Cultural Censorship

I hate Rush Limbaugh. Hate him. I despise him, loath his show. I'm unable to think of anything I might agree with him on, and his attitude and blatant disregard for truth disgust me to no end.

Yet he reaches over 13 million weekly listeners. Somebody is tuning their dial to his station - a lot of somebodies. As harmful and noxious as I believe he and his ideas are, a healthy portion of Americans would beg to differ.

Assuming for a moment an ancient deity descends from the heavens, granting me the power to take any broadcast off the air, do I shut Rush up? Should I? I do not believe so.

For the betterment of debate, the flow of ideas and a thoughtful society, Limbaugh ought to stay on the air. I may not believe he deserves it, but he's got a right to it.

Just as my liberal brethren and I would take issue with undergoing censorship for our ideas, those with opposing ideas would be similarly miffed. So they should be. Anyone who is shushed for their beliefs and arguments has every right to furious indignant. 

I am not advocating we insult or otherwise verbally assault each other. Be polite, aware and sympathetic, please.

But if a person is just giving a speech to like-minded individuals, let the show go on. 

Do not fight against views you deem harmful by repressing them altogether. Fight back by fighting back. If someone is saying something you don't like, start saying things they don't like. Tell them you don't like them, their views. Argue, get angry, throw a few punches if it goes that far. The best outcome we can strive for is a civil, reasonable discussion, but a heated argument is still better than no argument at all.

Censorship on cultural, ideological grounds is among the most dangerous things a society can do. A debate goes nowhere if both sides are simply attempting to block the other from public view. We cannot advance if there is not a full view of the spectrum of thought. We can't know or choose what we think if there are no other thoughts. 

Our approach should not be "I dislike you, stop talking," but instead "I dislike you, here are my reasons why. How do you respond? En garde!"

In that way, I both utterly despise and appreciate the existence of Rush Limbaugh at the same time.