Okay, I’m outraged by the thought of Rush Limbaugh being included among those busted in the Capitol. Why would anyone think the pompous, hate-pedaling, drugster should be held up as a role-model for children, who visit the gallery each year to learn about state government? Why should visitors from around the globe go home thinking Missourians put Rush Limbaugh on the same pedestal with Mark Twain, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Walter Cronkite, George Washington Carver, Walt Disney and Harry Truman?
The Cape Girardeau talk-show host should be recognized, but in a manner befitting his infamy. How else will our descendants know that there once lived such a man as Rush Limbaugh, whose sole purpose was to besmirch the airwaves with fear, suspicion, and intolerance.
Years from now we will wonder why his venomous tirades designed to weaken our nationhood were once deemed laudable. Preservation of the real Rush Limbaugh will ensure that history does not gloss over the harm he did to our nation on a daily basis. Let’s not only preserve his likeness—I do hope the artist is able to capture the sneer—let’s chisel his outrageous rants in stone as a reminder of his brutal abuse of free speech and the deliberate shredding of our democracy.
Yes, immortalize Limbaugh with a stony likeness, but put it in a Hall of Shame somewhere, perhaps next to a toxic waste site, alongside the likes of George Wallace, Joe McCarthy, and Glen Beck, who brought out the worst in our nation. Such a repository is fitting for the craven and the crass, who try to alter our national character, but let’s keep the third floor gallery in our State Capitol for the real role models. Keep it a sacred space—a Hall of Heroes--filled with the spirit of the noblest among us, whose lives and words inspire us to great endeavor even today. We need only take a peek into the second-floor legislative chambers to see how desperately we need the example of real heroes today.