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Advice for a 14-Year-Old on How to Deal with a Liberal High School Teacher

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: We're gonna start with Annie in Suttons Bay, Michigan. It says she 14 years old and new to politics, and that's great.  I'm happy to have you on the program today, Annie.  Welcome.

CALLER:  Hi.

RUSH:  Hi.

CALLER:  I'm happy to be on.  Thank you.

RUSH:  You're more than welcome.  It's really a thrill to have you here.  This is a great opportunity for us.

CALLER:  Oh, it's a great opportunity for me, too.

RUSH:  Well, yes.  I appreciate that.

CALLER:  Okay, well, I found out about your show because my grandma loves you, and she always listens to you.

RUSH:  Yes?

CALLER:  I'm starting high school, and she was just telling me that I'd better learn about politics, 'cause I'm new to public school.

RUSH:  Okay.  She was telling you about politics.  "You better learn about politics because you're new to public school."  What did she tell you that you need to learn?

CALLER:  Well, she just was talking about, like, that I hope to learn more. I used to be homeschooled and private schooled, so they didn't really talk about politics.  So now that I'm in high school, a public school. We're learning about current events every day and more about the news.

RUSH:  In public school this is happening, you say?

CALLER:  Yes.

RUSH:  Okay.  You're learning more about this stuff than you did being homeschooled?

CALLER:  Yes.

RUSH:  Okay.  Okay, continue. Go on.

CALLER:  Oh.  So it's just hard because my teacher, for current events, she is a really strong liberal, and so it's hard for me because she's always like if it's not her opinion, or it's not something she's heard, she says we're wrong.  So I'm just trying to figure out what I could say to her that's still respectful.

RUSH:  Well, this is gonna be both a teachable and learnable moment here.  But, Annie, I need to ask you a question.  I'm up against it on time, and I don't have as much time right now as I need to talk to you about this.  Can you hold on to the beginning of the next hour?

CALLER:  Okay.

RUSH:  You're sure that's not a problem?

CALLER:  No. 

RUSH:  Excellent.  Okay, because I'll have more time to actually get into what you're facing and what you want to do in the situation.  That's the first thing to figure out is, "What do you want to do to deal with it? What is your objective, and how upset does it make you and all that?"  There are ways to handle this.  It all depends on what you want and what you may end up thinking best after you've had some options presented; then, of course, make sure your parents or your grandparents approve after you've talked to me.  But hold on and we will come back and get to you soon as the next hour begins. 

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: As promised, we go right back now to Annie. She's 14, she's in Sutton Bay, Michigan.  She's been homeschooled and is going to high school.  This is your first year in public education, your first year in high school?

CALLER:  Yes.

RUSH:  Okay, and just so I understand, as you set the table, you have a liberal teacher who is using current events...? She's very liberal.  What is she teaching about/ What's she teaching about? Current events, did you say?

CALLER:  Well, every day we have to watch the news, and then we go to class and we have discussions.

RUSH:  Okay.

CALLER:  So whatever's going on, she talks about.

RUSH:  Okay.  Let me tell you what I think that you need to know before you determine how you want to deal with this. 

CALLER:  Okay.

RUSH:  I wish I had known at 14 how liberals are and how they think when I was your age.  I didn't learn this until much later, and I think it's crucial for you to know this before you decide how you want to deal with it.  In the first place, if your teacher is a common liberal, there is no point of view other than hers -- and no matter what she says, she isn't interested in it.  Now, she may use an opposing point of view as a teaching exercise to further establish her own by mocking or making fun of or impugning an opposing point of view. 

But most liberals I know do not consider themselves to even be liberals, Annie.  They just think of you and me as conservatives, and that means therefore we're odd and we're kooks and maybe extreme and maybe mean and all that.  They think that they are utterly, totally normal, that there is nothing biased about them, nothing ideological about them at all.  They talk about "tolerance," they talk about being "open to opposing points of views," but they aren't.  They don't want to hear it, particularly if you do it well and you challenge her worldview in a way that shakes it up. She's going to be mad, not happy.  She already thinks she has all the answers to everything. Is it a she, your teacher?

CALLER:  Yeah.

RUSH:  Okay.  She thinks that she's got all the answers, and I wish it weren't the case. I really wish it weren't the case.  My experience is that this teacher is going to use this assignment.  "You've gotta watch the news and come in and talk about it every day."  This is her opportunity not to teach you, but to indoctrinate you into what she believes.  Most of what she will "teach" you is how wrong conservatives are.  Most of what she'll "teach" you is how mean and extreme or bad they are. 

She will also spend time talking about how... She may not even use the word "liberal" in describing herself, but the people she supports are always the nicest and the fairest and all of this.  But I just found them to be exclusionary and intolerant, and I've also found them to be almost dead wrong about everything.  But you are in a subordinate position to her, because in that classroom she's the authority figure, and she holds sway over you with your grade, and you're interested in getting as good a grade as you can, and I'm sure you want the teacher to respect you and like you at the same time, correct?

