One day Rush Limbaugh will not be with us. One day, he’ll turn off the Golden EIB Microphone, and on a long enough timeline all we’ll have of him will be the transcripts from his show, the audio library, and his books—but we won’t have him. And then what?
For starters, we’ll have one less person who knows how to put things in perspective:
“I just wish that people on our side could get unified and understand that the problem is not Herman Cain, the problem is not Rick Perry, the problem is not Rick Santorum, the problem is not any of our people. The problem is Barack Obama and what he has done so far to this country and what he will continue to do if given the chance,” (Rush Limbaugh).
It’s a very fine art, knowing when and how to critique individuals who fall on the same side of the ideological fence. Rush has always done an amazing job at tweaking those who needed to be tweaked without damaging the conservative movement. Generally, he holds his fire for those who place themselves up on moral pedestals (i.e., the elitist conservatives), the Beltway know-it-alls who sneer at regular folks just as much as your typical, liberal, cable news partisan hack—who just hide it a bit better behind a string of euphemisms.
I’ve worked in Washington, DC for a few years now, and I’ve run into plenty of (so-called) conservative academics and intellectuals who hate Rush Limbaugh. The reason? When you boil it down–whether they want to admit it or not—it’s because he’s willing to let the guys who think they’re the smartest in the room know that they’re not.
Rush was supposed to be bought and paid for long ago, but he’s not. He was supposed to be a part of the good ol’ boys club, but he’s not. He doesn’t just blindly accept the conventional wisdom offered up by the Republican side of the aisle—because he’s conservative. He’s principled. He has an uncanny ability to see through all the BS, even when his political allies can not.
This upsets them.
When Rush is dead and gone, we’ll need others who live and work according to a similar philosophy. We’ll need foot soldiers who are eternally optimistic, principled, and always willing to be America’s Truth Detector. Right now there aren’t many like him. Mark Steyn is one of a few select personalities who can match Rush in wit, wisdom, humor, independence, and consistency. We need more of that, and the conservative movement is doing a horrible job cultivating new talent.
Right now, the “Al Gore Doomsday Clock” on Rush’s website still has four years to go before Armageddon hits, so conservatives know they’ll at least have that long to listen and learn. They also need to be preparing for Life After Limbaugh. Until that day comes, though, I think I speak for the majority of the conservative movement when I say, “Thank God for the Excellence in Broadcasting Network and the man behind the Golden EIB Microphone.”