Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Barry Goldwater, William F Buckley Jr., Ronald Reagan, Milton Friedman, and now, Rush Limbaugh. With Limbaugh’s passing, his name and legacy are indelibly etched among the great modern conservative icons.
He was a radio pioneer that single-handedly created conservative talk radio which he dominated for 30 years. An astounding accomplishment since the medium itself dates back to 1920 when the first known radio news program was broadcast. That means, Limbaugh was at the top of his game for a third of the radio industry’s entire lifespan. A true G.O.A.T. who carved a path and spawned a progeny of those who followed in his footsteps: Bill Bennett, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Dennis Prager, Hugh Hewitt, and others.
Why was Limbaugh so popular? Why did he have millions of listeners and followers? Was it his voice? Was it his gold microphone? In its simplest terms, Limbaugh told the truth. Unlike today’s left-wing, celebrity, media darlings, he lived his life not by lies. He clearly, concisely, and cogently articulated what conservative, patriotic Americans were thinking but didn’t hear from the drive-by media. He was the original deplorable. His Missouri mid-western roots, values, and common sense resonated with the forgotten man. He listened to his audience. He educated his audience. He had an intimate connection and mutual respect for his audience. He brought insight to the news cycle that other political commentators missed. He connected the cultural mosaic dots of the ascendant Left. Limbaugh created a grassroots bulwark against the Left. He painstakingly studied the Left. He knew what they thought. He knew what they were going to say before they said it. He explained their actions, motivations, and agendas. Limbaugh was the counter-balance to the Left. He astutely shifted the fulcrum in favor of the Right and was a force of nature. With his incredible memory, sense of humor, and distilled mountains of facts, he cut to the heart of an issue and eviscerated the Left. He told the truth and exposed the lies of the Left. With the deft of a high-powered prosecuting trial lawyer but with the authentic delivery and simplified language of Atticus Finch, he convicted the Left, Democrats and the Big Media of lying about themselves, their political opponents, conservatives, Republicans, the news and their narrative du jour.
In his most recent novel, Live Not by Lies: A Manual for Christian Dissidents, Rob Dreher describes the heroism of the Christian underground in former Soviet bloc countries that fought against the onslaught of totalitarian regimes when post WWII communism ravaged through eastern Europe. In speaking with Soviet bloc emigres, Dreher heeds their warning that soft totalitarianism and its telltale signs are cropping up in America. Limbaugh saw this a mile away and was ahead of his time. He started in the late 1980s as an underground hero on KFBK in Sacramento and transformed his platform to become a national symbol of conservatives by telling the truth about the Democrats, their desire for single-party, hegemonic rule, and their insatiable quest for power at the expense of everyday Americans.
Limbaugh presciently knew that Republicans would not have any chance of winning future presidential elections if the party continued its Chamber of Commerce support for globalism and open borders. Limbaugh’s seminal 2009 CPAC speech created a movement culminating in the election of a populist conservative president. Limbaugh influenced the redefinition of the Republican Party to put Americans first and return the Party to its conservative roots. Consistent with his 30 years on the airwaves, in his 90-minute speech, Limbaugh discussed his love for his fellow Americans, as individuals, and their unlimited potential. He voiced his disdain for regulations, taxes, and big government. He reiterated conservatives’ reverence for the transcendent principles of America’s founding documents: the Declaration of Independence and Constitution with its preamble for the equality of men, endowed by their Creator with inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. He knew these conservative principles were under assault by the Left. He saw the failure and destruction wrought by the welfare state, Democrat’s War on Poverty, and their one-size-fits-all centralized policy prescriptions emphasizing equality of outcomes instead of equality of opportunity. He highlighted Democrats’ soft bigotry of low expectations for African-Americans and other minorities. He exposed the racist lies Democrats told about Republicans, which was merely a projection of their own history.
Limbaugh was successful because he told the truth. The editorial staff at the Federalist have catalogued Biden’s lies since taking office. In the past four years, we have witnessed the lies of Democrats: Russian collusion and the fake Steel Dossier, Charlottesville hoax, Ukraine impeachment, and, most recently, the Capitol Hill impeachment. This dangerous and reckless impeachment was pushed by Nancy Pelosi without an investigation, without due process, and without evidence. Limbaugh saw all of these efforts for what they were: a transparent and naked attempt by Democrats to ignore America’s ideals, our constitution, and the truth to seize power for the benefit of themselves and their party. Limbaugh inoculated his audience with the greatest of all disinfectants, sunshine.
A deserving recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, he lived a life not by lies and we shall miss him dearly. Rush Limbaugh, RIP.