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Pandering Doesn't Work

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Matthew, Denton, Texas, welcome to the EIB Network.  Hello.

CALLER:  Hey, Rush, mega dittos from the economic powerhouse that is the state of Texas.

RUSH:  I tell you, the state of Texas is indeed an economic powerhouse.  You're exactly right. 

CALLER:  That's why I moved here.

RUSH:  Great to have you here.

CALLER:  Grateful being here.  You know, I remember you talking last week about conversations you had with Republican higher-ups.  They were talking about how the Republicans need to grab this group and that group. I guess maybe they were asking for your help, and you said it isn't your job to get votes. And you don't see the country in terms of demographics and separate groups.  Is that correct? 

RUSH:  Except one thing.  In this case, they were not asking my help; they were explaining themselves to me.  I had said, in explaining to them how I don't know their business, I mean, getting an audience on a radio show is much different than getting votes. I said, "If I were to run for office, I wouldn't do it the way you guys do it. I wouldn't 'groupify' the country and then have a policy for this group and a policy for that group. I would just treat everybody as Americans."  He said, "Rush, Americans are organizing themselves into groups, and they want to be appealed to that way."  He was not asking me my thoughts on it.  He was telling me the way he looks at it.

CALLER:  I see.  Well, I feel like you've already done that in a way because your outreach to Millennials and the low-information demographic, you know, tells me that when you put your mind to it, you can reach out to different demographics.  Since you've been effective in that area, you know, why -- and you didn't --

RUSH:  Yeah, but -- (crosstalk)

CALLER:  -- your message, you know, you didn't change any of it; why not do so with other demographics?

RUSH:  That's my point.  I may be going after the low-information crowd, but I'm not changing anything, am I?

CALLER:  No.

RUSH:  I'm not dumbing myself down to get 'em.

CALLER:  No.

RUSH:  I'm not pretending to be one of 'em and not know anything, either.

CALLER:  (laughing)  Right, right.  Well, I mean, you can also do that with -- you know, it's about getting inside the head and getting inside their situation. Some people are just so pigeonholed in their situation that they need to be, you know, dealt with on their level and not just in the abstract, overarching, you know, realm of --

RUSH:  Are you saying that I may not know or I may be missing something about my own self that I do, when I say I don't look at Americans as groups, that I actually do, and you're trying to tell me how I do it?

CALLER:  Well, it appears that way in that you singled out the demographic of the low-information and the younger people.  I mean, that could be just because you're passionate about reaching the younger generation because, you know --

RUSH:  But I still go after them as individuals.

CALLER:  What was that?

RUSH:  I still try to appeal to them as individuals, not as a group.  In fact, mentally -- and this is a little inside baseball, but when I'm sitting here behind this microphone, I don't envision millions of people.  I envision one, groups of one, and I'm talking to each person.  I'm connecting to a single person.  I'm not trying to be understood by masses and millions, in terms of my attitude.  It's probably a fine line, it may be hard to understand, but I'm just talking about psychologically, attitudinally, when I'm doing this program, there's one person here.  I know there's millions, but I'm talking to them as though they're one and that they all understand what I'm talking about. I never insult their intelligence.  If I think I need to explain something two or three times, I'll do it, but I do not say the same thing four different ways so that each different group listening will understand it.  I say it one way.

CALLER:  Right.  I remember seeing a T-shirt that said: "I'm only responsible for what I say, not for what you understand."  Is that kind of the message that you're trying to --

RUSH:  You know what? That sounds clever, but it's a cop-out.  It sounds clever.  "I'm only responsible for what I say, not what you think I say." ... You know, it depends on what you want, as a communicator.  It depends what you want people to take away.  Do you want them to really hear what you said, or do you just want them to know you said something?  I think it's a very precise procedure and science.

This business of connecting to people and talking has its own dynamic, and that's why I think it's insulting to go out to an African-American audience and try to sound like you know them and you're one of them and you got a bunch of policies for them, 'cause we're all Americans.  I understand there's certain interests that groups of people have based on their experiences, but I think this country handled all of those. 

That's the brilliance and the miracle of this country!  It can be made to work for everybody.  But everybody has to do their part, too, and I... (interruption) Well, I know.  That's the one thing a politician will never say, "You have to do your part, too," because most people are looking... not to be taken care of, but the answers provided and so forth.  Matthew, I wish I had more time, but I've gotta run. 

I'm really way behind here on some things.  But I'm glad you waited to bring this up, because it is a crucially important part of how I do what I do.  It's one of those things I probably wouldn't detail too much.  All I'm saying is, I'm not gonna pander to people and I'm not gonna dumb down what I say for people.  You know, I'm gonna be who I am, and I'll throw it out there.

I'll just throw myself out there. I'll be accepted, rejected, whatever, but it's gonna be real.  I don't want to be accepted as a phony 'cause I can't keep that up.  I'd just soon be accepted for being who I am, and that's what I think politicians don't do.  I think they're afraid to do that.  You know, we got broadcast consultants.  "Rush, you might want spend some time talking about women today." 

"Why?" 

"Well, you might want to bump up the women number." 

"You're telling me to talk about women's issues for 15 minutes and that is gonna...?"

It doesn't work that way, I don't think.  That's pandering, and I think people in this audience are smart enough to see through that -- and, ergo, that isn't gonna work.  But I'm glad you called, Matthew. Seriously.  

END TRANSCRIPT

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