Man of the Hour

To get the most out of a William F. Buckley speech, you needed a dictionary. To get the most out of a Rush Limbaugh broadcast, you needed a sense of humor. 

God and Man at Yale, Mr. Buckley’s cri de coeur, was published in 1951, the year Rush Limbaugh was born. This critique of Mr. Buckley’s alma mater, Yale, for its hostility to religion and its indoctrination of students in values that opposed those of their homes, launched a new era in conservative politics. With his high-brow Bostonian accent, his impeccable appearance and his reasoned and well-thought-out arguments, as well as those of others to whom he gave a platform in his National Review magazine and on his celebrated PBS television show, Firing Line, William F. Buckley was the man needed for the moment. Listening to him opine and debate allowed honest,  intelligent and curious seekers of truth to weigh up different views.

Only a few decades later, fewer and fewer Americans were interested in or able to follow complex, factual presentations. And fewer were being exposed to a wide range of views. The earlier criticisms against Yale were by now the equivalent of chiding your neighbor because his vicious pit bull wasn’t well-groomed. A new man with a new method was needed to give voice to traditional American ideals, and Rush Limbaugh stepped up. While I loved homeschooling and then working from home, one of the few drawbacks of minimal time in the car was not being able to listen to his show as often as I wished.

Like Mr. Buckley, Rush laid out arguments and ideas, but rather than presenting  them in lofty, measured tones, he wrapped them in bravado and sometimes cutting humor. I winced at some of his barbs and personally found them in poor taste, but I acknowledged that those crude words and the attention and hatred they sparked exposed millions of people to ideas that were being suppressed in major newspapers and magazines. A friend once remarked after watching the Sunday morning TV talk shows that he despaired when a Republican politician showed up with boring charts and diagrams filled with incontrovertible facts while his Democrat counterpart showed up with misleading statements delivered with passion and zeal. As my husband often remarks, crusaders will usually defeat  accountants. Rush Limbaugh was a crusader; a man on a mission. He was also a showman and marketer and recognized that those qualities were needed to get any sort of hearing with the public. 

Like many others, I choked up when Rush received the Medal of Freedom during President Trump’s State of the Union speech in 2020. The hatred, vituperation, and hostility directed at him by the Left never dampened his love for America and the truth. Having never served in the American military, he was a bloodied soldier who served his nation. May his memory be blessed.


Yes, words do matter.

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18 thoughts on “Man of the Hour”

  1. Susan — I confess I don’t understand why you could only listen to Rush in your car. You can have a radio in your home too, you know. Indeed, since I haven’t owned a car in many years, it is the only way I heard Rush. I will really miss him!

  2. “Whenever I hear Rush Limbaugh I marvel on two counts, the first that his war on Political Correctness is tolerated, the second, that it is enjoyed even by liberals (the Germans call that Schadenfreude, the wretchedly paradoxical joy that some people take from pain). It’s like a jolt of champagne for most of us, reorienting the day, reassuring us that social disorders haven’t disturbed the essential movements of the planet.” – William F. Buckley, Jr., Editor at Large, National Review

  3. Thank you Susan, that was a wonderful tribute to Rush. I’ve listened to Rush for many years and before Rush it was Mr. Buckley on ‘Firing Line’. I read Mr. Buckley’s book on Yale along with a couple of mysteries that he wrote.

    1. And Wm. F. Buckley’s sailing books, Mark! Don’t forget those (unless you’re not interested in sailing, of course).

  4. ~~~ YES, on the Perils of Profanity !!!!!!! I will not permit foul language on my sites!!!
    ~~~ Foul language is a sign of an uncivilized people, much like the butchering children in the womb, porning children, trafficking, homelessness, and God being dismissed.
    ~~~ Civilization declines along with educational degradation, and the slow declines leaves a huge mass of people thinking they are just fine, and even better than those more informed.
    ~~~ We are in a very dangerous situation in America now, gross disrespect being the canary in the mine.

