One of the dominant voices of conservatism American died this Wednesday, February 17, after suffering from fulminant lung cancer. Rush Limbaugh revealed his ailment just a year ago, something that caused Donald Trump grant him the Presidential Medal of the Freedom, the highest civilian decoration, during his last State of the Union address, for his “decades of devotion to this nation.” For the history books there remains the immense popularity of Limbaugh, the fortune he amassed and the bitter controversies he caused with his disqualifications and his gruff style.
Limbaugh (Cape Girardeau, 1951) presented for 32 years his radio program, ‘The Rush Limbaugh Show’, which, being syndicated, broadcast hundreds of local stations throughout the country. From the microphone, Limbaugh wanted to do a kind of partisan radio, clearly opinionated, openly conservative. He immediately became a kingmaker, someone with power in the Republican Party that even conservative leaders on Capitol Hill couldn’t compete with. President Ronald Reagan called him “the number one voice in conservatism.” He knew that his voters were overwhelmingly loyal Limbaugh listeners.
The presenter, settled first in California and lately in Florida, I did not shy away from controversies. For example, he himself coined the word ‘feminazi’ in his program, which according to the Royal Academy is used with derogatory intent in the sense of ‘radicalized feminist’. Barack Obama’s false theory circulated that he was not born in the United States and therefore was not a legitimate president. Sandra Fluke, a lawyer and activist who advocated on Capitol Hill for the need for the state to fund contraceptives, Limbaugh called her a ‘bitch’ and a ‘prostitute’.
A great fortune
In his last months of life, Limbaugh downplayed the coronavirus, describing it as a “common flu” used as “a political weapon” by the press and the Democrats to deprive Trump of a second term. He was always very critical of the traditional press, which he accused of a clearly leftist bias. The generalist radios never considered him part of their union, and they treated and covered him as just another republican politician.
Limbaugh also used his pulpit to make himself echo of false allegations of fraud of Trump, prior to the looting of the Capitol. One of his last broadcasts was dedicated to dismantling the arguments of the prosecution in the impeachment of Trump. “He is subjected to impeachment because if he is not disqualified he continues to be a great threat to the Democrats,” he said about the former president, who was exonerated on Saturday.
Limbaugh amassed a fortune of more than 500 million dollars, according to a Forbes estimate, and thanks to his success he lived a life of luxury. His residence in Palm Beach, where Trump was now a neighbor, includes several houses and he even owned a private jet. He leaves his fourth wife, Kathryn Rogers, whom he married in 2010, and leaves no children. While alive, he suffered an addiction to painkillers from a back operation and in 2006 he was arrested at the airport for entering the United States with viagra that he had not bought with a prescription in his name.