Millennial convict: Talk radio turned my life ‘completely around’

Special to WorldTribune.com

The following excerpt is from the Rush Limbaugh show of May 18, 2018

RUSH: Jerome in Traverse City, Michigan. You’re next on Open Line Friday. Hi.

CALLER: How’s it going, Rush?

RUSH: Hey! We’re doing great today. Thank you.

CALLER: Well, I’m just calling in to say that, you know, you saved my life, man. You changed my life completely around. You saved me from a bad place. I made a mistake when was 18 years old and got sentenced to 18 years in city in Texas, right? I’m from Traverse City, though, up here in Michigan. And four years into my eight year sentence I got segged up [put in Administrative Segregation, a form of solitary] because I had got into a fight with a guard. Well, whenever I got segged up, they took away all my TV privilege. All I had was my radio and they play the same songs over and over.

So I was like, “You know what? AM talk shows! That right there could be like TV or whatever,” and I switched over to AM, and I discovered 1470 KYYW, in Abilene, Texas. And listening over… I started listening about 4-1/2 years ago, give or take, and it just completely changed my whole shape of view in life. And now I’m out. I’ve got me a good phone, I’ve got me a good job, I’ve got …

I’m out of my parents’ house and stuff. I immediately just hit streets, and I’m a 26-year-old Millennial. So this is coming from a Millennial and stuff. I just am constantly getting in debates in the streets with people who don’t really know what they’re talking about and also trying to teach people what conservatism really is and try to teach people how our government’s really supposed to run.

RUSH: This is incredible. This … I’ve got goosebumps listening to you.

CALLER: (chuckles)

RUSH: I really do. The way you described it, you are a hell of a storyteller.

CALLER: I mean, like, four years into my sentence, I was still talking about jumping it up from burglaries of houses to armed robbery, and then I discovered your show.

RUSH: And you discovered it because they took your TV privileges away.

CALLER: Because I was screwing up that bad.

RUSH: And you got sick and tired of the same playlists over and over and all the music stations, so you —

CALLER: And then I completely discovered, like, how I all my life as far as in schools, how I’ve been lied to all my life by the media. Like —

RUSH: When you…? Can —

CALLER: When I went into seg, I thought Barack Obama was the best thing ever. And then once I started actually, like, learning and stuff like that and seeing how he’s actually screwed up our country, you’ll never catch me saying that ever.

RUSH: Can I ask you a question about when you got sent to prison?

CALLER: Yes, sir.

RUSH: I’m not gonna ask you why, what for, but when you look back on it… Where you are in your life now, you think that a lot of people told you things that weren’t true?

CALLER: Yes.

RUSH: They had you set up for different thing. Do you think that any of that contributed to the life you were living that got you thrown in jail, or was that nothing to do with it; you were just doing stuff you shouldn’t have been doing?

CALLER: Well, I wouldn’t say… I mean, well, actually there was a lot of stuff, though, as far as like how I would see all in the media about like, how bad the police are and stuff like that. And that gave me no respect for authority and stuff because I felt like everybody… They were all out to get me and stuff like that, because I was brainwashed into thinking, “Okay, well, you’re in the streets. You don’t have, like, a lot of… You know, you don’t come from like a lot of money and stuff like that.” You know, my mom worked as a waitress and stuff —

RUSH: So they talked you into or they influenced you —

CALLER: — and that talked me into believing that I didn’t get a chance.

RUSH: — into an adversarial relationship with law enforcement?

CALLER: Exactly. They taught me that I had no chance really, and try to preach to people every single day that you do have a chance. You do have a chance to become an elitist. I was talking to my stepdad one day and, you know, I told him that I wanted to open up rehab and I also wanted to open up a string of businesses. And he told me, “Well, you know, you should just focus on your factory job.” I’ve already signed up for college.

I know what I’m gonna do, and he’d say, “Because all those dreams just might not come true. They might just not come like that. There’s a lot more…” And I told him, I said, “You know, that I say the difference between me and you. You’re an average citizen. Me, I’m an elitist. I know I can make it to the top. Nobody can tell me I can’t. You know, and that’s the thing, though. There’s so many success stories. Look at Dr. Ben Carson.”

RUSH: Let me tell you, what you just said there is so important, and I have often thought that many people end up in life where they end up because family members or parents or other people who were influential with them basically said, “Don’t start dreaming. You’re just gonna get disappointed. Just stick with the way the family’s operating now. Just stick with it. Take the safe route. Be this. Don’t take any risks. Don’t take any chances. You’re not gonna succeed ’cause they’re not gonna let you,” that kind of stuff. And you finally decided to stop listening to them.

CALLER: Exactly. And the thing is, too, like, I’m considered the black sheep of the family, probably. Me and my sister. I mean, my grandparents are conservative. My mom doesn’t really get into politics. But any time she does, though, it’s always leaning conservative. My aunt, my uncle? Die-hard conservatives. They’re actually listening right now, because I texted everybody because I was so excited because I’ve had this dream since I was in prison of talking to you on the radio.

RUSH: Wow. This is boggling my mind. What —

CALLER: I can remember pacing in my cell back and forth listening to your show on Open Line Friday just thinking, like, “You know what? One day I’m gonna be out of here and one day I’m gonna call and tell him how you saved my life.”

RUSH: And here you are.

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