Letter to the Editor – In Response to Rush

The crux of Kate Hicks’ Rush Limbaugh defense appears to be the sports analogy that the two of you are on the same team. She does not specify the other members of this team, but I assume it potentially includes some of the 59 million people who did not vote for President Obama. The right to not vote for President Obama and the right to disagree with his political platform (and to say so) is crucial in defining the United States as a country and a society. These rights are important and necessary. Rush Limbaugh, as hurtful and disingenuous as some of his comments are, has the freedom to say whatever he chooses and while I may not agree with him, I appreciate that freedom.

Here is where the article bothers me: Rush Limbaugh, President Obama, the 59 million people who did not vote for him and all American citizens are not on different teams. As American citizens and as citizens of an ever-shrinking world we are all on the same team. I find this celebration of divisiveness disheartening. Yes, all political parties should have their say and be a part of the decision making process behind government legislation that affects all of us. But why should we unnecessarily and selfishly pit ourselves against one another and descend into pettiness instead of constructively working together? Are we not all hoping for a promising future and a less painful present?

Taking issue with President Obama’s politics is legitimate, as no one and certainly no political endeavor is ever perfect. It is also certainly justifiable to be concerned with the current and future effects of recent legislation. But hoping for the President’s ideas and policies to fail is not simply disagreeing with the other side. This hope is flippant and uncompassionate. The United States is facing serious challenges and what President Obama will attempt to do over the next four years is not just part of a “political game,” as Hicks refers to it, but has serious consequences for the lives of all Americans. If President Obama fails, we all fail. We all lose our jobs, our ability to send our children to college or pay our medical bills and our feeling of security.

Hicks says “simply because Mr. Obama is my president does not mean I wanted him to be my president, nor does it mean I want the policies and ideas for which he stands to work.” Even if Kate Hicks and Rush Limbaugh disagree with the means by which the Obama administration is attempting to mitigate this current crisis, wishing failure upon your friends, neighbors, and fellow citizens so that your team scores a touchdown is not a meaningful or humane way to express your concerns. If Hicks’ team wins in this “game” and in four years the United States is in even worse shape because of failed policies, I hope she realizes at what an incredible cost to this country and to the world her “we told you so” victory will have come with.

Perhaps Mr. Limbaugh’s “I hope he fails” comments are merely the “essence of the political game,” as the article says. However, just because politics has become a game where on “both sides’ rabid fans hope the other guys choke” does not mean this is how politics should be. Surely we are capable of more than rabidity and hopes for the failure and humiliation of our fellow man in these, lest we forget, the United States of America.