I would like to preface this article by stating that I am a fervent believer in the rights accorded to us under the First Amendment. That being said; as is the case with many of the rights given to Americans in the Bill of Rights, misuse and/or misinterpretation are commonplace. Perhaps the two most commonly questioned are the First and Fourth Amendments. The Fourth Amendment was at the forefront of considerable controversy after the terrible events of 9/11. President Bush blatantly ignored and violated the core of the amendment. In this article, I will be focusing on our Freedom of Speech and how my dear friend Rush Limbaugh continues to take advantage of this right in a manner that I feel our forefathers never intended for it to be used. The Rash uses it to attack and insult anyone who doesn’t agree with his pathological ideologies.
A couple of nights ago, my wife and I were watching the news from a Boston television station. Since we live only 40 miles from Boston; it is considered local news. They did a piece on the second-in-command of the Maersk Alabama, who happens to be from a nearby town. This, of course, is the ship that captivated the attention of the entire world not long ago. In the interview, the assistant stated that he had been receiving death threats directed at him and his family from men he presumed were affiliated with the Somali pirates. I will refrain from providing his name so as not to add to any of the attention he is trying to avoid. The interview was conducted impromptu outside his home and his reluctance to discuss the situation was obvious. He did manage to get in a shot at that blowhard Limbaugh. His message to him was: “You’re either with us or against us.”
What prompted his displeasure with Limbaugh was a statement made by him concerning the rescue of Captain Phillips. To paraphrase: Imagine the uproar had it been a Republican president who authorized the killing of “black” teenagers. This is not verbatim but it is close and the message is accurate. I have never been reluctant to voice my opinion of Limbaugh and my incredible dislike I have for the man. I am not about to start now. In a single statement, he managed to include partisanship and race where neither was even remotely applicable.
Hailing from a party whose recent history has exhibited a “shoot first, ask questions later” philosophy; the hypocrisy is clear. The fact that the pirates were black and teenagers doesn’t even factor into the equation. Has he forgotten that Bush and his henchmen never hesitated when sending black, white, brown, red, and yellow teenagers off to fight in a war that was based on lies perpetrated by them? This is a perfect example of using the 1st Amendment as a tool to stir up controversy which is what Limbaugh is all about. The fact that he purports to have 20 million listeners (not necessarily supporters) further amplifies the problem.
I maintain that President Obama made the correct decision when giving his approval to proceed with the rescue mission. I am also growing tired of hearing about this “Code of Conduct” that the pirates are allegedly obligated to honor. One report I read said that “only” seven deaths have been recorded as a result of actions taken by these pirates. I’m sorry but one is too damn many, let alone seven. Perhaps Limbaugh didn’t get a chance to see any of the video where Captain Phillips was seated with an automatic rifle pointed at his back. I applaud the President’s decision, the courage of Captain Phillips, and the skill displayed by the Navy Seals. To the fat one; I will waste my time by asking him to please shut the hell up.