Monday, March 16, 2009

Drug Addict

Ben is a co-founder of TNG.

Rush Limbaugh is in the news again. Apparently, the Democrats are doing a good job of helping him promote his voice as the focal point of the Republican party. I’m supportive of anything that helps the GOP implode, but I feel drunk when confronted with the reality that Rush is still taken seriously by the people we rely on for information and analysis.

Rush Limbaugh is a drug addict. For whatever reason, America seems to have forgotten that fact. For over two years, he illegally obtained and used massive amounts of Lorcet, Hydrocodone, and Oxycontin, otherwise known as “Hillbilly Heroin.” He abused so much of it that he went deaf in both ears and rapidly lost a great deal of weight. Any idea how many drugs it takes to lose your hearing and drop 40 lbs? I'm guessing a lot.

Let's review some of the prevailing signs of drug addiction:

  • Paranoia, delusions
  • Temporary psychosis, hallucinations
  • Dishonesty
  • Unreliability
  • Verbosity, “up” and cheerful behavior, with seemingly boundless energy.
  • Irritability, agitation, and anger
These characteristics not only describe Rush Limbaugh, but someone whose opinions should not be taken seriously. I don't want to demonize drug addicts or inspire hatred for Limbaugh, because I'm sympathetic to the overwhelming psychic pain these sick people feel on a daily basis. 12-step programs work because they are designed to deflate a massive ego (typical of addicts) while suggesting steps for rebuilding self-esteem, but so often addicts refuse to admit they have a problem or they shift addictions. Granted, Rush is probably off the pills, but once an addict, always an addict. Any graduate of the Alcoholics Anonymous 12-step program will admit that. When addicts don't address their underlying psychological problems they just redirect their addictions. They continue to hide their crippling insecurity by further inflating their self-importance and self-medicating, if not with drugs than some other proxy. Rush, who is reviled by so many, can't possibly pump enough air into his ego bubble to keep the demons at bay. It's a testament to his strength and personal fortitude that he hasn't exploded. My guess is that he'll off himself with a shotgun during his radio show. Probably between an interview with Ann Coulter and an analysis of Barack Obama's ties to satanism. But I digress.

Due to the circumstances of my past, I’ve known many drug addicts. Despite their own special charms, all were reckless, deeply disturbed liars. They were also the last people I would count on...particularly for critical thinking. Unfortunately Journalists overlook the obvious and continue to elevate his voice by including it at the apex of national debate. Some time ago I saw David Gregory, host of Meet the Press (the gold standard of political reporting and debate, supposedly), counterpoint the ideas of one of his esteemed guests by referencing Rush Limbaugh, as though better options weren't available. I almost choked on my granola. I haven’t watched Meet the Press since, as I don't have the stamina to slide where this slippery slope leads, be it the GEICO lizard ruminating on the auto bailout or a foreign policy debate between Hillary Clinton and Marvin the Martian.

I don’t want to be entertained by news, I want to be informed. Anyone who cites Limbaugh’s opinions in the marketplace of ideas immediately loses credibility, assuming that the context isn’t humorous infotainment or overt and often ridiculous pandering, as provided by the likes of Jon Stewart, Bill Maher, the Huffington Post, or Fox News. I’m not saying that limits should be placed on ideas and their discussion, but we do owe it to ourselves as rational creatures to limit the conversation to the voices of those who haven’t completely destroyed every ounce of their credibility. If the so-called reputable programs that you rely on for news insert the opinions of a discredited drug addict in to the national conversation, please reconsider your news source. There are better options.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Fat Bastard.

There should be a calendar of ugly fat white male "heterosexual" repuglicans. Rove and Limbaugh would be there.