Rush Limbaugh became an award-winning children’s author this month.
This is a major career milestone for Limbaugh, and a shrewd refocusing of his efforts.
I’ve always felt that Limbaugh’s game fell short on an adult level, and so I applaud the new direction.
The Children’s Book Council, a national non-profit trade association, gave Limbaugh a Children’s Choice Book Award for Author of the Year last week for his time-traveling adventure, “Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims.”
Rush handily beat the field of lamestream children’s media nominees, including the winner of the past two years, Jeff Kinney, the author of the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” series, and perennial children’s book superstars Rick Riordan, Rachel Rene Russell, and Veronica Roth, whose book “Divergent” has spawned the big-budget Hollywood movie of the same name.
The nominees were picked based on book sales, and the winner was decided by whoever received the most online votes.
And no, I don’t think this was some vast right-wing conspiracy. Just because Limbaugh had been touting his nomination to his adult listeners and on his website is no reason to believe that right-wing adults who hadn’t read his children’s book pretended to be kids voting for Limbaugh’s book.
I choose instead to believe that middle-school kids are irresistibly attracted to a story of a substitute history teacher named Rush Revere who travels in time through American history with his talking horse Liberty to deliver thematic messages that stress the value of individual achievement over collective efforts.
What teenager could resist that!
Yes, the childless Limbaugh is a genuine oracle for kids. And I can only hope that his forays into children’s books continue.
In fact, I think I can help. Here are some ideas I have for future installments in his “Rush Revere” American history adventures.
Title: “Rush Revere and the Suffragettes.”
Plot: Rush Revere and his trusty steed Liberty time travel to Rochester, New York, in 1872, where they they witness women’s rights activist Susan B. Anthony being arrested for trying to vote in an election.
Rush Revere tells Anthony to quit acting like a “Feminazi.”
Excerpt: “Take it from El Rushbo, sweetheart,” he said to Anthony, as Liberty snorted “Ditto” from his whiskery snout. “This voting nonsense for you gals will only lead our great nation on a road to ruin. What’s next? You’ll expect us men to put up with your birth control. So you can have sex all day! And then before you know it, we’ll be saying hello to President Hillary Clinton.”
Anthony eyed her strange visitor with alarm.
“You say you’re from the future,” Anthony told Rush Revere. “Yet your thinking is so rooted in the past.”
Title: “Rush Revere and the March to Montgomery.”
Plot: Rush Revere and Liberty time travel to 1965, where they find themselves in the midst of marchers singing “We Shall Overcome” as they walk across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama. Rush Revere, uncomfortable to be around so many people who wouldn’t be allowed in Palm Beach’s Everglades Club, finds the leader of the march, Martin Luther King Jr., and tries to talk him out of ruining America.
Excerpt: “This is a bad idea,” Rush Revere told King. “You’re only giving your people a sense of entitlement. Next thing you know, they’ll expect to play quarterback in the NFL.”
But King didn’t seem to listen.
“Fine, have it your way,” Rush Revere said, before motioning to his horse. “C’mon, Liberty, let’s go to where those nice policemen and their dogs are standing.”
Title: “Rush Revere and the Ho Chi Minh Trail.”
Plot: It’s 1971 and Rush Revere and Liberty find themselves in the middle of the Vietnam War as American and South Vietnamese troops try to cut off the Viet Cong’s supply route through Laos. Lucky for Rush Revere, he brought along his medical file that shows he has a cyst on his rear end that spares him military service.
Excerpt: “Excuse me, guys,” Rush Revere said, after galloping with Liberty all the way to the airport in Da Nang. “You guys are doing a great job for the country I love so much. But as you can see from my papers, I can’t be here right now. And besides, Liberty and I are desperately needed to spread freedom back in the U.S.”
Frank Cerabino writes for The Palm Beach Post. E-mail: frank(underscore)cerabino(at)pbpost.com.