I won’t gloat over Rush Limbaugh’s death, but I have no qualms speaking ill of the dead.
J.D. Vance is shocked — shocked — that people are being cruel towards “a man who changed media forever,” but Limbaugh didn’t change it in good ways. He spread misogyny and racism and called tween Chelsea Clinton the White House dog. When Democrats were in power, government was a threat to American freedom. When Republicans were in power, anyone who said government was a threat to our rights was the real threat. He was an all-out Trump supporter. As Erik Loomis points out, his hypocrisy included being a drug user who denounced drug users and a sexual sleaze who slut-shamed (more on that). He helped push America into a nation that could elect Trump.
And he had no qualms with being cruel towards the dead. He celebrated Kurt Cobain’s passing, mocked AIDS victims — so let him die as he lived.
The alternative is to allow people like Josh Hawley to paint Limbaugh as a champion of the oppressed rather than the oppressor. And as Fred Clark says, speaking ill of the dead is how we warn other people they’re on the wrong path: “To refuse to speak ill of the dead when that is what their lives deserve is, according to Dickens, to withhold grace from others who are still living as the Marleys and Limbaughs lived. To refrain from celebrating the death of Rush Limbaugh is to consign Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson to inexorable damnation.” Not that I think Carlson or Hannity will change, but the point still stands.
So here’s a few of Limbaugh’s deep thoughts that I included in Undead Sexist Cliches:
Rush Limbaugh claimed worrying about football players getting concussions is “chickifying” men.
Limbaugh blamed feminism for male violence and school shootings.
He claimed feminism only exists so ugly women can have power (not a new idea in antifeminism)
He argued that men are innately violent and therefore it’s women’s duty to put their lives on hold and tame them with marriage.
“You can do anything, the left will promote and understand and tolerate anything, so long as there is one element,” Rush Limbaugh said in 2016. “Do you know what it is? Consent. If there is consent on both or all three or all four, however many are involved in the sex act, it’s perfectly fine. Whatever it is. But if the left ever senses and smells that there’s no consent in part of the equation then here come the rape police.” He means this as a bad thing. He also claims that “no means yes if you know how to spot it. Seduction used to be an art, now of course it’s ‘brutish’ and ‘predatory'” adding that he’s fine with men doing whatever it takes to get laid.
He hates the idea of birth control allowing ““no responsibility, no consequences sex.”
When Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke said the university’s mandatory student health insurance should cover birth control, Limbaugh said “she wants to be paid to have sex. She’s having so much sex, she can’t afford the contraception,” ergo Fluke was a prostitute.
The world is not lessened by his passing, not one iota.