How Rush Limbaugh rescued me from liberalism

Like millions of my fellow Americans, it was like a gut shot hearing the news that Rush Limbaugh went to be with the LORD after succumbing to stage four lung cancer.  At first, I was very sad, but I then got an image of Rush just beaming joyfully in the presence of God, and it brought a smile to my face.  I have never met Mr. Limbaugh, but I can honestly say he changed my life.  He is the reason why this American, who also happens to be Black, became a conservative.

I first listened to Mr. Limbaugh in 1993, and I was intrigued.  I didn't really have a choice.  You see, the car I was driving at the time only had an AM radio, and the only station it received was the one broadcasting Rush's syndicated show in the morning.

During my commute to work, my only listening choice was Rush Limbaugh.  At first, I listened out of morbid curiosity, since Limbaugh at this point in was beginning to become the subject of many news reports and features, many of which portrayed him as a racist.

Weeks had gone by, and I had not heard this Limbaugh guy spew any racist venom.  But a funny thing happened: I found myself agreeing with much of what he was saying.  At first, I was in denial because at the time, I was a liberal and did not dare entertain the notion that I might have some conservative tendencies.   After all, I was told by my parents and the culture that conservatives and Republicans were racist toward Blacks.  Now I was finding myself agreeing with a guy the media had deemed dangerous.  This was a real conundrum since, at the time, I believed everything the media reported as truth.

The more I listened to Limbaugh, the more I began to question things, especially about the media and race relations in America and how the Democrat party exploited it to divide the country.  Limbaugh's broadcasts encouraged me to learn about the origins of the Republican Party and how it was formed to fight slavery.  I also learned that the Democrats, who I thought were the heroes of the Civil Rights movement, were actually the villains, since they were the party of slavery and Jim Crow.

Rush taught listeners like me to study the origins of America and to appreciate the sacrifice and wisdom of the Founders of this great country.  The hours listening to his shows gave me profound appreciation for the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and the first Thanksgiving.

I couldn't get enough of him.  I used to download his mp3s onto CDs when those became available and was a subscriber to his invaluable newsletter for 20 years.  Limbaugh, being on the cutting edge, then provided podcasts, which were eventually able to be accessed by smartphone.

What I most loved about Mr. Limbaugh was his humility and his great love for this country.  It was infectious.  Also compelling was his encouragement to listeners to pursue their dreams and passions.  I am indebted to Rush because he inspired me to write my first book and to become a columnist.

Rush was informative, even more so than the mainstream media.  It was not for nothing that he called himself "America's Anchorman."  A listener, tuning into his show or reading his newsletter, would get stories ignored by the drive-by media (as he called them) or get the rest of the information conveniently left out of their printed or broadcast reports.

Part of Mr. Limbaugh's dedication to truth was in the form of humor.  And as listeners can testify, Rush was damned funny.  Some of my biggest belly laughs were listening to his parodies, which skewered the likes of John McCain, Bill and Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama.  I revisited these bits of comedy gold in the Rush Limbaugh podcast while preparing to write this piece.

Mr. Limbaugh's greatest legacy in my humble opinion was educating his listeners in the liberal mindset.  As a result, it was no surprise to read of the vile leftist tweets and comments regarding his passing.  These are truly sick people who are overcome with hate.  Frankly, who gives a flying you-know-what about the bile spewed by these demon-possessed losers?  Thanks to Limbaugh, everything about Democrats is predictable.

Rush's passing marks the end of an era in this country and to myself.  For 28 years, I listened to Rush, either live or via mp3 or podcasts.  He was an integral part of my day.  I am going to miss his jovial and authoritative voice immensely.

Godspeed, Rush.  I know you are dancing with joy and are in awe at the beauty of God.  I look forward to meeting you in heaven.   Blessings to your wife and family.  But most of all, thank you for changing my life for the better.

Dex Bahr is a freelance writer and author of the book No Christian Man is an Island:  Leading the Spiritual Quest in America's Culture Wars.