My Conversation With Rush Limbaugh
Posted On March 8, 2021
By Simona Pipko
When I came to the U.S. in the early 80’s, I didn’t know the language. It was a tough time for me—as a professional speaker, I was unable to construct a simple sentence. English is a very subtle and complicated language. Besides a new culture that was strange to me and a different political system, the inability to communicate was a terrifying state of existence for me. I was desperate to assimilate and my failure to communicate was holding me back. Anxious, I listened to the radio all day and night, even sleeping with the radio to learn the language.
Somewhere toward the end of the 80’s, I found a station where a pleasant voice described the uniqueness of the American republic. I liked this voice, its fluency and his idea, a new idea for me—the uniqueness of the American republic. I learned the name of the man—Rush and was ready to listen to him the next day. Alas, I had lost the station. I was very disappointed, but continued looking for Rush. Finally, in 1988 Rush came to New York, where I lived at the time and ever since Rush has become part of my every-day life. Moreover, I called Rush and had a conversation with him, pp. 571-574, Baltic Winds Testimony of a Soviet Attorney, XLIBRIS, 2002.
During my first years in America, I was in love with radio and TV, charmed by their professionalism, substance, and quick response to any occasion, let alone perfect English. I’d been especially overwhelmed by the investigative reports—they reminded me of reports from the department of investigation in the KGB. The Soviet press had never had access to any classified information. American democracy provided the media with incredible power. And what excellent writing skills the journalists possessed! I envied them.
But something had changed along the way. Instead of reporting the facts, the media were looking primarily for sensation, to stir up human feelings, to excite or scare, to make more money—covering inconsequential episodes and overlooking significant events. So I asked myself how a reporter or commentator could arrive at an accurate judgment without the truth. It appeared the media had been deceived the same way that the American people had and, not knowing the truth, had to attract the public with sensations. In doing so, our media had become a twin brother to the former Soviet media—empty in substance. It had always irritated me when listening to a reporter called Zhirinovsky, a hard-liner nationalist. Wouldn’t it be more appropriate to call him a Stalinist? At least the word would bring a sense of reality and a warning…. What could be worse than the deceived media in democracy!
The one person who stood out from the chorus of America’s deceived believers was Rush Limbaugh, a real American patriot. I thought I should talk to him. And I did. It was not an easy matter to get through to his show by phone, but God was with me and finally after twenty or so minutes, I got the opportunity to talk to Rush. I was so nervous to speak to him that I am afraid he did not understand the significance of my information. I was talking about Soviet involvement in the anti-war movements around the world and about Soviet Health Care, which was worth nothing. I also told him that Clinton was a member of the anti-war movement and gave me the impression that he worked with the KGB.
It was 1992; America was campaigning for a new president. My dislike of Clinton had overwhelmed me to such a degree that I could not remain silent. And despite my poor English, I dared to call Rush Limbaugh. He was the only person I could trust—his awareness of Clinton’s danger coincided with mine. So in talking with him I went straight ahead and warned him and his listeners about the Soviet infiltration and other negative features of Soviet Socialism.
Each new fact about Clinton, moreover, pointed to the veracity of my first impression. He had been an activist in the antiwar movement and, once visiting Moscow, lived with a Russian family. My God, he had lived with the family of a KGB member, or maybe even with two of them—a husband and a wife. It was the only possible explanation—for nobody else in the Soviet Union in the ‘70s would have been trusted to accommodate a foreigner but the family of KGB members. Though there was another scenario of Clinton’s staying in Moscow—the Hotel National, my attitude toward him has not changed. Like the Hotel Europeyskay in Leningrad, the Hotel National served as a roof for the KGB to deal with recruiting the foreigners.
I didn’t like Clinton’s pictures of the ‘60s and ‘70s in Moscow either. He reminded me of a member of the Komsomol, that reservoir of human resources for the KGB. The American media, busy with his womanizing activities, never opened the curtain on the possibility that Clinton was affiliated with the KGB. When he, himself, explained his participation in the antiwar movement in Oxford, saying he “only organized teachers,” no one from the media asked who’d given him that assignment. I suspected the KGB had. I had known the KGB’s modus operandi in using human weaknesses while recruiting foreigners—to supply “girls,” obtain compromising pictures, and then blackmail. And that scenario generated in me an aggressive stance against Clinton.
The ‘passport file’ story eventually validated my suspicions—it was well grounded, something beyond intuition. There were two critical aspects in the passport episode; first, the fact that pages from Clinton’s passport were missing; second, the information they contained. The concept of a passport in America differs totally from that in the rest of the world. An especially critical importance was attached to passports issued by all Socialist bloc countries.
Somebody in the State Department had taken the initiative to remove pages from Clinton’s passport. Or had he done it himself? Where had he traveled? And why had he concealed those trips? Taken together, the passport story revealed the typical KGB fingerprint to me—handwriting on the wall.
What pain I went through when an attorney from the Bush Administration actually apologized for seeking information concerning Clinton’s passport file! I could not believe it. People in the administration were not aware of the KGB obsession with obtaining information about others and concealing its own! I was crushed. There was no alternative for me—I had to vote for Bush. Moreover, I couldn’t discuss my thoughts with my Romanian friend and that disturbed me immensely. For me, Clinton’s presidency presented a catastrophic threat to national security of this country. And that terrified me. As an emotional wreck in an agony of suspense, I glued my eyes to the TV, watching the endless excitement and jubilation of the American people, especially women, ready to vote for Clinton. My poor women were fooled and used again! They had no idea of what they were doing to their children, their families, and to our country . . .
