Love him or hate him no one can deny the influence Rush Limbaugh had on conservatism and broadcasting. Rush single handedly saved AM radio when it was all but abandoned for FM and its stereo quality sound. I began listening to him around 1990 and did so almost daily for about 10 years. There wasn’t another person out there with the ability to deliver entertaining and thought provoking content for 3 hours every day.
Rush at his core was a conservative, yes, but not a hard right conservative. He was a live and let live kind of personality. I enjoyed his program. I believe, however, that his take on the news of the day is partly responsible for the terrible media landscape we have today. Through jealousy or hatred competitors tried to clone or counter his program. Every host and program tried to lean harder to the left or to the right. They thought it was the controversy that made Limbaugh popular rather than his conservative values. This gave rise to the political talk that dominates today’s cable TV news.
People who never listened to Limbaugh don’t understand him. I didn’t find him bigoted, racist, or offensive. I found him thought provoking and ready to take on arguments. Those angry from things he said were looking for excuses to be angry. They didn’t want to actually think about the topic and present their side.
The “Doctor of Democracy” will be missed.