Rush Limbaugh has died of lung cancer at the age of 70.
I am sorry for the grief this has caused to family members and close friends who loved him.
As for me, while I intellectually grieve the loss of a human being, I can only say in the full and old sense of the term: a very good riddance.
He spewed his hateful audio bile across decades, and was the first mass marketer of misogynism, racism and white nationalism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, and anti-intellectualism. He came to guide millions of listeners along that path, glorying in their worship of him and what he preached.
I note, in the Washington Post story to which I linked, that a Pew Research Center found his followers to be better informed than listeners of the liberal and fact-based National Public Radio, and more likely than listeners of public radio or C-Span to have a college degree. What this tells me is that he didn't so much con an unknowing white underclass into believing his filth, as give permission to a supposedly civil and educated middle-class and well-off audience to be as public hateful as they wanted to be. .
We let him happen, blinded by his superficially genial bombast, convinced it was all just slightly untoward entertainment. We can, perhaps, place some of the blame on America's love for circuses but ultimately, shame on us for not paying more attention to his poisonous reality.
And now his miserably anti-democratic offspring inhabit the warrens of Fox News, OANN, Newsmax, and the more fulsome corners of Reddit, Facebook and Twitter. Places like Parler and Gab, as well as more fetid corners of the Dark Web, crawl with his worshippers.
Some may argue that had he not existed, someone would have come along to take his place such were, and are, the cracks in American democracy that have existed since the country began. That's probably true. But I doubt anyone could have been as gleefully destructive as Limbaugh.
If there is a seat upon which a just creator actually sits, I believe Limbaugh will be greeted with sorrowfully angry disappointment, that someone so gifted as an entertainer and communicator could have used those gifts to evil intent. And, since I believe that hell for evil doers might be the bestowing, unexpected and unwanted, of shame and remorse, bone-deep and inescapable shame and remorse for what they wrought while alive, I can wholeheartedly wish that he is granted hell. This entry was originally posted at https://kaffyr.dreamwidth.org/784239.html?mode=reply, where there are currently comments. You can comment there or here, but prefer to read over on DW. You can comment there using open ID if you don't have a DW account.