Brandon Ferdig responds to Mark Greene’s post on Rush Limbaugh
First let me say this: I’ve written here before about how fear is an integral part of the arguments for any particular issue. As a reader and contributor and as someone who wants to see this site provide inspiring content to help men be better men, people be better people, I’ve called out this fear when I’ve seen it.
In this spirit, I have written this response to Mark Greene’s article: Rush Limbaugh Finally Sh*ts the Bed.
The incendiary comments recently made by Rush Limbaugh aren’t appreciated by most people. For those who do support Limbaugh’s comments, Mark Greene was perceptive to note that the people it brought out of the woodwork were those men who are tortured with fear of women and/or sex and so release this anger in verbally abusive ways toward the likes of Sandra Fluke.
I’m glad Mark brought this point up. Indeed, it is a terrible fear that these men project, and by giving it the light of day hopefully it may hasten its eradication—for the benefit of the women who are targeted and for the men who embody and suffer with it. May they be Good Men someday soon.
Unfortunately, Greene’s reactivity to Rush Limbaugh took his piece to harmful places: misinformation, alienation, and bigotry. So I write this retort to shed some much needed light on this one-sided, emotion-laden article.
The harm starts with the misinformation. Greene writes that Fluke is not asking for people to “buy her birth control”.
But, she is. By asking the government to force her college to offer birth control as part of the health insurance package, she’s forcing the plan to be more expansive and expensive which all policy holders will have to help pay for. Rush is wrong in saying that she’s making the taxpayer pay for it, but all the other students (as well as anyone else) who are on the plan will have to.
Greene then refers it as “A reasonable request.”
But that depends. It’s not reasonable if it’s simply for birth control. Health plans don’t pay for condoms.
Third, Greene suggests “These guys want to take away birth control”.
This is false. How is Rush or “The Republicans” taking anything away? What they are saying is that they don’t want to pay for it. This is not theft in the least bit.
Second, the kind of hate—the fear—that I addressed in my recent piece “The New Bigotry” is also featured in this piece. The most distressing line Greene writes is, “…my favorite part: It’s all being linked to the Republican Party.”
Greene is giddy here not because he hopes to see a better world but simply because he wants to see “Republicans” fall. When you seek to subtract, but not add or replace, the situation doesn’t improve. With no Republican what you do get is the current White House which advocates an escalating wasteful and bloody drug war—which has led to the death of thousands of innocent lives in Latin America, the incarceration and indefinite detention of those not even charged with a crime, and a drone attack program that has killed hundreds of innocents in the Middle East.
And if no Republican was offering a better solution to these problems, I’d not bring this up. But the fact is, the only presidential candidate making these deadly issues known to American living rooms hails from those Republicans who Greene wishes to see go away. By making this piece so political, Greene is (probably) unknowingly asking that no one challenge the nation’s leadership on these vitally important issues.
Lastly, Good Men don’t alienate an entire population because of who they vote for. Again, by rooting so ardently against the GOP, he puts his politics ahead of being helpful.
I don’t like Rush Limbaugh. I’m glad people don’t stand for the kinds of things Limbaugh says. I’m even more inspired that Greene identifies a fear in these “rageful” men that I hope can be eliminated.
But I also have distaste for intellectual dishonesty—especially when it belittles an entire swath of people. I’m writing this in the hopes that it will put the brakes on a dangerous trajectory Greene’s article endorses; don’t make the same mistake Limbaugh’s listeners make: getting riled up and drastically over-compensating for what you dislike, causing you to toss out logic, sensibility, and good nature.
Photo: AP/Chris Carlson