CALLER:  Yes.

RUSH:  Right.  Well, that's another thing.  I'm just gonna go ahead and tell you this, and some people might get mad at me because you're 14.  I also wish that I had learned at your age that behaving in such a way so as to make people like me, made me behave in ways that really weren't myself, when that became the objective.  Because when, Annie, you want to be liked -- everybody, not just a teacher. When you want to be liked, you're automatically making yourself subservient or subordinate.

You're already granting that she's right, that she's already better and that you've got to do something to please her. Instead, what you should do is stay really focused on what it is you believe and don't be intimidated off of it or out of it, and don't be talked out of it unless it really changed your mind.  But don't be intimidated. Don't let fear take over in this relationship.  It's tough, too, because she is the teacher. 

She does have a lot of power over you with the issuance of the grade, and I know you want to get along with everybody in class, and that's fine. That's cool.  But at the same time, don't let any of that make you think that what you think is wrong or maybe inferior or abnormal.  Don't let anybody make you think that what you think is the minority way of thinking about something, because it isn't.  There are more people like you than there are not in the country. 

I don't know about in your classroom, but in the country there are more people like you than they're not, and you've got a great solid foundation here probably from your parents and your grandparents, and liberal teachers see that as a problem.  So her objective is gonna be to make sure everybody in that class sees the news her way.  That's what's she's going to do, is try to teach you that her analysis of the news is the only analysis that there is.  Now, since I've said all that, I am certain you have questions.  You might think I'm wrong or maybe I don't understand the specifics of your circumstance.

So your turn now.  Tell me what you want to ask me or you think I'm wrong about something. Have at it.

CALLER:  Well, no. I think you're perfectly correct.  I actually agree, and it's frustrating to me when in class, it always has to be her opinion and then it makes me feel stupid because I feel like my opinion's always wrong, if I say the wrong thing or if I don't have enough information.  So...

RUSH:  Now, I need to ask you: Does she behave in a way that makes you feel stupid? Does she say something to you or to the rest of the class about what you've said that makes you feel stupid?

CALLER:  Well, her facial expressions, or she'll always like shake her head and be like, "No, I've never heard that," and it just makes like in front of the whole class so it just makes me feel stupid.

RUSH:  Well, Annie, she may never have heard what you think.  I'm telling you, liberals are very close minded, and they're arrogant, and they don't think that there is any other way than theirs.  You may well have a point of view on whatever it is that she hasn't heard before.  I guarantee you she doesn't hang around with a lot of people like you.

CALLER:  Yes.

RUSH:  She hangs around fellow liberals, and they sit around and they talk about how dumb, shortsighted, or buffaloed or stupid conservatives are and what makes them that way.  You probably many times will offer an analysis of something you saw in the news that she hasn't thought of before.  You are probably going to be far more well-rounded in your knowledge about current events than she is.  When she realizes that she's gonna feel threatened, and then she'll strike out even more. 

Remember, you're a 14 year old. In her mind, she's got a golden opportunity to turn you into a mind-numbed, liberal robot that will forever vote Democrat and forever dislike and oppose conservatives.  One of the men that I read frequently when I was your age, just a little bit older than you, was William F. Buckley Jr., and he said something that I've always kept with me.  He said, "Liberals claim..." You tell me if this describes your teacher.

"Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views," in other words, liberals claim that they're open to all points of view," but then they are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views."  So while your teacher may tell you she's open to other views and wants to hear, you tell her what you think and she makes a face.  You tell her what you think, and she asks, "How could you think that?  Who told you that?" 

So she's not really open to other things.  She may think she is.  I'm not saying she's a bad person.  I'm just describing to you here the political characteristics of a liberal -- and, believe me, if she has set this course up this way, she's looking at this course in a political framework, not an educational framework, and it's an opportunity -- and, by the way, Annie, she has been taught, where she went to school, how to do this. 

The liberals have taken over and monopolized the education system.  They learn how to indoctrinate and propagandize students whose minds are young and fluid, not made up on things and very impressionable, and it's gonna be hard on you to stay true to what you believe because you're not getting any support from the one person in the classroom you want to get it from: The teacher.  I mean, everyone wants to impress the teacher, and that's gonna be very hard for you here. 

It's sad. Now, I could be wrong. She may not be exactly as I'm describing it.  She might be a little bit different, but time will tell.  You'll know as this plays out.  The school just started not long ago, so you've got a long way to go here.  But it doesn't sound good if she's already mocking you and making you feel small because of what you believe.  Now, how have you been reacting to it so far?

CALLER:  Well, I kind of just like... I don't agree with her, but I just don't say anything and I just stay in my seat and it's like to myself, "Okay, like, I heard it. So that's all that matters."

