Rush Limbaugh passed away on Ash Wednesday, 17 February 2021, a bit more than a year after making public the diagnosis of his late stage lung cancer.
Soft tissue cancers, even in this 21st century, are too difficult to sense and diagnose early. By the time you're feeling a problem, the cancer has too often spread too far to treat. (Yeah, the cigars. I don't want to talk about it. Nobody "deserves" cancer.)
It is a mark of Rush's good cheer and courage that he opted to endure treatments so he could remain behind the golden Excellence In Broadcasting microphone as much as possible, for as long as possible, through the past year. With half his brain tied behind his back (just to make it fair), AND terminal cancer.
Rush Limbaugh came into my life during the Reagan administration, as a talk show host on KFBK radio out of Sacramento, California, in 1984. The mix of news, commentary, and humor captured my attention. The man was utterly unique at the time. Though many me-too show hosts have tried since then, with mixed success, I believe that to the end Rush was utterly unique.
The time he convinced a caller that her phone contained a camera that allowed him to see through the handset. The jokes about Rio Linda. The fake commercials. Bump music -- Rush invented that! Biting satire. Insightful commentary. Wise advice to younger callers.
In 1988 the show went to New York and national syndication. It was a big risk, and I was worried that that would be the end. So glad I was 100% wrong! Oh, those days! Oh to hear Rush, daring to do what nobody else seemed willing to do: the thorough fisking of Democrat Michael Dukakis when he was running against "Dubya's" dad!
Rush got me through the Clinton years, through September 11, 2001, through the Obama years.
Though not a daily listener, I will miss him.
Let me state: Rush Limbaugh was neither divisive nor polarizing. Quite the opposite. Before we had The Rush Limbaugh Show, millions of Americans were isolated and voiceless. Since the presidential administration of Lyndon Baines Johnson (and possibly longer than that), Americans that believed in America were being separated and divided and told to sit down and shut up, because fuck you, that's why. The Left are the divisive and polarizing ones; Rush Limbaugh was a voice for America in a way that brought millions together, and if nothing else showed us that it's okay to speak up and speak out for the Good, the True, the Beautiful -- to speak up and speak out for America.
I will miss him. Many millions will.