Rush Limbaugh demonstrated that there is no low that the right won’t sink to in order to push the Republican ideological agenda. On his radio show today, Limbaugh blamed the left for the death of Robin Williams.
LIMBAUGH: So our last caller from Des Plaines, Illinois, wanted to know, “What is the politics in the coverage of the suicide of Robin Williams?” Well, I believe there is some. But I don’t think that the politics is driving it. I think there was, on the part of media and Hollywood, genuine affection for the guy that is driving it, but there is politics. If you notice the coverage is focused on how much he had, but it wasn’t enough.
“He had everything, everything that you would think would make you happy. But it didn’t.” Now, what is the left’s worldview in general? What is it? If you had to attach not a philosophy but an attitude to a leftist worldview, it’s one of pessimism and darkness, sadness. They’re never happy, are they? They’re always angry about something. No matter what they get, they’re always angry.
They are animated in large part by the false promises of America, because the promises of America are not for everyone, as we see each and every day. I mean, right here there’s a story Fox News website. Do you know, it says right here, that the real reasons that Robin Williams killed himself are he was embarrassed at having to take television roles after a sterling movie career.
He had to take movie roles that were beneath him, sequels and so forth, and he finally had to do television just to get a paycheck because he was in so much financial distress. He’d had some divorces that ripped up his net worth, and he had a big ranch in Napa that he couldn’t afford any longer and had to put up for sale, and a house in Tiburon that he couldn’t afford anymore. This is all what’s in the Fox News story.
He had it all, but he had nothing. He made everybody else laugh but was miserable inside. I mean, it fits a certain picture, or a certain image that the left has. Talk about low expectations and general unhappiness and so forth. Right here it says that one the contributing factors to Robin Williams deciding to kill himself was “survivor’s guilt.” It’s in the headline.
I read that and I thought, “Survivor’s guilt? What? What survivor’s guilt? What?” So I read it, and it turns out that three of his closest friends, the story says — Christopher Reeve, John Belushi, and Andy Kaufman… The source, unnamed in the story, said that Robin Williams felt guilty that he was still alive while his three friends had died young and much earlier than he had.
He could never get over the guilt that they died and he didn’t.
Well, that is a constant measurement that is made by political leftists in judging the country. It’s outcome-based education: 2 + 2 = 5. “That’s fine until the student learns it’s 4. We’re not gonna humiliate the student by pointing out that he’s wrong. If he figures it out, cool. We’re gonna take the fast learners and we’re gonna slow them down so that they don’t humiliate the kids that don’t learn as fast as they do. It’s just not fair.”
I think a person has to be deeply troubled to find politics in the death of Robin Williams. The degree of detachment from reality that it takes to makes such a statement is why Limbaugh’s comments are worth discussing. There is a school of thought on the left that Limbaugh should be ignored. These are folks suffer from ostrich syndrome. They want to stick their heads in the sand and pretend like what they disagree with doesn’t exist. This desire is a manifestation of the fact that a segment of the left is becoming just like the right. There are people who only want their media to stay on the left side of the partisan fence.
The problem with that mentality is that it allows individuals to ignore the threat that is presented by the ideology on overdrive right. Millions of people listen to Limbaugh. They share his beliefs. These are folks who drive the Republican Party. If one wants to understand and defeat the extremism of the right, it is necessary to know what they are talking about, and why.
There is no leftward ideology that pushed Robin Williams to take his own life. Limbaugh was exploiting a man’s personal pain and tragedy to push an ideological agenda. Ignoring Rush Limbaugh, or Fox News, or the Republicans in Congress won’t make that agenda go away. Limbaugh’s attempt to use the death of Robin Williams was a window into right-wing thinking. The politics never stops, and everything is political for many on the right.
Ignoring Rush Limbaugh won’t make him go away. He has hundreds of stations carrying his program around the country, but ignoring his words would allow him to operate in a zero accountability environment. Rush Limbaugh should not be able to make deplorable remarks like those that he made about the death of Robin Williams without being held accountable.
For the individuals and families of those that he demonizes and exploits, we must hold Rush Limbaugh accountable.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor, who is White House Press Pool, and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association