RUSH:  Well, there's a number of ways you can do this.  You can do that, and that's the safe way. Just pretend you're wearing a suit of armor and whatever she's saying doesn't get through. When that class is over, you're still gonna be Annie when you walk out of there. You're not gonna be Annie having been converted by the teacher.  So you can do it that way.  Another thing is try to have fun with it.  Go out and find a point of view or reaction in the news that you think is gonna freak her out, and tell her you...

Now, be honest. Don't make something up. But see how much fun you can have causing her to have reactions of disbelief and what have you.  And, again, you may come up with a point of view she's not heard before. She's not experienced somebody like you or somebody with whatever opinion you might utter.  The thing that you don't want -- 'cause you said you want to remain respectful, and that's always -- particularly in your situation -- a great objective. 

                                               
 

This woman, this teacher, does not have to be ever your enemy.  You can look at this as a great learning opportunity yourself, 'cause I tell you what's gonna happen in here: In addition to everything you've described, you're going to learn in this class, and you probably know a lot already based on just what you've said. You're gonna learn a lot about who liberals are.  So it's a great opportunity. You know, be open to that, okay? "What do they think? How do they think?"

That will always help you as you go through life, knowing what you're dealing with, who you're dealing with.  Whatever.  Don't let her make you feel small because of what you think, don't let her intimidate you because of what you think, and if you feel like it now and then, ask her to prove what she's saying. If she makes some outrageous, outlandish claim that you either disagree with or that you think is just mean-spirited, say, "Well, can you give me some evidence of that, Ms. So-and-So?  How do you know that?" 

You know, ask her, say, "How do you know that what you know is right?"  Throw that one at her and see what happens.  Now, a lot of students will just sit there and try to get through this and get the grade and move on and take the path of least resistance, because you're gonna have many other teachers and you're gonna have many other schools and many other classes, and your objective is to get to those.  So whatever you do, your grandparents, grandmother told you just to be respectful at all times?

CALLER:  Mmm-hmm.

RUSH:  That's right.  Always, always do that.  That's just good manners, and do that no matter what.  Always remain above the taunting. Always remain above the insults.  That's how you'll learn to be confident.  Never lose the confidence of what you believe. Never.  'Cause if it's in your heart and if it's in your soul, it's who you are.  Don't let somebody talk you out of being you.  You know, hold on to your confidence and understand that your parents, your family have given you a foundation here. They love you. 

Don't let the teacher chip away at that.  Don't let 'em insult your parents.  I don't know that any this will happen, but I know liberals. I know how they attempt this. They're not interested, Annie, in winning arguments or winning debates.  They don't do that.  They try to intimidate people into not believing what they believe, and it's a challenging thing.  Anything else?  I want you to make sure that you run some of these things I've said by your parents, 'cause I don't want you to do anything that they wouldn't want you to do.

CALLER:  Okay, I will, because our family, we're all super... Well, not "super." We're, like, moderate conservative, but my parents are Republicans, and my grandma is very conservative as well.  So it's just hard coming from that environment and going into whole new one.

RUSH:  Well, I know, and I tell you, Annie, in many places you're gonna be considered the enemy.  I've gotta take a break. Hang on, Annie. I've gotta take a commercial break but don't go away.  I want to elaborate on that.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH:  We're back with Annie in Sutton Bay, Michigan.  Annie, I just want to say one more thing to you -- actually, two things.  I want to send you a signed copy of my upcoming book, "Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims: Time-Travel Adventures with Exceptional Americans." It's right up your alley. I mean, would be ideal for the situation that you're in.  If you will hold on when we finish here, the kind Mr. Snerdley will get an address where we can send this to you. 

I'm very excited to do this.  The second thing is, when you finish school every day, if something happens that has bothered you, tell your parents. Go home and tell your parents and your grandparents about it, if for no other reason than you're not holding it in.  Go home and talk about it.  That's fine to do that.  But always listen to your heart. Your heart will never lie to you, Annie, if you're in touch.

Always follow. When asking, when wondering how to react to things like this in class, you've got a great set of manners that you've been inculcated with. I'm sure your parents have taught you well in that regard.  Just follow your heart because it'll never lie to you, and I'm really glad that you got threw today.  This is a great chance for me, and I'm so happy to have met you.  Now, don't hang up the phone.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH:  Be courageous, Annie. Just be courageous. Stick to your guns and be nice about it.  That's probably the best advice that can be given.  I find it's amazing how often we get this question.  We get calls like this, usually from college students, sometimes high school.  But this something maybe the youngest call we've ever had from a student wondering how to act in class with a liberal teacher.  I wonder if liberal kids call liberal talk shows and ask how to get along in a conservative teacher's class?

No.  No.  It doesn't happen, 'cause there's no thought of getting along. 

Plus, there aren't that many conservative institutions where this kind of thing would happen.  

END TRANSCRIPT

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