Rush Limbaugh, Voice Of American Conservatism,’ Has Died
Washington, Feb 17 (AP) Rush Limbaugh, the talk radio host who ripped into liberals and laid waste to political correctness with a captivating brand of malice that made him one of the most powerful voices on the American right, influencing the rightward push of conservatism and the rise of Donald Trump, died Wednesday. He was 70. Limbaugh said a year ago that he had lung cancer. His death was announced on his show by his wife, Kathryn. Unflinchingly conservative, wildly partisan, bombastically self-promoting and larger than life, Limbaugh galvanised listeners for more than 30 years with his talent for sarcastic, insult-laced commentary.
He called himself an entertainer, but his gleeful rants during his three-hour weekday radio show broadcast on nearly 600 U.S. stations shaped the national political conversation, swaying ordinary Republicans and the direction of their party. Blessed with a made-for-broadcasting voice, he delivered his opinions with such certainty that his followers, or Ditto-heads, as he dubbed them, took his words as sacred truth.
In my heart and soul, I know I have become the intellectual engine of the conservative movement, Limbaugh, with typical immodesty, told author Zev Chafets in the 2010 book Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One. Forbes magazine estimated his 2018 income at $84 million, ranking him only behind Howard Stern among radio personalities. Limbaugh took as a badge of honour the title most dangerous man in America. He said he was the truth detector, the doctor of democracy, a lover of mankind, a harmless, lovable little fuzz ball and an all-around good guy. He claimed he had talent on loan from God.
Long before Trump’s rise in politics, Limbaugh was pinning insulting names on his enemies and raging against the mainstream media, accusing it of feeding the public lies. He called Democrats and others on the left communists, wackos, feminazis, liberal extremists and radicals. When actor Michael J. Fox, suffering from Parkinson’s disease, appeared in a Democratic campaign commercial, Limbaugh mocked his tremors. When a Washington advocate for the homeless killed himself, he cracked jokes. As the AIDS epidemic raged in the 1980s, he made the dying a punchline. He called 12-year-old Chelsea Clinton a dog. He suggested that the Democrats’ stand on reproductive rights would have led to the abortion of Jesus Christ. When a woman accused Duke University lacrosse players of rape, he derided her as a ho, and when a Georgetown University law student supported expanded contraceptive coverage, he dismissed her as a slut. When Barack Obama was elected president in 2008, Limbaugh said flatly: I hope he fails. He was frequently accused of bigotry and blatant racism for such antics as playing the song Barack the Magic Negro on his show. The lyrics, set to the tune of Puff, the Magic Dragon, describe Obama as someone who makes guilty whites feel good and is black, but not authentically.
Limbaugh often enunciated the Republican platform better and more entertainingly than any party leader, becoming a GOP kingmaker whose endorsement and friendship were sought. Polls consistently found he was regarded as a voice of the party. His idol, Ronald Reagan, wrote a letter of praise that Limbaugh proudly read on the air in 1992: You’ve become the number one voice for conservatism. In 1994, Limbaugh was so widely credited with the first Republican takeover of Congress in 40 years that the GOP made him an honorary member of the new class.
During the 2016 presidential primaries, Limbaugh said he realized early on that Trump would be the nominee, and he likened the candidate’s deep connection with his supporters to his own. In a 2018 interview, he conceded Trump is rude but said that is because he is fearless and willing to fight against the things that no Republican has been willing to fight against. (AP) .
Disclaimer: This post has been auto-published from an agency feed without any modifications to the text and has not been reviewed by an editor