I spent most of my life in academia. I went to college at the ripe old age of 17, graduated with a useless degree – unless I wanted to teach, which would have required grad school, and since I had been told all my life I was going to be a teacher just like my oldest sister, there was no way in Hell I was going that. I had grown up in a working class family with fairly middle of the road values, I wouldn’t have called my parents either liberal or conservative, they were just people who did the best they could for their family, their friends and their community. To this day I have no idea how they voted.

But I was a child of the 60’s, growing up near Woodstock, NY and fully embracing liberal values of free love, sex, drugs and rock and roll. Stuff your labels, I’m a person, treat me like an equal and not someone lesser (or better) because of my skin color or my sex. We HATED labels. College solidified these ideas for me, and working in a factory didn’t change them. I wanted the women in that sewing mill to unionize, rise up, fight against the men who held them down at home and at work. I wanted them to fight – never thinking that they had mouths to feed and bills to pay and couldn’t afford to lose their jobs for an ideal. Never mind that they most likely didn’t have the energy.

My second and third degrees solidified my isolation from the “real world.” Don’t think for a second that academia is not an isolated island in the midst of reality. As a professor, I can pretty easily tell which of my colleagues went straight into teaching and which ones worked in any other field.

Then I met the Bear. He was working at Harley Davidson, introduced me to his friends and watched as my head reeled from the culture shock. I’ve written about that before, and it’s relevant because I learned a lot from talking and listening to a group of people whose experience of life was so far different from mine.

I would hear them say, “Did you hear Rush today?” quite often. I had heard OF Rush Limbaugh, but never actually listened to his show. In my world, he was a far right nut case, someone to be derided and ignored except when he was saying something that might actually be considered dangerous to my world view.

I admit that I investigated this man only because I don’t like not knowing what people around me are talking about. I hate to feel uneducated or in the dark. So on one of my random rides around the area, because I was still trying to find my way around – and I didn’t have a GPS in those days so it was interesting at times, but that’s another story – I turned on talk radio. I listened with an open mind, as much as I could, because hey, this was Rush, the guy who had DittoHeads as fans and seriously? But I tried. And after a week or so, the strangest thing happened. The guy started making sense.

I didn’t always agree with him. His “feminazis” comments would set my teeth on edge, but there was something there. He had facts to back up his statements. He actually answered questions. And I started to respect him.

I learned today that he passed away. He was beloved by Conservatives and hated by Liberals. I expect the twitter-verse to be filled with glee at his passing, because the party of unity and all.

That’s the saddest part of all

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22 Responses to Rush

  1. This is really well-written. It’s not easy to keep an open mind when listen/read something you disagree with, or acknowledge how your views have changed. I didn’t listen to Rush Limbaugh to have an opinion (and I’ve tried to move away from labels and relying on other people affiliating with my self-identified political label telling me what to think). But I do find rejoicing at someone’s death unbecoming on either side of the aisle.
    I also don’t know how my parents voted in the 2020 election. I don’t care though. I love them just the same.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. It is hard to read or hear things that disagree with what we believe, and for me it depends on how that information is presented. If someone is calm and clear and presents facts, it goes a long way. Rush did that and I respected that even when I didn’t agree with his views.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I have already seen the vitriol for this man spilling on Twitter.
    I started watching Rush back in the 80’s when he had a TV show. I was raised much like you not having a real idea of my parents political views. My father did tell me when I registered to vote never register Republican because you live here and if you ever need a favor from a politician you won’t get it. I registered independent:)
    Rush was so knowledgeable and great at talking facts. He will be missed. No one can fill his place.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Bitey Dog says:

    I, too, heard of Rush’s passing. He touched so many lives. I am sad for his family and fans, but I am overjoyed that he has completed his mission and is Home. ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

  4. ReginaMary says:

    I mourn the passing of anyone who took it upon themselves to be the voice of a group of people who needed someone to speak for them.
    He was that person.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Kristi says:

    You know, I listened to Rush too. Sometimes I hated him and sometimes I adored him. No matter what, he made me think and opened me up to a lot of things. Rest In Peace. Love you, Susan. ❤️❤️❤️

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Peachy says:

    Your open-mindedness, that’s one of the things I love so much about you, and your hunger to learn, learn, learn. So erudite!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. As someone who wears blue rather than red, I’m sorry to hear of his passing. I never followed nor listened to Rush, but I knew he was a man who spoke with conviction of his beliefs and did so in a mature and adult manner. My world hasn’t changed with his passing, but losing loved ones is never a happy occasion. God bless his family during this time.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. ReginaMary says:

    And while I think of it…you grew up near Woodstock? That just across the bridge from me.

    Liked by 1 person

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