Rush Limbaugh: A Loving Brother and 'a Friend to Countless Americans'
Editor's note: David Limbaugh wrote the following column in February 2020, just after his brother's diagnosis. He will have more to say about his brother's passing next week.
I am uniquely blessed to be Rush Limbaugh's brother in ways too numerous to count, and I am blessed to be in the special position of witnessing firsthand the outpouring of love and prayers from his, family, friends and fans. His wife, Kathryn, has been amazing and a rock throughout.
I could fill a book with the well-wishes I've received. I sent Rush a link to my "mentions" column on Twitter so he could scroll through it and see for himself what he means to so many people.
These tender expressions of goodwill are uplifting and spiritually affirming. God is at work, and however this plays out, God is good, something Rush has been saying repeatedly in the last few weeks, despite his difficult circumstances.
Many of the messages he has received have brought him to tears, which is not typical for him. These are sobering times.
When Rush began his nationally syndicated radio show, the liberal media monopolized television news, and his show became an oasis and a lifeline for millions who felt their voices had been ignored. He gave them a sense of community, as they came to realize that the principles they believed in, their love for America and its founding ideas, were still commonly held.
He has been depicted as a bombastic shock jock who barely believes his own words and simply exploits his talents to enrich himself. In fact, he has been a calming voice of good cheer, humor and optimism -- a respite from the message of negativity and moral chaos emanating from liberal America every day.
Many have praised Rush for saving AM talk radio and creating a professional genre in which he would have no peers -- and that's true. But what moves me more, as his brother, is something I fear people don't sufficiently appreciate.
He has been the tip of the spear for political conservatism. No one has done more to bring conservatism into the mainstream of American life, and he's paid a heavy price for it -- but he never complains. He has been the left's favorite target for hate and abuse for decades, opening myriad pathways for thousands of other conservatives to bring their talents and share their message with like-minded Americans. Had Rush not absorbed that mistreatment and kept charging forward with contagious optimism, there is no telling where we would be right now. No matter how fiercely the haters try, they can't bring him down -- they can't even slow his charge -- and more importantly, they cannot wipe the cheer from his face.
They have particularly seized on President Donald Trump's awarding of the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Rush. Yes, Rush has been a stalwart Trump supporter, but this is not just political. I have given this a lot of thought, and as preposterous as this sounds to his detractors, Rush richly deserves this award -- if it is truly intended to honor those who have served the cause of American freedom. For the cause of American freedom, after all, is what Rush is about. It is the essence of what he articulates and promotes. People, especially our soldiers, serve the cause in various ways. But Rush advances it in a different way, and one that should not be undervalued. He helps keep the spirit of liberty alive. He helps sustain the ideas that have made America the freest, strongest and most prosperous nation in history, and a glorious blessing to the world. And sustaining these ideas is indispensable to sustaining our liberties.