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Free Will and Self-Esteem

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Okay. Back to the phones we go to Scottsdale, Arizona. Heather, I'm glad you waited. Great to have you on the program.

CALLER: Hello?

RUSH: Hi.

CALLER: Hi! Okay, I didn't hear you say my name so I didn't know if I was on.

RUSH: You are Heather, correct?

CALLER: Correct.

RUSH: All right. You are on the big show.

CALLER: Yay! Okay. First-time caller. I've listened to you on and off over the years. I'm nervous so I'm gonna have a little shake in my voice. I have a mental illness, and my son has a mental illness. (sigh) I raised him as a single mother. It was so difficult because the help is not enough to provide for somebody to get well, to not be ill. You know, you always have the illness, but you can stabilize it for many people if they get all the help they need. And the one area where the biggest problem is that I see for all these shooters, is they have endured rejection from society. They've been rejected from other kids, they've been made fun of, they're different, and it cuts them off from having --

RUSH: Now, wait. Yeah, I've heard that theory.

CALLER: I believe it. I mean, that's what I believe from what I've seen with my son.

RUSH: Do you think it explains picking up a gun and mowing people down?

CALLER: Well, I don't know what you mean by if it "explains" it.

RUSH: Well, does it justify it?

CALLER: No, it's not justified. It's sick!

RUSH: You're making it sound like it makes sense.

CALLER: It's sick. It makes them sicker, is what I'm saying. It makes them sicker. They need... Everybody needs to be accepted.

RUSH: Here's my problem, and you probably don't need this information.

CALLER: It's okay.

RUSH: I've been rejected all my life. I'm rejected every day --

CALLER: Rush?

RUSH: -- by --

CALLER: You don't have a mental illness.

RUSH: Wait a minute.

CALLER: Okay.

RUSH: I'm rejected every day by gazillions of people. In high school I was rejected. We all are. Everybody is! Everybody's not let in the clique. Everybody's made fun of.

CALLER: Rush?

RUSH: Everybody's laughed at.

CALLER: Were you the kid that was in the hallway that everybody made fun of and nobody talked to you and you were all alone, a loner? They call these people "loners." Why do you think they're alone? 'Cause they can't connect. If they can't connect with society --

RUSH: I am a loner to this day.

CALLER: All right. Then let's change the topic because I'm not gonna win this one.

RUSH: No. No, no. You don't have to change. Don't run away from it.

CALLER: Okay.

RUSH: Don't run away from what you believe. That's not my point.

CALLER: Okay.

RUSH: My point is that whatever you can say about Adam Lanza you can say about a vast majority of American kids.

CALLER: Okay.

RUSH: Take out the mental illness part, because not everybody suffers a mental illness. But everybody's rejected, and everybody's laughed at, and everybody has jokes told about 'em. Everybody's made fun of for something.

CALLER: Right. That's correct.

RUSH: That's my only point. But not everybody seeks revenge the way he did.

CALLER: And that's true.

RUSH: So it's the mental illness that's the problem.

CALLER: And not everybody is mentally ill.

RUSH: There are certain parts of life that we're never gonna be able to change. You're never gonna be able to change some people being rejected by others, being made fun of by others or laughed at. I don't care --

CALLER: Can we minimize it, though? As a society, can we minimize it? Can we be nicer to people? When we're walking down the street and we see someone can we make that eye contact and say, "Hey, have a good day"?

RUSH: Uhhh... Well, how do you make that happen?

CALLER: I do all the time.

RUSH: I know you do, but not enough people do.

CALLER: Right.

RUSH: So how would you make others do it?

CALLER: Bring awareness for mental health. Everybody has a mental health status, including your dog. The way you treat people, you are bioengineering their brain as well as your own. And when society is (sigh) rejecting someone --

RUSH: Everybody's dog is also potentially unstable?

CALLER: I think everybody's dog has a mental health status.

RUSH: Well, I guess the first thing we could do would be to stop bullying.

CALLER: That's exactly where I'm headed! That's one thing. That's just one thing. There are so many things that need to take place for persons with mental illness to be able to be productive, happy, and stable.

RUSH: What is the nature of...? You said that you suffer from mental illness.

