I was just coming back to work from lunch and a colleague was eating at his desk and had the radio going. After saying hello to others there and taking a look at what was on tap for the afternoon, I heard the radio host bring up Michael Dukakis, with the background music being The Beatles “I’m a Loser”.
What the heck is that?, I asked.
“Calls himself Rush. Its great. He shreds hypocrites.”
That was my introduction to Rush Limbaugh. It was, I think, very early 1989, though it might have been very late 1988. At all events, Rush had only recently started his national show and I was immediately a fan. I had never heard anyone argue in the media with the Conventional Wisdom. Rush was challenging and funny and he clearly didn’t care what liberals thought about him. I think a lot of us remember those early days with their various “updates” and things like the bake sale. It was energizing and fun. And, I think, it played a huge role in the GOP recapturing the House in 1994, thus starting the breakdown of Democrat power in the United States.
He was, of course, before blogging. Before Fox News. Before everything except National Review in Conservative thought. And he was the very first Conservative activist. Not that he gave his audience orders, but that he galvanized us by showing, via his gigantic audience, that we weren’t alone. That millions upon millions shared our dismay with the course of the country.
Rush’s influence simply cannot be overstated. Never holding any office. Never directly participating in any political campaign. He yet got the ball rolling for the breakdown of the Establishment’s grip on the public mind. That Donald Trump was able to get nearly 75 million votes in 2020 – after a year of pandemic and economic crash and after four years of relentless MSM lies – is testament to the number of minds freed because back in 1988 Rush went on the air with the intent to say whatever he thought was right. That we haven’t won completely is no detraction from Rush. He was, after all, just one man. That we still may be able to save this country is Rush’s crowning glory.
I did see the intense hatred directed Rush’s way after his death was announced. We all knew it was coming, but there was something extra pathetic about it. None of the people celebrating his death have a tenth the influence that Rush had. And, just as certain, none of them ever listened to his show. Rely on that: the only people who hate Rush are those who don’t listen. If they did listen, they’d find that he had arguments to make. I didn’t always agree with everything Rush said. But when I did find myself thinking differently, I could still see the force of Rush’s argument…and though I never met him, I’m sure he’d see the force of mine. Those who hate him never exposed themselves to those arguments – arguments which no liberal could in any case win, because liberalism is wrong, entirely.
And while we on the right knew that liberalism was wrong, we didn’t have a voice to express it. Rush provided that. He was a master of his art. Don’t fool yourself: talking for three hours a day and keeping it interesting and entertaining is no small feat. Hardly anyone can do it and Rush did it superbly. He won’t be replaced: we’ll just get along as best we can with lesser lights…but while they can’t stand in the shoes of the giant, in their numbers they will make up for it. And it is because Rush happened that there will be scores of people out there, on the air, saying what they want.
I pray for the repose of the soul of our departed brother and that God may comfort his family and friends.
It was around 1989 for me as well … I was in my late 20’s and a huge Reagan fan, but not at all a George (one world government) Bush fan and had already grown tired of the staunchy “Nightly News” on NBC, ABC, and CBS. It was painfully boring media and while the pundits back then were not as slanted as they are today, they still had bias and it showed. So there I was, Reagan was gone and it felt like the fun and magic of conservatism was waning …. until I found Rush. And wow, I was hooked. Rush crystallized my political thoughts like no one else ever had and he did it with fun and a lot humor and from that day on, I was a faithful listener.
We lost a huge member of the conservative family yesterday and those shoes will never be filled.
His talent has indeed been returned to God …
Dan Bongino has put together 20 of Rush’s greatest hits …. here’s just one
“Conservatism is an active intellectual pursuit; it requires constant vigilance. It has nothing to do with feelings. Liberalism is the most gutless choice you can make. You just see suffering and say, ‘Oh, I feel so horrible!’”
I recall back in 1990 or ’91 when I first started listening to Rush, I mentioned it to my brother-in-law (my wife’s sister’s husband) who was a self-described Moderate. In truth, he and my wife’s sister were both Lefties, but calling themselves Moderates got more people to like them. Anyway, he said I should be wary of letting Limbaugh influence my views (with wrongthink, I guess). I told him Limbaugh didn’t influence my views, he gave them voice; he validated what I believe.
I feel like I lost a good friend yesterday. Someone may attempt to fill the void he left, but I can’t think of anyone who can replace him. He was one of a kind.
Mark Steyn wrote a superb eulogy.
I did see the intense hatred directed Rush’s way after his death was announced.
peopleindividuals who engaged in the Rush hatefest are all wastes of human flesh. I wouldn’t piss on them if they were on fire.
You would think that the Left, having gotten rid of (so to speak) both Trump and Rush, would be calming down and settling into a calm sense that its major obstacles are gone and it can stop with the incessant hate and personal attacks and vitriol and move on to what they think is really important.
But what we are seeing is that it is the hate and vitriol that ARE most important, and that they just seek targets for them. These are not weapons in a fight for ideological dominance, they ARE the ideology. They define the base of the Left,
I believe that there is a tier of Leftists that is truly ideological—that is, that has some understanding of, and dedication to, the political ideology of the Left. I also think there aren’t many like this, and that the vast majority of those who support and enable the ideology of the Left only do so because the managers of the Left have validated what used to be considered serious personality disorders, have recruited these emotional cripples and given them a sense that belonging to a tribe of like-minded vicious hate-driven social savages is proof of moral and intellectual superiority.
But what we are seeing is that it is the hate and vitriol that ARE most important, and that they just seek targets for them.
As the downward spirals of culture and economics race toward the bottom, more and more people are going to be forced to pay attention. The more they pay attention, the faster we’re going to dig ourselves out of this mess.
Said by someone much smarter than I–James Woods;
America is not divided by Race, Color, Gender, or Sexual Orientation.
America is divided into wise people and fools.
And fools divide themselves by Race, Color, Gender, or Sexual Orientation.
RIP Rush. God knows you deserve it.
RIP Rush! You were the greatest! I was extend my deepest sympathies and prayers to Rush’s family, and many, many friends!
There’ll never be another Rush! He was the Lion of the Conservative movement!