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We Have a Grand Opportunity to Inspire a Country Engulfed in Pessimism

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Fox News latest poll, among all the data that Fox reports, presidential approval and all of that, they've got a number, 74 percent of the American people think that too many people are relying on government.

Now, this is another one of these polls that doesn't make any sense when you compare it to the way people vote. When you compare it to what Washington is getting away with, it doesn't make any sense. And aside from the Limbaugh Theorem, I don't know that there is any other explanation. Seventy-four percent think people are relying too much on government.  Well, they're right. That number is actually pretty strong.  I wouldn't mind it being a little higher. 

But, then this other poll, I just got this from Paul Bedard at the Washington Examiner, and this is a YouGov poll.  This is about people's attitudes and the American dream.  And the headline of the story is: "More Dems than Republicans, 53% to 27%, say American Dream is Dead." Fifty-three percent of Democrats think the American dream is dead. Twenty-seven percent of Republicans think it's dead.

Now, I'm not surprised that 53% of Democrats think the American dream is dead.  I don't know how many Democrats ever really believed in it, outside of their fortunes tied to unions.  I'm serious. Many lifelong Democrats have union roots that explain their lifelong devotion to the Democratic Party.  But there are some interesting things here.

Almost five years into Obama's transformation of this country, 53% of Democrats say the American dream is dead.  Not coming back.  I mean, when the American dream is dead, it's dead.  It's not that the American dream is becoming out of reach.  It's dead.  Obama is not a savior for Democrats and the American dream.  And once again, hello, Limbaugh Theorem, but I don't want to focus on that. I want to focus on the pessimism.  Fifty-three percent of Democrats think the American dream is dead; 27% of Republicans think it's dead.

Now, in a political context, this is another glorious opening for a sensible conservative message.  Some people -- you know them and I know them -- some people are so immersed in fatalism and negativity that they can't be salvaged.  I don't know what percentage, but there are some people no matter what evidence or inspiration you provide them, they're lost.  I don't believe that all of this 53% has given up.  I think an uplifting, positive, can-do message, if delivered not out of false optimism and not sugar-coated, syrupy, sweet, unrealistic, but a genuine optimistic, "We are Americans. We can do whatever we want. Whatever obstacles are in our way, we can find our way around them."  That's been the history of our country.  It's been the history of greatness, the greatness of our people.

Life has never had the road paved to riches, other than for the Kennedys and others who have inherited, but the vast majority of people have had to work hard and make it. And there have always been obstacles.  From the days of the founding of this country for the next 150 years, I mean, it was brutal out there.  Maybe even longer than that. For some people it was brutal in the '20s and '30s during the Depression.  But we've always come out of it.  The thing is, we've always come out of it because we've always had leaders who wanted to come out of it and who wanted to lead people out of it.

One of the problems we have today is we have leadership that doesn't really believe we can come out of it. I'm not inspired when I hear Obama talk about the formulaic things that he does.  (imitating Obama) "We believe in America if you work hard everybody gets a job, and if you work hard it pays off and it's fair for everyone."  That's not inspiration.  He's just spouting things that he thinks certain people want to hear.  But Obama is not inspiring greatness.  Obama's not inspiring people to go beyond themselves.
Barack Obama does not have it in him to make people think that they are better than they are.

Now, I don't care who you are, we all need a little boost.  And I don't mean somebody giving us assistance, opening doors and that kind of thing. I mean, very few of us are self-starters.  You think back to the best teacher that you had.  You might have hated whoever it was at the time, but when you look back on it, more than likely the person that you remember as being the best teacher is somebody that demonstrated or allowed you to demonstrate that you were better than you thought you were, that you were more capable of things than you thought you were.

We all need to be inspired.  There are a precious few who can do it themselves.  Most people need the push.  Most people need to be told.  Most people need the attaboy.  Nothing wrong with that, by the way.  It's crucial.  Now, Obama does sing this song about a brighter tomorrow and a better future and all that, but his message is for dreamers, not doers.  Dreamers generally don't do anything.  They sit around and dream and they wait and they hope things will align and happen.  The doers need to be inspired. 

I will never forget back in the '90s, white collar people were laid off for the first time in the modern era at greater numbers than blue collar people were.  And at the time the media and others were running around, "Well it's about time. Let the white collar executives, let them find out what it's like for the rest of us."  They were happy about it.  Some people are made to feel better when others are in misery.  That's a fact, too.  A lot of the people that were being laid off back then, the white collar executive management types, were in their forties and fifties, and the odds were not too great that they were going to be able to replace what they lost by simply going out and looking for another job.  During the recession, particularly, they had reached a high point, after years and years and years of trying to get there.  Then they had it taken away from them. The idea that they were going to be able to go out and get a new job and replace what they had was doubtful.  And yet we came out of the recession and those people, a lot of them, ended up doing okay.

