John Hawkins

To find out what conservatives believed, I decided to listen to the most famous conservative I knew of at the time: Rush Limbaugh. After being exposed to his pragmatic, common sense ideas about how our government and country should work, I realized that I was learning more listening to his show that I was in any of my college classes. Soon thereafter, I started thinking of myself as a conservative and the rest is history. Having spoken to a number of other conservatives about how they came by their political beliefs, I can tell you that my story is by no means unique. Rush Limbaugh is undoubtedly personally responsible for bringing millions of Americans over to our cause.

2) Rush Limbaugh made the conservative media feasible: Before Rush, there was no widespread conservative media presence. The blogosphere didn't exist, Fox didn't exist, and AM talk radio was a dying format. It was Rush who blazed the trail that other conservative talkers followed. Quite frankly, he probably even deserves a lot more of the credit for Fox News and the blogosphere than he gets.

Personally, when I started blogging, my goal was to go full-time, despite the fact that I didn't have a journalism degree and almost no one else was doing it. My thought process? It was, "If Rush Limbaugh can do it, why can't I?" Today that dream is a reality and I am not sure it would have happened without Rush. How many other bloggers thought the same way? Along similar lines, ask yourself if Fox News would have considered bucking the trend and having a slightly right-of-center cable news network without Rush Limbaugh and his imitators proving that it could work? With or without Rush Limbaugh, a new conservative media was destined to eventually form. However, if Rush hadn't come along, it might have taken years or even decades longer to come into being.

3) Rush's ability to entertain and explain: In our natural environment, we political wonks can be a dull, humorless bunch. Every issue is life and death based on some principle or rule that the average person doesn't quite seem to comprehend.

Although Rush certainly isn't the only conservative to illustrate absurdity by being absurd or to make our ideology more accessible to the average person, he has played a crucial role in popularizing the idea that politics should be fun.

Rush is often called an "entertainer." He is -- and that's exactly why he has made such a spectacular impact. When you can make people laugh at the mockery of your political enemies or get them as fascinated with a political issue as they are with the latest sitcom, you're ten times more effective than any dry political commentator who always believes that politics should be deadly serious business. It was Rush's inspirational embrace of humor that played a major role in helping make conservatism more accessible to the average person.

John Hawkins

John Hawkins runs Right Wing News and Linkiest. You can see more of John Hawkins on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, G+,You Tube, and at PJ Media.