You’ve probably seen a few dozen cliches by the time you’ll read this, along the lines of “The golden microphone has gone silent,” to “The talent on loan from God has been returned.” Tributes to Rush Limbaugh are pouring in after he died at age 70 this week. When he announced his diagnosis with advanced lung cancer more than a year ago, we all knew this time was coming. President Trump joined Sean Hannity on Newsmax TV to talk about Rush’s life and impact, and I think he said it best: Rush is irreplaceable.
It seems that almost everyone has a “Rush Limbaugh story” that they can tell these days. For liberals who are incapable of tact, human decency or communication, it’s usually a one-word story, such as “Fat!” or “Nazi!” One of my favorite Rush tributes that I’ve read this week was from the former leader of an ultra-liberal, leftwing, pro-abortion feminist in Los Angeles. She had the opportunity to meet the “monster” Rush Limbaugh years ago when he visited the radio station she was working at.
But he wasn’t a monster. He spent time visiting with her and he was the warm, personable, charming and professional Rush that his legions of fans knew him as. That meeting caused her to reexamine everything she believed and the rest of the things that her liberal herd was telling her. Today we know that foaming-at-the-mouth liberal feminist as Tammy Bruce, the host of “Get Tammy Bruce” on Fox News. You can read the rest of Tammy’s tribute to Rush HERE.
Mark Steyn, who was a long-time fill-in host for Rush Limbaugh, wrote a touching and funny tribute to the man as well, which you can read HERE.
Here’s my Rush story:
I had the great misfortune to graduate from college when Bill Clinton was president. Since Democrats are so awesome at managing large-scale economies, my job prospects were… not exactly incredible. I had to cobble together a semblance of an income with a part-time gig at a pizza joint, a part-time gig at a cricket ranch (yes, really) that grew bulk amounts of crickets for regional pet stores, and a part-time gig changing irrigation lines at a local farm. As that summer after graduating with a four-year degree dragged on, I was lucky to have part of a sack of potatoes and a piece of licorice in the cupboard by the end of the month. Thanks, Bill Clinton!
Then I got a call out of the blue one day from a local radio station I had applied to work at a few months prior. It was a dying AM radio station playing “golden oldies” from the 40s, 50s and 60s that had no advertising base, no listeners and no future. But the station was making a format change and had secured the contract to start airing a still-relatively-new talk program that everyone was buzzing about: The Rush Limbaugh Show.
The station was suddenly flush with cash because dozens of businesses were in bidding wars for coveted time slots during Rush’s show. And if they couldn’t get on during Rush’s commercial breaks, they’d take anything in the hours around Rush’s show, or anything anywhere else on the clock for that matter.
The station hired to me to run the three-hour talk show leading up to Limbaugh, and within three months I went from a depressed and broke cricket rancher to a local talk radio rock star. Not because I was particularly great at radio, but because Rush Limbaugh was a rising tide that lifted every other boat around him.
He was amazing. And if you were a local host that was on the one local station that could carry Rush Limbaugh in those days, you benefitted from the massive influence of Rush. The ad salespeople didn’t even have to be good at their jobs in those days; all they had to tell a business was, “We’re the Rush station” and the money poured in.
This was, of course, because conservative news was nonexistent in the pre-Rush, pre-internet days. We’re truly spoiled nowadays! But back then, Rush was an oasis in a parched desert of liberal media. There was no one else standing up for us or espousing what middle-class Americans really believed in those days. Just as Donald Trump was the only political candidate in 2016 who was speaking out for the “forgotten man,” Rush was the only one in those pre-internet days who had a national audience and was able to say the things we were all thinking.
It’s impossible to quantify just how much the conservative movement has grown in this country, thanks to Rush’s influence and reach. I never had the opportunity to meet the man, but I personally benefitted from his work. We all did in our own separate ways, and America is a better nation because he was on the radio for 31 years. And Trump said it best: Rush was truly irreplaceable.