The great Rush Limbaugh passed away on Wednesday.
It is rare for me to be struck with sadness over the passing of people I personally don’t know. But Rush’s death hit me hard when I heard.
It was Rush who helped drag me out of close-minded Liberalism. He didn’t tell me what to think. Instead, thanks to Rush Limbaugh, I learned to think for myself.
Thirty years ago, I was a Liberal Democrat. All my friends and acquaintances were Liberal Democrats. We were opinionated, self-righteous and unwilling to even consider engaging with anyone with a different point of view.
When I talk of the Left’s arrogance and ignorance, I am speaking from personal experience. I know them, as Rush would say, “like every square inch of my glorious, naked body,” because I was one of them.
And I hid a shameful secret from my cadre of likeminded Liberal friends – one that I hoped they would never learn.
My parents were huge fans of Rush Limbaugh.
The thought that my friends would discover this shameful secret filled me with dread.
I was, God forgive me, deeply embarrassed by my reactionary, close-minded parents.
Ironic in hindsight. Because if anyone was close-minded, it was their condescending, arrogant, ignorant and ungrateful daughter.
Truth is, the entire time I was Team Hate Rush, I never heard a single second of his radio program or his TV show. Not one second. I don’t even know if I had ever even heard Rush Limbaugh’s voice.
But none of that mattered. I was a Liberal Democrat after all. I didn’t need to find out for myself what Rush Limbaugh was saying. Everyone I knew hated him. They all talked about him with such derision and loathing. And more fool I, I just took their word for it and parroted the same well-I-nevery anti-Rush talking points – arrogantly confident in my lack of personal knowledge.
Then in 2003 I returned to New York after over twenty years away from home.
Since I was moving back without a job lined up, I had to stay with my parents until I found work and a place to live.
And after all those years of parroting the Rush Hate, for the first time in my life, I heard Rush Limbaugh – whether I wanted to or not.
Every weekday at noon, Mom would sit down at the dining room table, turn on the radio and tune in to Rush.
I’d hear the opening lick from the Pretenders’ “My City was Gone,” and make tracks for my bedroom for fear that I would be exposed to the real Rush Limbaugh.
I couldn’t even stand the sound of his voice.
Now, I never heard what he had to say. I never stuck around long enough for that. But I knew I hated him. I knew he was a racist, misogynistic bigot because that’s what everybody said about him.
From my bedroom I could hear my Mom occasionally chuckle and it filled me with disgust.
How dare she laugh at anything that horrible human being would say!!!
Then, one afternoon I was alone at the house and much to my surprise, I picked up Mom’s latest copy of the Limbaugh Letter.
That was all it took for me realize I had no stinking idea who Rush Limbaugh was or what he had to say.
I sat reading through the Limbaugh Letter finding myself agreeing with what Rush said. Instead of being livid at his lampooning my sainted Democrats, I grudgingly admitted to myself that his lampooning comments were kind of on-point.
Rush always said that he illustrated absurdity by being absurd. And he did. And it worked.
I could see the absurdity of some of the beliefs I blindly held.
I don’t remember who it was Rush interviewed for this particular Limbaugh Letter. But I was struck at how engaging his interview style was. Rush asked great questions and his interjected comments and observations were smart and funny.
The Limbaugh Letter was my introduction to the real Rush Limbaugh. Being able to take in Rush’s words without the bombast of his voice was the perfect way for me to see past the Fictional Monster Rush the Liberal Democrats created and get to know the real man.
On top of the dining room hutch my Mom kept a stack of back issues of the Limbaugh Letter. After I read through the most recent edition, I pulled down the stack and, one after the other, read every back copy from cover to cover.
Nobody was more surprised than I at how much I really liked Rush Limbaugh.
He’s smart, insightful, honest, blunt, unwavering, and funny as hell.
In no time, when noon would roll around and the Pretenders’ “My City Was Gone” would fill our house, instead of retreating to my bedroom, I was staying down with my Mom listening to the Rush Limbaugh Show.
Back when I blindly accepted the Liberal Democrat consensus about Rush, I expected his radio program to be a daily three hour Klan Rally.
Hahahahaha! Sorry. It makes me laugh to think of how idiotic and ignorant I was back then.
Idiotic, ignorant, but so very, very arrogant about it.
After I was gainfully employed and living in my apartment over the old funeral home in town, I signed up for Rush 24/7 so I could listen to his show commercial-free whenever I wanted.
