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Jewish World Review Oct. 16, 2003 / 20 Tishrei 5764

Steve Young

Steve Young
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This ‘flaming lib’'s wishes for Limbaugh

http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | Dear Rush,

I resent your politics. If you've read my rants about you and your brethren Talk Radio Lords Of Loud you know I am a flaming liberal whose stomach ties in knots when listening to the El Rushbo Excellence in Broadcasting network. That said....

You go, Rush! I'm with you.

I know it isn't easy to admit being addicted, for though I am a flaming liberal or progressive or whatever you're calling me today, most fundamental to my life is that I am a recovering alcoholic (14 years since my last drink) and because of that you and I finally have something in common.

Politics makes strange bedfellows, but so does misery. The hell you're going through and the arduous task that awaits you in rehabland is one millions have gone through before you. And what a mishmash of characters they are; rich and poor, Moslem and Jew, liberal and conservative. Addiction neither discriminates nor is finicky about color or class. Anyone will do. Even you.

Narcotic and alcoholic, any dependency really, isolates the most social of us, tongue-ties the most eloquent, brings the mightiest to their knees. You're dealing with a monster much more insidious than even Hillary Clinton. You're hooked on something much more addictive than power. With all of your achievements, overcoming this will become your greatest success. That is because this failure of the body and the mind can be the best thing that ever happens. As Einstein said, "Within every obstacle lies an opportunity."

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But opportunities remain just platitudes without action. I understand that this is your third attempt to get clean. Not unusual. The addiction landscape is teeming with retreads. It's just another piece of evidence that tells you how formidable the road is. But you already know that. That a legend of conservative power like yourself is alleged to have illegally purchased thousands of addictive painkillers tells us how incomprehensible the enemy. Makes the mainstream liberal media seem like your Weekly Reader.

It will be anything but easy. Unfortunately, my new friend, for a personality like yourself it'll be even harder. The first of Alcoholics Anonymous's 12 Steps is for the alcoholic/addict to admit their powerlessness. That means dropping all ego. Just knowing how difficult that would be for most people, I can't imagine how trying it will be for one of the most dominating voices in the world; a person who professes to being 99% right and that's with half your brain tied behind your back. Dealing with the ESPN fallout is a piece of cake compared to what you're about to go through.

But I guarantee you, Rush, if you apply yourself, one day at a time, your will come out a changed man. A better man. A happier man. This isn't to say that you'll come out of rehab a born again Democrat, damn it, but the 12 Step Program will not only save your life but will also give you the tools with which he can survive the emotional and physical pain you now endure and will face as years come and go.

If you listen to the winners you are going to meet along the way and take the actions suggested, unimaginable gifts await you. And in time, G-d's, not yours, you'll be back on the air, gushing your gospel. And then you'll have to be ever vigilant. Addiction is devious and awaits around the corner for another opportunity to pounce. As a third-timer, you already know that. Don't risk having going back into rehab again. One time you may not make it back.

So, my fellow recoveree, don't drink, don't use and don't ever give up. I wish you Godspeed and triumph in the most formidable challenge you'll ever face.

I can't wait to start hating you again.

Keep coming back,
Steve Y.



JWR contributor Steve Young, Prism Award winner and Humanitas Prize nominee for his television writing, is contributing editor at the Writers Guild of America's "Written By" magazine. He is the author of "Great Failures of the Extremely Successful: Mistakes, Adversity, Failure and Other Stepping Stones to Success," "The 130 Tales of Winchell Mink," Harper Collins (Winter, 2003) and the director/writer of "My Dinner With Ovitz." His website is www.greatfailure.com. Comment by clicking here.

09/03/03: The louder the bias, the greater the audience: Interrupting Opposing Views Has Become An Art
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08/05/03: July 30th has come and gone
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07/14/03: "THE CIA DID IT." YEAH, THAT'S THE TICKET
07/10/03: OPEN LETTER TO PRESIDENT BUSH: Please Don't Make Me Put My Family Back On Ebay
07/07/03: The failure of our schools stems from our schools' failure to understand the value of failure: Profiting From an Ignored Resource Saves Money And Kids
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06/02/03: I WANT TO BE SEAN HANNITY
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12/20/02: McCartney Credit Reverse Sets A Dangerous Precedent
12/18/02: Radio talk takes a surprise hit
12/16/02: Apologies running rampant: The country is in a sorry state
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10/01/02: Merriam-Webster Needs To Rethink the "F" word
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09/23/02: Shrinking the waist problem: Using Good Old American Failure To Lose Inches
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05/13/02: AM Radio and Enron
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04/15/02: If you truly care about America, you'll read this column
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02/15/02: Ken Lay sells soul to the devil: Beelzebub loses life's savings
02/12/02: Enron's Skilling mistakenly takes the Fourth, forcing him to spill his guts
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01/24/02: "I'M THE ONE!"
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12/31/01: Come on war. You can do better!
12/26/01: NOT MY OSAMA!
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12/20/01: Finally! Friends of Color
12/14/01: Bin Laden's Funniest Home Videos
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11/05/01: Bridges Over Troubled Water
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09/21/01: OPEN LETTER THE MOST HIGH (RE: Falwell and Robertson comments)
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09/04/01: Don't give up on that dream!
08/24/01: Pitch day at the Mouse
08/21/01: It Depends On What Your Definition Of "Unlimited" Is
08/06/01: IN OPEN LETTER FROM THE NEWS ORGANIZATIONS AND TALK SHOWS OF AMERICA

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© 2002, Steve Young