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‘He backed the blue – he believed in us’: Former police chief pays tribute to radio icon Rush Limbaugh


The following editorial is written by a retired Chief of Police and current staff writer for Law Enforcement Today.

RIP Rush.

As a (fairly) young police officer, just over 30-years of age, I knew I was a Republican. After all, I’d voted twice for President Reagan, and more recently George H.W. Bush. At the age of ten, I supported Richard Nixon. Still, what I did not know is what my “political philosophy” was.

A good friend of mine, also a police officer, was talking to me one day as we met up for coffee. He had a radio talk show on in his cruiser. I asked him who he was listening to and he said “Rush.”

“Rush? Who or what is that?”

“Rush Limbaugh,” he replied. “You’ve never heard of him?”

I told him that I had not.

That was in 1989. For the next 31+ years, Rush Limbaugh was someone I listened to as much as possible. While patrolling the streets of my town, I always had Rush and the EIB (Excellence in Broadcasting) Network on the radio. And what I heard him talk about made so much sense to me.

I have always been extremely patriotic and I love my country and love what it stood for. I say stood because we are no longer the country we were back then, or for that matter, we’re not the country we were just over one-year ago.

What attracted me to Rush is he was me. He spoke about love of country, how our country was founded on what he called “rugged individualism.”

He believed that it was not the government who made our country great, it was the individuals who made up that country. He believed, as I did in American exceptionalism.

Rush was an unabashed supporter of the military even though he had never himself served. Likewise, he was a supporter of police and the rule of law.

Rush also raised tens of millions of dollars for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society over the course of 26 years, when he held an annual “Radiothon” for the benefit of that charity.

Aside from Rush’s political influence on me, having me realize for the first time in my life that I was not only a Republican but a conservative, he also had a way of framing liberalism as the absurd philosophy it is. As he used to say, he would “mock absurdity by being absurd.”

I had always been aggravated by radical feminists, crazy “green” people and those who didn’t enjoy a good ribeye steak. 

Rush had his detractors of course. As he used to say, many liberals just simply do not have a sense of humor. Knowing that, Rush would mock them.

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From behind the “Golden EIB microphone,” he referred to radical feminists as “Feminazis,” he would do “environmental wacko” updates making fun of radical environmentalists who would put spotted owls ahead of economic development, and refer to PETA activists as “animal rights wackos.”

It was all in good fun.

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In the run up to the 1992 election, I had the opportunity along with a few friends to go to New York and watch a taping of Rush’s television program, the Rush Limbaugh Show, a syndicated program that had an all-too short run on television.

It was an experience that has stayed with me even up to today.

Rush had us laughing the whole time. He was larger than life. 

“Talent on loan from God.” “With 99% of my brain tied behind my back.” 98.6% of the time always right.”

Rush was full of bluster. And the thing is, he believed it, and so did we.

Rush wasn’t just about talking for 15 hours a week and spouting conservative talking points. He did his homework. He backed up what he said with facts and statistics. Any talking point spouted by the left and Rush had his facts and evidence to rebut them.  

He was also unafraid to take on Republicans. He famously has slammed Republicans from George W. Bush to Mitt Romney, Mitch McConnell to Paul Ryan. He wasn’t a shill for the Republican Party. He was first and foremost a conservative.

His favorite targets however were of course Democrats. He eviscerated Democrats such as former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, whom he referred to as “Dingy Harry.”

Bill Clinton was always “Slick Willie” and he typically referred to former President Barack Obama with his full name…”Barack Hussein Obama.” Michelle Obama was “Michelle my Belle.” No Democrat was safe from Rush’s targeting.

Rush was of course held in high esteem by true Republicans, such as former President Ronald Reagan. Fox News reported on a letter that Rush had received from President Reagan upon his retirement from national politics, telling Rush he didn’t mind that he was now the number one voice for conservatism in the US.

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“I know the liberals call you ‘the most dangerous man in America’ but don’t worry about it, they used to say the same thing about me,” President Reagan said. “Keep up the good work. America needs to hear the way things ought to be.” 

In 2020, Rush announced that he had lung cancer. Let me get this out of the way…I despise cancer, I hate it with every fiber of my body. I’ve lost family members and friends to this dreaded beast.

I’ve had some friends who have beaten it and down inside I thought that Rush too, that man who was larger than life, would beat the monster too.

This past December, I was listening to Rush, as I always tried to, streaming through my iPhone. This was just before the end of the year. During that broadcast Rush thanked his listeners, letting us know for the first time that he had, in fact outlived his prognosis.

“I wasn’t expected to be alive today. I wasn’t expected to make it to October, and then to November and then to December. And yet, here I am, and today, got some problems, but I’m feeling pretty good today,” Fox News reported Rush as saying.

One could tell in Rush’s voice that he knew his time was short. Despite all of us hoping, wishing and praying that Rush would somehow pull a miracle out of his hat that simply was not to be.

Today, I opened up my app waiting to hear Rush’s voice. Alas, that was not to be. What I heard is that we had lost Rush. The one and only “Maha Rushie” as he jokingly referred to himself.

Rush may be gone, but the legacy he left behind goes on. Radio talk show hosts like Sean Hannity, Mark Levin and many others have taken up the mantel put in place by Rush Limbaugh.

Rush, you may be gone but for this “Dittohead,” you will never be forgotten.

Courtesy of Gateway Pundit, here is a transcript of what Rush said with Manheim Steamroller’s “Silent Night” playing in the background:

RUSH: “A yearly tradition. We wrap up with Mannheim Steamroller and Silent Night, and my ongoing attempts to thank everybody in the audience — all of you — for everything you mean to me. That last call. That reminds me how much I love all of you, how much I so appreciate everything you’ve meant to me and my family.

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“You don’t have any idea how… I know so many people think this program has changed their lives for the better. You have no idea what you all have meant to me and my family. The day’s gonna come, folks, where I’m not gonna be able to do this. I don’t know when that is. I want to be able to do it for as long as I want to do it.

“I want to, but the day will come where I’m not going to be able to, and I want you to understand that even when the day comes, I’d like to be here. ‘Cause I have this sense of needing to constantly show my appreciation for all that you have done and meant to me. So I hope you all have a great Christmas, a great new year, and I hope that the things that are in store for all of us in the coming year are certainly better than what we have endured in 2020.

“I don’t know too many people who’ve enjoyed 2020. There are probably some sickos out there who have. But 2021 has to be better. We’re gonna try to make it that way here at the EIB Network. Again, folks, thank you so much. I wish there were a way to say it other than “thank you.” You’re just the best. My family is just the best. Thank you. Merry Christmas, everybody, from all of us to all of you. Make it happen!”

Mega ditto’s Rush. And RIP. You are now at peace.

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