We did a three-day series of programs focusing on those people and asked them to call and tell us how they dealt with it.  And it was fascinating. There were exceptions, but the vast majority of them took the opportunity of being laid off or fired to finally do what they had always wanted to do with their lives. They had been employee prisoners.  They went to school, they came out, they had their degrees.  They went to work where they went to work and the job was a job.  And they worked hard at it, but they always had things they really would rather have done.  It's just there wasn't a way to get paid for it. So the career path that they took out of college was the route.

Now, that was taken away.  They had to do something.  And many of them took the risk of starting their own businesses, becoming their own bosses.  I remember the calls that we got in those three days.  People had never been happier they said, never felt more satisfied.  They may not be earning any money yet, but they were doing what they loved.  They enjoyed getting up every day and they felt like they had been reborn.

Well, this can still happen.  You don't have to be laid off for it.  We're in a circumstance where more people are out of work than ever before, fewer jobs than ever before, obstacles exist, although we've had periods of time in our past where the obstacles were just as bad, Great Depression would be one, the Civil War.  There have been other times.
I think the time is ripe for a political message of optimism, personal optimism, coupled with the fact that you live in the best place on earth to be successful.  You live in the best place on earth.

If you want opportunities to overcome.  If you want opportunities to prosper, however that is defined by you, you live on the best place on earth for that to happen. Still, to this day, you still live in the best place on earth. Fifty-three percent of Democrats say the American dream is dead.  Well, who do they listen to?  The Democrat Party, liberalism itself, is the embodiment of pessimism and defeat.  Liberalism and the Democrat Party exist by telling people they can't make it, the deck is stacked against them.  Life is unfair.  It isn't their fault.  There is discrimination.  There is racism.  There is bigotry.  You name it.  Every reason in the world to fail is there and, by the way, totally understandable.

The Democrat Party, because they need a permanent underclass of low-skilled, low-information people depending on government, fosters pessimism.  And the optimism those people have is what government's going to do for them and having the right people in government who understand their plight and are going to do something, versus people who would rather teach them how to take care of themselves, how to be the best they can be, how to not listen to naysayers who say it can't be done and simply take advantage of the one life we're all ever going to have and make the most of it.

Now, the message of can-do and optimism is magic, precisely because most people do not possess the ability to feel that way on their own. Like I said yesterday, you don't have to go to the library to find a series of books on how to fail, because we all already know how to do that.  But the people who have written how to succeed books, how to think positive books, have become millionaires because it apparently is not something that comes naturally to people.

The double whammy is the existence of a powerful political party reinforcing the notion of failure, reinforcing the notion of it's not possible.  And these people, it is really a shame, the Democrat party, they tell their voters it's not possible because capitalism is unfair, the game is rigged, the rich have everything, you don't have a chance.  They're stealing it all from you.  And they also tell people that they can't succeed, because they really don't have any faith in them anyway.  That's why Bloomberg feels the need to be in control of what every New Yorker eats and drinks, because he doesn't think they have the ability to do the right thing for themselves.  And he's just like every other liberal.

Now, we conservatives on the other hand, we don't want to be in charge of how people live.  We don't want to even have to worry about it.  We want a great country.  We want people prospering.  We want people experiencing all that life has to offer, or at least giving it a shot.  We want the bounty of this country exploited and captured and experienced and used.  It is quite honest to say that we want the best for everybody.

Sadly this message does not come from any political party today.  The Republican Party doesn't feel like saying it.  This doom and gloom is everywhere.  This pessimism is everywhere. We've gotten to the point now where more and more people are just resigned to it.  That, to me, is unacceptable.  Fifty-three percent of Democrats, the American dream is dead.  But only 27% of Republicans.  That's a stark difference right there.

Poll question.  "Some 63 agreed with the statement, 'Anyone with talent who is willing to work hard and put the effort in can have a successful career and rise to the top, regardless of their background,' said YouGov. And only 23 percent agreed with the other side of the coin: 'Success in America today is mostly reserved for those from privileged backgrounds who know the right people; talented people from poor backgrounds don't have a chance.'"

Folks, only 23% of people agree with that.  The Democrat Party has not convinced a majority of Americans that life is over for them.  There is still a grand opportunity to reach people here.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH:  To the phones! To James in Las Vegas.  Great to have you, sir.  Hi.