CALLER: Right.

RUSH: What's the nature of yours?

CALLER: I have bipolar disorder and also substance abuse disorder, and I'm 13 years clean and sober --

RUSH: Great.

CALLER: -- which I could not achieve until I found the right psychiatric medication to help me with pain and anxiety --

RUSH: Right.

CALLER: -- and here I am having an anxiety attack right now. But --

RUSH: How do you, today, deal with people who aren't nice to you?

CALLER: (big sigh) I don't know. It depends on --

RUSH: What did they teach you? What did they teach you in your efforts to get sober about that?

CALLER: What did...? Okay, ask that again.

RUSH: I assume in your effort to get sober you had some counseling.

CALLER: I had counseling and I went to AA.

RUSH: Right. Okay. So what do they tell you about people being mean to you or saying things about you?

CALLER: (big sigh) I don't know how to answer that. I don't recall.

RUSH: They say: Don't give them the power to offend you.

CALLER: Okay.

RUSH: Don't give them the power to affect your feelings, and do not assume that it's your role to make everybody happy. It's their job. Were you told that?

CALLER: I think so, yeah. Yeah.

RUSH: Well, that's the way people who go through what you went through are taught to deal with mean people or people who would bring 'em down. Don't give 'em the power. Don't listen to 'em. "Boundaries," it's called.

CALLER: Right. Right.

RUSH: If somebody says something to you that's not right, if they're lying about you, let it bounce off. Don't process it. Don't let it screw you up. Just say, "To hell with you," and move on.

CALLER: So, but that's part of the coping skills for the part of the problem. Because when a person is sick, unstable... Here's another thing. We do not have a chemical imbalance. We have chemical imbalances. We have different areas where our brain will go that is not stable. So whether you're experiencing that, you're not stable internally. There's no self-esteem to say, "That guy is wrong. Who are you say to that about me?"

RUSH: I've heard this theory, too. Basically what you're saying is that we really don't have minds of our own, that we are prisoners of our own brain chemistry. Some days our brain chemistry's okay and other days it isn't, and we whack out and we lose control and we really aren't in control. And medical science, by the way, is furthering this belief with discovery after discovery.

For example, if you're overweight it's 'cause there's something in the brain that's not turning off when you're full. So you have to use discipline. If you listen to this stuff carefully, we really have no self-control. We have no force of will. We're preprogrammed by however we were created and we're gonna be whoever we are based on that, and it's a constantly struggle and so forth. There are people that believe this, too. Anyway, I have to run. But, Heather, I'm glad you called. I appreciate it.

It's quite instructive here, folks, if you actually heard what she said, because it's...

Let me think about it.

I'll be back in just a second.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH:  The phrase I was looking for in that last call is there are more and more people who think that we have no free will as human beings, that we have none, that we're all robotic, prisoners to brain chemistry, other aspects of our bodily chemistry.  You know, one of the things I've said to people, and you've probably heard me more times than you wish over the years. I think this plagues the Republican Party.  People are so concerned about what others think of them.  Most people are.  Most people, in fact, are governed by it.  Most people do what they do hoping for reactions that they choose from other people or to be thought of in a good way by other people. 

Do you realize how few people really do what they do just because that's who they are and they want to be who they are and they don't care what anybody thinks?  Do you realize how few people there are?  Most people are imprisoned by what other people think of them.  They're raised that way.  And it's a tough thing to escape.  But this notion that there is no free will is a rising way for people to explain away their faults.   Science is providing it, and the Democrat Party is right in there advocating it.  You're really not responsible.  You have this disorder.  That's what I mean when I say the Baby Boomers, we had to invent our own traumas because our lives, compared to our parents' and grandparents', frankly, folks, have been a piece of cake. 

But everything is relative and we did not live through the hellacious times of our parents and grandparents, so we can't relate.  All we can do is try to understand.  Our point of reference is our own lives.  As far as most people are concerned, in a lot of cases, have never been worse. The economy has never been worse, or people have never been meaner or what have you.  But the number of people -- I think you'd be surprised -- is growing.  The number of people who think that nobody's responsible for what they do, and that all of us are balanced precariously psychologically, and all of us could be set off with the smallest, slightest thing at the wrong time. 