What Vlad had warned me about the Soviet Union had come to America—charlatans turned into heroes, decent people accused of crime. There was an atmosphere of Soviet socialist morality all around. I had to expose it!
In the morning I was unable to write my book; the sense of urgency tore me apart, and in the afternoon, when Rush began talking about Clinton’s character, I knew that my time to speak out had arrived. Nothing could stop me.
As I understood the word “character” in English, it has a broad connotation, something equating a human’s individuality, with references from past and present behaviors and therefore a possible intimation of future ones. If the word “personality” primarily referred to an appearance, a “character” in my view reflected substance—thoughts, moral qualities, and ability to see the real world—the core of a human being. If a personality is a private domain, a character is a public one.
A human being without character resembled a house without a roof and windows. In Clinton’s case, the issue of character had identified the absence of that essence in the man. He had no individuality or character and was ready to imitate or wear any appropriate mask if necessary. But how could I convince Limbaugh and his audience?
Talking on national radio scared me. I had to choose my every word. Besides, I would have, at best, three minutes, no more, to put my ideas together. Instead of writing down some thoughts, the force of urgency drove me to the phone. Eagerness and nervousness are not a good combination, but I had no time to think. My hand, trembling, dialed the number. Busy signals followed for thirty or forty minutes and I redialed over and over again. My throat was dry, and my hands trembled, but I redialed unyieldingly. I had a goal.
Suddenly the busy signals stopped and a polite male voice performed an inquisition, screening and tormenting me with dozens of questions. I had to prove my point. I did. He was a smart man, and I passed the test. I don’t remember Rush’s words as he presented me. Nervously I began talking about the ‘sixties and ‘seventies:
“The Soviet Union fully participated in the Vietnam War. It helped the North Vietnamese with weaponry, grains, and the Soviet pilots fought air battles against the Americans. As a party to that war, the Soviets were interested in winning, and, for that reason, the KGB infiltrated the antiwar movement around the world and later led it. It’s not a secret anymore. The Russian newspapers today are filled with new revelations about the real Soviet participation in the Vietnam War. The point is that the KGB orchestrated many activities within the antiwar movement, and people from the movement worked with the KGB.” Rush stopped me, asking something, I don’t remember what. Full of desire to make my point, I disregarded his words and continued.
“Character is very important. When Clinton came to Moscow he was already a member of the peace movement.” I wanted to
say that he already knew whom he was dealing with. By his own admission, he “organized teachers in Oxford,” carrying out somebody’s assignment. I wanted to show his duplicity and arrogance, his affiliation with the KGB prior to the Moscow visit, but I couldn’t say it so bluntly. Though extremely anxious and nervous, I nevertheless, restrained myself from screaming: The Soviet mafia is coming to America! Nobody would comprehend what the term meant. Besides, the American public had not the remotest idea of who Primakov or Zhirinovsky was. There was only one way to expose the Soviet connection—I had to stay in the parameters of the familiar three letters—KGB.
“The point is that the KGB orchestrated all the activities and the antiwar movement was headed by the KGB,” I said.
“Did you know Clinton personally?” Rush asked me.
“No. But all Soviet people knew about the KGB and its involvement in the antiwar movement worldwide.” I knew I hadn’t presented my case well. I was nervous and afraid that a commercial break would interrupt me. And it did. Rush asked me to hold on. My head was spinning, thoughts running wildly through my mind. How could I prove my point? How could I squeeze so much into such a short span of time?
After the break Rush again asked me about the connection between character and the issue. There was no time to talk about the defining battles still going on around the world between capitalism and socialism. And there were no written words in front of me. The only thing I could hear was the clock ticking.
“I’m not an economist, but I’ve studied Marxism a great deal. Economy is not only about unemployment figures. Economy is a concept with two ideologically possible approaches—it’s a market economy, which is called capitalism, or a government-controlled economy. I can tell you, when I listen to Clinton—what he’s talking about and what he’s promising the United States—I have come to the conclusion that he very deeply inhaled utopian Soviet socialism.” I couldn’t talk over the national radio about Stalinism and its tactics. Again, I was losing sight of how to make my point because I couldn’t openly say what I had in mind. I was frustrated at my inability to cope with the situation and formulate the answers. That frustration and a choking back of tears changed the tone of my voice.
“He’s promising, and he’s lying. He’s promising national health care—I know what this means, I ran from this health care. He’s talking about an economy controlled by the government. The consequences of this approach you now see in the former Soviet Union—its economy is bankrupt. That’s why I would say that, while Mr. Clinton maybe didn’t understand what he was doing in the ‘sixties and ‘seventies, today, twenty years later, he’s proved that he has shared his point of view with the Soviet apparatchiks. He’s acting as a regular Soviet apparatchik.” I wanted to caution the audience regarding the Soviet connection. But in addition to the obscurity of the subject, I lacked the necessary words and didn’t know which ones to use to alarm, to warn, or to alert. Unable to cope with the language, I lost control and almost crying, shouted in anguish.
“He’s promising, and he’s lying. It’s all too familiar to me, and that’s why I want to alert the American people—think before you vote, think before you vote . . .” I don’t remember anything but a devastating feeling of defeat when the conversation ended. October 29, 1992. Rush repeated the conversation October 30th, 1992…
Rush Limbaugh passed away February 17. 2021.
God blessed us all with Rush Limbaugh! His teachings will serve generations carrying on his legacy. Rest in peace Rush!
This article by Simona Pipko was originally published here and is used with permission.
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Simona Pipko is a contributing author for NRN and former Soviet attorney. Pipko practiced law for 25 years in Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, and immigrated to the US in 1981. She is the author of five books and over 100 columns and essays. www.simonapipko1.com