CALLER:  Hi, Rush. Mega 25th-anniversary-from-the-city-that-Obama-doesn't-want-you-to-visit-unless-it's-for-Democratic-National-fundraising dittos.

RUSH:  Thank you very much.  I really appreciate that.

CALLER:  I've listened to you my entire adult life, and I appreciate it, all the way from the beginning, even when you had to appear on the Phil Donahue Show when you began. I thought that was great. It was like a Christian going into the Coliseum with the Romans. 

RUSH: (chuckles)

CALLER: That was a great appearance that you made and it was wonderful to see you convert people there on his show.

RUSH:  I remember Donahue saying, "Let me get a word in here! It's my show, let me say something!"

CALLER:  That was wonderful.  That was great, Rush. I appreciated that.

RUSH:  Thank you for remembering that.

CALLER:  I just wanted to mention about the incredible shrinking presidency you've discussed with the media appearances of our current president as well as past presidents, and how it is diminishing the dignity of the office. As you said, you can't imagine JFK appearing on Jack Paar and talking about the Cuban Missile Crisis. You couldn't imagine Ronald Reagan doing anything like that.

Even though the liberal media portrayed him as an amiable dunce and he was a professional actor, he was amazing in his respect to the office, and it's amazing how the Democrats like Bill Clinton and Barack Obama perform. Bill Clinton was on MTV's Rock the Vote, telling people prophetically and reflectively whether he wore boxers or briefs.  Do you remember that?

RUSH:  Oh, yeah. Absolutely.

CALLER:  That was unbelievable.

RUSH:  I mean, he answered that. Some teenager in the audience at MTV asked him, "Boxers or briefs?" and he answered the thing, and then went into detail about why.

CALLER:  Well, he told them that because he thought that would be a hip way to relate to the low-information voter at the time, although the phrase wasn't coined at the time.

RUSH:  No question about it.

CALLER:  That would Rock the Vote and come out and put him into the presidency.

RUSH:  No question about it.

CALLER:  It's unbelievable.  It just goes back to the whole diminishing of the presidency and how they don't understand the basic phrase that "familiarity breeds contempt," and the more they go on the media, the more the American people tune it out. And the entrepreneurs -- the doers, as you said the makers -- move on with life and shut this stuff out.

RUSH:  That's one of these things traditionally that has been true.  I don't know if it is true Obama.  I don't know. There have been times where he was on TV all the time doing campaign appearances there. After a while, it appeared to be that the crowds were diminishingly small, less boisterous, and we were just chalking it up to the fact that it's no big surprise anymore. 

It's not anything special for Obama to be on TV. But it doesn't seem to have diminished his fortunes in any way. Whether it's diminishing the office? I don't think there's any question it is.  I don't think there's any question that the office of the presidency is being diminished here, and that started before Obama. But whether he is being diminished is another thing.  But I appreciate the call.  I really do.

John in Miami, you are next and welcome to the EIB Network.  Hi.

CALLER:  Rush, regarding the series of shows that you were talking about from the early '90s, I guess I only caught one of them.  I didn't realize it was a series.  But, to this day, I vividly remember the program, and it basically charged my batteries up for the last 20 years.  I remember the calls.  One thing you didn't point out was that a lot of the people had not recovered by any means, and you served as motivator-in-chief for those people. Based on the effect it had on me, I imagine it had a similar effect on a lot of people.

RUSH:  That's actually a good point.  When we did these programs, these people were in the midst of starting over.

CALLER: Oh, yes.

RUSH: They had by no means replaced what they lost. 

CALLER:  It was very painful (chokes up) and I'm getting choked up talking about it, because it was so motivational, the job you did.   I've always thought for... You know, this is going on 20 years ago. As we dipped into different crises and stuff, I thought, "Come on, Rush! Have another one of those shows," because it's been so apropos from time to time.

RUSH:  Let me tell you something.

CALLER:  It's truly your calling.  The Bible calls it "the gift of exhortation," and it is your niche.

RUSH:  "The gift of exhortation."

Well, I'll tell you, it's interesting that you say this, because I'll tell you what started this pessimism thing with me. It was recent.  I ran across a couple of stories about and by people in the Millennial generation, which (I'm going to ballpark it) are those people between 18 and 29, 18 and 28 right now.  They call themselves "Millennials."  That's their generation, and many of them are really pessimistic. 

A lot of them are recently graduated students with profound amounts of student loans and no job prospects.  A third of them are still living at home with Mom and Dad.  There was a general pessimism that they were expressing and talking about, and I kind of got mad when I was reading this stuff, and sometimes I react out loud.   I said, "But you voted for what happened!  You voted for what we're getting here! I don't feel sorry for you." 

