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Steve Jobs: American Exceptionalism

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Over all of the years that I've been hosting this program -- 23 -- I have been an evangel for Apple Inc. products. I love them, and one of the things that I have always done on this program is talk about my passions and share my passions with all of you. I think a large part of life is passion. When you find it, when you have it, it's fabulous. It's a magnet for other people, and it's self-invigorating, and sharing those passions is something that I thoroughly enjoy. Over these 23 years, each time I would discuss Apple products -- a new one that I couldn't wait to get or one that I was having problems with or frustrated with -- I'd always get e-mails from people, "Would you stop talking about Apple? They're nothing but a bunch of liberals! I don't want to hear about Apple. Why do you talk about Jobs? It's nothing but a bunch of liberals."

I talk about Apple and Jobs because I love greatness. I just love greatness. I am fascinated by it. I am intrigued by how it happens. I'm intrigued about every aspect of greatness and excellence, because it's so genuinely rare. It is genuinely rare and exciting, and I am mesmerized by it. I'm inspired by it. I've many times told people (and you, too) that one of the greatest perks of the good fortune that I've had has been to meet people. I have had the opportunity to meet people who are the best at what they do, and that is exhilarating and fun and inspiring to me. So I attach myself to these things that create childlike wonderment in me. It's difficult as an adult to have childlike wonderment. How soon do we all outgrow the excitement that as children we all felt on Christmas Eve, and how many of us wish by magic that we could recapture it?

To find out -- to rediscover that total, unbounded passion of childlike exuberance, excitement, innocence, uncluttered by the rigors of life lived as an adult. And for me, speaking honestly, the introduction of every new Apple product ignited that in me. That's just me. I am fascinated by what Apple products do; how they do it, the invention process, the whole way. I would have loved -- and I would never get this opportunity; it would never happen, but I would have loved -- to be the guy to write Jobs' biography. I would have loved to have had the chance to just pick his brain and find out what it was about him. Because he wasn't very self-revealing. I guess the most he revealed about himself was that Stanford commencement speech in 2005. It didn't matter to me that Steve Jobs was a liberal. It disappointed me for his sake, but that is not who he was to me.

Steve Jobs epitomized American exceptionalism. His life epitomized it. His philosophies epitomized American exceptionalism. The fact that he was a liberal, to me, was one of the greatest contradictions. But that is of no matter and no concern now. This past Tuesday they introduced the iPhone 4S, and I told you that on Monday I felt like it was Christmas Eve -- and it was for me -- and at age 60 I was able to feel like I did as a kid on Christmas Eve when I was eight or nine. There hasn't been, in the last ten years, an Apple product that has not created wonderment in me, that has not exceeded my expectations. Using Apple products is genuine fun for me; and at the same time, they have increased my productivity. I know I'm making this sound like it's a lot about me but it's the best way to explain all this to you. What Jobs did literally changed the way human beings receive-transmit-enjoy all media. One guy did this. He had a lot of great people around him, but one guy did it. One guy's vision. To me, it's mind-boggling.

I'm sad that he's dead.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: I remember the rant that we aired from Elizabeth Warren running for the Senate in Massachusetts where she said, (imitation) "Hey, you're a successful CEO, you have a successful factory, successful company, hey, hey, you didn't do it on your own. Nobody does it on their own. You couldn't-a done it without us, without our roads and our bridges and magical infrastructure. Nobody does it on their own."  If there was one person who stands as an almost total contradiction to Elizabeth Warren's ignorant anti-capitalist rant, it's Steve Jobs.  Steve Jobs and his life prove just how wrong Elizabeth Warren and the people who think like her, including Obama, really are.  Steve Jobs' life contradicts their every belief about capitalism and capitalists. 

