To have intense aversion for, or extreme hostility toward, a group or person is uniquely human and undoubtedly the impetus for myriad atrocities on the human race. Since the election of Barack Obama as the first African American President, the level of hate inherent in a specific segment of the population has elevated to such a high degree that one begins to question what kind of country America is becoming that blatant enmity supersedes civility as a matter of course. With so much animosity permeating society, the last thing America needs is institutionalized promotion of hatred and yet, conservative talking heads have incorporated it as their modus operandi to instigate hostility toward liberal ideology by impugning the character of women, minorities, and especially Democrats. Intelligent discourse and appealing to intellect is not within radio host and conservative icon Rush Limbaugh’s purview, so he resorts to hateful rhetoric and ad hominem attacks to inspire his audience to action, and after his recent attack on law student Sandra Fluke, decent Americans are taking action to bring an end to Limbaugh’s reign as the king of hate and vitriol.
Limbaugh’s radio program has been on the air since 1988 and the format has remained unchanged since its inception, and so has his vitriolic rants and attacks on everything not originating from conservative ideology. However, after nearly a quarter century, decent Americans have said enough and, like their grassroots activism against ALEC and Komen for the Cure, have mobilized in a concerted effort to encourage radio stations that carry his program, advertisers, and sponsors that affiliating with hate is not conducive to good business practices or their reputations. It is important to note that no-one advocates restricting Limbaugh’s freedom of speech or his ability to earn a living, but instead, to promote civility and intelligent discourse that represents the values and ethics one associates with a free society.
There are various groups mobilizing to pressure Limbaugh’s advertisers to withdraw funding for his hate and vitriol, and individually they have achieved a measure of success. A new StopRush movement has emerged to gather like-minded individuals and organizations in a centralized location to access a database of 1,000 advertisers and radio stations to “bring pressure to the advertisers responsible for keeping him on the public airwaves” and “inform them that supporting a program which regularly includes offensive and provocative language may negatively impact their brands, their sales, and their corporate image with millions of Americans.” The StopRush Project is the culmination of hundreds of hours of volunteer work to assemble, organize, and give access to a remarkable database for any American who is weary of Limbaugh’s brand of hate and willing to take action by contacting local affiliates carrying Rush’s program and revealing to advertisers what they are supporting by sponsoring his show.
Many Rush supporters claim his hateful rhetoric is little more than entertainment and “just how he is,” but Limbaugh is very selective in targeting women, minorities, and politicians who just happen to be left-of-center. It is obvious that Limbaugh is capable of analyzing issues and issuing commentaries without using racist and misogynistic rhetoric because he heaps praise and constructive criticism on conservatives of every color and gender with more than a semblance of respect, but he is ill-inclined to afford liberals and Democrats the same esteem. In fact, Limbaugh cannot muster even an iota of respectful criticism for Democratic or liberal politician’s wives and children because he regards them as less than human and in many instances, un-American.
The StopRush Project is a non-partisan effort of Americans weary of Limbaugh’s insufferable racist and misogynistic rants that serve no other purpose than inspiring hate, and is counterproductive to intelligent debate to solve America’s problems and foster unity to move the country forward. Any American can visit the site and volunteer to monitor local affiliates carrying Limbaugh’s program by accessing the database to “keep track of advertiser activity, and to contact known sponsors,” and the efforts are having an impact. Volunteers in all 50 states can monitor Limbaugh’s show in their area to identify new advertisers and make phone calls to express their concerns with known sponsors. The site is replete with latest news, videos, exhibits, and commentary to inform advertisers the type of program they support and the negative impact on their businesses and reputations the garner by sponsoring Limbaugh. If there is one thing activists have learned since Komen for the Cure withdrew funding from Planned Parenthood and ALEC lost corporate sponsors for supporting voter suppression and Stand Your Ground laws is that the threat of losing money is a great motivator.
There are some activists who want Limbaugh off the air, and others who only want his racist and misogynistic rhetoric to stop once and for all, but they all have one goal in common; ending the hate Limbaugh promotes and inspires. America can be the exceptional nation every citizen yearns for, but just hoping it transpires is not working and although hate will never vanish from the population, it can be minimized if decent Americans take a stand instead of sitting idly on the sidelines. Rush Limbaugh is not going to cease and desist from spreading hate on his own, but it is possible that if enough pressure is brought to bear on those who fund and sponsor his hate, he may reevaluate his approach and refrain from using racist and anti-women vitriol to inspire support for conservative agendas.
Decent Americans can affect change, and the StopRush Project is impacting Limbaugh and his advertisers with every phone call to radio stations and sponsors who may not be aware they are funding racism and misogyny with their ad dollars. The project is evolving and gathering like-minded stop rush groups into a true grass roots movement that epitomizes democracy in action for the well-being of all Americans by staunching the hate that is eating away at the moral fabric of the citizenry and dividing the nation. There is enough hate in America without Rush Limbaugh or his ilk stoking animus based on race and gender, and unless the country unites under a common goal to move forward despite opposing ideologies, America will be torn apart. The StopRush Project exemplifies unity of purpose and as decent Americans exert their considerable influence on Limbaugh’s advertisers, their common goal of ending hate will be within reach and America can finally move forward with civil discussion void of racist and misogynistic rhetoric.