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The decline of American decency

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Rush Limbaugh never fails to sicken me and his comments last week on our own local celebrity’s act of selflessness puts me at wit’s end.

While many readers who want to lump me in with the run-of-the-mill liberal journalist stereotype probably think I’m blowing off steam about Limbaugh’s overall conservatism, that is not the case at all.

The man is a complete idiot. Period.

In case you missed it, he stooped to an all-time low (quite possibly trumping even his illegal Viagra possession, pain killer addiction and entirely sexist attitude toward all women’s issues) in what he apparently saw as some insightful truth into the declining nature of the capitalist values he believes make the United States the end-all-and-be-all of human existence.

Specifically, he took the story of West Liberty-Salem long distance runner Meghan Vogel helping another runner cross the finish line and said the young athlete lacks the spirit of American competitiveness that makes our country strong.

What the dolt is missing about the true American spirit — and what Meghan demonstrated by pushing Arlington runner Arden McMath ahead of her in the state 3,200 meter track competition — is that life isn’t all about coming in first place in some athletic competition.

In fact, sometimes people do stop to help each other out.

Just the other day, I was walking to work and a man asked me for directions to the nearest gas station. Instead of blowing on by him so I could get to work and earn my cash — as Limbaugh wants all to believe is the only worthwhile pursuit in life — I took the time to point him in the right direction.

Recently, local businessman Robert Notestine spoke with me about giving a few bucks here and there to folks who are homeless or down on their luck.

These everyday acts of consideration for others may not equate to or garner the national attention of sacrificing a better placing in a state competition, or — as Limbaugh goes on to compare it to — Rory Sabbatini sacrificing the Memorial tournament so Tiger Woods can feel better about himself, but they do occur throughout our country on a daily basis.

As a matter of fact, if life were all about competition, Middle America probably wouldn’t exist at all.

We’d all be off running the rat race in New York or Los Angeles trying to be on top of the American dung hill Limbaugh and his ilk call home.

Quite frequently people ask me why I don’t aspire to work for a bigger newspaper, but I just don’t.

I was born right here in Bellefontaine. My family is here. People know me. And, honestly, I don’t know of any better place to ply my trade than right here in Logan County. And, trust me, I have ventured out.

So, according to the radio loud mouth, that’s just one more strike against me as a true American.

But in my opinion, it is the people of all the small communities who are not striving to be on top in Washington, the Big Apple or Hollywood that make America what it is.

And yes, we do frequently stop to help our neighbors or even complete strangers out, despite the fact that it may entail a sacrifice on our own part.

And this opinionated blowhard has the gall to say we’re the ones making America weak.

In my own opinion, the television and radio stations that feed us this endless stream of drivel from arrogant pundits like Limbaugh are much more to blame for the decline of America than the Meghan Vogels of this country.

Reuben Mees is an Examiner Satff Writer and vitriolic despiser of television-era punditry that serves no purpose in educating our society. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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