I'm saying this stuff as I'm reading this stuff.  "Oh, boohoo, boohoo! You're the ones that fell for all of this.  You thought we were going to get this utopia, this Nirvana.  You listened to this. You listened to some guy talking about a better tomorrow and you fell for it. Why don't you recognize now what you voted for? Why don't you realize here that you've made a mistake and you've invested in things that can't possibly be true.  You were bought, hook, line and sinker." 

I mentioned this.  I happened to share this with a guy who kind of shamed me and he said, "Why are you mad at them for being pessimistic?" 

I said, "Because why don't they realize that they voted for this?"

"Rush, they're not going to blame themselves," and then he cited all of these other groups that have voted for Democrats for 50 years who have had lives of continuing misery, sadness and disappointment -- and they keep voting for the people who promise them they're going to fix that, that they're going to help them to escape all of that.  He said, "Why should the Millennials be any different, Rush? 

"The Millennials," and he might have been a little sexist, because he threw women in the mix. He said, "They're dreamers. They fall hook, line and sinker for some slickster that comes along and promises a better tomorrow.  He doesn't have to be specific about anything.  All he's got to do is sound touchy-feely and dreaming about a better tomorrow, and young people are automatically going to fall for that.  That's part and parcel of being young."

I said, "Yeah, I know. I know. All of that makes sense. But, at the same time I tell myself, 'These are not stupid people,'" but they are emotional, and it is a source of continued frustration to me that people continue to vote against their best interest. The things that they fall for, I understand why.  I understand how.  I've had the program here with 25 years of explaining all that.  So I get it.

But the point of this all is that John here says, "You need to do these positive-attitude shows more often.  You need to use what you did in that show 20 years ago." My point was, we're surrounded by it.  This pessimism is like a blanket or a layer of fog all over the country, and what amazes me about it -- and I hate to keep touting the Limbaugh Theorem, but it's indisputable with a growing number of people.

Sometimes, I'll be honest, I fall into it, too.  I sit around and I get down in the dumps about where we're headed, where the country's going, just like everybody else does.   I have to grab myself, figuratively, by the shoulders and give myself a shake to snap out of it, which teaches me how easy it is to succumb to it.  Being pessimistic is easy.  Being a fatalist is easy.  Giving up is easy.  Being resigned to something, it's easy. 

It's just easy, in a human nature sense, and it even entraps me at times.  But, in this instance, I think back to the campaign of 2008 and I remember what people were promised.  I remember what they thought.  Here we had a candidate who was, by even the admission of political science experts, a blank canvas.  People could paint and make Obama whatever they wanted him to be, by virtue of the way he was campaigning. 

Whatever!

If you thought the country was headed to economic destruction, Obama was going to fix it.  If you thought the country was inherently racist and sexist, he was going to fit it.  If you were worried the country was hated around the world and we were going to get blown up, he was going to fix it. Whatever you wanted him to be, he turned out to be.  Meaning you could invest every hope, dream and desire you had in Obama. People did that.  The people who voted for him, did it.

After five years, four-and-a-half years; it's done nothing but get worse, and what really amazes me... Even though I've come up with the Limbaugh Theorem to explain it, I will admit to you it still amazes me that we have all of these people actively depressed and pessimistic and admitting it who do not even associate Obama with any of it.  If I had not come up with the Limbaugh Theorem, I might have literally gone insane and needed a padded cell by now in trying to understand it. 

Any other president presiding over a dismal economy has always been held accountable for it.  I know what you're shouting at the radio. "But, Rush, the media..." I know all of that. Still. Nevertheless. The media doesn't affect the way I think about things, and I assume that a lot of other people could be immune to the media if they wanted to be. But this? It's worse than malaise.  There is a pessimism. 

It is like a big fog bank that's settled in, and there's a resignation, like these 57% or 53% Democrats that have given up on the American dream.  Just given up! It sort of still shocks me that the people that voted for it don't get it, and are not clamoring for some kind of change.  Independent of political parties, just change for the sake of it, they think they got it -- and it's left them hopeless.

Even though I've come up with the way to explain it that makes perfect sense, it still boggles my mind that it works, still boggles my mind. So this guy said to me, "You need to write them off.  You need to write off the Millennials and you need to write off women.  You're never going to get them to change their minds.  They're never going to get them to drop the Democrat Party.  Not going to happen."   I refuse to accept that.  I refuse to accept the idea that those people can't be reached. 

END TRANSCRIPT

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