Rush Limbaugh’s Legacy

Rush Limbaugh, State of the Union Speech 2020
Rush Limbaugh, State of the Union Speech 2020: Public Domain



When Rush Limbaugh died in 2021, I thought he was like a “Lion in Winter” up to the moment of his passing. Lion in Winter was the great movie about English King Henry II fighting for his legacy at the end of his life. Heroism in the 1100s is much the same in 2021 – and, likewise, serves as instruction for the future.

Rush Limbaugh outlived the prognosis of his lung cancer death sentence by almost a year. Until the very end, he mustered the strength to go do his “duty” and broadcast at the golden microphone. When he was on air, he didn’t complain or dwell on his personal hardships. He served his audience where he made personal connections with millions – as incongruous as that reads. A personal connection with millions of Americans? Personal? Yes, very personal.

I felt like I was listening to a friend when he aired. I felt a closeness like a long separated relative or classmate – even though I’d never met him. His death meant that much and more to millions of his listeners. For the American Left, his death was witness to the depths of their depravity and the poison from their hearts as well as their utter ignorance about the other “deplorable” half of America. Consequently, it was a “Selena” and “Dale Earnhardt” moment that briefly informed the urban, Coastal chattering class that there are millions of Tejanos and Nascar fans with uniquely different interests and loyalties.

Rush correctly identified America’s domestic enemies. The Left and their political party, the Democrats, of every shape and stripe were called out. But, he didn’t argue, posture, or pontificate like politicians do. He mocked them with devastating humor. He described them in illuminating detail.

Rush entertained and informed at the same time. Doing so, he endeared himself to half of America. His was the voice of reason every day. Even when joking, he made sense. His insights were a beacon of light and good cheer for a full generation’s span of American history.

I have high-powered degrees and read constantly, yet his gut was much smarter than my head. When something happened, I’d think of several aspects of the issue on my own, and wait to hear him tell the ones I missed and point directly at the one that mattered – going to the heart of the issue.

Rush created “talk radio” as a media format. He created a national audience like no other – greater than the heydays of radio in the 1920-40s. Moreover, the content of what he said actually changed the American institutions of media, arts and entertainment, and government.

For over 32 years Rush was a force in America. His voice was the force that made the microphone more powerful than the camera – and added a new dimension to the “pen is mightier than the sword”. Like the speeches of Churchill which could rally a nation, Rush’s words were influential and the basis of discussion. He was a cultural icon for Conservatives.

Listening to Rush, Conservatives would hear the asking, answering, a proper labeling of questions they held in private – and probably couldn’t hear elsewhere. I first heard of Rush around 1991 when a co-worker told me I had to listen to him, because “You talk like him.”

Likewise, Rush connected with people, because he was one of the people, a very real person, who experienced professional and personal failures in life – as well as unimaginable success. He often asked who among decision makers who had ever been broke. He never forgot, nor lost his empathy, for people struggling in our society. He never wavered in his love for our country and all of its people.

His legacy as the Greatest of All Time, G.O.A.T., broadcaster is one man changing the “what” as well as the “how” for the media and arts and entertainment cultural mountains. He was a de facto leader of the Conservative movement who kept the courage of his convictions against all the enemies and every ploy to destroy him. He did so with good humor, faith in God, and trust in what is good and right about America and Americans.

Finally, his political bombast hid the humility he would share at his Christmas broadcast and which eked out through his observations and testimonies on air.

Rush Limbaugh richly deserved the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Good that he got it while living.

Rush Limbaugh kept his courage through his last, finest hours.

His legacy should keep us in the fight – with a happy heart – to save America from our domestic enemies and make America even greater.

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1 thought on “Rush Limbaugh’s Legacy”

  1. Absolutely spot on. A perfect summary of what Rush meant to many of us, and a fitting eulogy which highlights his stellar role in modern American History. He was a force to be reckoned with every bit as much as George Washington, Publius, Jefferson, and Patton. And he was, as you said, a friend- who will be deeply missed. We owe it to him to continue his efforts in our own way.

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