In Rush Limbaugh's essay, "Condoms: The New Diploma," he voices his opinion on the absurdity of distributing condoms to high school students. Limbaugh's article first appeared on his 1992 bestseller, "The Way Things Ought to Be." His argument is that the only method of birth control that should be taught in sex education classes is abstinence should taught as be the only sex education because having sex at an early stage of life could lead to increased teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. The audience that this essay appeals to is the adult population who are concerned about the U.S. youth. The author's purpose is to convince the reader that condom distribution in schools can lead to an increased number of sexually active teenagers and encourage promiscuity. He wants the reader to understand that distribution of free condoms in public schools is ridiculous and misguided. Limbaugh's essay is a one sided opinion that maintains a constant thesis and is humorously persuasive but contains several logical fallacies and little support for data or scholar opinion. Limbaugh's essay could appeal to the average conservative but would probably alienate liberals because of its strong one sided opinion, and critical readers who are not trapped in his sarcastic humor will find his generalizations illogical.
Limbaugh uses rhetorical questions, hypothetical situations and facts to support his argument; however, when listing the opposing side's arguments, he ridicules them by providing dismissive and sometimes sarcastic rebuttals. For example, He goes after to the six families of Florida with Planned Parenthood and the ACLU who sued the Jacksonville school over teaching abstinence. Limbaugh says "This bunch of curious citizens says that teaching abstinence puts the children at a greater risk of catching AIDS or other sexually transmitted diseases. Greater risk? !£#$£@! How can that be? What kind of contaminated thinking is this?" (751).