RUSH: Here's Ian in Fort Myers, Florida. It's great to have you on the program, sir. Hello.
CALLER: Awesome. I appreciate it, Rush.
RUSH: Thank you, sir.
CALLER: First of all, I just want to let you know that I truly appreciate your perspective and all the ideas you share every time. I'm gonna do my best to try to articulate the point I was making to the screener. With regard to the Koch brothers article and just the message there that they're trying to communicate, I just think the Republican Party is struggling to connect with the average person.
RUSH: Now, wait. Before you continue, I just want to make sure that we identify them. This is Charles Koch. The Koch brothers are Charles and David. There are two other Koch brothers that are not part of "the Koch brothers" as the Democrats use them.
RUSH: One of them lives in a castle in Europe and one lives here in Palm Beach. That's Bill, and he's winner of the America's Cup yacht race. Bill is his own man. They're all great guys. Bill and David are twins, but Charles and David Koch are the quote/unquote the "Koch brothers," and they're libertarians is what I wanted to tell you.
RUSH: No, it's you're saying "Republicans," but they are libertarians first.
CALLER: Yes. Well, just the conservative group that's out there. I mean, obviously we understand what they're saying. But I think when it comes to trying to persuade people about who they want to vote for and who they want running the country, to go out there and tell them that they need to distance themselves from the government, most people are afraid of that, in the masses at least. I mean, you've gotta understand, these people follow the advice of these progressives for the last 40, 50 years --
RUSH: No, I agree with you. I think it's a scary thing for a lot of people to think of the government not being involved in their lives, particularly single women.
CALLER: Absolutely. And I think that to try and win, which is what we need to do is to win, there has to be some way of communicating without putting the onus back on the individual who is vulnerable and scared to be out there independently trying to achieve what --
RUSH: Okay, well, let's take this down to the basic level. Do you have any kids?
CALLER: Not yet.
RUSH: Not yet. How old are you?
RUSH: Thirty-three. Well, let's pretend for a moment that you have a son who is 12 or 13, maybe 15, just on the verge of getting a driver's license and a car. Let's also, as part of our hypothetical, let's stipulate that you and your wife have spoiled your son. Your son is way too dependent on you, and you are worried that he hasn't learned and isn't interested in learning how to take care of himself.
RUSH: What would you do?
CALLER: Well --
RUSH: The reason I ask is because you just said we can't confront these people with the idea that they've got to take control of their own lives.
CALLER: No, I just think when it comes to trying to win the presidency -- you know, you have somebody that's in there like we have now that's not really being honest about what their objectives are, but they've been elected now twice to the White House and they've implemented all kinds of damaging things that are gonna cause pain throughout the country. So I'm just talking about on a basis of trying to win the presidency, that the messaging has to be not one where we're always telling people, you know, you're gonna go it alone and that's gonna be the best avenue. I don't think we need to need to talk about that at all. I think we need to talk about --
RUSH: Hold it, hold it, give me a chance to get in here, 'cause you're saying some provocative things. Why do you assume that self-reliance equals going it alone?
CALLER: Well, that's what these people are hearing, and that's what they're being told on top of that from the other side. They're telling them, "You've got nothing, you know, they want to take it away from you. It's all you." And that scares the average person, I think, away from voting for the conservative candidate. And that's why we've just been meandering around here.
RUSH: There is not one conservative candidate who ever says he wants to take things away from people.
CALLER: No, but they don't have to because the language that they use, the points they make are not clear enough to say otherwise. And they're still being told that from every liberal out there.
RUSH: You heard me read Charles Koch's piece. Let me read to you the opening again. He says, "I've devoted most of my life to understanding the principles that enable people to improve their lives. It's those principles, the principles of free society, that have shaped my life, my family, our company, and America." So you think that is not appealing, the idea of improving your life?
CALLER: That is appealing to anybody that's there. But it's such a small percentage that's there that have achieved that.
RUSH: What do you mean "there"? What do you mean "there"?
CALLER: That level, somebody who's achieved personal financial success. Somebody who's achieved any level of success, maybe educationally, and a job, whatever, that appeals to them because that's probably the route that they've relied on to get where they're at. They didn't rely on the government to get them there. They relied on themselves. But we're dealing with a society now where that's not the masses. And it's not gonna be applying to somebody to say, "Hey, guess what? The best way to do this is to rely on yourself and get the government out the way." We know that it works. I'm not saying that it doesn't work. I'm just saying we've gotta be careful, especially during an election.
RUSH: That's why I asked you -- see, I think politics, if done right, is a one-on-one, it's a one on one relationship. You keep talking about appealing to the masses. I don't think that's the way to do it. But that's why I asked you, if you had a son who you feared was gonna spend his whole life depending on you and you didn't want him to do that and you wanted him to improve his own life, what would you tell him? What would you make him do? How would you get the message across to him?
