Rush Limbaugh died on Thursday 17th of February of tongue cancer due to his heavy smoking.
Limbaugh was a well-known radio presenter with ties to the Republican Party. His voice was always provocative (as described by the media). Some examples of his provocation: he broadcasted a song mocking Obama because of his skin color; he doubted Michael Fox’s Parkinson disease and called Hillary Clinton “the new bitch of the White House”. But he is most well-known for being the first to use the infamous word “feminazi” to describe the feminist movement, discrediting it.
You may ask why I used the word freedom in the title. It is because Rush Limbaugh received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Ex-President Donald Trump: this is the highest civil recognition from the White House of the United States of America and “it is designed to recognize people who made a special contribution to the security or the national interests of the United States, world peace, culture or other public or private initiatives.”
We cannot forget that both Limbaugh and Trump represent the strongest trend of neoliberalism. This is a second resonance of the word ‘freedom’ used in the title.
The third, a fact. One of Limbaugh’s uncles was appointed judge by Ronald Reagan. Moreover, during his mandate it became legally possible to give an opinion on radio without having to offer the opportunity of a reply (which most probably endorsed Rush’s provocation).
But since she who writes this article is a psychoanalyst of the Lacanian orientation, the last resonance will have the following tint. During the 70’s Jacques Lacan worked on exploring different kinds of discourses, which are ways to achieve a social bond. One of them is the capitalist discourse, which for Lacan was in fact a pseudo-discourse and which is different from the other ones. Why is it different? Without going into it in depth, I will just say that the capitalist discourse erases the point at which each discourse is inhabited by an impossibility, thus rendering “everything possible” or, to put it differently: “impossible is nothing” (a well-known formula for everybody). On the other hand, Lacan says that in so far as we are immersed this discourse we are destined to reject love matters (whose heart will always be the impossible; let us remember that the axiom of Lacan’s teaching is that “there is no sexual relation”).
Therefore, freedom is not so dissonant with Limbaugh’s story… nothing is impossible, one can say anything, it does not matter whether it is real or not, and what happens on the other side. Not even if it is demeaning and insulting for a movement such as feminism, whose intention is to defend women’s rights. By calling it with a word related to the worst and most horrifying movement of hatred, namely, Nazism, is he not proving that these new outbreaks of hatred are a consequence of the rejection of love that the capitalist discourse produces?
If such discourse, as Lacan states, is destined to explode, maybe that is not only because of the push to consumption but also because of these new outbreaks of hatred.
Hatred, on the other hand, aims at the Other’s being, in an attempt to annul him. It goes to the heart of his jouissance, rejecting his difference (the point that makes him hetero). Let us remember that Trump was a President who stood against immigrants too.
At this point I must refer to that which everyone already knows about Jacques-Alain Miller’s thesis on hatred: what we reject in the Other, his jouissance, is linked to something opaque in ourselves.