News, notes, and observations from the James River Valley in northern South Dakota with special attention to reviewing the performance of the media--old and new. E-Mail to

Monday, February 10, 2020

*The stable genius destroys an honor*

"For the President of the United States to bestow one of the nation’s highest laurels on Limbaugh is a morally corrosive and politically cynical act. It is a kind of assault on the achievements of so many previous award winners, a list that includes Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Jr., Václav Havel, Rosa Parks, and John Lewis. It is appalling to see Rush Limbaugh’s name listed alongside theirs."

If Donald Trump has any genius, it is his talent to destroy human decency.  He is totally driven by malice.  

There is a long list of people who over the years have been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.  Most are people who have contributed to the advance of democracy in some way that can be acknowledged, if not totally agreed with.  The criteria for the awards  are  contributions to: "(1) the security or national interests of the United States, or (2) world peace, or (3) cultural or other significant public or private endeavors".   There are quite a few from the political world and they cover the spectrum from rigid conservative to progressive liberal.  Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, for example, are recipients, and while we who lean to the left oppose their policies and their political machinations, they did not descend to a level of perfidy and contumely in the way they conducted themselves.  

That is not so in the case of Rush Limbaugh, who was made a recipient by Donald Trump during his State of the Union speech.   Trump and Limbaugh share a trait.  They never say or do anything out of good will.  Even benign words out of their mouths have a malicious purpose.  Trump emulates Limbaugh, who is also driven by malice.  

Limbaugh is a prolific spreader of lies.  He has earned a reputation for his malicious attacks and lies. When his broadcasting network is confronted about the damaging things he says, they reply that he is not a journalist, but an entertainer who performs for his audience.  The inference that can be drawn from that is that Limbaugh's audience is composed of the kind of people who once packed their picnic baskets to attend public hangings to make holidays out of them.  Nothing is as entertaining as watching other people humiliated and strangled to death.  

Limbaugh is a master of scurrility.  He maligns hordes of people.  But he keeps a lot of fact-checkers employed.

In one stroke of reality television, Trump turned the Presidential Medal of Freedom into a badge of dishonor.  Now good people live in fear that someone might want to hang one around their neck and put them in the same category of dishonor as Limbaugh. 

1 comment:

larry kurtz said...
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Aberdeen, South Dakota, United States