Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore

Conservative radio pioneer Rush Limbaugh passed away on Wednesday after a long battle with Stage IV lung cancer. He was 70-years-old. 

Rush was a formative voice for me after becoming interested in politics at the start of the Clinton Administration. 

I wish I could say I cut my teeth on conservative thought by reading William Buckley or Russell Kirk. Nope, I was a student of the Limbaugh Institute for Conservative Thought. 

I was a dittohead. I would listen anytime I had the radio on in the afternoon. Rush was the first conservative pundit I heard or read. I purchased his first two books, The Way Things Ought to Be published in 1992 and  See I Told You So, published in 1993.  

With the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine, all of us who have had a conservative radio talk show stood on his shoulders. He was the first. He set the standard. 

Unfortunately, I never had the opportunity to meet him. A fun highlight of mine and one of my “claims to fame” was when he referenced my interview with Rick Santorum in 2011 on his show. The interview didn’t get noticed until after Santorum won the Iowa Caucus in 2012 and became controversial because of his comments about birth control.

Listen below:

https://a9j8u6e6.rocketcdn.me/wp-content/uploads/Limbaugh-CaffeinatedThoughts-Santorum.mp3

He, of course, complained about the quality of the audio. Santorum and I met in a coffee shop in the East Village of Des Moines, and it was pretty loud. 

While I listened less in recent years and disagreed with him about Donald Trump, I am thankful for his contribution to conservatism and conservative media. I don’t see any conservative pundit having the amount of influence as he did. He’s one of a kind, and he will be missed.

Farewell, Rush Limbaugh. 

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