I miss Rush Limbaugh. I anxiously tuned into his program for twenty years and I feel a void in my heart. The good news is that he left behind an entire litany of wisdom that is as relevant today as when he first addressed the issue. He was a man ahead of his time and he could foresee where the left was heading and he understood the danger they represented.
A prime example of this was a 45-second video clip from 1993. This clip is a glimpse into the virtue signaling the left uses to try to persuade people that either socialism or communism is where we need to be.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines virtue-signaling as:
“The act or practice of conspicuously displaying one’s awareness of and attentiveness to political issues, matters of social and racial justice, etc., especially instead of taking effective action.”
According to the Boston Globe, the word virtue signaling was first used in 2004. That’s 11 years after El Rushbo first educated us on the subject. The Spectator published an article titled: “The awful rise of virtue signaling.” Google Trends shows the term “virtue signaling” was not really used until the summer of 2017. But, Rush understood virtue signaling well before it became a common everyday tactic used by the left to make people feel guilty.
Rush knew what the left was trying to do way back in 1993, long before the left was able to get it into the national dialog. He not only recognized it, but he also ridiculed it.
In the 1990s, there was no Facebook to put a filter on your profile photo or Twitter to put pronouns in your bio to show you support the “current thing.” So people would wear ribbons to flaunt their moral high ground on a myriad of different causes.
For instance, orange ribbons are associated with leukemia, yellow to raise awareness for missing children, lavender to stand against urban violence, and blue ribbons are often worn to protest bullying. In the 1990s, a red ribbon was worn to raise awareness for HIV/AIDS.
In 1993 near the height of the AIDS epidemic, some people felt pressured to show their support for those suffering from HIV and AIDS by wearing a red ribbon on their clothes.
The Hollywood actors wanted to show the world how much they care about AIDS by wearing red ribbons. In 1993, the New York Times described the 65th Academy Awards audience of actors as a “sea of red AIDS ribbons.”
The Los Angeles Times noted:
“When Billy Crystal emceed the Academy Awards on Monday night, we were surprised to see that he wasn’t wearing the red ribbon that symbolizes AIDS awareness.”
“The next morning we heard several radio shows abuzz with the to-wear or not to-wear (an AIDS ribbon) controversy. Radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh, for one, called Crystal ‘the bravest man in Hollywood’ for not feeling like he had to follow the herd.”
Limbaugh pinned six different-colored ribbons on his suit, and satirically boasted to the studio audience:
“Because I’m wearing these ribbons, I care more than any of you about anything. And these ribbons say so.”
“When you look down, what do you see?”
“You don’t see anything, because you’re not wearing any ribbons.”
“It means you’re a bigot, it means you’re a racist, it means you’re a sexist, it means you’re a homophobe. It probably means you’re a white guy, it probably means you’re a European, and you and you alone are responsible for all the ills of America.”
“But I’m not, because I’m wearing these ribbons. I care more than you.”
There will never be another Rush and we are poorer for that.