After decades of hate speech and fearmongering, Rush Limbaugh dead at age 70
Right-wing radio host and Donald Trump supporter Rush Limbaugh has died at age 70, according to his wife Kathryn Limbaugh. “It is with profound sadness I must share with you directly that our beloved Rush, my wonderful husband, passed away this morning due to complications from lung cancer,” she stated at the beginning of his radio show, as reported by The New York Times. Limbaugh shared in February 2020 that he had been diagnosed with late-stage lung cancer.
Throughout his decades-long career, Limbaugh rallied against a wide number of progressive—and even relatively moderate—issues. The ultra-conservative talk show host has a long history of homophobic and queerphobic comments, including as recently as against former Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg. Limbaugh also infamously slung countless racist attacks at former President Barack Obama (who could forget him slinging the “birther” conspiracy theory?), as well as falsely claimed that prominent women of color, including Vice President Kamala Harris and Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib, were not actually, well, women of color. Limbaugh also rallied endlessly against environmental progress, feminism, and Obamacare. He used his platform to stoke Islamaphobia, transphobia, and shame people living with HIV and AIDS. And, frankly, so much more than can reasonably fit in one article alone.
So, how is the public reacting to the news? While some people have no qualms about celebrating the passing of a person who articulated and fought on behalf of hate and discrimination, others are of the mindset of taking the higher road. Let’s check out some popular tweets and perspectives below.
All of this and Trump gave him the Medal of Freedom back in 2020. Even more importantly, however, Limbaugh and his platform offered (false) legitimacy to racist, hateful, fearmongering ideas and conspiracy theories. Now, it’s as important as ever to fight against hate speech of all forms, including when it comes from people with massive platforms.