adly, Rush Limbaugh died last week. He was America’s doctor of democracy and truth detector. Rush shined as the conservative beacon for 32 years. He didn’t just play the game better than others, he invented the game.
RUSH ALWAYS said that people remember the first time they heard his radio show. He was correct. I first heard his show in June 1989, in the Army stationed at Ft. Drum, N.Y. At home doing chores, I carried a radio listening to talk shows and happened upon his program. A caller came on and said, “Rush, great talking to you.” He responded, “Of course it is.” I loved it. Rush went on to explain something in a way that was both informative and entertaining. Instantly, I became a “Dittohead.” Rush accompanied me when I deployed (Armed Forces radio carried him) to Somalia, Bosnia, and the Middle East. For 30+ years, I listened to and became a dedicated student of the Limbaugh Institute for Advanced Conservative Studies. I never graduated for as Limbaugh said, “There are no graduates because you never stop learning.” True.
RUSH SAID that he was first and foremost “an entertainer.” That’s correct. He was an entertainer in the same way as Paul McCartney or Gregg Allman – their passion for music and their audience was evident whenever they played. Rush passionately loved his profession and genuinely loved his audience. He was witty, humorous, bombastic, engaging, self-deprecating, self-promoting, humble, and educational all at the same time. If someone didn’t like Rush, it’s because they didn’t understand him. To understand Rush was to love him. How could you not love “the harmless, little fuzzball” who cared for others as he did, put himself out there every day, and gave himself completely to his audience?
PRESIDENT REAGAN was very effective because he spent time educating voters on the issues. Rush must have learned from him because he was the professor who educated his audience. He spent hours explaining Conservativism, Democrats, the Left, Liberalism, and the media – who they are, how they think, why they think the way they do, how they operate, and gave constant examples. He educated us to be fellow “truth detectors” capable of refuting the Left’s false claims. He insured we wouldn’t fall for the lies told by the media. Rush said he had “intelligence guided by experience,” and the experience was his detailed analysis of Liberalism, particularly the media. Rush didn’t teach us what to think; he taught us how to think, and just as importantly – how to fight.
CASUAL LISTENERS to Rush’s show failed to understand his humor. Rush often said things in a way knowing he’d get a “rise” from his detractors; he usually did. CNN, MSNBC, etc. loved to “hate” him and played endless audio clips to prove their hatred. Just like the House Managers altered President Trump’s words in this recent impeachment trial, those Rush audio clips were always taken out of context. Rush was a master of being absurd to highlight absurdity, often times using parody songs. One of his best parodies was of Ted Kennedy, to the tune “The Wanderer.”
“I’m the kind of guy who likes to roam around
Where there’re pretty girls, that’s where I’ll be found
Because I’m a Kennedy, Ted Kennedy
I like to sleep around, around, around, around.”
Rush played such parodies to show the Left’s hypocrisy. The same group who claimed to be outraged at a conservative caught having an affair, continually re-elected Ted Kennedy, a man who actually killed the women he was having an affair with.
OF THE lessons taught by Rush, perhaps his greatest lesson is the uniqueness of America and how fortunate we are to have been born in the greatest country on earth. He refused to allow America’s past sins to define our future. Daily, he used history to prove that America is a force for good in the world. Calling America the world’s moral compass; he asked if our DNA is different than that of other people. No, it’s not different DNA that makes America great; it’s our freedoms as articulated in our founding documents that have created an atmosphere envied the world over. Like a philosopher in ancient Greece, Rush proved his DNA argument with a simple question, “To which country are millions of people fleeing TO?” People wouldn’t be trying to get into this country if we were as evil as the Left wants you to believe.
ADDITIONALLY, RUSH used examples of everyday Americans to prove “the American dream is very much alive.” He loved the blue collar worker who became a success by working hard; the immigrant who came to this country with nothing and now owns a business with 25 employees; and the person who dropped out of college but through tenacity became wealthy. Rush loved those people because that was him – a man from small town Missouri who dropped out of college, fired from numerous jobs, and yet rose to the pinnacle of his profession.
MUCH OF Rush’s legacy is yet to be written. Almost single-handily he created syndicated talk-radio. He saved AM radio – a format that was almost dead. From Rush’s examples, others followed on radio (Sean Hannity, Herman Cain, Erik Erickson, Mark Levin, and dozens more), on podcasts, and on TV opinion shows – none of which would have been possible without him. Rush showed how to love your country and, despite all its faults, to be proud of America. Perhaps Rush’s biggest and most lasting legacy will be that he taught conservatives, people who love freedom, and patriots how to understand the Left, what drives them, why they despise this country, and to never stop fighting because we’re not just fighting for ourselves; we’re fighting for future generations and for America itself.
Weekly Thought: Talent “on loan from God” has been returned. RIP Rush, you’ll be missed by a grateful nation.