Gut Check

A common theme of the Rush Limbaugh eulogies highlighted he stood up to the left-leaning dominant culture. No matter how hard they came after him, Rush struck back. To an audience feeling mocked and disrespected, his show was an oasis. A place where being a conservative or a libertarian could hear their ideas and ideals discussed. Instead of being told what to think, they laughed with Rush. He ridiculed the thoughts and actions of the center-left with commentary and parodies. The “mainstream media” was a choice target. 

Rush watched with his audience as President George W. Bush talked like a conservative as he pushed Federal Government intrusion in education with ” No Child Let Behind.” In the Great Recession, Bush bailed out the Big Banks. Both McCain and Romney talked conservative but failed to stand up to the mainstream media. Instead, they vainly sought its approval.  

Rush became frustrated with Republican leaders less willing to stand up for their values than he was. I think he and his audience knew Donald Trump’s limitations, but he had something his predecessors lacked-a backbone. Kristen Soltis Anderson, writing in the Washington Examiner, had it right when she pointed out, “Trumpism isn’t an Ideology-it’s a fighting posture.”

Being willing to tough it out allowed Trump and the Republicans to cut taxes, rein in regulations, appoint a ton of conservative judges, and strengthen the military. Trump directly took on the culture clash, condemning things such as the “1619 Project” and “Critical Race Theory.” He questioned the lockdowns and pushed schools to reopen. Conservatives applauded.

However, regardless of what he says or does now, Trump has virtually no chance of winning back the Presidency. His actions leading up to and after the 2020 election showed his lack of judgment and depth. There aren’t enough people out there willing to take a chance on him again. After his appearance at CPAC, his influence will slowly decline. A third of the CPAC straw poll voters for the 2024 nomination went for someone other than Trump. They’re ready to move on.

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