Limbaugh Receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom

February 5th, 2020 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

Last night at the State of the Union Address, President Trump awarded radio talk show host and conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh the Presidential Medal of Freedom. If you haven’t heard, Rush was recently diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer.

I cannot think of a more deserving recipient of our country’s highest civilian honor. Rush has been the most influential modern advocate for political conservatism and free markets, influencing millions of people not only here in the U.S., but in other countries where freedom is highly valued, if not by their government, then at least by some of their people. For over 30 years on his daily 3-hour radio show, he has done it with good humor, never straying from his principles, while still being entertaining.

His adherence to his principles has meant he does not always agree with Republican politicians, who sometimes stray from those principles. I recall standing around his pool table and him telling us how a senior adviser from President George W. Bush’s administration would fly down to his Palm Beach residence to pressure him into changing his position on some issue, which he refused to do.

Rush has always said that people who disagree with him usually do so, not because they have listened to him and dispute his views, but because of what the media says about him. He has inspired millions to stop waiting for the world to do something for them, and to start doing for themselves with hope and good cheer. He is the one who suggested I write my first book, Climate Confusion.

Some claim he is just an entertainer who doesn’t really believe all of what he says. But I can tell you from spending time with him, and from hundreds of conversations with him, that he is the real deal. His relatively modest upbringing and overcoming numerous obstacles in his personal and professional life have led him to mentor others in all walks of life, encouraging them to excel and to never give up. At least twice, he has taken time from his busy day to talk me down off the ledge when I was discouraged about criticism I receive in my work.

So, congratulations to someone who has helped to make America stronger, and who has inspired so many people around the world. This is a well-deserved honor bestowed upon a modern American treasure.

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