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February 26, 2021

Rush Limbaugh’s Lasting Lessons

The man never lost his nerve or his sense of humor, even in the face of relentless attacks from the unhinged Left.

He’s been gone little more than a week, and already we miss him. But where we now have fond memories of the man, leftists are likely to be triggered by Rush Limbaugh for some time to come. Why? Because he had them sussed all along. He had their decoder ring; had their Rosetta Stone; knew exactly which buttons to press.

As Dennis Prager wrote, “Liberals and leftists dismissed him throughout his career, and again in their obituaries [last] week, as ‘divisive,’ as if the left hasn’t been the most divisive force in America since the Civil War. This lack of self-awareness on the part of the left is mind-numbing.”

And despite their best efforts to cancel him, Rush never caved. He apologized only a handful of times that we can recall (and rightly so), and he never lost his sense of humor.

Brian Glicklich, Rush’s spokesman and strategist, describes his departed boss as “patient zero” of the Left’s cancel culture. But if that’s the case, Rush was the world’s worst patient. He took every sling, every arrow, and he took ‘em all with a smile. And he never broke — nor did he ever appear close to breaking. He was De Niro’s Jake LaMotta in “Raging Bull.” He took every punch Ray Robinson had to offer, but in the end he just stood there, smiling defiantly: “Ya never got me down, Ray … never got me down.”

Indeed, the Left never did get Rush down. And he landed three decades’ worth of haymakers along the way.

“Rush’s first rule was simple,” writes Glicklich: “‘No faux apologies for fake transgressions.’ The best illustration was the ‘phony soldiers’ controversy in 2007. Rush was speaking with a caller on his program about ‘phony soldiers’ like Jesse Macbeth, who had falsely claimed to have seen war crimes, and who was ultimately convicted for receiving veterans benefits to which he was not entitled. But Harry Reid and 40 other Senate Democrats deliberately misinterpreted his comments and sent his syndicator a letter demanding an apology.”

If Rush had simply told Harry and Friends to pound sand, it would’ve been sufficient. But it wouldn’t have been Rush — because it wouldn’t have been fun.

“Rush auctioned their letter off in a show of gleeful brio,” Glicklich continued, “marching the document on stage handcuffed to his security guard during a Philadelphia speech. He matched the $2.1 million winning bid with his own funds, and donated the money to scholarships for the children of fallen service members and police officers. It was classic Rush.”

Another great Limbaugh lesson went to his advertisers, and it concerned the Left’s incessant threats of boycott. The lesson? Don’t cave to them. Ever. The Internet “boycott” mobs, he learned, tended to be small groups sending outsized volumes of email messages. They were full of sound and fury, but they signified nothing. And Rush had the data to back it up.

Incidentally, our Patrick Hampton took three life lessons from Rush — lessons about courage, faith, and perseverance that are well worth pondering.

As for those Ahabian sad sacks who spent a third of a century trying to suppress his speech, Rush stayed on offense and simply gave them more speech. “Rather than be cowed into diluting his on-air presentation,” says Glicklich, “he fished for liberals’ outrage … and he laughed as he set the hook. … He canceled cancel culture three hours a day for 33 years, and he did it with [wait for it] ‘half his brain tied behind his back, just to keep it fair.’”

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