    1. Maggie, the chasm between speaking about tolerance and love and respect for all vs. the actions that show no tolerance, hatred and disrespect is enormous. People do need to pay attention.

  5. Beautiful tribute, Susan. So interesting that God’s two contemporary Paul Revere’s, Donald John Trump and Rush Hudson Limbaugh, may be considered humble vessels but were profoundly just what the times called for. God bless.

    1. Kristin, I started off connecting to President Trump but decided that I wanted to leave this focused on Rush.

  6. Thank you for a great tribute to Rush! I will have to admit in my younger days I was not too concerned with politics. One day a coworker turned on Rush on our car radio and he is the first conservative radio host i ever listened to. His funny impersonation of Bill Clinton had me rolling! As each day went by that I listened to Rush and other conservatives I realized how much I did not know about what really went on in our country behind the scenes! Sadly this goes on with millions more in America. The real news is not getting to our younger generation. I will be eternally grateful to Rush for changing my life. Thank you for your service to America sir and God Bless You.

  7. W.F. Buckey was a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). CFR established in the 20’s after the attempt at League of Nations was stopped by the US Senate. CFR is a one world government facilitator in the USA. There are sister organizations around the world. The CFR is diametrically opposed to the US Constitution. No person can serve two masters. Buckley was a servant for the CFR. Buckley was a false conservative. He could always be counted upon to further the CFR agenda and weaken true conservative efforts. Many were fooled by Buckley and the controlled media gave him plenty of line to spread his un-Americanism.
    As far as Rush, NAFTA passed by one vote in Congress. Rush promoted NAFTA and he was the push to get it past. It destroyed mid American manufacturing. When Ron Paul was running for President Rush would not acknowledge Ron Paul as a Candidate. He would NEVER mention Ron Paul and if a caller mentioned him he was disconnected.
    All commentators on conservative talk radio, if syndicated, are 100% controlled opposition. This includes Rush. Rush was entertainment. I will miss him!

    1. John, I hesitated to approve your comment because I have no information with which to judge what you said. It doesn’t ring right to me. But, on the other hand, I try to approve every comment as long as it is respectful. So, I am posting it, but my not responding to the details is neither here nor there.

    1. Thank you, Jim. I’m sure there will be many articulate and more far-reaching remembrances, but I so much appreciated his courage and conviction.

  8. ‘To whom much is given, much will be required.’
    Rush Limbaugh had an extraordinary talent in making the complex simple and understandable while entertaining us with his wit and humor.
    I have listened to him for over 30 yrs. I planned my day around his show so as not to miss his valuable insights and wisdom in the confusing world of political chaos.
    In all those years, his show was never boring or stale.
    He clarified the difference between conservative and liberal, left and right. He exposed the hidden agenda behind extreme environmentalism and all other fantasies of the left which are paraded before the American people for our ‘own good’ but in actuality do us and our country great harm.
    Thanks to Rush’s dedication to upholding the values of conservatism and his persistent voice espousing the virtues of limited government and individual rights and responsibility, millions of us now see what is at stake and value our exceptional legacy.
    We have lost a trusted voice, a generous man and a dear friend in Rush Limbaugh. He is irreplaceable.
    I will miss him every day for the rest of my life.

    1. Terry, when I first heard him I was just so excited that someone was articulating my thoughts – and giving me more information so that I could better understand.

  9. I have no recollection of Mr. Buckley, but I heard Rush speak of him many times. I was sad to learn of Rush’s passing yesterday. I suppose it was inevitable given the advanced stage of his cancer when it was discovered, but his passing will leave a gaping hole in the middle of the day radio programming. Thank you for writing this and for all the other materials you and Rabbi Lapin put out.

    1. Dear Al, I have never read Man and God at Yale, but I am planning to do so now. I was fascinated to find out that it was published just as Rush was coming into the world. Two very men with very different styles, each of whom played a huge role in many lives.

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