Why Are Mean People so Popular?

I just signed an online petition indicating that I will not knowingly ever patronize a business that puts advertising money into Rush Limbaugh’s radio show.  I’ve not done something like that before, but, as have so many others, I now say, “enough is enough.”

I’ve never liked Rush.  I remember first seeing him on TV perhaps 10 or 15 years ago and noting how much glee he gained when making fun of someone.  He continually repeated a short video clip of some political figure saying something Rush disagreed with, and then, taking that phrase out of context, over and over again, he sought to make the speaker look ridiculous and stupid.

From that point onward, I chose to do all I could to avoid ever letting his poison enter my mind.

What he does is playground bully stuff, yet we reward it handsomely.  Rush is rich, powerful influential, and a very, very mean man.

Why is being mean so popular?  What is it that attracts so much attention?

I’m sure he’s got good brains–but good brains and a soul diminished by repeated unkindnesses to others should not be a combination that influences large numbers of people.

But it does.  Just as the mean kids in school are often the most popular ones and the “bad boys” are often the ones that get rewarded in the marketplace and in public adulation.

I honestly don’t get it.

5 thoughts on “Why Are Mean People so Popular?

  1. P.S. I’m also disturbed, as are John McCain and George Will, by the fact that major Republican leaders have not been brave enough to denounce Rush. George Will, in criticizing his own party, said, “It isn’t enough to call his actions inappropriate.” He went on to say, “You call the misuse of a salad fork inappropriate.” John McCain said Rush’s words were absolutely unacceptable. Nancy


  2. I don’t get it either. I have long believed that Rush and his clones (like Glenn Beck) have poisoned public discourse. It “feels like” so many in our nation are mean-spirited. People can’t seem to disagree without insulting. I receive forwarded email that is mean and full of untruths. Friends who are professing Christians continue to perpetuate such email without ever checking facts. This spreading of misinformation (lies) seems to me to be in direct disobedience to Biblical exhortations; yet I’ve never heard a Baptist (my own sphere) minister address this matter. Recently I received from a long-time friend, a Christian, an email that was a vicious attack on President Obama, an email full of untruths, all of which had been disproved. I sent a loving response to her, saying I thought she would be glad to know those “facts” that so alarmed her were false–and gave her the websites for checking facts. She responded, “I don’t care whether they are true or not; they still reflect how I feel about Obama.” Back to Rush, I’m just grateful that 12 sponsors have now dropped his program. When I heard his “apology” I was reminded of your sermon when you spoke of insincere apologies. In his first “apology” he said he was just using humor. I’ve heard many replays of his initial words, which he continued to use for three days, and he was not joking. As you said, “He was just plain mean.” I grieve for our fractured nation, and I grieve because so many people reward meanness. Nancy


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