Saturday, April 18, 2009

When Rush Limbaugh joins the dance, you know the needle's moving

News of Rush Limbaugh recording a couple of clips on behalf of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) was received with decidedly mixed views, if the comments that were left beneath Wayne Pacelle's Facebook announcement are any indication.

I am far more pleased with Mr. Limbaugh's efforts than one would think possible, given that he and I are as about as far apart politically as two people can be and still live in the same society.

For far too long animal welfare has been seen as an offshoot of the tree-hugging, granola-eating, makeup-eschewing, tie-dye-wearing, soft-headed, hippie-dippy liberals --- and frankly, that image hasn't always served the movement well. Not for the animals, anyway. As long as the basic tenets of animal welfare can be marginalized and stereotyped by the types of individuals who are committed to it, people (and companies) who willfully misuse and abuse animals can continue to get away with it.

Having Mr. Limbaugh choose to record two different messages on behalf of the HSUS sends a couple of powerful signals --- that the animal welfare movement is indeed something that is bigger than a simple left-right issue, and that both sides can and should put aside their differences when it comes to protecting the vulnerable and voiceless in our society.

Agree with his political viewpoint or not, there's no denying that Mr. Limbaugh has the capacity to reach millions of people who may otherwise miss the message. I appreciate his willingness to do so. Perhaps if more people on both sides of the aisle stand in the middle when it really matters, we can gain yards, rather than inches.

To hear his second clip, which talks about animal welfare and religion, click here. I could not load both clips into the same post.

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