It was a sad day on Wednesday during the Rush Limbaugh show when his wife, Kathryn Limbaugh, opened the program and told us Rush had passed away that morning from complications of lung cancer.
We knew this day was coming but yet we were not prepared.
Start receiving the latest news from award winning journalist, TV broadcaster and radio host Steve Gruber.
Or at least I wasn’t.
And Kathryn…what a courageous woman to go on the air knowing that millions of listeners were hanging on her every word. She was composed and gracious enough to deliver the news to us directly only hours after losing her husband.
I thought about writing this article ahead of time like I know a lot of other writers did. But that didn’t seem right.
I owe you an honest reaction to the passing of “America’s Truth Detector” who was right 99.6% of the time.
And I don’t need to get into a deep dive of his bio and everything he’s done. You all know about that as well as I do.
What we have in common right now is our grief over what we all feel is our own personal and special relationship with Rush. We all understand what we have lost and how important he was to our country.
I had one – yes one – interaction with him via email many years ago. I don’t remember what the issue was but in the subject of my email I had put “You were wrong…”
I knew he wouldn’t be able to pass that up.
He responded with a short explanation of why I was wrong in my interpretation of his wrongness.
It made me smile. He always did.
And he also seemed to steal my story ideas all the time.
I get up early every morning to start my stories and then I edit them for final submission in the afternoon.
It seemed like every day I had some monumental great idea, some glorious epiphany, then Rush would be on the air making the same observation that I had come up with and wrote about hours before. He did it so many times, my co-worker started laughing at me during the show when I would sigh and complain “RUSH! Knock it off!”
So if you have ever wondered why I was “stealing” one of Rush’s ideas, I was not.
We just thought a lot alike apparently.
Rush’s show, as you all know, was a combination of history lesson, humor and commentary and I was glad to find him shortly after I started paying attention to politics – which was September 11, 2001.
Rush was the first on the radio to go against accepted liberalism and paved the way for others like Sean Hannity, Dan Bongio and Mark Levin and, of course, Steve Gruber.
I also believe that Rush is the reason for the success of Fox News, OAN, Newsmax, America’s Voice News and others.
I don’t think Rush’s political influence in our country can be understated. He was Trump before Trump came along – exposing liberalism and pushing back. He made conservatism cool. He showed us that we didn’t need to apologize for loving our country. And we knew we weren’t alone in our beliefs anymore.
He’s responsible for me sitting here writing for you.
Whether that is good or bad is up to you entirely.
During Kathryn’s appearance on Rush’s show today, she talked about how Rush was an unwavering patriot who loved the military, our flag, the Constitution, the Founding Fathers, his radio program and his audience.
She said he proudly fought and defended conservative values in a way no one else could. He took arrows on his own and has left a tremendous void in our lives and on the radio.
Rush believed in our country and he said it didn’t matter where you started or what you looked like. We all have the same opportunities to be successful. He gave us hope that with hard work and determination, we can overcome the obstacles in our lives and be our best.
Kathryn thanked everyone for praying for Rush and lifting him up, inspiring him to keep going when he needed us the most.
Kathryn said that we all know that “our” Rush is in heaven, encouraging us in the same way he always did on earth with his love of country and belief that our best days are ahead of us.
And even though we found out that Rush left us on Wednesday, he was not gone from the radio for his allotted three hours.
I think he planned it that way.
In December of 2020, he told us that a day would come when he wouldn’t be able to be on the show. He said even when that day comes, he still wanted to be here to show his constant appreciation of us.
And he was.
After Kathryn spoke, Ray Charles’ “America the Beautiful” was played along with three hours of words and wisdom from past radio shows – with Rush’s usual uplifting and fun bumper music in between segments.
Kathryn asked that in Rush’s honor, we all continue Rush’s mission in our individual lives and communities.
To that end, someday soon, I will get my act together for Rush, and finish my article to let YOU know what we can all do to help save our country. I have some ideas on things that we can do – some inspired by America’s Anchorman himself, the all-knowing, all-sensing, all-everything Maha Rushie.
We owe it to Rush – and the country – to pick up the slack for him.
We have graduated from the Limbaugh University and have great knowledge from the Doctor of Democracy. We need to use that knowledge to keep up the fight for our way of life, freedom and the Constitution.
Trump knew just like we do what a treasure Rush was and gave him the Presidential Medal of Freedom. It couldn’t have happened to a better patriot.
And it was Rush’s death that flushed Trump out of self-imposed exile, not his impeachment. Trump called into Fox News on Wednesday to pay tribute to his friend and ally, calling him a legend and “irreplaceable.”
Trump said, “He was special… he was very brave. He was fighting to the very end. He’s a fighter.”
Thank you, Kathryn and the rest of Rush’s family – and all of Rush’s fur kids (I still remember Rush’s funny stories about his kitty Punkin and his other fur babes)…Thank you all for sharing Rush with us when we know you probably would have preferred to keep him at home to yourself more during his illness.
And to all of you Rush fans out there…although we are sad about Trump no longer being president, we are sad about Rush Limbaugh passing away…and we are battling leftists, oppressive governors and a pandemic….
Don’t let it overwhelm you. Now is not the time to give up the fight.
God bless you and thank you, Rush, for everything you have taught us for more than 31 years.
We’ll try to make you proud.