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Illinois Federation

For Right to Life

Daily News

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Four Ingredients for Success


Twenty years is a long time to be doing anything. Twenty years in which you are almost always the Numero Uno radio talk show personality in the world is an accomplishment of a different magnitude.


Rush Limbaugh celebrates 20 years of "The Rush Limbaugh Show." Rush is heard on 600 radio stations with an estimated weekly listening audience of nearly 20 million. His influence is amazing, matched only by his shrewdness in building a radio empire.


Rush is a committed pro-lifer. Anyone who listens to his program knows that. He stands up for his convictions on abortion, as he does for everything else. What follows is inspired by his pro-life convictions, and is not to be taken as commentary on the issues outside of National Right to Life's purview about which Rush takes positions.


I remember the occasion when Rush spoke at the National Right to Life Convention. He was funny, I mean really funny, and on display were the people skills and intellect that have made him the most well recognized voice in radio.


Greg Laurie wrote a piece earlier this week about Rush ("The secrets to Limbaugh's success") in which he offers four qualities that Laurie believes underlies Limbaugh's enormous ongoing success as a "master communicator." In addition to the aforementioned humor, Laurie cited Rush's passion, his ability to "makes the complex understandable" and Rush's steadfast commitment "to his beliefs, whether they are popular or not."


I thought about this at some length yesterday. Abortion hardly lends itself to a humorous or even a light treatment. This is literally life and death, a "decision" so devastating that its ripples extend throughout the poor child's family.


But it also true that to win over hearts we must be (in one of my favorite words) winsome. Scholar William Barclay once wrote that the original Greek word for winsome can be paraphrased as "that which brings forth love."


He wrote that by setting our minds on the lovely things--"kindness, sympathy, patience"-- we become winsome people "whose presence inspires feelings of love." That's who we want to be.


Passion? Pro-lifers have this by the truckload. Our only "problem" is funneling our passion in the most effective manner, the way that allows us to best channel our gifts.


How about making the complex understandable? The beauty of being a pro-lifer is that our case can be made in a way that appeals to the youngest child or to the oldest brainiac.


Likewise, we can advance the cause of unborn children with distinctly religious arguments or in language that even the most secular person will find persuasive. That is a real blessing.


Finally, stick-to-itiveness. Few qualities are more important, few qualities are more under-rated, than holding fast even when you and your opinions are under siege.


If truth is truth….


Then no matter how loudly pro-abortionists scream, no matter how many decibels their voice when they yell that abortion is "a woman's decision," it doesn't change the injustice of what has been done or the innocence of the party against whom this despicable action has been taken. You know that, I know that, which is why we can hang tough in season and out.


Congratulations to Rush for 20 years of unmatched success. Congratulations to all of you for modeling these four principles for successful persuasion long before the world heard of "El Rushbo."


Please send your comments to


Contact: Dave Andrusko 

Source: National Right to Life

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The IFRL is the largest grassroots pro-life organization in Illinois. A non-profit organization, that serves as the state coordinating body for local pro-life chapters representing thousands of Illinois citizens working to restore respect for all human life in our society. The IFRL is composed of people of different political persuasions, various faiths and diverse economic, social and ethnic backgrounds. Since 1973 the Illinois Federation for Right to Life has been working to end abortion and restore legal protection to those members of the human family who are threatened by abortion, infanticide and euthanasia. Diverse though we are, we hold one common belief - that every human being has an inalienable right to life that is precious and must be protected. IFRL is dedicated to restoring the right to life to the unborn, and protection for the disabled and the elderly.   Click here to learn more about the IFRL.