CALLER: Well, I can tell you this much, if you think that talking to people as though they're their children, that's not gonna appeal to them. That's what I'm saying, is to win votes and for us to get somebody in there, they gotta stop making people fearful that they're just operating alone out there. This is why we have stuff like Obamacare, because people are fearful of being alone. They're fearful of losing their job. They want some type of backup. And I'm not saying that we need to provide a backup. I'm just saying we need to quit making them think that they're at it alone. That's what I'm saying. And to tell them, to talk to them that, you know, moving forward --
RUSH: You're gonna have to help me understand specifically what you mean. If you can, give me an example of a politician who says something that's making voters think they will be on their own if they vote for the guy. Can you give me an example of what you're talking about? I don't mean to put you on the spot.
CALLER: No, no. I understand what you're looking for, some type of concrete example of somebody saying something specific once that cause some type of fear or panic --
RUSH: How about if a presidential candidate on the Republican side say, "We've got too many people on food stamps. We can't afford it. It's not the best way to improve your life. We've got to cut back on Food Stamps," are you saying that would be the wrong approach to take 'cause that would scare people, "Oh, my God, I gotta feed myself?"
CALLER: Exactly. That's what I'm saying. I can't think of an instance where that was specifically said by somebody, but that form of comment, those types of things are the things that --
RUSH: All right, well, let's go from there. Hang on a minute.
RUSH: Back to Ian in Fort Myers, Florida. Have you heard of the term "compassionate conservatism"?
CALLER: Yes. And the word "compassionate" scares me.
RUSH: All right. Well, we're running out of options here to be persuasive the way it works for you.
CALLER: The thing that I just want to make a point about, if we've got one in five or one in six, whatever it is, on some form of government aid --
RUSH: No. Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. Try two and a half out of six.
CALLER: Even worse. So with these kinds of statistics, if we ever want to communicate the right message to get people to vote for the people who we know should be running the show, we gotta re-characterize things so that it's not a message where they're gonna feel vulnerable voting for this guy that's coming in. I'm not saying that anybody needs to promise anybody anything. We just need to stay away from so much of this messaging about self-reliance and the government's just in the way. We all know that to become successful, if you're a conservative, you've gotta do it on your own, you're not gonna get a handout. But when we have this many people in society now out there who are living off the government, how in the world are we ever gonna win, Rush? What are you even doing on the radio, except entertaining, if we're not trying to win? And we're not gonna win by telling people things like this. It's just not gonna happen. The problem's already happened.
RUSH: Well, now, wait a second. See, this is where I kind of have a differing opinion from yours. Why is it that people today are immune from lessons in life? Why are people today somehow, "We can't talk about taking care of yourself with this group. We can't talk about providing for yourself. We can't talk about making your life your own." Why? What is it about this group that that so scares them? My point is, you would not raise your children that way.
CALLER: Yes. You keep going back to children. These types of morals that you're talking about that would groom an individual to think this way, it's not being able to happen because --
RUSH: No, I'm talking about education. I'm trying to bring it down to the most basic level for you to explain to me how you would do this. I'm not looking at these people as kids or children. I'm just asking, in my example, I'm trying to get from you -- If you were running for office, let's forget that you've got a kid that's gone off the rails and he's dependent. You're running for office, you want to reach these people. Okay, you've said we can't make 'em feel alone. We can't humiliate 'em. We can't tell 'em we're gonna take things away from 'em but we still want 'em to vote for us. So what would you do? What would be your pitch?
CALLER: I don't think there needs to be as strong of a pitch like you're assuming to get people to vote for the person that they're confident in. I don't think Obama had a super strong pitch when he first won. He was just somewhat of a likable person. And even though these ideas that you share on a daily basis are pretty much the gospel to get yourself to a level in society that --
RUSH: I disagree with you. I think Obama did have a pitch, and it was he was gonna take care of you, and he was gonna fix everything that was wrong. And he personally was gonna guarantee you that things are gonna be okay. And he personally was gonna guarantee that the country be loved again. And he personally was gonna do all these wonderful things.
CALLER: I think he made feel comfortable, I think he did that, yes, absolutely. But what I'm saying is from our side of things, the things that conservatives believe in, I just don't think that we need to be out there hammering and browbeating people as bad as what's been done by telling them that, you know, the only way to make it is on your own. Totally eliminate the government from your life and then next year you're gonna be a self-made millionaire.
RUSH: Who's telling people that?
CALLER: I just think that the overwhelming theme --
RUSH: No, no. Give me a name. Give me the name of somebody who's running around for office saying, "You're on your own. The only way you're gonna amount to anything is to get off of government." Who's telling people that? You must think the party's got somebody saying that. Who is it?
CALLER: It's not the conservatives that are doing that. It's the seeds that are planted from the Democrats that are making people believe that the only way to live a comfortable life is to have to some support there from the government, and all I'm saying is when you read the letter like Mr. Koch wrote and they talk about the individual and places the emphasis on the individual to achieve some level of success, that makes people feel vulnerable, Rush. It makes people feel as though they're on their own, themselves, it's all themselves. They've got to make it or break it themselves, and I think that that type of message is not gonna win.
