There are not enough honorable words in the world to truly pay tribute to the legacy of Rush Limbaugh. Every listener knew his final days were near, yet news of his passing was met with utter shock.
Possibly because it is unfathomable to think of the conservative movement without Rush. He was a role model to many including myself, so having this platform to shine a light on what he meant to millions of Americans is something I do not take for granted.
When many people hear the name Rush Limbaugh, they think of a staunch conservative radio talk show host. Yes, that he was; but he was also so much more.
The term greatest of all time is thrown around a lot, but for Rush, it could not be truer. He had a special way of connecting conservatives throughout the country. As for me, I connected with Rush through my grandmother.
Growing up, I was never overly fascinated with reading. Well, that did not settle right with my grandma. She was determined to find me a book series I would enjoy — one that, with any luck, would make me want to read more.
She decided to buy me "Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims." Much to my surprise, I could not put the book down. Rush's ability to tell American history with a sense of adventure and pride was something that struck a chord with me.
After reading the book, I actually took the time to listen when Rush played on the radio each day. It was through his talk show that I began to understand what conservatism truly is. As I have grown up, I have strengthened my views, formed my own opinions and started my own political journey — yet I have always felt secure knowing that Rush was there, leading the way.
Rush was what most in politics aspire to be, no matter which side of the aisle you are on. His influence on the conservative movement was something very few have ever had or ever will have.
The way he captivated his audience was undeniable. Perhaps this is because he was such a great communicator: able to explain current events on a level that all Americans could understand and relate to. Rush reached millions on a weekly basis, and each of these listeners felt they had a true friend in Rush.
You see, Rush was always able to see the bigger perspective on things. Often I find myself getting caught up in the little battles of politics. Rush would never allow himself to do that.
He knew that politics was an ongoing fight. The battle does not end when your favored candidate loses or when a certain policy you supported doesn't pass. Instead, you get up every day and continue to fight for what you believe is the best way forward for our country. Rush was always so optimistic and full of hope; a "Happy Warrior," as some called him.
It is no secret Rush was firm in his beliefs, but he never let his politics blind him from seeing the good in others. He believed in people regardless of party affiliation and always pushed them to be the best version of themselves. With the amount of influence Rush had, he could have been an even more famous figure than he became, but that is not what he wanted.
Rush was a humble man who simply wanted to do his work because he loved it. He never sought credit or recognition — but we all know he deserved it. Republicans won the House majority in '94 in large part due to Rush.
He carried the conservative torch for decades and helped pave the path to the Trump presidency, but I assure you he would never say that. Throughout his battle with cancer, he never wanted anyone's sympathy. He remained resilient and happy through it all.
His generosity was a side that few had the privilege of seeing. Rush raised millions for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. More recently, he raised over five million dollars for Tunnels to Towers, an organization that builds homes for wounded veterans and first responders. These are just a few examples of Rush's charitable work, all done with no intent to make headlines.
You did not have to agree with Rush's politics to respect his legacy. Rush was the epitome of what it meant to be a proud American. He valued the core American principles: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
In politics, it can be easy to lose sight of the "pursuit of happiness" — but not for Rush Limbaugh. Rush knew what it meant to have fun. Not only in politics, but in life.
He never forgot his roots or lost sight of the things that mattered most in life— God, family and country. He believed in sharing our history, promoting conservative values and finding our God-given potential and achieving our goals.
Rush often said he was "on loan from God." That statement is so true for each of us. Rush knew how to make the best of his time here on Earth. Rush did not just achieve goals, he surpassed them and pushed everyone he encountered to be the greatest at whatever they did in life.
I am not sure what radio was like before Rush, but it sure will not be the same without him. A man who needs only a first name introduction to know his influence. A man of great humility and generosity. A husband, brother, friend and conservative think tank.
To be a conservative was to know Rush. He was truly one of a kind.
Rush, thank you. The connection my grandmother and I built through you is something I will cherish forever. The optimism, intellect and fight you constantly demonstrated gave the perfect motivation and guidance for our conservative movement.
Your "Happy Warrior" spirit, big perspective, generosity and patriotism is something we could all use more of today. I sure hope you are jamming to "My City Was Gone" and singing on your "golden microphone" up there. Rush, you are irreplaceable. Until we meet again, Patriot. You are already greatly missed. God Bless and Godspeed.
Elizabeth Crochet is a 19-year-old political communication sophomore from New Orleans, Louisiana.