I’m sad to hear of Rush Limbaugh’s death. He was dear to me. It was one of the privileges of my life to get to know him a little — after I had listened to him since the beginning. (I wrote a review of his first book for my small Catholic all girls’ high-school newspaper, where I might have been in a minority of one of Rush listeners.) God is good and knows our hearts and the sometimes-hidden kindnesses of the kinds that don’t make the news. And oh how he loved Bill Buckley. The first time he was to meet Bill, for an NR editorial dinner, he had his driver drive around the block a few times, because he was so nervous. He came to consider Bill something of a second father. I was one witness, late in Bill’s life, to just how humbled Bill was to know that.
I know many have some firm opinions about him that would not be as fond. Please bear in mind that people are complex and I appeal to your mercy.
My favorite Rush story is from National Review’s 50th anniversary dinner. There were wounded Marines there who had served in Afghanistan. One of them said what an honor it was to meet Rush. Rush was humbled, even humiliated. He expressed that the honor was all his, he had done nothing in comparison. One of the Marines said we all have our roles.
I’ll add that there are different styles and temperaments, too. I remember in the years when I listened to him, listening to him walk through why abortion is about human rights.
I also remember when he had to take time off for addiction. He personally apologized to me — to NR and the movement — for letting us down.
We are all human. There but by the grace of God . . . I experienced some of his humility of the kind that doesn’t make news.
Please pray for the repose of his soul.