Conservative legend Rush Limbaugh passed away on Wednesday. For decades, the standard-bearer exerted a tremendous influence over the conservative movement. In 2009, Limbaugh delivered a very memorable speech before the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), rallying conservatives behind their principles and plotting a course for the movement through the dark days of the Obama-Biden administration.
"Let me tell you who we conservatives are," Limbaugh told the crowd of conservative activists. "We love people. When we look out over the United States of America, when we are anywhere, when we see a group of people such as this or anywhere, we see Americans. We see human beings. We don't see groups. We don't see victims. We don't see people we want to exploit."
Limbaugh said conservatives, unlike leftists, don't believe in telling people how to live their lives.
"We look over the country as it is today, we see so much waste, human potential that's been destroyed by 50 years of a welfare state, by a failed war on poverty," said Limbaugh.
Limbaugh called the war on poverty the nation's oldest war and said Democrat policies have done nothing to help the poor.
"You know why they're poor? You know why they remain poor?" Limbaugh asked. "Because their lives have been destroyed by the never-ending government hay that's designed to help them, but it destroys ambition. It destroys the education they might get to learn to be self-fulfilling. And it breaks our heart. It breaks our heart."
Limbaugh's speech came on the heels of President Obama's ascendency to the White House. While Limbaugh acknowledged the political realities at the time, he called on conservatives to spend the next years exposing the left's agenda to the American people.
"At some point, at some point, people have got to realize none of this is possible," Limbaugh said. "You can't have people living in homes they don't pay for. You can't have people driving cars they don't pay for."
Limbaugh encouraged conservatives to stick to their principles and be wary of so-called Republicans willing to compromise with Democrats.
"Conservatism is what it is and it is forever. It's not something you can bend and shape and flake and form," said Limbaugh.
Rush Limbaugh may be gone, but his wisdom is as relevant and prophetic today as it was more than a decade ago.