If you have paid any attention to the latest news cycle you have seen the newest addition to Rush Limbaugh's line of disgusting hate speech - this time a personal attack on Sandra Fluke, a Georgetown University Law student, over her stance on contraceptives - calling her such things as a slut and a prostitute. While he issued a half hearted apology, as a fellow Missourian (and an intelligent human being) he still disgusts me.
While the controversy has cost him a growing number of sponsors, Limbaugh has picked up the endorsement of the State of Missouri which is adding a bronzed bust of that sculpturesque head to the state capitol's "Hall of Famous Missourians."
The first time I toured the Missouri Capitol was my sophomore year of high school. Having lived a very sheltered life in the small town of Kennett, this was the most awe inspiring building I had ever seen. There was a connection with history I had never experienced and my idea of politics was still that non-partison romanticism that rarely lasts into adulthood.
I remember the "Hall of Famous Missourians," specifically Harry Truman and Mark Twain - two Missourians in which I still take pride. The faces were great people that made my developing mind truly believe I could make something of myself and claim my state and its history played a major part in it.
Since then, my views on my home state have developed into a love-hate relationship - mostly for political reasons. My family will forever keep me tied, as well as my college years at the University of Missouri (a short distance from the capitol), but more often than not these days, the news out of the Show Me State embarrasses me more than inspires pride. My view has moved more in the direction of, "you can be from Missouri, get out, and make something for yourself, despite where you are from." Nothing against the Missourians I love, but I could never live there again.
I'll admit, "Mr. Limbaugh Goes to Jefferson City" does not come as a complete surprise to me. His hometown of Cape Girardeau, only about 45minutes from home for me, has a mural along the Mississippi River that has sported Limbaugh's face for years (I assume it is still there), but my earliest memories of it were that is was constantly being defaced - at least some visual form of protest.
But this is different than paint on a river wall. Bronze is more immortal and will be seen by all the school children and families taking the time to learn more about their state. Are we really proud of this?
"Daddy, what did Harry Truman do?" - "He was the first president from Missouri."
"Mommy, what did Mark Twain do?" - "He was a famous writer. He wrote Tom Sawyer."
"Daddy, what did Rush Limbaugh do?" - "Hmm. I'll tell you when you're older."