Friday, October 10, 2003

Drug Rush: Rush Limbaugh, the conservative talk radio host, has admitted that he is addicted to painkillers, and he is checking himself into a rehab center for 30 days. This announcement comes on the heels of a National Enquirer article purporting that Rush was buying subscription painkillers illegally and that a criminal investigation is underway (the tabloids scooped us). Rush didn't admit the criminal part, but he didn't deny it. From what I've read, it sounds suspiciously like he's taking the Fifth.

A lot of people hate Rush -- I mean really hate this guy. I prefer not to demonize him. I don't listen to his broadcasts, but I read his website often. He seems to have a lot of intelligent things to say. I often disagree with him, like on his accusation that the media is engaged in some liberal conspiracy. But I do agree with him that Bush is right to aggressively fight this war.

People have called him racist, especially after McNabb incident. From what I've read from his radio transcripts, I don't believe that he's actually racist. He argues that affirmative action hurts minorities by holding them to lower standards, and that getting rid of affirmative action will help minorities succeed because they will know that they didn't get any special favors. I disagree. I think affirmative action helps open the door for minorities to succeed in a world that still largely discriminates against them. But I still don't see Rush's view as racist.

So now Rush has admitted to a drug problem. Because Limbaugh has consistently called for tough criminal punishments for drug offenders, I know many people are going to laugh at Rush's situation. Now, I don't think nonviolent drug users should be thrown in jail. I support legalizing marijuana and offering treatment to drug offenders instead of jail time -- in complete contradiction to Rush's position.

But I'm not going to laugh at Limbaugh. I'm going to pray. Not only will I pray for his speedy recovery, but I will also pray that this experience will open his eyes and open his mind to the reality of drugs in society.

I don't expect Rush's ego to let him change his mind or admit that he was wrong. But maybe all the conservatives who listen to Rush will think twice before calling for all drug addicts to be thrown in prison after seeing their spokesman in such a predicament. Just a thought.

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