How Rush Limbaugh Stole Thanksgiving
In a caper that rivals Dr. Seuss’ Grinch (who stole Christmas), Rush Limbaugh has photoshopped himself into American history and stolen Thanksgiving
When it was released in 2013, Rush Limbaugh’s kids’ book “Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims” (Simon & Schuster) zoomed to the tops of bestseller lists where it remained for months. Indeed, by 2014, Limbaugh’s sales figures were so extraordinary that the Children’s Book Council named him their Author of the Year. That may have been too small an honor. Who knew we should also thank Limbaugh for Thanksgiving itself?
In “Brave Pilgrims,” it is difficult to distinguish between the author (Rush Limbaugh) and the story’s hero (Rush Revere). That seems deliberate. Besides sharing a name used throughout the book, whenever an illustration of the story’s hero appears, a photo of Limbaugh’s face is superimposed upon the drawing. Another thing. In an odd anachronism, Rush is pictured in a tricorn hat–referencing either the considerably later period of the American Revolution or our current era and Tea Party politics.
In an event, in this zany novel for adolescents, Rush Revere (the character) is a substitute history teacher at Manchester Middle School and he enlivens his lessons by means of time travel. Making use of a flying horse named Liberty, this educator and two students teleport to the past where they chat with Puritans preparing to sail the Atlantic, mingle with those onboard the Mayflower, stand on top of Plymouth Rock, and befriend Myles Standish and the Indian Squanto.
Rush (the author), it should be noted, is a born middle-school teacher and knows his audience. The lengths this book goes to in order to win over its readers, especially boy readers, is–well, awesome! There are, for example, two pages of sniggering jokes about the Mayflower’s “poop” deck. And as for why England’s King James was out to get the Puritans, we are advised: “He probably got too many wedgies when he was a kid.”
The technique of time travel does, however, present the author with a few problems: for example, how aren’t the clothes of the time travelers a dead giveaway and how do you get cell service in the Plymouth, Massachusetts, of 1620? On the other hand, teleporting can be real handy when it’s time for a potty break (since the Puritans don’t have flush toilets) or when the modern-day visitors get hungry (because the Puritans are starving through their first winter). In answer to the latter problem, Rush (the character) and his students travel to a 1950’s diner and get some delicious burgers. Why they don’t bring back food for the starving Pilgrims is a puzzle. It may have something to do with Rush (the author) and his belief in laissez faire economics.
In that regard, the only time Rush (the character) is at loss is when he learns that the first building the Puritans erected was a Common House in their belief that the welfare of the many should trump that of the individual. You can almost hear Rush (the author) grumbling off camera: “Doesn’t that sound socialistic, like Obamacare?” Fortunately, misfortune strikes and Plymouth Colony falls on hard times. This provides Rush (the character and the author) with the occasion to lecture the Puritans about the virtues of free enterprise and private ownership: how they provide incentives for the industrious and undermine lazy welfare cheats.
Thirty pages later, Rush Limbaugh and Rush Revere, the freewheeling author and his time-traveling counterpart, rewrite history and photoshop themselves in. It’s the very first Thanksgiving, and settlers and Indians alike turn to celebrate Rush, the man whose ideas about free enterprise and private ownership brought freedom and prosperity to what would eventually become the United States. Let none forget, especially the young readers of this history book.
Please, then, as you sit down to your meals this Thanksgiving, raise your glasses and toast the man who made this all possible.
Rush Limbaugh has published these sequels in the “Time-Travel Adventures With Exceptional Americans” series: Rush Revere and the Star-Spangled Banner, Rush Revere and the American Revolution, and Rush Revere and the First Patriots.