A Rush Limbaugh story:
Many years ago, back in the late 80s, I worked at a small lab that had changed hands. The new owner was a shallow, simple-minded refugee from Happy Days who still pined for drive-ins, curb service, and cheerleaders. Likeable in the way of slightly unruly dogs, but all his higher functions were cliche-driven. He had never spent any time to speak of around someone like me and after a few months, apparently, he began to feel intimidated. And, to his credit, curious.
We had many political discussions in the shop---it was that kind of place---and he had no ammo in his bandolier, so to speak. So in order to "catch up" he looked around for a source and found----
Whom he began listening to daily.
Mind you, he liked the Fifties. He thought of them as America's Golden Age. The irony is, his mother, whom he compared to Mrs. Cleaver, was a brain fry because of the sedatives her doctor prescribed her back in the Fifties and Sixties for her "anxiety." The best I can figure, she had a brain and nothing to use it on and was a very unhappy woman. As with many others back then, her (male) doctor just thought she needed to calm down, find herself in housework, so here, take these Miltowns and go away. After a decade of that she was effectively lobotomized. I pointed this out to him once as an example of how wonderful the fucking Fifties were, but he shunted it off into a siding and ignored the point.
As he pretty much did with all my critiques of the Fifties.
He learned to like Rush. And because he was the owner, we all listened to Rush (and then later G. Gordon Liddy's show) and our boss thought he was gleaning cutting edge political philosophy from him.
Till I started disassembling the fat fuck every day.
Did the guy tune in someone else, someone more liberal? (I have no idea who that would have been---talk radio then was the almost exclusive preserve of the growing neocon blight.) Did he read any of the books I tried to loan him? No, he doubled-down and found even more virulent and vitriolic assholes to drink kool-aid with.
I realized that he really wanted Limbaugh to be right, because it would have meant he was right---right to fear blacks and the changing economy and Democrats and all the stuff he frankly did not and could not understand. Limbaugh touched a strain of resentment in him that pined for the Fifties and American Whiteness and big cars and the Miracle Mile and Buddy Holly. He had enjoyed his childhood and adolescence (he'd been one of the "in" guys, you see) and he hated having the faults of his era shown to him. The fact that his mother was made into an idiot because there was so little for an intelligent woman to do rubbed him raw---she'd cleaned house wearing pearls and that somehow meant everything had been fine.
I had four years of listening to Rush and deconstructing him for this twit. It was hard for me to believe worse would come along later. These people make money on electro-shocking the resentments of people who do not want to think and, more, do not want to feel responsible for having some kind of a good life that cost someone else a miserable life. "I worked hard and made it, how come that lazy so-n-so won't?"
Rush himself is a resentful toad. He looks at Robin Williams and see someone who means so much more to so many more people than Rush ever will and for what? Stupid jokes and buffoonery? "Being kind?" What kind of legacy is that when the cockroaches are destroying civilization? Not realizing, of course, that he, Rush, is the cockroach and Williams really was civilization at its finest.
It embarrasses me to my core that there is a statue of that shit in my state capitol. "Famous Missourian" my ass.