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Analysis: The blueprint for Trump

February 19, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 20.1%. 1 min read.

Millions of Americans who grew old with Limbaugh will mourn the self-described "America's Anchorman." Millions more will bemoan a legacy that has much to do with America's current political estrangement.

(CNN)Rush Limbaugh was Trump before Trump.

The trailblazing conservative radio icon, who died Wednesday, spent decades perfecting smash mouth and scorched-earth politics and building the angry Republican base that powered the 45th President to the White House.

The Missouri-born former DJ was a disciple of Ronald Reagan, the 1980s President who revolutionized the conservative movement, and blasted the left "with half my brain tied behind my back just to make it fair. " His listeners, mostly conservative men, felt that they had finally found someone who understood them and spoke for them when he lashed out at media and political "elites" — stirring exactly the feelings that Donald Trump would exploit in 2016.

His show was a precursor to Trump's rallies -- Limbaugh used belligerent, politically incorrect humor to give his audience a good time.

After Limbaugh fell ill with cancer, Trump awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, to cheers from Republicans and disgusted silence from Democrats.

The venomous political divides that Limbaugh and Trump fomented for personal power are playing out in an extraordinary family feud that mirrors the national dislocation of a bitter American era.

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