All decent people are wishing Rush Limbaugh a speedy recovery from lung cancer. Rush is an American success story and an engine of wealth and job creation.

Rush Limbaugh has been more than a cheerleader for the free-market economy, he has been an active participant. Every few years he has earned larger and larger financial returns for his time on the radio. Undergirding those contracts has been a legion of sales executives, station owners, and business owners who want access to the consumers listening to Rush Limbaugh on the radio.

Rush Limbaugh is an entrepreneur and an entertainer. He is a cross between Henry Ford and Johnny Carson. He is in many ways the living combination of Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) and businessman Henry Huddleston Rogers.

Rush Limbaugh is credited with reviving the AM band on the radio dial. He put together a program on 53 radio stations in the late 1980s and soon there were over 150 stations broadcasting his show.

Rush's brand of conservative thought, humor, and American optimism build an audience of millions. Those millions of optimistic Americans were just what AM radio needed to attract advertisers. Those station's sales executives went out to the business community and told them about Rush and his audience. The businesses that were smart enough to advertise on Rush saw their revenues increase as optimistic consumers learned about their wares.

Because of Rush, there are hundreds of radio talk show hosts on the air today.

It is likely impossible to determine exactly how much wealth Rush has created over the years, but it is in the billions of dollars. Because of Rush and his audience, there are successful businesses, radio stations, and related employees all across America. Those successful folks have bought houses, cars, send their kids to college, traveled, funded churches and charities, and enjoyed their life. Their partnership, close and distant, with Rush Limbaugh made much of it possible.

President Donald J. Trump awarded Rush Limbaugh our country's highest civilian honor at the State of the Union Speech and millions of Americans appreciated and shared that moment with them.

Chris McCarthy is the host of The Chris McCarthy Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Contact him at chris.mccarthy@townsquaremedia.com and follow him on Twitter @Chris_topher_Mc. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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