Thank you, Rush: a tribute to the conservative legend

Rush Limbaugh, one of the most influential figures in talk radio and American conservatism of all time, inspired millions over a span of over three decades, and his legacy will continue to live on for years to come.

Rush Limbaugh gives a thumbs-up after receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Donald Trump at the 2020 State of the Union Address.

Mandel Ngan / AFP via Getty Images

Rush Limbaugh gives a thumbs-up after receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Donald Trump at the 2020 State of the Union Address.

On February 17, 2021, we lost one of the greats.

After announcing his ongoing battle with Stage IV lung cancer in January 2020, beloved conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh succumbed to the horrible illness just over a year later at age 70.

In the hours following the announcement of his death by his wife on his radio show, tributes from celebrities, politicians, and other voices in the conservative movement flowed in as news of Limbaugh’s death hit the conservative world like a brick.

Limbaugh’s career began in the early 1970s as a local radio host, but in the late 1970s, Limbaugh decided to pursue a different career route: he became a ticket salesman for the Kansas City Royals.

Limbaugh later returned to radio in the 1980s, getting a job in Kansas City first, then moving to Sacramento, California, where he began to make a serious name for himself.

After becoming successful in California, Limbaugh left the West Coast for the East Coast and picked up his career in New York City (he later left the Big Apple for West Palm Beach, Florida, where he broadcast his show until his death); from there, his career skyrocketed. Limbaugh’s show quickly took the rank of the most listened-to talk-radio show in the country, and his conservative message reached countless Americans across the country.

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PICTURED: Rush Limbaugh seated in front of his iconic golden microphone. SOURCE: Mark Peterson / Corbis / Getty Images

His show became something that tens of millions of Americans looked forward to each morning, and his popularity was nothing short of monumental. To conservatives and regular Americans across the country, Rush was their voice and someone who spoke their truth, and he even came up with a name for his listeners, “Dittoheads.”

He was so popular that some restaurants even began to reserve special rooms, “Rush Rooms,” for customers to listen his show while they ate their meals.

I remember riding in my grandma’s car years ago, when I was younger and totally clueless about politics, as the radio was tuned to 55KRC and The Rush Limbaugh Show would be playing through the car’s speakers.

I had absolutely no idea what any of the topics on the show meant or what Limbaugh was saying; little did I know, I was listening to one of the most influential voices of the American conservatism movement and politics as a whole.

Reflecting on Limbaugh’s death during his podcast, conservative commentator Ben Shapiro credited the late radio host with “the rise of the Republican Party over the post-Reagan era,” as well as creating an alternative media for conservatives to use speak their minds.

Although Limbaugh was known for his conservative views and was very outspoken against liberal policies and beliefs, that did not stop him from taking a break from the politics for some fun.

Fans of Family Guy may remember an episode from Season 9 called, “Excellence in Broadcasting.” This episode, which aired over 10 years ago, centers around a cameo from Limbaugh, who befriends the Griffin family’s liberal pet dog, Brian and even briefly convinces him to become a conservative.

PICTURED: A snapshot of Limbaugh on the popular TV show, Family Guy.                  SOURCE:

Moments like these show another side of Limbaugh. For many viewers of Family Guy who either may not been listeners of Limbaugh or who hold different political beliefs than him, this episode provided them with a different view of the famed broadcaster, who was unafraid to get together with people across the political aisle for some light-hearted fun.

Limbaugh was also known to perform very generous acts, which he never sought recognition for. Fox News host Laura Ingraham told a story during her nightly show in which her and Limbaugh were out to dinner, and Limbaugh left a $2,000 tip for the waiter.

John Rich, a famous country singer, sent a tweet following the announcement of Limbaugh’s death, remembering when the radio star anonymously sent in a $100,000 donation for St. Jude Children’s Hospital, his only request being that he remain unnamed.

For millennials and my generation, Gen. Z, a new mode of entertainment has sprung up in recent years: podcasts. While shows like the wildly popular Joe Rogan Experience are the first names that come to mind when people think of podcasts, political podcasts have also gained much popularity in recent years.

Podcasts like The Ben Shapiro Show, Louder with Crowder, and The Dan Bongino Show dominate the political podcasting scene, but if one really looks at it, conservative podcasting can trace its roots back to talk radio and most notably, Rush Limbaugh.

Limbaugh will be remembered as the one who saved AM radio; as one that helped strengthen the Republican Party; as a kind and generous person, especially when the microphone was turned off; as somebody who fought for the success, prosperity, and happiness of all Americans; and finally, as Vice President Mike Pence said, someone who made being a conservative cool again.

Rush: thank you for speaking your mind and for sticking by what you believed in, especially in the face of cancel culture; thank you for spreading the conservative message; thank you for the influence you had and will continue to have on millions of Americans for years to come; and thank you for being an inspiration to generations of conservatives and for promoting something that will never cease to exist: the love of America.