When I came home from the army in 1986 I was 23 years old. I took a job at the family business and went back to school. My grandfather was the boss at work. Most every day he would arrive just before opening time with a box of doughnuts and the first thing he’d do once he got in was turn on the radio so he could hear the news.
He would grumble a little bit about it cause you know Reagan and then move on with the day. But at 9am the station format changed away from the news to a local talk show. And boy did grandpa hate that guy.
I couldn’t figure out why. To me he was smart and funny. He was a little bit over the top sometimes but I thought he was mean or hateful. That never even crossed my mind. I’m talking about Rush Limbaugh.
By 1986 I’d been able to vote twice in presidential elections. I’d happily cast my votes for Ronald Reagan. First time because I thought Carter had been a poor president and second because I thought Reagan had been a good one. If you had asked me I would have told you I was a conservative but I probably wouldn’t have been able to give you concise reasons why.
Rush changed all that for me. As I listened I began to be interested in what he was saying. His brand of conservatism made a lot of sense to me. His breakdown of liberal or socialist ideas and his refutation of the same spoke eloquently to my inner conservative. And of course he was funny.
I remember one time he was doing a bit about backwards satanic messages on records. He was playing Slim Whitman “backwards” and he revealed a hidden message. Well a man called in to the show and told Rush that he had the same album but he couldn’t get the backwards message to play.
Well Rush couldn’t let that one go. He sent the caller on a wild goose chase for a “disgronificator”. Because that was the piece of equipment needed to hear the messages hidden on the albums. The poor fellow believed him and went in search of said equipment.
This was very spontaneous on Rush’s part. Because the message on the Slim Whitman record was so obviously a parody made because these types of messages were in the news. To have a caller believe it was genuine just made it more funny. But that’s what Rush did, he used parody, satire, and humor to point out the ridiculous in society and the news.
Rush you brought me in to the conservative fold and taught me how to be better at it. You made me think and you made me laugh. You can’t really for more from your favorite talk show than that. You served us well and will be missed. Rest In Peace Rush Limbaugh. You can finally give God His talent back and untie the other half of your brain.