Conservative radio powerhouse Rush Limbaugh received a phone call on Friday he will likely never forget. Jerome from Traverse City, Michigan, was on the other end of the phone.
What the young man from a troubled past had to say left Limbaugh speechless.
Limbaugh "saved" Jerome's life, and he wanted the radio host to know it. While in prison, Jerome, once a staunch Obama supporter, said he began listening to Limbaugh's program on a local talk radio station. He experienced a complete life change soon after. He explained:
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.
After hearing Jerome's story, Limbaugh replied: "This is incredible. This… I’ve got goosebumps listening to you."
Jerome explained that halfway through his sentence, he was determined to return to a life of crime whenever he was released from prison, but it was during the time his TV privileges were revoked that he discovered he had been "lied" to.
"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," Jerome said. "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."
After hearing Jerome's story, Limbaugh had a question: Did the leftist cultural narrative contribute to his pre-prison life?
Jerome explained that the lie he believed was that he had no real chance of making anything of his life.
"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,'" he said.
Jerome also explained how he told other inmates then-presidential candidate Donald Trump would be elected president.
"This is a real quick conversation that I had with an inmate whenever I was in prison. Right after President Trump got elected, which I told everybody he would, and nobody believed me and then at the end nobody wanted to bet, but, anyway, so he said, 'Trump is not for us.' Blah, blah, blah. 'He thinks we’re scum.' And I told him I was like, 'You know what, you gotta take a look around. We kind of are scum until you get out and prove yourself that you’re not scum.' I was like we wreck homes, we wreck families, all of us criminals," Jerome said.
"I broke into somebody’s house and stole the stuff that they had hard-earned. I’d be mad if somebody went and broke in my house and stole stuff. I was like, 'We’re tearing apart communities, people in here selling drugs have killed so many people.' I’m like, 'So you can’t blame them for looking at you like you’re scum, because you kind of are scum.' And it was such a hard thing for that guy to face," he explained.
What was Limbaugh's ending reaction?
Utter shock, and he was admittedly speechless. Limbaugh explained:
That was nothing short of amazing. I’m still kind of speechless about it. I’m asking myself, how does — he’s in prison, and he’s a malcontent, and he gets privileges removed, including not being able to watch television because he’s misbehaving, in his early twenties. Gets tired of listening to music and all of a sudden discovers this program and goes through a transformation.
Now, I’m wondering if there wasn’t a little bit of conservatism in him all the time that was just unlocked, or if he was really completely, totally converted. I should have asked. I didn’t think of this ’til after the phone call. ‘Cause you talk about a transformation. I mean, that is a total, 180, almost 360-degree transformation. Not 360, obviously, but that was huge. I mean, this is complete and total.