Rush Limbaugh’s Movement Will Fight On
Rush Limbaugh inspired generations of conservatives and helped Republicans win victories. Now I’m entrusted with the most sacred of tasks in radio - following in the footsteps of the legendary talk show host.
It’s hard to overstate the influence that Rush Limbaugh had on conservatism in America over the last 30 years. Yes, he was arguably the greatest talk radio host of his- or perhaps any- generation. Rush wasn’t just at the top of the radio industry in America, he carried it on his shoulders. Many of the biggest names in conservative talk radio directly credit him with being their inspiration. But Rush was even more than that.
At a time when there were very few voices in the media who represented the Republican base, Rush Limbaugh had a massive presence on the airwaves. His influence was unparalleled anywhere else in the political media landscape all throughout the 1990s. He changed American politics.
Many close watchers of elections believe that the Rush Limbaugh show played a pivotal role in helping Republicans take back control of both houses of Congress in 1994. And while the mainstream, Democrat-aligned media sought to protect then President Bill Clinton at all costs, Rush refused to back down. Bush’s razor thin victory in 2000 is hard to imagine without Rush firing up the base.
Before there was Fox News or the internet for conservatives to get their daily dose of information, there was Rush on over 600 radio stations. He reached an estimated 20 million people a month at his peak. There was simply no other single voice anywhere in America that could come anywhere near his reach, and this lasted over the course of decades.
Though Rush had no shortage of bravado or showmanship, he always maintained an ability to connect with his listeners. Whether it was a mailman or a Fortune 500 CEO listening to the program, Rush was able to create the feeling of a one-to-one conversation happening for every one of his millions of listeners.
While Rush Limbaugh sadly passed away earlier this year, he leaves behind a tremendous legacy for conservative media- one that will continue to help shape the destiny of the country he loved so much. Rush was the first mainstream mega-star to rise from the ranks of the Right, but he was also what would be called in military terms a “force multiplier.” Because of the success of his show, there were many conservatives- Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, and countless others- who also took to the airwaves and grew large audiences of their own.
An entire generation of right wing podcasters who grew up listening to Rush (and often had parents who did the same) and they now try to bring his message of Constitutionalism, limited government, and freedom to Americans coast to coast. There is perhaps no single person who has inspired more people to learn about conservative politics than Rush Limbaugh.
I will never forget the first time that I was asked to guest host the Rush Limbaugh program in 2014. I thought it was a prank call at first. It felt surreal to be told that, after only a few years of tv and radio experience, I would get an opportunity to sit for 3 hours at the golden EIB microphone and address millions of Rush listeners. In fact, the opportunity went so well that they had me back many times to guest host, and to this day I have many listeners who tell me that they learned about me from those days filling in for Rush. It was also apparently a sign of things to come.
It’s with great humility that I will be, in part, taking the reins of the radio slot formerly held by Limbaugh for decades. Starting June 21st, I will be co-hosting the “Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show” on Premiere Radio Networks. The radio program will air on hundreds of stations across America in the coveted 12-3PM slot that Rush built into an absolute powerhouse. My co-host, Clay Travis, comes from a sports talk radio background. I’ve spent 10 years in conservative media, included 5 doing syndicated political talk radio, and am a former CIA officer. So we will bring diverse and exciting perspectives to the show, and hopefully a new generation of audience.
I will always owe Rush a debt of gratitude - for years of teaching me about conservatism when I listened to his show- and then giving me my big break as a guest host 7 years ago. Now I’m entrusted with that most sacred of tasks in radio - stepping into the most powerful, important time slot in conservative media. My co-host and I plan to make Rush’s audience proud.