A giant of liberty who inspired many citizens to hold their government accountable died on Wednesday.

It’s hard to picture a world before Rush Limbaugh, but back in the day, our own government engaged in a pre-emptive cancel culture when the “fairness doctrine” stifled free speech.

President Reagan tore off that muzzle, and Rush’s voice entered our airwaves and our hearts.

For decades, he educated us about liberty, warned us what was at stake, and spurred us to get involved. I still remember listening to him as I was homeschooled back in the day, and what fire that gave me.

But I think most importantly, Rush did something not enough people do today.

He encouraged us.

No matter how dark things got, no matter how many defeats or disappointments we were dealt, Rush told us to get back up, that it wasn’t over, and we had to still fight on.

He also made us laugh.

There is a difference between ranting and raving about the challenges before us and warning us about the dangers while finding humor in the struggle.

Life’s tough enough already without laughter; if we don’t have joy in the fight, we’ll soon be sulking away, wondering what the point of it all was.

He was by no means a perfect man—only Christ holds that title—but Rush Limbaugh was an inspiration for an entire movement of citizen-leaders and will likely inspire generations after us, even though they may not know his name.

Many of us have recently lost people nearer and dearer to us than one of our favorite radio hosts, but the best way to honor those who’ve passed on is to continue advancing self-governance under God.

Let us all go on educating and encouraging each other. And laughing together.

Thank you, Rush.

This commentary has been updated since publication.

Robert Montoya

Born in Houston, Robert Montoya is an investigative reporter for Texas Scorecard. He believes transparency is the obligation of government.