- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 19, 2003

Dear Rush, I despise your politics. If you’ve read my rants about you and your brethren Talk Radio Lords Of Loud, you know I am a flaming liberal whose stomach ties in knots when listening to the Excellence in Broadcasting network. That said: Rush! I’m with you.

I know it isn’t easy to admit being addicted, for though I am a flaming liberal or progressive or whatever you’re calling me today, most fundamental to my life is that I am a recovering alcoholic (14 years since my last drink). Because of that, you and I finally have something in common.

Politics makes strange bedfellows, but so does misery. What you’re going through and the arduous task that awaits you in rehabland is what millions have gone through before you. And what a mishmash of characters they are; rich and poor, Muslim and Jew, liberal and conservative. Addiction neither discriminates nor is finicky about color or class. Anyone will do.

Narcotic or alcoholic, any dependency isolates the most social of us, and brings the mightiest to their knees. You’re dealing with a monster much more insidious than even Hillary Clinton. You’re hooked on something much more addictive than power. With all of your achievements, overcoming this will become your greatest success. That is because this failure of the body and the mind can be the best thing that ever happens. As Einstein said, “Within every obstacle lies an opportunity.”

But opportunities remain just platitudes without action. I understand that this is your third attempt to get clean. Not unusual. The addiction landscape is teeming with retreads. It’s just another piece of evidence that tells you how formidable the road is. But you already know that. That a legend of conservative power like yourself is alleged to have illegally purchased thousands of addictive painkillers tells us how incomprehensible the enemy is. Makes the mainstream liberal media seem like your Weekly Reader.

It will be anything but easy. Unfortunately, for a personality like yourself, it’ll be even harder. The first of Alcoholics Anonymous’s 12 Steps is for the alcoholic/addict to admit hispowerlessness.That means dropping all ego. Just knowing how difficult that would be for most people, I can’t imagine how trying it will be for one of the most dominating voices in the world.

But, I guarantee you, Rush, if you apply yourself, one day at a time, your will come out a changed man. A better man. A happier man. This isn’t to say that you’ll come out of rehab a born-again Democrat. But the 12-Step Program will not only save your life, but give you the tools to can survive the emotional and physical pain you now endure and will face for years to come.

If you listen to the winners you are going to meet along the way and take the actions suggested, unimaginable gifts await you. And in time — God’s, not yours — you’ll be back on the air, gushing your gospel. And then, you’ll have to be ever-vigilant. Addiction is devious and awaits around the corner for another opportunity to pounce. As a third-timer, you already know that. Don’t risk going back into rehab again. One time you may not make it back.

I can’t wait to start hating you again.

Steve Young writes for Jewishworldreview.com.

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