Of all people on the planet, Americans have always been among the quickest to laugh, especially at ourselves. In my experience, Heartlanders have the best sense of humor of all because they don’t take themselves so seriously. The degree to which one takes oneself seriously is a fairly reliable measure of both breeding and intelligence. Thus, Limbaugh insults his own audience when he suggests that they should be offended.
The notion that a fake persona’s comedy routine is a threat to the American heartland bears a striking resemblance to the sort of literal-mindedness that leads to inquisitions and the Taliban. If you can’t take a joke, you could always change the channel. But you’ll miss all the fun.
Kathleen Parker is a columnist with the Washington Post Writers Group. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.