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Does Character Still Count?

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Suzanne in Elkhart, Indiana, as we go back to the phones. Welcome to the Open Line Friday.

CALLER: Great to talk to you, Rush.

RUSH: Thank you very much.

CALLER: I listen to you every day. You're my mentor.

RUSH: I appreciate it. I really do. I understand, too, thank you.

CALLER: I have an opinion about the debate.

RUSH: Yes, ma'am.

CALLER: I was unable to listen but I followed it as much as I can on radio, but just this week we celebrated Martin Luther King's birthday and we're supposed to judge -- this country is supposed to think about judging -- a man by his character. I'm wondering: Where is everybody's character? Rick Santorum is much better a man, much more Christian man, and he can't buy the presidency. I'd like to see South Carolina support him. I'm really disappointed there hasn't been more support already in the polls.

RUSH: He's at 15% pre-debate. I haven't seen if there's been a flash poll since the debate.

CALLER: I haven't heard, either, and I listen continually. I'm in a hospital bed and not going anywhere.

RUSH: Oh, no! What happened?

CALLER: Well, I have multiple sclerosis.

RUSH: Oh, gee!

CALLER: But, you know, I get a lot of religion and I get a lot of politics this way. (chuckles)

RUSH: (laughing) My gosh, I'm sorry to hear that. I mean, that you're in the hospital.

CALLER: No, I'm in a hospital bed.

RUSH: Oh, you're at home in a hospital bed?

CALLER: Yeah, I'm very happily at home.

RUSH: Oh, good. Well, that's better than being in the hospital in a hospital bed. Yeah, Santorum right now is at 13% nationally. You know, you go back to the campaign of 1992. This is kind of interesting. It is. In 1992, the whole character thing on our side of the aisle was number one. It was that and Clinton's liberalism and Hillary with HillaryCare at the time. But Clinton was so known for the mistresses and the alleged rape of Juanita Broaddrick -- so known for it -- that we were scratching our heads wondering, "Why do the American people not care?" and the Clinton campaign was all about how rotten the George H. W. Bush economy was, and the so-called recession, "worst economy in the last 50 years," that we were lied to about. So we were scratching our heads. Now, jump ahead to now.

My point is, as Daniel Moynihan said, the longer this stuff goes on, the more you "define deviancy down." When you can't stop it, you simply say, "Let's stop trying, and we'll declare it normal," and that's how you define deviancy down, and you legitimize what used to be a crime or you legitimize what used to be immoral. So now the same people, in many cases -- and this is not a criticism; it's an observation. The same people who wanted to roast Clinton are now saying, "Hey, Newt has paid his dues. We believe in forgiveness," this kind of thing, and what is on the other side of it? We think the country's being destroyed, and we really believe that it doesn't matter; the only thing that matters is stopping Obama, that we can't afford four more years of this kind of radical, of this kind of anti-Americanism, somebody wants to drastically transform and change the country in ways that we won't recognize it. So a lot of people who in '92 staked their entire vote on character and morality, now subordinate to further down the list -- and this has you scratching your head, correct?

CALLER: That's what television's done for us. It's destroyed, decayed our morality and our culture. All this stuff, all this crap on television.

RUSH: You actually think it's television?

CALLER: I think it is! I don't even watch it anymore. I have nothing to do with it. We don't have cable. My husband wants to get it, but he works nights, and I said, "I don't need it. I don't need to see blood and guts and sexual immorality continually all night."

RUSH: Well, she might have a point. You look around at... Kathryn and I will be watching TV, network TV, and somebody uses a word that 20 years ago? No way, not thinkable. Ten years ago, not thinkable. "Bastard" and "bitch" are common on primetime TV now. "Pissed off" is common in primetime TV.

CALLER: Yeah, vulgar language.

RUSH: Yet with all that, you don't see the Morality Police worried but let there be a divorced candidate in the race with a ex-wife that's talking about open marriages, and you will find it's a giant scandal. So as always, there seems to be a missing sense of proportion in all this. But I don't disagree with you that our culture is coarsening, that morality is being redefined and so forth. I just say, as a cultural observer, it is interesting to take note of it.

CALLER: Yes, I think so.

RUSH: So you're wondering. Your experience is we stand for character and morality. The Founding Fathers demanded it.

CALLER: Yes, they did.

RUSH: If you look at the Federalist Papers and the qualifications of the chief executive, morality and character is number one above all else. You got a guy, you think, Santorum who passes that test and he can't get past first base. It's gotta frustrate you. I understand.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: By the way, John Adams, just to back up my point, the Federalist Papers and the Founders, when discussing the qualities, qualifications of a chief executive, president, John Adams, October 11th, 1798, "Our Constitution..." this is not Federalist Papers.  This is in addition, "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people.  It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."  And his point is being illustrated. We've got people running this country that couldn't care less about the Constitution in any moral or religious sense, none whatsoever. 

END TRANSCRIPT

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