Why am I a conservative? It is very simple. It is because of one man: Rush Limbaugh. There has been no one who has influenced me as much as him. Today(August 1, 2008)he celebrates twenty years as host of the nationally syndicated The Rush Limbaugh Show. There is no one still living in the conservative movement that has more sway than Rush Limbaugh.
The first time I heard Limbaugh's voice was over the car radio in the Southern California Desert when I was moving to San Diego. At the time I was the typical so-called liberal who consumed the anti-conservative meat the main stream media dished out. I don't remember exactly what he was talking about, but I can recall that it was a bit offensive to be at the time. I quietly filed it away and thought "such a right wing wacko."
A few years passed before the opening riffs of "My City Was Gone," by The Pretenders, caught my ear one day. The rock classic is the theme of The Rush Limbaugh Show. Granted, I considered myself left wing at the time, but my convictions were weak. I wanted to hear 'the other side.' I soon found out this other side was entertaining, as well as making some sense.
The defining slice of wisdom from the Conservative Icon that clinched it for me was when Rush spoke about the environmental movement: "They are the same people..." Limbaugh was referring to the fact that you will see the same faces at a green rally, at an anti-war rally and at a democratic rally. Yes, I thought, they are! He is so right!
The early nineties saw a political rebirth for me, all as a result of Rush's radio show. Politics began to fit neatly like a jigsaw puzzle. As crazy as it may seem, I felt a sense of patriotism like I never had before. I was ashamed for some of those crazy and stupid thoughts I had when I was a Democrat! Yeech!
For Americans like me, Rush Limbaugh is the balance of political thought in the country. Our world twenty years ago was dominated by the major news networks, the best selling newsprint, and the Hollywood culture. All of whom were slanted to the left. On the right were only a hand full of entities until Rush came along. It was no surprise that Limbaugh would be successful, and end up with an audience of fifteen million listeners and 650 radio stations.
It has been written that Rush Limbaugh saved AM radio. Absolutely! The AM band is swarming with Conservative Talk Shows. At least 25 of those draw audiences of over two million listeners. Two decades ago there only a few, none of them slanted right, that were heard coast to coast. Just a few months ago the Conservative Icon signed an eight year contract for $400 million, a figure that is unmatched by anyone in the media. As Rush celebrates his twenty year anniversary, he stands alone at the top of his game.
There are many, so many stories of lost souls, believing they are liberal, due to the influence of the left wing, mainstream media, that have been saved by the harmless little fuzzball, as Limbaugh would call himself. Count me among them. I owe nearly all of my political philosophy to him. Cogratulations on twenty years, Rush!