As someone from a family with it's fair share of political discourse, I took this Salon essay by Julie Limbaugh (cousin to Rush) to heart. She struggles her whole life with the fact that she is related to someone at least half the country hates. Even she doesn't agree with Cousin Rusty, but she doesn't hate him. In fact, she's grown up loving him. He is family and reminds her of everything she loves about her family, including the disagreements.
Where it gets complicated is how she feels about Rush today. She still loves him but isn't sure he's the same person she's grown up knowing (albeit, not knowing well).
Yet lately, I must admit, being a Limbaugh has been a little tough. When listening to Jon Stewart or just about everyone lay into the latest outrageous thing Cousin Rusty has said, it just doesn't seem like he's in on the act, and that makes it hard for me to separate my cousin from his persona. Maybe it's just me -- afraid of facing my student loans in our crumbling economy, or maybe I have officially become one of the "crazy liberals" my uncles always warn me of, but it seems that Rush is no longer just playing the political game he plays so well. Rather, he has been attacking hope, and now it feels like there's little room for that.
That Julie Limbaugh loves her cousin is indicative of the problem I have had with political discourse in these modern times. The pitch and tenor is getting increasingly bitter and—yes—hateful. That Rush Limbaugh is one primary cause for this rise in vitriol makes me sad for Julie. Anyone who makes his living by telling other people that their loved ones who have a different political viewpoint are un-American and enemies is a bad person. I am firmly in the half of the country that does not love Rush Limbaugh.