression in 1933:
“This great nation will endure as it has endured, will revive, and will prosper. So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself —nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror, which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.” Click on this link to listen to an excerpt of Roosevelt’s heroic speech.
What a Contrast
In that challenging era, not so dissimilar from our own difficult times in 2011, Roosevelt’s mission was to boost the spirits of worried Americans. He wanted to bring them together and make them feel hopeful. Compare that with Limbaugh’s odious mission, which parallels that of all the other right-wing radio demagogues operating today (Hello Glenn Beck, Mark Levin, Jon Alter, and Michael Savage). They want to bring Americans down and make them feel worse.
Through their detestable, misleading and yes, evil, commentary, these radio rogues use their microphones to sew as much hate, suspicion, unrest, and dissatisfaction among Americans as possible. They will tell any lie and state any false claim to slander President Barack Obama and make him look bad. There is no limit to their irresponsible and derogatory commentary, from mocking Obama’s two beautiful daughters (Beck) to attacking his gorgeous wife (Limbaugh).
In the 1930s, when the United States was in utter economic turmoil, it had Roosevelt and his comforting radio “fireside chats” to help Americans find solace, become inspired, and look forward to a better day. Today, in our own time of economic trouble, we have Limbaugh and his loathsome radio ilk, agitating Americans. Their wicked words spark the same “unreasoning, unjustified terror” that Roosevelt warned against in 1933.
And these radio talkers, most if not all of whom are chicken hawks (love war as long as they don’t have to do the actual fighting), have the unmitigated gall to call themselves patriots. That noble word, which used to truly mean something, should stick in their throats. They are the opposite of patriots. They are a national disgrace. – Mickey Murphy © 2011 MMMurphy
* Quotes thanks to News Corpse. Here is a link to this helpful web site.
Note to Readers: If you enjoyed reading this post, and agree with its general point of view that radio demagogues are doing vast damage to the United States, please also click on the following link: “Why This Blog?” In this brief post, I provide a little history concerning previous radio demagogues. I detail what are the radio demagogues’ ignoble goals, how they work their black magic, and why they are so dangerous to the continued civic health of our nation, as well as the basic comity upon which our vital public discourse depends. Also, I discuss the mission of the RADIO DEMAGOGUES blog, and offer a simple suggestion that if all Americans followed would finally shut up all of these vile radio reactionaries for good. Plus, I ask for your support by subscribing and linking to this blog, and referring it to your friends.