Recently, someone I knew “back in the day” posted something on Facebook I could not stomach. This fellow has been a pretty conservative firebrand before, which has lent to a couple of debates online and more than one facepalm moment as I scrolled through the old News Feed. He’s a genuinely funny human being who works as a teacher and served in the US military. But something about this last unthinking statement just struck a nerve I couldn’t ignore.
Rather than block or ignore him from Facebook, I felt the best approach was to outline, with Limbaugh-esque disregard for hyperbole, my opinion of his statement and similar statements made by others. And post it as a response to his initial post.
This could get awkward.
When you post really stupid shit like this:
You are identifying yourself as someone without the necessary frontal brain function to serve as a thinking member of society. You’re not quite as deluded as the redolent, nationally-sydicated fuckstick making the initial statement, because he has:
A) Disguised his rhetoric as “entertainment,” when he is actually pedaling a brand of social conservatism that bumps uncomfortably close to the type of discussions people felt comfortable having in Germany in the 1920s.
B) Managed to convince a small (but, unfortunately, vocal) segment of society that this “entertainment” is just a ploy for ratings and a way to rub the “liberals” the wrong way.
C) Hijacked a valid discussion about how the Law of Land might confront issues of “moral objection” as related to employer-provided insurance.
D) Somehow duped the intellectual zombies following him into forgetting that a keystone point of conservatism is personal choice. Like the personal choice to have intercourse without producing a child. Even if you do not believe employee-provided contraception is appropriate—and you have every right to hold this opinion—such a desire does not make anyone a “slut” or a “prostitute” unless they are actually a slut or prostitute. The desire for birth control is not the defining characteristic, a point plenty of married women and folks who, in general, are good people who don’t subscribe to your particular brand of sexual morality would agree with (and apparently do, based on the national response).
It is not intolerance for ideas that leads us to slam the speaker of these inanities or the clowns that somehow find this line of thought appropriate. Just as Mr. Limbaugh has a First Amendment right to take to the airways and voice his “entertainment,” the response is also protected speech. If a prominent liberal “entertainer” came out and said “unwed mothers who have abortions are heroes because they are not contributing to global overpopulation,” the howls from both sides of the political spectrum would be deafening.
Experience and investigation suggests no screed on a blog or snarky comment on Facebook is going to change anyone’s mind about this issue if they are so entrenched in their line of thought as to defend (or deflect) statements like the ones Limbaugh made. This is not a piece to change minds.
I just wanted to let you all know that you are, in my considered opinion, dolts. You may console yourself by rallying those who think like you, but don’t think my opinion is just that of “the libs.” I have conservative opinions and conservative friends I respect and I agree with about many of their ideas on public policy. They understand what Rush Limbaugh and others are doing to their movement. It’s not a good thing. I won’t speak for them, but they probably think you’re a dolt, too. (PS: your grasp of “hypocrisy” could use a little firming up, too).
Feel free to reciprocate the feeling.