America’s No. 1 radio talk show host and most influential conservative Rush Limbaugh eulogized Bill Buckley — who died Wednesday — as his greatest inspiration and one of the “formulative forces” in his world view.
Rush told listeners on Wednesday that his “desire to learn” came not from school, but from his father, his grandfather — and conservative icon Buckley.
Rush said he began reading Buckley’s newspaper column around age 12 and remembers being “mesmerized” by Buckley’s observations, which he said “literally created my desire to learn…
“The single greatest motivation I had to learn to read, write, and speak the English language as best I could, to expand my vocabulary, came from Bill Buckley.
“He is irreplaceable. There will not be another like him. His intellect and good humor were inspiring to me.
“Buckley was one of the formulative forces in my world view, my politically conservative view of all things.”
Rush said it was Buckley who first showed him how lowering tax rates can actually increase revenue.
“I could cite countless other things of conservative orthodoxy” that came from Buckley, Limbaugh told listeners, adding that for him, “All of the inspiration, all of the bright lights going off in moments of ecstatic understanding — all are due to Bill Buckley.”
Rush recalled that when he told his father he was quitting college after one year, he said he was setting off “to be like Bill Buckley,” to be able “to sit around and write and speak.”
Limbaugh also remembered that when he first called the offices of Buckley’s National Review magazine to request a subscription, “I felt as if I was calling God.”
And years later, after he established himself as a leading conservative talk radio personality, Rush was invited to a National Review editors’ meeting at Buckley’s New York apartment. Rush said he felt as if he was being “summoned by as close to God on earth as you can get.”
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