You know, I laugh, the irony, we have all of these idiot kids, Occupy Wall Street, being paid for in part by George Soros money.  Where did he get it?  They are the victims of terrible educations.  Good Lord, think of what those poor people have not been taught and instead think of how they have been propagandized in the name of education.  And they're out there, and they are occupying and protesting and demonstrating against capitalism, free markets, that have provided all of them with their iPhones and their iTunes and their iPads and whatever other devices that they're using, the means of transportation to get where they go.  All of these things the capitalist system provided.  They are protesting the very thing that makes it possible for them to do what they do, live and feed off of other people.  And Steve Jobs stands in a stark contrast. 

Steve Jobs, what he did with his life and his business -- and there are many others, too, he's not alone in this -- illustrates the entire concept of American exceptionalism, illustrates the truth and the wisdom of so much that we are all taught at one time in our lives.  Love what you do, and it's not work.  Have passion for what you do, don't live somebody else's life, live your own.  "What do you mean by that, Mr. Limbaugh? What do you mean don't live someone else's life?"  That simply means don't try to meet the expectations of others.  Who are they?  Why you always gonna assume everybody knows more than you do?  Why do we always assume that everybody's smarter than we are?  Why do we always assume that we're inferior to everybody else and, well, whatever they do is what we ought to do because they're better than we are. Don't live somebody else's life.  And don't listen to the people who failed at something.  All they're gonna be is bitter. 

I know Jobs is a liberal and it's contradictory, but I have to look past it in this sense because that was never a factor for me in my total immersion into Apple.  I really can't explain it to you other than to say I'll give you an example.  The new operating system for the iPhone and the iPad, iOS 5 it's called, is going to be released October 12th.  I can't wait.  It's like when I was ten years old and Christmas was five days away.  I can't wait.  And then a couple days after that the new phone is gonna be available.  I can't wait for that.  And I'm wondering how hard's it gonna be for me to get one.  Well, the last time when the iPhone 4 came out I spent all day trying to buy one at their online store.  It rejected my phone number.  They were having problems on their website. 

I spent 18 hours, not straight, but I spent 18 hours of effort trying to get a new iPhone 4. 
There's nothing else.  There's no other product.  There's no other device. There's no other inanimate object in life that I do that for.  And then there's gonna be a new iPad coming next year, iPad 3.  And it's supposedly gonna be just over the top. I can't wait for that.  To me that's Steve Jobs, and everybody else at Apple.  The whole company fascinates me. The whole company ought to be a textbook example for others.  I don't know where you go in Cuba to buy a phone made in Cuba.  I don't know that anybody would want one or any other pure communist or socialist country.  Much less a car or anything else made in one of those countries.  Where's the Russian iPad? 

You have to admire Jobs for a whole lot of reasons, but one of them, he obviously did not let his liberalism get in the way of his work.  How liberal could he have been to become this classic capitalist, this classic salesman?  Because after all, what is at the end of every Apple project?  I'm not talking about what made it, what went into it, created it, that process.  What is the end result?  Separating people from their money.  "No, Mr. Limbaugh, Mr. Jobs was following in idealistic fashion.  He had a dream to make the best products."  That's exactly right.  He didn't give them away, did he?  And his products were not the cheapest that you could find.  It wasn't until recently that he went mass market.  He didn't care about market share with the Macintosh.  Cared about profit.  The Macintosh, with a 6 to 8% market share, was a more profitable machine than any of the other PCs, the IBMs, the Dells, the Gateways, whatever the other manufacturers are. 

He was openly, purposely in pursuit of profit.  He was a billionaire multi times over.  But he said he didn't care about that.  Well, I don't know how he couldn't have cared about it.  He had to care about it in order to do what he did.  I've read a lot of the obits.  They say he's a great salesman.  Yep.  Yep.  What's the objective of a salesman?  Separate people from their money.  Now, a lot of people think that's awfully crass.  No.  It's what makes the world go round.  He did it entirely legitimately.  He created things people craved.  He created things people had to have, in part because of his own personality, his own uniqueness, but because of the products themselves.  People had to have them, and they still can't get enough of them. 

