Republican State Rep. Jon Jacobsen shared his thoughts on Wednesday after the passing of radio icon Rush Limbaugh.
Jacobsen started quoting John Donne, who said:
“Each man’s death diminishes me, for I am involved in mankind. Therefore send not to know for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee.”
Jacobsen talked about radio, which he called his real love. In 1975, he competed at the McKee Invitational in Muscatine. He won a trophy, but later in life was told radio was not aspirational enough.
It was in 1988 when Jacobsen first heard Rush Limbaugh.
“It was interesting because politics is cyclical,” Jacobsen said. “Time is cyclical.”
Jacobsen talked about Richard Nixon’s turbulent time in the White House and noted that, at that time, it was just the two wire services, three networks, the Times and the Post.
William F. Buckley Jr. on PBS on Sundays or a little bit of Paul Harvey in the morning and at noon was the closest one could get to any conservative voice.
“(Limbaugh) was an inspiration for many people to chase their dream,” Jacobsen said. “Rush created literally thousands of small business entrepreneurs. When you think of what he overcame in his career — he overcame prescription addiction, he had a terrible fight with deafness and hard-of-hearing, obviously, the Stage IV lung cancer that took his life was a brutal, brutal finish physically for him.
“But he did embody something of the American spirit, an optimism, a sense of American exceptionalism, that America was the greatest force for good and liberation on the planet and extold the beauties of free market enterprise capitalism, which we so needed.”
Rush helped “keep things together” during tougher years for conservatives, Jacobsen said.
“So, for a third of a century, many of you aren’t even that old here in this chamber, but for a third of a century he was an invited guest in all of our homes.”
Jacobsen talked about Limbaugh’s coverage of the 2012 Iowa Caucus. And he described where Rush came from — Cape Girardeau, Missouri — a place with a little bit of a gambler mentality but with heartland values.
“Middle America identified with him,” Jacobsen said. “It wasn’t that he told them what to think, it’s that he was voicing what they already thought.”
Limbaugh also provided an opportunity for African American scholars on his radio show. Jacobsen’s own son studied under Dr. Walter Williams and he did, because he was on Rush’s show.
“For me, 40 years later, he in his own way inspired me to try to do radio in 2014,” Jacobsen said. “And now I’ve been able to do that for nine years as my true love on weeks in Omaha.”
“I just close tonight by saying, eternal rest grant unto Rush Limbaugh, oh Lord. And let perpetual light shine upon him. May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed rest in peace, amen.”