Rush Limbaugh, never one to be accused of subtly and gentleness, has stepped in it. He used a not-very nice word to describe a woman he didn't know personally. It's a word no woman I know would wish to be called. Now, he's apologizing, which is good, but once things are said, you can't get them back.
Name-calling is not nice. We seemed to have lost all sense of civility in our society. Look at what passed for insults in Shakespeare's day:
- All that is within him does condemn itself for being there
- A slippery and subtle knave
- I know she is an irksome brawling scold
Now, maybe William would be mad to apologize for these today, but I don't think so. We used to take pride in witty repartee, and subtle comebacks. Now, we settle for just plain mean.
I wrote a piece recently that got a lot of press, and most of the people who responded to it were quite vile to me personally. Some folks not only disagreed with me, they wished great harm to me. Here is one "conversation" from a young woman who describes herself as a mountain woman, flower child, dreamer, proud liberal, lover of all things beautiful, whimsical, and shiny:
People like you make me sick. I hope you find out what it feels like to brutally raped then have all choice taken from you. No human decency and you do not deserve to call yourself a good mother, or even a mother. You did not protect your daughter, you took away her right to choose her own life, and replaced with with your own psycho right winged agenda. Lets hope karma bitch slaps you like you deserve. I know that you will rot in hell, there is a special seat reserved for you....I just cannot get over how much you disgust me as a human being. You realize you call yourself a christian but you t nothing like Christ would have? You should be ashamed of yourself for even using his name. Hypocrisy at it finest....On that note, can't wait until the day "god" judges you for being a horrible person in that situation. I do good things because I WANT to, not because I am trying to earn brownie points with a god. Have fun wasting your life on a sham....What is one good hing you have done lately? And don't give me worshiping god or donating to the church. Kindly go f*^% yourself, like
arguing with a kindergartner. Open your mind a little, and stop blindly following a god that doesn't exist.
I feel very sorry for any public figure. I can only imagine that someone like President Obama, his wife, Rick Santorum, actors, celebrities, etc. must have to deal with this ten-fold.
Regardless of one's political and religious beliefs, we humans have always managed to agree on one moral stance: treat others the way you wish to be treated. It is a maxim that runs through every major religion, philosophical treatise and culture. And yet....
We enjoy free speech in this country. It is a right, but no right comes without responsibility. That would include the ability to disagree with each other without being disagreeable. I fear we have lost this ability in our current culture.