How do you feel about America’s most popular radio host? Is Rush Limbaugh America’s truth-teller? Or a lying liar?
Well, “El Rushbo” turns 75 on January 12th, 2021.
Is he the “Doctor of Democracy” or guilty of horrific malpractice that has poisoned political discourse?
For more than three decades, Limbaugh has commanded the attention of legions of followers for a remarkable three hours a day, five days a week. He paved the way for a coterie of right-wing talkers that followed, including Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, and Hugh Hewitt. He helped launch the careers of countless conservative candidates from school boards to the White House. Listen closely, and you’ll hear his words and ideas flowing from their lips just as they flow from his.
How you feel about Rush Limbaugh will largely depend on whether you lean left or lean right. But no matter how you feel about him, it’s hard to deny the influence he’s wielded. It takes moxie to turn a nation, and Limbaugh has it. Here’s how:
Moxie doubles down.
On January 6th, 2021, the day that Congress was set to certify Joe Biden’s election as our next president, Donald Trump held a rally in Washington DC. At that rally, he encouraged his supporters to march to the Capitol and demand that members “Stop The Steal” and “only count electors who have been lawfully slated.”
The march to the Capitol Building may have started peacefully, but it quickly devolved into a riot. The mob laid siege to the seat of American democracy, breaking through doors and windows to enter. They dragged a policeman down the steps, beating him ferociously with poles draped in the American flag and Trump 2020 flags and other banners.
In total, more than fifty police officers were injured, and five people died.
While some Republicans repudiated the mob violence, Limbaugh did not.
He downplayed the mob’s actions!
“I know they broke some windows at the Capitol and so forth. Yeah, I know they breached the doors and took some selfies. Oh, that’s what they took? They took selfies,” said Limbaugh on his radio show the day following the riot.
He deflected blame, accusing “Antifa” and “Democrat-sponsored instigators” of infiltrating the crowd and causing chaos and destruction.
And he praised the mob, comparing them to patriots and Founding Fathers who revolted against England to establish the United States of America.
“We’re supposed to be horrified by the protesters. There are many people out there calling for the end of violence,” he said on his program. “A lot of conservatives, social media, who say that any violence or aggression at all is unacceptable regardless of the circumstances. I am glad Sam Adams, Thomas Paine, the actual Tea Party guys, the men at Lexington and Concord, didn’t feel that way.”
Right or wrong, once Limbaugh stakes out a position, he rarely backs away from it!
This, in essence, is the genesis of MOXIE; it is not always kind or right, but seldom does it ever lack courage.
Moxie is rewarded.
Limbaugh’s bombast has earned him a huge following, unbelievable wealth, and the fealty of Republicans everywhere.
But perhaps the most notable recognition it has earned him was in 2020 when the 45th POTUS Donald Trump bestowed the nation’s highest civilian honor on the talk show host at the 2020 State of the Union address. Trump surprised Limbaugh with the award, which was presented by First Lady Melania Trump. The presentation visibly moved Limbaugh when placed upon his person by FLOTUS Melania Trump in the photo below.
The medal is given to those who’ve made “an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”As with everything surrounding both Trump and Limbaugh, it was a controversial choice.
Moxie has an expiration date.
Just a day before the State of the Union address, Limbaugh announced to a stunned audience that he had been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. By fall, he announced that the diagnosis was terminal and he would carry on as long as possible, but his days were numbered.
In his last show of 2020, Limbaugh expressed his thanks to his wife, family, and fans. “My point in all of this today is gratitude. My point in all of this is to say thanks and tell everybody involved how much I love you from the bottom of a sizable and growing and still-beating heart,” he said. He didn’t think he’d be around in another year’s time.
As his time draws to a close, how will you remember Rush Limbaugh?
Rush Limbaugh’s Wikipedia Page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rush_Limbaugh
Conservatism’s Wikipedia Page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conservatism
Presidential Medal of Freedom Wikipedia Page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Presidential_Medal_of_Freedom
Talk Radio’s Wikipedia Page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk_radio