You wouldn’t know it given some young conservatives, but most conservatives are not embarrassed by Rush Limbaugh, and ARE annoyed by John Stewart. You wouldn’t know that most conservatives like Limbaugh, unless you talked to a frustrated Father trying to pay taxes, or a Mother trying to shield her child from the evils of Planned Parenthood in the public schools. These people, the one’s that are working their tails off every day really like hearing someone say “I know how you feel. It’s really frustrating isn’t it?” Well that is Rush Limbaugh.
Rush Limbaugh, contrary to popular belief is a living embodiment of the American Dream. You might have just laughed at that, so let me reintroduce him to you. Rush Limbaugh could have taken the path of least resistance and become a lawyer, like his Father. Instead he dropped out of college because he loved radio. Because he said what he believed, people fired him, over and over. When he was in his early 30’s he had no money. He was broke. After all, in entertainment, it’s not popular to be a conservative. But he believed in the ideas and he kept trudging along. At about 36, it finally hit. 36. Bobby Jindal is 37. Barack Obama is 47. Can you imagine living for 36 years, having foregone law school and college because you insist you will do what you love, and that you simply want to say what you think? That is dedication.
He is now nearing 60 years old, and a very wealthy man, and that doesn’t make him evil. It means he paid his dues. He’s a flawed person, like all of us, and admits it. But for all of us young people, especially the us who criticize him, or shy away from him, it might be a good idea to rethink your position. I say this not as a demand, but just to reconsider what you say when you look at him and call him names, for fear that you will be proclaimed a bigot, or, if you have come to the conclusion that you are a bigot because you listen to him. For without him, you would have no conservative voice in the media.
It might be hard to remember when he wasn’t there. I remember. I remember being 15 years old, and realizing that all my principles were being squelched out, and that he was the only person I could listen to that would give me the other side. I remember hearing network television say in ’99 that Gore would be “virtually unstoppable” come the 2000 election. I remember FoxNews too young to discuss when Clinton perjured himself. I remember the only one who really gave us the truth on it was Rush Limbaugh.
Today I am watching Rush keynote speak at CPAC. 40% of the people there are students. When Rush was a student, and in his twenties, and even into his thirties, he was a lone wolf. There was no media star for him to look to. Instead they were looking to smash him before he made it. He had to have faith in conservative principles, he had to have faith that what he was saying was right. And despite his inequities as a man, despite all odds, despite everyone who told him he was wrong, he believed, and it worked. It was not manufactured, it was not a political setup. He did not suddenly have George Soros backing him. He did not implant himself into a liberal machine, and gain a few million college students watching him like John Stewart. No.
He helped unify us. And now he’s standing in front of all these people at CPAC, who he inspires on a daily basis. He made Drudge, who made Breitbart. He made FoxNews. And he helped a young kid like me, who had to take a harder route, because I believe. And now I just have to smile knowing that he has achieved the pinnacle of success, after a half-a-lifetime of simply not giving up. Tonight he is saying “When I look out over the crowd, I don’t see a segments of society, I see the American People. I don’t see minorities, I see people. I see potential. I see that if government gets out of the way, these people can shine.” It makes sense that he sees this, he lived it. And like him or not, that part of his story, another American story, is absolutely true.
And I’ve got two words for him.