With his deal finally reached, the Rush Limbaugh painkiller story may finally fade into the past. Upon the hopeful conclusion of this saga, I thought it would be appropriate to mention some of the positive contributions made by Limbaugh:
Limbaugh was revolutionary because he was a conservative voice for everyday Americans. Conservative intellectuals have long been inspired by reading authors like Buckley, Kirk or Hayek. Since Reagan’s presidency, the conservative movement has attracted more and more people who would define themselves as populists or, at the very least, as anti-elitist. Often, these were "Reagan Democrats." Many of these folks (who were brought into the movement by Reagan — a "C" student at Eureka College) found a new voice in Rush Limbaugh (a college dropout).
Limbaugh thrived at a time when the conservative movement and the Republican Party lacked an identifiable leader. And he was readily available for anyone who could afford an AM radio. For several years, he was a lone voice in the wilderness. Especially popular during the Clinton years, he was practically the loyal opposition, until ’94.
Today, it is fashionable to talk about the importance of the new media in politics. While much of attention is paid to FOX NEWS and the Internet, talk radio’s revolutionary influence has been somewhat forgotten. That’s a shame. Countless conservatives have been inspired, mentored, and motivated by the "Limbaugh Institute for Advanced Conservative Studies." I count myself among them.
Despite his stumbles, Limbaugh has contributed greatly to the conservative movement. May he continue until everyone in America agrees with him.