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Senator Mike Lee on Conservatism and Community

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: You know, I was just reminded. Something reminded me. I don't know what but I'm glad it did. I have had, in my Stack, a couple of items that I have intended to talk with you about. It is really good and important stuff. Mike Lee is new member of Congress, a senator from Utah. He beat Robert Bennett. He went on and gave a Heritage Foundation speech that was an attempt to restate conservatism. It's been controversial to some people because he said that we conservatives are spending a little too much focus in our efforts to be different from Obama and the left.

We're spending too much time talking about rugged individualism and self-reliance. All that's important, as are our positions on taxes and free markets and all that. But what we stopped talking about is what all of that means. He said we can't be afraid to discuss things like community and togetherness, and he didn't mean it in the leftist sense. He meant it in the way you and I grew up. Where I grew up, just as an example, the whole town...

I mean, we had Democrats there, but there was a sense of community, togetherness. Everybody had the same moral code, the same set of values, and everybody conducted their lives under those -- oh, I don't know -- concepts. As such, our little town was a good place. Like any other place, it had its renegades and its criminals and it had its share of leftists and so forth. I don't have the stuff right in front of me. I really need to be able to quote him here.

Because some conservatives have interpreted what he was doing as attacking certain conservative pundits today who are really focused on individualism, self-reliance. He's afraid that to too many people, that sounds like isolation: We don't care about anybody but ourselves and if everybody takes care of themselves, then we'd be fine. His point was that if everything conservatives believe in is implemented and takes place, then neighborhoods thrive and communities do well, not just individual families.

It was a really fascinating speech.

I'm sorry; I intended to talk about that Monday, and something here in the commercial break just reminded me of it. Now, I don't even know if I kept that stuff from the Stack, so I'm going to have go re-create it. But let me share with you. I'll give you a couple of pull quotes. He said, "In the last few years, we conservatives seem to have abandoned words like 'together,' 'compassion,' and 'community' ... as if their only possible meanings were as a secret code for statism.

"This is a mistake. Collective action doesn't only -- or even usually -- mean government action. Conservatives cannot surrender the idea of community to the left, when it is the vitality of our communities upon which our entire philosophy depends." He said that we should be framing the vision of America as "not an Ayn Rand novel, [but] a Norman Rockwell painting, or a Frank Capra movie..."

Conservatism is what you get in It's a Wonderful Life, except you got a Mr. Potter over there who's the local Democrat. I understood what he was talking about. Now, some people sent me notes. I'll be honest. Some people sent me notes. "Rush, you know, Lee's talking about you because whenever Republicans talk about compassion, you launch into 'em." No, I don't. But when somebody says "compassionate conservatism," I launch, because conservatism doesn't need a modifier.

Conservatism is compassionate.

No, I didn't take it personally. Some conservative pundits might; I don't know. But my point about this was, in addition to what Lee said, who did it? The Heritage Foundation sponsored this. They had Mike Lee come out and deliver a speech someplace wherever it was. I think it might have been Utah. I'm not sure where it was. But this is what they do. Jim DeMint runs the place now, and the Heritage Foundation is conservatism. They are what it is. They do not waiver. They don't float. They don't moderate, modify, what have you. 

They're cutting edge. This was really, really good. What they did with this speech in having Mike Lee there and giving him a forum like this was a great example of what they do. If you want to find out about them, go to JoinHeritage.org, by the way, and you'll be able to check this yourself. Go to their website and you'll be able to get the speech, I'm sure, and read it for yourself and see what you think of it on your own. That's where you become a member, by the way, JoinHeritage.org.

But I promise I'm gonna find what I had set aside before the week is out, because I would love to get your feedback on it as well. Remember, Mike Lee's a Tea Party candidate. He got rid of Robert Bennett. I had to laugh when some people said, "You know, he's coming for you, Rush! He thinks people like you are the problem." I don't think that's what he meant, 'cause I know the Heritage Foundation doesn't think I'm a problem. The Heritage Foundation thinks I'm the solution and you are the solution. That's why the Heritage Foundation wants everybody here to know about them and what they do.

Here's George in Warren, Ohio. Great to have you on the program. Hi.

CALLER: Hi, Rush. Thanks for taking my call.

RUSH: You bet, sir.

CALLER: Rush, you know, all the stuff that Obama's doing to me sure looks like everything's associated with his war on success in America. I mean, stop to look at all the things that he's been doing. If you save too much in a retirement plan? Well, he's gotta tax that because that could make you successful. If you go to college and succeed and qualify for a salaried position in the automotive industry? Well, you have no commercial value, whereas all the unions get to have everything taken care of. It seems to me that he gave -- What is it? -- $29 billion, according to the Heritage Foundation, to the UAW and another billion to the IUE and the steelworkers who did not have contracts with the new GM. It's all part of his war on success 'cause he wants to have everybody dependent on the government.

RUSH:  Well, I agree with a lot of that.  War on success may be how it manifests itself.  But what he's really doing is transforming the country and trying to abandon capitalism, and capitalism is where individuals are successful.  Capitalism is the best opportunity for that.  And, by the way, this gets to exactly what Mike Lee was talking about in his speech, which was at the Heritage Foundation.  When you transform the country and have the government as the focal point, and everything comes from the government, when everybody gets the majority of what they have from the government, there isn't going to be the creation of wealth among too many people. 

The people who will get wealthy are the crony capitalists and the associates of the president's party who will benefit from government largesse.  But the idea of learning a trade or having a career and immersing yourself in it and becoming the best you can be at it, that is what is fleeting if Obama succeeds in this transformation.  I'll tell you why.  As the government grows, it can only grow by having the private sector shrink.  And instead of saying private sector, which, 42% don't even know that Obamacare is implemented, how many the hell of 'em know what the private sector is? 

The way to look at it is, as the government grows, the economy shrinks.  It has to.  The economy cannot grow and the government grow at the same time, because the government can only grow if it takes away from the economy.  Government doesn't produce anything.  Government destroys wealth.  It does not create it.  Individuals create wealth.  Companies, corporations, which are people, create wealth and wealth opportunities.  The government does not do that, unless you happen to be a big Democrat donor and the Democrats are in the White House, and as a reward you set up a phony solar energy company, and the president sends you a couple hundred, $300 billion, ostensibly to start up your business.

But that doesn't happen. You just get rich, or you happen to be the CEO of GE rolling in dough, but nevertheless you take government handouts for your green energy initiative, thereby your corporation saves a bunch of money because the government's giving you some, but where did they get it?  From taxpayers.  So for Obama's vision to be complete, the economy has to shrink.  It's mathematics and it isn't really complicated.  It gets down to one simple undeniable truth, and that is this:  Real prosperity comes from everybody in the country working together in a growth mode.  Real prosperity comes as a result of people's own initiative and efforts and so forth.  Prosperity, if it comes from the government, is not prosperity.  It's an existence or a subsistence or whatever, but it isn't prosperity. 

END TRANSCRIPT

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