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Letters to the Editor: We have Rush Limbaugh to thank for our broken politics

Rush Limbaugh reacts after receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Feb. 4, 2020.
Rush Limbaugh reacts after receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom during Donald Trump’s State of the Union address on Feb. 4, 2020.
(Patrick Semansky / Associated Press)

To the editor: Rush Limbaugh’s legacy is cemented. With the inception of his radio platform in the 1980s, his appeal to the worst instincts of white America became a core component of GOP campaign and governing strategy for decades. (“Rush Limbaugh, highly influential conservative radio host, dies at 70,” Feb. 17)

From milking the legitimate middle-class anxieties on economic insecurity by stoking age-old racist tropes, to spewing misogyny that would relegate women to their status in 1950s America, Limbaugh’s toxic impact is quite profound. Coupled with a pathological fidelity to the hegemony of the corporate world, the Republican Party in 2021 mirrors a governing philosophy more in tune with fascism than conservatism.

Limbaugh’s toxic legacy will tragically long survive him. It will continue to be an integral component of the party of Donald Trump for the foreseeable future.

Bob Teigan, Santa Susana

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To the editor: Limbaugh said he did his show for those who listened to it and not for those who didn’t. Those who criticized him and his show were those who didn’t listen to it and therefore didn’t know him or understand his program.

Limbaugh was an entertainer. His fans enjoyed his special brand of humor, and his detractors just didn’t get him. A good example is your obituary’s explanation of “dittoheads.”

That term was not used to describe those who agreed with everything he said and followed without thinking. Rather, he had the callers just say “ditto” to save time and avoid repeating the opening remarks of previous callers, such as “I love your show,” “you are the best,” “thanks for taking my call” and so forth. Callers just said “ditto,” then stated their question or comment.

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Limbaugh was a teacher of sorts who had a knack for seeing and explaining the essence of an issue. Of course, he was also the foremost proponent of conservatism. He described the difference between the left and the right simply: The left wants control, and conservatives advocate for freedom.

Jim Blumel, Santa Clarita

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To the editor: Limbaugh was little more than an expert playground bully. His great talent was getting attention and laughs by making fun and insulting anyone who did not fit into his vision of traditional white America.

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Richard McCurdy, Burbank

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To the editor: A 19th century politician made this remark about a political opponent: “Every time he opens his mouth, he subtracts from the sum total of human wisdom.”

This is the perfect epitaph for Limbaugh.

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Gregory Pearson, Santa Monica


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