Well before I started this blog, I had a site up that was intended to highlight some of the most interesting information available on the web each day. One feature was “The Dumbest Thing Rush Limbaugh Said Today,” which, in actuality, was the dumbest thing he managed to say in the five minutes I could endure listening to him.
Today, I happened to hear some impeccable Limbaugh logic. Leading into an extended rant about how unnecessary healthcare reform is, Limbaugh offered his insight about healthy eating, arguing against news that carrots were good for you because “every person who has ever died or will die has eaten carrots.”
I’ll avoid the cheap shot about Limbaugh giving dietary advice, as I am in no position to take it. The argument, however, is illustrative of the problem of “debating” the right wing on health care or other public policy. When your opponent relies on fallacious reasoning and specious claims (often unchecked by the media), logical argument only goes so far.
It’s time, I think, to stop pretending that people who don’t think vegetables are healthy or that human activity has increased global temperatures are contributing to the debate. They’re sideshow distractions who make real solutions much less likely.