Monday, March 5, 2012
The Rush to Bully
Last week was not a good week for bullies. First Andrew Breitbart unexpectedly passed away and then Rush Limbaugh began his hostile verbal bullying of a woman who had dared to express her opinion about birth control coverage. Rush is not as I see it the problem; he is a damaged person who makes tons of money selling hate while numbing himself with multiple marriages and painkillers. There are always people without integrity willing to sell their soul for fortune and fame. But how did he get so powerful in the first place, who's buying what he's selling?
It is shameful in my opinion to perpetuate hate for a living. It is just bad karma. Every time we see a preacher, politician, or pundit spewing hate at a group there is almost like clock work a scandal exposing them for doing the exact thing they were just condemning. The fact that it is now whole networks and even people running for the highest office in the land is sad. As is the notion that it is politically detrimental to stand up to a bully like Rush. When George Will described the GOP leadership this weekend, it kind of said it all: They want to bomb Iran, but they're afraid of Rush Limbaugh.
Unfortunately hate never runs out of supply, but I think the more the world is changing the less long term stability it has. The next few years will probably be great for hate. There are still large section of the US not happy that we're becoming a multi-cultural, religiously, and sexually tolerant nation. They'll probably double down on fear frightened that their way of thinking is under attack. But eventually, and this is surely happening in the generation below mine, they will bawk at such discrimination and hate.
It's a percentage game, eventually times change and the youngsters of today are sweeping in a different era one in which they all have friends, family members, or are social media fans of a cornucopia of people. They have gay friends, hispanic classmates, atheist uncles. They think it is cool to have a black president. They don't want to fight wars over religion because they know people from that religion and they realize they are just like them.
Bullying and hate is the easy, cheap solution. The more noble, sustainable, healthier solution is to come together and see what we can do bringing the best of ourselves to the table (or radio, tv, work). If we must fight let it be for how best to help each other, how tolerant we can be to our neighbors, and how much good we can bring into the world. Hate is so played out... let peace, prosperity, and partnership be what we teach our children, hope for our nation, and practice for ourselves.