|To the editor:
I have filed to run for Missouri's 133rd state legislative office instead of my (mostly performance art) campaign against Billy Long. In announcing I wanted to make yet another critique of the mainstream media. I wanted to show voters how they are responsible for a candidate like Billy Long. But the words failed me.
Rush Limbaugh made me realize my tone was all wrong. I can't take Limbaugh seriously, though, maybe, I should. To me he is the political equivalent of Gwar [a satirical heavy metal band]. He is so over the top that I can't help but believe most of his audience knows what he is saying, if fiction.
The scary part should be that Republican candidates don't seem to be in on the joke. Gwar is funny because it is satire of the whole idea of being "metal." But Republican candidates seem to think that Limbaugh isn't an exaggeration. They think he is just saying what people actually believe but are too PC [politically correct] to say.
I would hope this isn't the case. I would hope fans of Rush see a kernel of truth in what he says and understand it to be just a kernel. Satire is about seeing the truth in something comedic. Because it is easier to make fun of something than explain it.
Mitt Romney is someone who doesn't see Limbaugh as satire. In response to Limbaugh's rant calling Sandra Fluke a slut/prostitute, Romney said, "Those aren't the words I would have used."
This is where my point comes in. Our media doesn't ask candidates like Romney or Billy Long questions to make them think about what they think. Romney should have to explain what the kernel of truth is that Rush Limbaugh was getting at with his tirade about this young woman. Romney's throwaway answer sounds like he agrees with the personal attack on Fluke instead of only agreeing that a church shouldn't have to pay for birth control. As a leader Romney should be volleyed questions that allow him to point out where the line between policy and satire are for people who don't see it. He should be asked questions that allow us to see he actually understands what is going on in our culture and how to offer solutions to solve those issues.
Nicholas Ivan Ladendorf, Springfield, MO