By Craig Hastings
Of course I’m going to say a few words about Rush Limbaugh. Rush passed away this past week at the young age of seventy years. Rush succumbed to stage four lung cancer. If you had been listening to his radio talk show you would know this. I understand from listening to his own talk show that there is little hope that anyone could survive this dreadful disease once it has reached the stage it had in Rush. Rush had walked all of his listeners through all the various treatments he had tried in efforts to beat this cancer back or at least get it to stall or even just idle for a while. He was willing to try whatever in order to live even just another day. Rush Limbaugh loved people. I started listening to his talk radio show nearly fifteen years ago after my older brother Greg had many times asked me if I had heard Rush say this or that about some current political controversy. Finally, and as I became more and more concerned about the fate of this nation, I tuned in to the Rush Limbaugh talk show on the EIB (Excellence in Broadcasting) network hoping to absorb as much real information as I could. I did remain skeptical and wasn’t an instant believer in all things conservative Rush. However, it didn’t take long for me to be one of the nearly twenty-five million listeners cheering Rush on.
How on earth was this guy from Cape Girardeau, Missouri able to figure “It” out so quickly and so thoroughly!? “It” being politically diseased Washington DC. Early in his career Rush had no political affiliations with any of the DC elites from which to gather inside information. No matter, he would verbally dismantle any one of them that dared come into his crosshairs. Rush didn’t consider anyone of them to be important, too dangerous, or too racially off limits if there was something he discovered that he felt the rest of us needed to know. So where did his information, accurate information, come from all of these years? Who were the sources for so much of the information that Rush relayed to his radio audience four and five times a week all of these years? Rush had a gift. He had an ability to figure people out just by studying them. He listened to what they had to say, write, travel, and hang out with. Maybe he was asking questions of some other people that might be in the know? He wasn’t just guessing either because much of the time he was spot on in his opinions or darn close. And if Rush was wrong? He admitted it on air and not just with a blip one sentence either. He told where he was wrong, how he was wrong and would then apologize for being wrong! Who does that?! Answer; No politician, no fake news reporters, (CNN, CNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC), nor any leftest talk show host! One more characteristic that made Rush unique and apart from the rest of current American clone like information sources.
Many of you may have never listened to Rush. Many of you may have just in the past couple of years been listening. Maybe you had just been listening because Rush had been quoted as saying this or that about past President Obama and his administration. Rush’s remarks sparked an interest, you tuned in, and if you are a dyed in the wool Democrat you immediately hated Rush ever after. But had you been listening for years prior or had taken the time to find out, you would have discovered that Rush has done a few beat downs of prominent Republican politicians back in the day. Rush said what he felt he knew about anyone Republican or Democrat, good or bad, because Rush wanted his audiences to be informed voters.
Today the progressive left can relax a bit because Rush won’t be there ready to pounce when any of them lie, cheat, deceive, pretend, etc. No, Rush is gone and there will never be another Rush in our lifetime. Some will try to fill the void but there will only be one Rush. It could be someone in talk radio will excel in their own right and carve their own niche in talk radio and may even draw twenty-five million sets of ears to a particular radio station to listen. But it will not be the coming of Rush II. I think had it not been for Rush Limbaugh, Donald Trump would not have been elected President of the United States. I think this and Democrats know this, that’s why there is such a hatred for not only Donald Trump but also Rush Limbaugh. I listened to and read horrible things being said about Rush Limbaugh on his passing! The very same day! Who does that?! Rush was a gentle human being who never hurt anyone. He loved people, even those that despised his very existence. He invited and enjoyed opposing opinions from anyone who cared to share!
So, my Monday through Friday 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. time slot is empty. One of my most valued sources of accurate political information and opinion of the state of our union has passed. I’m hopeful Mark Steyn might be recruited to take a couple of afternoon radio talk show hours on an airway I can easily access in my car. What about Sean Hanity? No. Hannity is way too far to the right for me. He has no filter with his opinion of the left Democrats. So much so I feel he can’t be fair. Not only these but, Hannity is always talking about what a tough guy bad ass he is and by looking at him I have some doubts about this. Tucker Carlson? No, but only because Tucker needs to stay on television. I enjoy his guest lineups which are a mix of agreeables and disagreeables to whatever his show is about. However, next to Rush, Tucker is my next favorite go to world news information source. I agree with most of Tucker’s opinions too. Not all of them but most. There has been a time or two I was angry with Tucker’s opinion about someone or something. I’ve applauded Laura Ingraham in this column on many occasions. But no, like Tucker, Laura’s best fit is late night television. I do think she’s brilliant though. Mind you, I believe there are some great news broadcasters out there in TV and lesser in radio but, they are just that, news broadcasters. Sure, I enjoy most the direct and factual news of the day but, I also like to hear some opinions and debate over political and worldly events. But this is just me. This is what I like from American media.
Like him or not, America has lost a media icon giant. Rush Hudson Limbaugh III was a nationally syndicated American conservative radio personality who loved to mix it up with anyone who dared tread within his territory. Some say he alone saved AM radio and even later on, the FM radio band. He authored some twenty-six books including children’s books. In 2020 President Trump awarded Rush the Medal of Freedom at the State of the Union Address. “He is the greatest fighter and winner that you will ever meet,” the President said during the presentation. Rush Limbaugh loved America and believed in its constitution more than life itself. And when he admonished politicians, more times than not it was because he believed they were or would be attempting to change or rewrite the very meaning of how our Founding Fathers intended for us to be governed. Godspeed Rush to whatever and wherever your next journey’s destination may be.
(The views and opinions expressed in the submitted columns are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of The Journal.)