The iPad 2 was released. They couldn't make them fast enough meet the worldwide demand, and I think the figure I saw was 200,000 a day that they were making. Steve Jobs never let his liberalism get in the way of his work. He was practically the epitome of a capitalist. He risked everything to start and build a company. He was fired by that company and then brought back. When he was brought back, he took it over -- and now Apple Inc. is considered to be the most valuable share-for-share company on Wall Street. It has a larger market cap than Microsoft or Exxon. It makes money hand over fist, and it does so by providing people things that are of the finest quality and workmanship -- products that people think they have to have, much less crave and desire to have.

To me, folks, all of it is just fascinating. It's just the epitome of excellence, the epitome of greatness -- and, for whatever reason, all of that excellence and all of that greatness is said to have resided in one man. Now, we all know he couldn't have done this himself. There are 30,000 or 40,000 Apple employees, including the retail stores. Jobs was hit with everything everybody else. "What do you mean? Steve, you can't sell your products in a retail store! You don't have a wide enough variety. Don't go retail, Steve. You don't know about retail. You can't. Don't even mess with it. You've got a great model going here." My point is that even Steve Jobs after all of these countless years of over-the-top success had people telling him, "You'll fail if you do it."

Today there are 327 Apple stores, retail stores around the world, and starting Thursday night, people are gonna be lined up for blocks around a lot of them trying to get this new iPhone. There are people that go into Apple stores like kids go into toy stores; and I think that's one of the unspoken answers to what is considered the magic of Apple and the whole aura of the place. It's tough to get into an Apple store on a Saturday afternoon. I've only been into one (it was in Boston) 'cause I don't shop. I don't do retail. But I was walking and I said, "There's gotta be one near here." It was on Boylston Street when I was staying in a hotel. I said, "There's gotta be an Apple store nearby here, just has to be." So I got out my iPhone and went to maps: "Tell me where the nearest Apple store is?" It was two blocks away, three blocks away. Pfft! I took the Hoof Express, went down there, and there were -- yep, three blocks, wasn't far -- and there were people there. (interruption) I will walk to an Apple store. Yeah! That's my point. (chuckles) I barely will walk to the bathroom, but I will walk to an Apple store.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Not only was Steve Jobs a capitalist, he was an entrepreneur. I mean, that's about as dirty as it gets to a Wall Street protestor -- and yet even they idolize him. Except I should tell you: They've got a flag. The Occupy Wall Street gang has a flag that they burn. It looks like the American flag, but in the blue rectangle in the upper left-hand corner, instead of stars, they have corporate logos. They burn that flag, and Apple is one of them, as is MTV. Figure that. Now, Mr. Snerdley just said something to me, and he doesn't know how important the point he made to me is. He said he's a little offended at the comparisons of Steve Jobs to Thomas Edison, and that is absolutely correct, but I'm gonna turn it into a positive: Thomas Edison invented things that did not exist. There wasn't a lightbulb to build on. There wasn't a phonograph record to build on.

Steve Jobs got 200 patents to his name. Steve Jobs built on already existing platforms. We already had Walkmans. Do you know...? I saw this the other day. Remember the Sony Walkman, the portable cassette player? This has to have been a misprint. There's a comparison of the number of iPods sold compared to the Sony Walkman, and this article said only 300,000 Sony Walkmans were sold. Now, I can't believe that, and maybe there was a time frame that they did not include in the article. It was millions versus 300,000. Regardless, the Walkman existed before the iPod. There were computers before the Mac and the Apple (Apple I, Apple II). So Jobs as an inventor is a bit of a stretch. But I don't think that's a take away. He took existing platforms, built on them, personalized them, and left people in the dust. Now, Thomas Edison had 1,093 patents; Steve Jobs had 200. This is not to take anything away from Steve Jobs, because I think in its own sense it's his own different kind of greatness, which still can't be denied.

END TRANSCRIPT

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