By Tom Myers
When giving advice, it seems to be popular to preface it with “A wise man once said …” I’d like to know where the hell this wise man is when you need him! Now more than ever, we need more tokens of wisdom as opposed to statements of total idiocy from our public figures. One need only watch a cable news network for one hour to hear four hours worth of opinions about one sentence that came out of the mouth of some public figure. Whenever I do or say something stupid that I know I’m later going to regret, I take comfort in the fact that usually somebody has done or said something much stupider.
I am proud to say that I have never said anything as dumb some of the statements made by radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh. I say it even though it has not salvaged one romantic relationship for me. If I did say something along similar lines, then I was probably drunk. Limbaugh was admitted to a hospital in Hawaii last month complaining of chest pains. Upon being discharged from the hospital following various tests, it was found that there was nothing wrong with his heart. I knew that the instant I heard about the chest pains because I have listened to Rush Limbaugh because I was in the position where I could not find any good music on the radio. I know for a fact that he cannot have heart trouble since he does not have one. It seems to have disappeared a long time ago with calm rational thinking and reason.
Love Rush or hate him, criticize my joke or laugh your ass off, but people of all political stripes can look in awe at Limbaugh telling us what he learned about his medical ordeal. Following his discharge, Limbaugh held a press conference where he said this little gem: “The treatment I received here was the best that the world has to offer. Based on what happened here to me, I don’t think there’s one thing wrong with the American health care system. It is working just fine, just dandy.”
I suppose that’s the case for the little guy that Mr. Limbaugh always looks out for. You know the little guy, the one that makes millions of dollars and can afford all the tests that are part of the treatment that constitutes as “the best that the world has to offer.” As long as you have Mr. Limbaugh’s money or some reasonable equivalent, then of course you have access to this error-free health care system of which Mr. Limbaugh speaks. I’m sure there’s some poor schmuck out there with an insurance company that doesn’t cover a possible life-saving treatment who is thinking to himself, “You know, I’m about to lose my home because I mortgaged it to cover my medical bills, but at least the health care I got was just dandy.”
Following the horrendous earthquake in Haiti last week, “700 Club” host Pat Robertson decided to use his connection with God, the same God who told him to run for President in 1988, to blame another disaster on his own view of someone else’s moral lapses. I am never one to criticize a man of God. I believe it is important for man to have a strong sense of spirituality and faith in whatever deity he chooses to worship. However, it would be nice if God returned that sense of spirituality. A mutual sense of cooperation is not too much to ask. At the very least, a man of God doesn’t just open his mouth and put his foot in it so that he can scare people into believing in a God that loves all man or else be doomed by this same loving God’s vengeful wrath.
It comes as no surprise to people who know me well that Pat Robertson and I apparently have a different way of thinking. When I see an impoverished nation suffering after a natural disaster, I always think to myself that I should donate money to help in the relief efforts or I might even think that the infrastructure of the country needs to be stronger and more stable so that future disasters aren’t met with such catastrophic consequences. What’s the first thing that comes to Pat Robertson’s mind?
“Something happened a long time ago in Haiti and the people might not want to talk about it. They were under the heel of the French,” Mr. Robertson tells us, “They got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, ‘We will serve you if you’ll get us free from the French.’ It’s a true story. And so the devil said, ‘Okay, it’s a deal.’ And they kicked the French out, you know, the Haitians revolted and got themselves free. But ever since, they have been cursed by one thing after the other.”
Honey! For heaven’s sake, stop eating the devil’s food cake! You’re going to bring a magnitude 7.0 earthquake on us! No, honey, it’s not a weight joke! I heard Pat Robertson say that the Haitians brought an earthquake on themselves by making a deal with the devil! So, don’t have associate with anything devil-related or the earth will swallow us. What’s that? Oh, I love you too, pumpkin.
I wonder how Mr. Robertson would explain the earthquakes in, say Los Angeles or San Francisco that have taken place. Maybe the Earth was just practicing for the real deal. Maybe southern California has been the Earth’s lab to get ready for the big one to hit Haiti for that damn pact with the devil made two centuries ago. Maybe there won’t be any more earthquakes ever! And maybe the sarcasm train I’m conducting is running out of steam.
And what about Mr. Robertson’s charge of making a deal with the devil for the purpose of getting rid of the French? I know the political make-up of Harford County. I know a lot of my neighbors have issues with the French. I’m pretty sure any one of them would gladly make a deal with the devil to make sure that any French influence in their life is eliminated. There just has to be a stipulation that they can’t visit the Statue of Liberty, use any word ending in “tion” or, for that matter lip lock for a lengthy period of time with their significant other (That’s the practice of French-kissing for those who don’t keep up with post-modern lingo).
I do have to give Pat Robertson credit for one thing. At least he didn’t blame women, homosexuals, pagans or anyone who’s ever received or provided an abortion for the earthquake. When in doubt, blame the French. Mr. Robertson’s followers know that is the solution to everything.
Maybe it’s the desire to seek publicity or the need to hang onto and obsess every word of someone in the public domain, but in today’s society, the new trend seems to be talking about the latest statement from any public figure, no matter how influential, be it a television evangelist, a radio talk show host or even a comedian moonlighting as an op-ed columnist for a local online news site. I believe a wise man once said, “Sorry, I’ve been on a long vacation. I’ll say something when I am good and ready.”
North Harford says
A wise man once said….”Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”…..seems you’ve got the latter part down pretty good.
Limbaugh long ago gave up speaking his mind and sharing political commentary based on his political beliefs, as wrong-headed as they may be. He makes absurd statements guaranteed to get him media attention,as that is his goal. Well, that and the money that follows the contracts, that follow the attention. He matters little.
As for Robertson, he is clearly mentally ill. His delusions are apparent and there is no spirituality in his words or behavior. Those that follow him are no different than Scientologists, except with less money and they don’t worship space aliens.
Michael Hiob says
Excellent piece Tom. Thanks for your astute opinions.
The following are two words that describe MY opinion of your op-ed column….”MEGA-DITTOS”!
Bonjour my friend 🙂
Excellent points. At least others make a coherent arguement!