Joy in Mudville

by Jay Nordlinger

This is news that makes me grin: Rush Limbaugh has won Author of the Year from the Children’s Book Council. He won for his Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims: Time-Travel Adventures with Exceptional Americans. For that book and its companion, Rush Revere and the First Patriots, go here.

Rush talked about the awards ceremony on his show yesterday — the transcript is here. Within this transcript, you will find a video, showing Rush’s acceptance speech. He did not expect to win. Incidentally, I grinned at the music they played when Rush’s name was announced: the Overture to Bernstein’s Candide. Bernstein was a terrible lefty, but if he had a sliver of an open mind, he would have enjoyed Rush a lot (as anyone would).

Rush gave, of course, a graceful acceptance speech. It included these words: “I love America. I wish everybody did. I hope everybody will. It’s one of the most fascinating stories of human history, this country and what it has meant to the world and what it means to citizens who live here. And it’s a delight and it’s an opportunity to try to share that story with young people so that they can grow and learn to love and appreciate the country in which they’re growing up and will someday run and lead and inherit.”

There are adults who are really, really unhappy about this award to Rush. He won it because the winner was determined by the votes of young readers themselves. Maybe they have not yet learned to hate?

I quote the great Oscar Hammerstein: “You’ve got to be taught / To hate and fear. / You’ve got to be taught / From year to year. / It’s got to be drummed / In your dear little ear. / You’ve got to be carefully taught.”

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