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A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Magna Carta

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: This is Tom in Dexter, Michigan.  Hi, Tom.  Great to have you on the EIB Network.  Hello.

CALLER:  Hey, Rush. It's good to be with you.

RUSH:  Thank you, sir.

CALLER:  Yeah, in your talk on American exceptionalism, it struck me that the biggest difference you can see in our exceptionalism versus the rest of the world can be seen in the documents of the Magna Carta and our founding documents.

RUSH:  The Magna Carta, it's interesting you bring that up.  That actually was the first attempt at limiting the power of a government.

CALLER:  Yeah.

RUSH:  I have a funny story about that but I don't have much time, so I don't want to stop you.  Go ahead.

CALLER:  Well, in the case of the Magna Carta, prior to this, the king had absolute power to do anything he wanted, and it was an attempt to rein in. So it only limited his power a little bit.  He still had great, broad powers, but in a few narrow areas, the citizens could act without fear of interference from the king.

RUSH:  Right.

CALLER:  Then, on our side, we have completely narrowed the government down to act in a very few small, narrow areas, and they are prohibited from doing anything else, giving the citizenry a much wider range of activity, you know, a complete transformation.  So the rest of the world still operates in a sort of a Magna Carta mode.  That's probably where Obama wants to take us, to where he's got larger power and we have less.

RUSH:  No question about it.

CALLER:  It's a political zero-sum game, both liberty and tyranny.

RUSH:  It is.  That is exactly right, and it's one of the few areas where a zero-sum game actually applies.

CALLER:  Yes.

RUSH:  Liberty is what it is, and when it's taken away, you lose it.  You don't go somewhere else in the marketplace to get it. It's gone.

CALLER:  Yeah, you can't make more of it; you can't make less of it. It's a finite supply. Either I have it or you have it.

RUSH:  That is a great point, and it's helpful in illustrating this, I think, to people. The Magna Carta was in 1215. One of my early trips to London was with some listeners from Sacramento when I was on the radio there.  My mom and dad went.  My dad, the only thing he wanted to do was go to Runnymede, where the Magna Carta had been signed, and it was on the tour. 

So the day we go on the tour, we drive within five miles of it, and the tour guide points out the window of the bus and says, "Over there is Runnymede," and we just kept going. The bus didn't stop.  My dad said, "Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa! What do you mean we're just driving back?"  "Yeah, it's on the tour. That's where it was, about five miles over there is where the Magna Carta was signed." He was stunned, because that was the only reason he wanted to go -- and he got within five miles of it. 

He went back on his own the next day.

END TRANSCRIPT

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