Back in 1992, I was a Democrat – socially conservative and fiscally moderate. I supported Bill Clinton and was very happy when he won. I became more conservative over time, and I switched parties. A large part of that was watching Rush Limbaugh’s television show, and eventually listening to his radio show.
My life has changed in a lot of ways since then, but one thing I discovered in 1996 was that I loved to write. That would go from writing opinion columns to eventually setting up a blog. Through all of that, Limbaugh has been one of my biggest inspirations. There are others, of course, but Limbaugh was instrumental in helping me learn to articulate what I believe and filter the news through those beliefs. If there was no Rush Limbaugh, there would probably be no ConservaTibbs blog.
Limbaugh was, by his own admission, a failure for much of his life. He was fired several times, until he got the chance to do his radio show his way. Once he did, he revolutionized talk radio, revitalized the AM band, and inspired legions of conservative commentators on radio, TV and eventually the Internet. Almost every commentator on the right – from mainstream conservatives like Ben Shapiro to kooks like Alex Jones – owes their career at least in part to Limbaugh.
So, yes, it was good to see Limbaugh get the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He deserves it. He has meant a lot to millions of listeners for 30 years now, and he has defined conservative thinking for three generations of conservatives. The prognosis for lung cancer is brutal, as my own family has seen. I hope Rush is able to fight this back and be on the radio for many years to come.