(interruption)

PMS excluded, yes, of course.  There are always exceptions.  Don't give me that.  PMS, they just discovered, doesn't exist.  That excuse is out the window.  You need something else now.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH:  So, as always, I checked the e-mail during the top-of-the-hour break here and a surprising number of people "Rush, why don't you ever talk about the things people say about you?  You are criticized all the time.  You are lied about.  Why don't you ever complain?"  Folks, I've had to evolve my own life lessons.  When I started this program in 1988 not one person who knew me thought I hated anybody or thought I was a racist, sexist or bigot.  And within six months of this program starting I was all of those.  And it was reported daily all over the country.  Racist, sexist, bigot, homophobe.  I didn't know how to deal with it.  I didn't know what to do about it. 

I sought advice from everyone.  There wasn't one person that could tell me the way to deal with stuff, I mean, people literally lying about you.  And so what I had to do -- and it took me four years.  I tried a whole bunch of different ways.  And no matter what I did it just made it worse.  Any reaction to any criticism delighted critics, and all they did was pile it on.  I had to learn early on that where conservatives are concerned, the truth about them is the last thing anybody wants to report.  It's the lies and distortions, the mischaracterizations, the character assassinations, that people want to report.  I would do media interviews, and I would attempt to tell them, "No, you're wrong about me."  There was no convincing them.  The point of the interview was to get me to confirm for everybody that I was what they were saying I was. 

So I'm not the one to provide lessons on this 'cause I would never advocate anybody do what I've had to do, and that is I've had to learn to take being hated and despised as a measure of success.  Nobody is raised that way.  Hitler may have been, but nobody is raised wanting to be hated.  Nobody is raised running around smiling talking about how much they're disliked.  It's just the exact opposite.  Everybody wants to be loved by everybody, and they'll do everything they can to be loved, including not be who they really are, from person to person. 

In those rare moments early on back in the early nineties when I would confide with friends, "This is really hurting my feelings."

They'd say, "Come on, that's why you earn the big bucks." 

I said, "Oh, earning a lot of money, that's the price to be lied about every day, mischaracterized?" 

"Yep, yep." 

That's what people who had not experienced it, that was their theory.  And others said, "Hey, this is what you signed up for.  You're gonna go out there and tell people what you think, you're gonna irritate half the people that hear you," and that's true.  But through all of what I've experienced, I do really believe that it would be a benefit to everybody.  The more people who could learn to be unaffected by what people think of them, the better off those people would be, but, again, nobody's raised that way.  People that grow up in prominent families have it especially bad.  From the moment they're born, they're told how they're supposed to act and how they're supposed to be perceived and can't dishonor the family name.  The Kennedys did it anyway. 

But there's all kinds of pressure like that brought to bear on certain people.  I'm only saying this because we had a couple callers who said it's understandable that some people might crack, go get a gun and start killing people if they're rejected and laughed at and isolated and made fun of.  My belief is that everybody is, either all of their lives or at some point in their lives, and not everybody cracks that way.  I just don't think that is a valid excuse.  There has to be some underlying mental illness that promotes some instability first before the cracking takes place.  But I'm even uncomfortable talking about it at the risk of sounding like I'm complaining.  I'm not.  Another thing I believe is reality.  I'm the mayor of Realville.  It is what it is. 

We live in a country right now where an increasing number of people do not care about the truth and don't want to be anywhere near reality.  They live in cocoons, and if you puncture the cocoon and force them to face things they don't want to face, they're gonna lash out, and that's just part and parcel of what happens.  But like I say, I wouldn't want everybody to have to learn to take being hated as a sign of success, although you've heard the phrase "I'm honored by my enemies."  That's true, too, depending on your mettle and so forth. 

Some people just can't handle be disliked.  Some people just can't, no matter what, they can't handle it, and it really bothers them.  And I'm like everybody else; it did for the longest time to me, too.  I mean, even before I started my national radio show, we're all disliked or envied or whatever.  That's my point.  Everybody experiences this, and they deal with it in their own way. But not everybody grabs a gun and starts mowing people down.  It's not an excuse. 

END TRANSCRIPT

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