Thursday, October 29, 2009

Rush Limbaugh's Sixth Grade Essay Found!

Through diligent research, I have discovered the long-missing 6th grade essay, "The Foundning [sic] Fathers: An Essay" written by Rush Limbaugh. This document has long been considered the Rosetta stone of Rush Limbaugh scholarship, showing the development of his political philosophy and providing insight into his later thought. Written in red crayon, the Limbaugh essay examines the history of the founding of the United States and the philosophy of the founders.

Limbaugh's statement of the thesis foreshadows his problematic views of women and minorities. "The founding fathers," he wrote, "not mothers! [sic] founded our nation to be free from the king to believe in God and keep black people as slaves." His problematic attitude towards women is further exemplified by the next paragraph titled, "Women in America: A History". He writes, "Women in America were very nice. They gave men whatever they wanted and that's the way it ought to be since women are not so smart." Limbaugh provides no evidence in support of these assertions but moves on to discuss the role of African-Americans in the founding of the United States in the next section entitled, "Black people, some of my best friends are black".

"There were no Black founding fathers eitehr [sic]. Lots of them kept slaves and how bad can they be? Jefferson maybe had sex with a slave, and he smoked pot too. My older brother says I can have sex with a girl someday, I'd like that. Maybe three of them. I think people should not smoke stuff unless maybe they really need to."

Many have criticized Limbaugh's hypocrisy given his attitude toward drug use and his own struggles with prescription drugs. His early attitude described here may explain his later appearance of inconsistency. Perhaps, the young Limbaugh might explain, Limbaugh "really need[ed]" that oxycontin.

Finally, on the subject of economics, Limbaugh included his nascent philosophy:
"The founding fathers had lots of money and that was good because money is something people need to be happy. I think if you have money you should not have to give it to anyone else no matter how much they need it because it's you're [sic] money. I am using my money to buy a car someday."

It's not clear that Limbaugh's political philosophy has advanced since this essay was written and whether he would disavow any of his earlier beliefs. It is clear that the inchoate, often ill-informed, ideas of public figures stated in their youth is far more important than the views clearly enunciated, repeated and explained in the most public possible ways. Without these intrusive, historical investigations of public figures before they had the education, interest and experience to have reasonably formed a political philosophy, how else are we to know what they think?

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