Remembering Rush Limbaugh
A year ago, America lost one of its foremost thinkers and broadcasters of the 20th and early 21st centuries. The man was Rush Hudson Limbaugh.
Rush was truly a pioneer of this time.
When he started his radio show, there was no Fox News, there were none of the right-leaning portals, and there were no YouTube channels. All "conservatives" in the media were of the vanilla variety — i.e., they were apologetic, embarrassed, defensive, and awkwardly giggling when mocked by liberals. These "conservatives" were allowed a place in the media only to be made to look like what you do not want to be — i.e., the "uncool" ones.
But it took one sole step to begin a great journey, and that is exactly what Limbaugh did during the late '80s. The rest, as they say, is history. Rush's audience grew, and soon he was the Emperor of Radio. It has to be remembered that unlike other radio shows that had a team of cheerleaders and contrived characters on the air to keep matters engaging, Rush's show was only him talking to the audience.
This wasn't a radio show host broadcasting; it almost was like a friend talking to you. It was rip-roaringly hilarious and entertaining to begin, and once you were connected, there was a great deal to learn. Rush didn't spoon-feed you — he taught you how to think. Rush managed to convey what conservatism is about to a mass audience much better than any teacher ever could. Rush was among the few to remind the people that being conservative is a natural human choice.
Rush was one of those who very early on saw through the phoniness and the pretentiousness of self-righteous liberals. He understood perfectly that issues such as global warming and climate change were mere excuses for government to grow bigger and to interfere in the lives of others. He saw, much before anybody did, how the left was going to use identity politics to divide and conquer, and the deleterious effects it would have on the nation. He also warned about educational institutions being hijacked by the left to indoctrinate impressionable young minds.
Despite his larger-than-life reputation, Rush also had a sensitive side. That sensitivity was most evident when, during his final days of broadcasting, he spoke about the heartbreak he felt when he saw many establishments forcibly closed by the government due to COVID-19. He often spoke about the myriad dreams that may have been destroyed as a result of this.
When he was diagnosed with cancer, he dealt with it with a great sense of humor. He confided with his audience about the facts but never wallowed in self-pity. There was a lot to learn from those poignant moments.
Any other individual would have given up and chosen to lead his last few months in leisurely fashion. But not Rush. For him, being on the radio wasn't a job; it was a passion, and he did it as long as he had the energy to do it.
It could be argued that Rush functioned as the opposition to the Democrats when the likes of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama were in office and Washington Republicans were often too scared to take on the establishment. Quite often, when the GOP, as they always do, began to feel this urge to "reach across the aisle," which is a euphemism for giving up their principles, Rush would step in to remind them and the viewers of what conservatism stands for.
Because Rush was the first among the contrarian voices to cause an impact and challenge the groupthink, he was perhaps the first to be targeted as a racist, sexist, xenophobe, and myriad other varieties of bigot. Those pejorative epithets may have been rendered meaningless in current times owing to their gratuitous use. Back then, though, they meant something. It must be remembered that Rush was all by himself, usually, as he battled his haters.
It goes without saying that Rush Limbaugh laid the foundation upon which Donald J. Trump stood and became president.
Rush was among the few to totally understand all that Trump stood for and Trump's brilliant sense of humor. He understood the bond that Trump had with his supporters. It was Rush who understood that the Democrats would continue their unprecedented and unhinged campaign against Trump even after he had entered the White House. It was Rush who comprehended that there was not much difference between establishment Republicans and Democrats in Washington. It was Rush who knew that there was no difference between the Democrats in the media and the Democrats in politics. Rush had also predicted Biden ending up a puppet in the White House.
There were occasions where Rush served as a guide to the Trump presidency, being a great explainer of how Trump approached issues. There was nothing better than to hear Rush laugh as they played sound bites of Trump mocking his opponents and for Rush to add to the hilarity.
We are living in the age of overstatement. Words such as pioneer, trailblazer, irreplaceable, and unique are tossed around without much thought.
But in Rush's case, he was all that and so much more. He was one of the foremost conservative thinkers. He was quite easily the finest broadcaster around who could merely by his voice cause theatre of the mind. What he could do with his words and his voice was the equivalent of the greatest epic films. He was also one of the finest entertainers the U.S. has ever produced and a fine mimic. There are few who captured the essence of Bill Clinton the way Rush did.
In fact, the vast library of thought he has left can be referred to and will provide insight into current madness.
There is so much he achieved that cannot be covered in just a few paragraphs.
Rush should have received all the awards for his talent, which he always said was on loan from God, but the self-appointed liberal custodians of taste and ability would never allow that.
It was therefore heartwarming to see Rush Limbaugh receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, conferred upon him by President Trump. Being ignored by the establishment and its awards no longer mattered. It is one of his country's highest honors, and he deserved it. Sadly, it was among his last public appearances.
When someone as impactful and brilliant as Rush Limbaugh passes away, one is left in disbelief. How could death forever silence a voice that enthralled and educated us for decades?
One cannot help wonder about the possibilities that never happened. His already huge audience would have grown astronomically larger. Perhaps he would have written more books. Perhaps he would have collaborated in media beyond the radio. Perhaps there would have been a President Limbaugh?
While Rush Limbaugh's passing still causes unspeakable sadness among his listeners, we must remember to celebrate his life and legacy.
We must keep fighting the good fight against the tyranny of the left. Rush would have wanted nothing less.
Image: Screen shot from PBS video via shareable YouTube.