When I say Rush Limbaugh taught me to think for myself, this is what I mean.
My experience with Rush made me realize that taking the word of others rather than judging for myself is a sucker’s game.
My hatred for Rush was not based on reality, but on the words of others. They created this Fictional Rush Limbaugh who bore little resemblance to the actual man. And rather than question their histrionics, I just accepted them as true.
Back in early 2016, I was not a Trump supporter. But when he had secured the nomination, I realized the only way I could make an informed decision about his candidacy was to ignore what was being said about him and watch or listen to his speeches and rallies myself.
My experience with Rush taught me to trust only my own eyes and ears.
It was obvious to me that the politics of slander and personal destruction perfected against Rush Limbaugh was being used against Donald Trump.
“He called all Mexicans rapists!”
Um. No he didn’t. I watched his speech on the day he announced and he didn’t say that at all.
“He mocked a man’s disability!”
Um. No. I watched that speech. He mocked everybody the same way. It wasn’t the man’s disability he was mocking, but the man’s journalistic dishonesty.
The same cherry-picked, stripped of context “examples” used to condemn Trump were done to Rush for decades.
I fell for them with Rush.
I wouldn’t do the same with Trump.
Because of Rush Limbaugh, I stopped worrying about what others might think. Gone was the Dianny that cringed in fear at the thought of her Liberal friends learning about her Rush-loving parents.
Several years ago a very Liberal friend of mine said something derisive about Rush Limbaugh. I don’t even remember how he came up in conversation.
I smiled and said, “I love Rush. I listen to him every day.”
She was mortified.
Instantly she repeated the oft-cited list of supposed “horribles” Rush committed – that veritable treasure trove of Media Matters-generated cherry-picked “quotes.”
You know the ones. He called teenage Chelsea Clinton a dog (well, I’m old enough to remember what teenage Chelsea Clinton looked like). He called Sandra Fluke a slut.
She ticked off every one of the Media Matters bullet points.
The man talked on the radio three hours a day, five days a week for over three decades. And the sum total of “horribles” is a handful of these silly “examples” from Media Matters. You gotta admit, it’s kinda funny.
I decided to pretend I didn’t know where her list of horribles came from. Instead, I asked, “Oh, okay. So you listened to his show?”
“I would NEVER listen to that bigot!!!”
I laughed at that. Boy, do I remember that close-minded certainty.
I offered her a challenge: Listen to Rush every day for a week. Then get back to me.
And like every absolutely-certain-of-her-beliefs Liberal, she flat-out refused.
Yesterday my parents were out at doctor’s appointments and didn’t learn that Rush had passed until my Dad called to say they were stopping by.
When they got to my house, my Mom sat quietly weeping – the news of Rush’s death hit her especially hard. But I knew how she felt. Her tears prompted my own.
And with a quivering voice, I said to my parents, “I wouldn’t have PatriotRetort.com if it wasn’t for Rush Limbaugh.”
That’s not an overstatement.
That’s the bottom line of it.
Rush inspired me to speak – to be unafraid of the vitriol and attacks that might (and do) come my way.
I’ve been called a racist, a Nazi, a White Supremacist, a right wing cunt – you name it. They slide off me like I’ve been Scotch-Guarded.
The close-minded dope who lived in fear that her friends would learn of her Rush-listening parents was transformed by the very man my parents tuned in every day to hear.
As I wrote in my “About Dianny” page:
When the scales fall from your eyes and you begin to see Liberals for what they truly are – not what they claim to be, not what they intend to be, but who they really are – it is difficult to remain on the Liberal Plantation. And honestly, once you start thinking for yourself, Liberals would prefer you get the hell off their Plantation.
And with Rush’s passing, we are getting a front-row seat to see for ourselves what these people are really like.
They’ve spent the last eighteen hours gleefully celebrating the death of Rush Limbaugh. The unfettered delight over this man dying of cancer takes your breath away – and not in a good way.
But this is who they are.
This is how they act.
For over thirty years, Rush Limbaugh pulled the curtain back and revealed their ugliness and venom. And rather than try to prove him wrong, they go out of their way to prove him right.
But then again, the views expressed by Rush Limbaugh “have been documented to be almost always right 99.8% of the time.”
May I one day be able to boast the same.
So onward Rush. Once more unto the breach.
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