Rush Limbaugh's recent comment "I hope he fails," in reference to President Barack Obama, is symptomatic of a vitriolic disease that infects too many of our talk-show hosts and their devout listeners. Mr. Limbaugh pedals fear in the same way that low-level drug dealers push crack on our city streets. It is how he makes his living.
If Mr. Limbaugh is serious about "saving" America, maybe he could devote his power of persuasion and cult of personality to reconciliation, understanding and compromise rather than division, ignorance and conflict. Maybe he could do a weekly broadcast from a local soup kitchen, or homeless shelter, or health-care clinic and connect listeners with people in need. Maybe his Web site could provide links to volunteer opportunities for visitors to read to children or deliver meals to people who are homebound. Maybe he could host a forum for young people to constructively review government policies and offer alternative solutions. Maybe, rather than hoping that Mr. Obama fails, Mr. Limbaugh could reach out to the new administration in Washington, D.C., and simply ask, "How can I help?"
The era of dividing America into liberal and conservative camps is past. If we are to survive as a nation, we must put aside the worn-out and meaningless labels and prejudices that divide us. We must cast the Limbaugh fear-monkey from our backs and enter into the sobriety of hopeful involvement and meaningful service.
KEITH G. KONDRICH