Rush Limbaugh Showed How to Defy the Establishment
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Rush Limbaugh defied the establishment before it was fashionable. And he hasn’t wavered in what he believes. In doing so, he has shown not just how to go against the grain, but how to go against it for the right reasons.
I believe my first recollection of Rush is when he was discussing the amusing assertion that dolphins might be smarter than human beings. His response? “Would you show me a hospital built by dolphins?”
That remains a great answer. And it opened my eyes when I first heard it, which was probably in the early 1990s when I was entering high school. I’d heard the whole dolphins-are-more-intelligent-than-humans claim before but I had never heard anyone smash it so easily.
My interest in politics and culture grew and when Rush had his syndicated TV show, I’d watch it during summer vacation. That’s right, a high school kid was watching a political TV show during his summer break. After that, I became a regular listener of his radio program.
Rush engages his audience with a bold willingness to challenge what our betters want us to assume is “right” and “proper.” That might not seem like a significant thing today because everyone is doing it. But it wasn’t when Rush started; it wasn’t when there were no alternative news sources and no other talk radio hosts so to speak. He was it. And in a way, he still is it.
It’s easy to do something when everyone else is doing it. Not only that, but it’s easy to fake that you actually believe what you’re doing when it’s prevalent. Popularity gives rise to phonies, and there are a lot of phonies around today. Rush isn’t one of them. He’s the genuine article because he set the standard when there was no guarantee that people would support him for doing so.
On top of this, he doesn’t just reject commonly held assumptions for the sake of rebellion. His beliefs are backed up by reason. There’s nothing moral about conforming for the sake of conformity. But there’s also nothing moral about rebelling for the sake of rebellion. Defying our establishment is right because our establishment is corrupt.
Rush has been a force for good in American culture because he has helped lead the way in justly challenging the powers that be. I’m grateful for this and I’m thankful that I’ve had the opportunity to listen to him in action for so many years. I pray that I’ll be able to listen to him for years to come. He is one of a kind and no one will ever replace him.
Header Image: Excerpt from The Rush Limbaugh Show website.