RUSH: Well, A, I read the Koch piece. The word "individual" isn't even in it. You heard a buzz phrase or something that's caused you to have a knee-jerk type reaction to what he said.
CALLER: No, it's just the fact that -- oh, I just get so tired of these things that you see and you hear every day and the problem is the conservatives are just not communicating. They're not communicating with the average individual in society. And it's because we think that the stuff like Mr. Koch wrote is gonna relate to the average person, that they're gonna find some type of comfort in the fact that the best way to get to his level is to do it how he did it and that the government is just nothing more than an obstacle. And the government is an obstacle. We know this.
RUSH: The problem that we have, based on what you're saying, if I'm hearing you right, for us to win, we're gonna have to acknowledge that people are, for whatever reasons, deeply flawed and cannot ever agree with our message. So we're gonna have to change our message and adapt it to the way people are to make them think we get them and care about them and understand them.
CALLER: The problem is, from every aspect --
RUSH: And if we do that, we water down our message.
CALLER: No. It's not about -- well, you can look at it that way and we can go to the grave never winning another election, but what's it gonna do to the country in the meantime?
RUSH: Okay, if I were to bring up -- George Bush was president for eight years just six years ago. How'd he do it?
CALLER: You know what? The guy was likable. I don't care what people say, he was likable. I think he was a likable person. I think he had a likability about him. He came across as goofy and --
RUSH: All right. I'm starting to hear things now. So Romney wasn't likable? Do you know Governor Christie's likable?
CALLER: I think Romney came across as a little bit more artificial than a Bush would have. Christie, I think Christie's just trying to say the right thing and in the right moment.
RUSH: Well, is there any Republican out there right now that you think has a chance of reaching people in the way you think they need to be in order to get their votes?
CALLER: It's tough, Rush. I mean, I think it's really tough right now.
RUSH: Okay, the answer is "no." As far as you're concerned there's not a Republican you know of that wants the presidency that has a chance for it right now?
CALLER: Rand Paul? I mean, I don't know.
RUSH: Rand Paul. A-ha. Rand Paul. See, if you stick with this stuff long enough you'll finally peel the layers back from the onion. So you like Rand Paul?
CALLER: Well, I mean, there's not a whole lot of inventory out there --
RUSH: I understand. Don't be defensive. Don't misunderstand my tone. I'm trying to draw things out.
CALLER: When I pick on this article here from the Koch brothers, I mean, that's just one area of things going on in society that is preventing --
RUSH: I know what you're saying about that. I know exactly what you're saying about it. And I will admit to you, it troubles me. Here is somebody who is an excellent role model, and you're saying he doesn't qualify 'cause he doesn't know what he's doing. It's a sad reality if a guy like Charles Koch doesn't qualify as a role model. It's just sad. Okay, maybe he's got $50 billion and nobody else is gonna have to $50 billion, but that's not his message. His message isn't, "You too can have $50 billion." He's talking about a wholesome life.
CALLER: Wholesome --
RUSH: He's talking about a rewarding life that is filled with improvement and getting a better standard of living and all of that.
CALLER: Rush? Rush, the areas of society that would have reinforced his values and beliefs such as the education system, that's no longer there. So kids, children these days are not getting that education.
RUSH: Well, no. Okay, there are those of us that are trying to deal with that, which is one of the reasons why I've indulged my patience and hung in here with you. I'm trying to do it in my own little way with the books that I'm writing here on the truth about American history. I do it every day on this radio program.
I can tell you that this radio audience is filled with converts, people that used to be dependent liberal Democrats who now listen to this program. You think that might not be possible because of the way they're being approached because I make them afraid or feel vulnerable or whatever. But nobody that I know of anywhere is demanding that people be left alone.
That is not what "self-reliance" and "individuality" mean. It doesn't mean alone. It doesn't mean with no help. It doesn't mean with no assistance. What it means is, "Be yourself, find out what you love, find out what you really want to do, and go do it. And don't depend on people who don't have your best interests at heart," i.e., Democrats and the government.
If we've gotten to the point where we are literally destroying people's futures by creating this dependency and then we can't wean them off of it because that's gonna make them vulnerable, then it's not just that we're gonna go to the grave never winning an election; we're gonna go to the grave with the country never recovering. That, for me, isn't an option. Tough love. You may think that's too direct and so forth.
But I'm telling you, the question I asked you about how you would take care of somebody in your immediate orb that you feared was ruining their life is relevant here. If you love people, if you love the country, if you believe that everybody in the country contributes to making it great -- if you love everybody and you want the best for them and if you know how they can achieve the best for them -- you can't be afraid to tell them.
And if it's gonna be baby steps because we're worried about people feeling vulnerable and thinking everybody's being thrown to the wolves? Nobody's advocating that. But it sounds to me like what you're really saying is, "Republicans aren't cool, and nobody likes 'em, and they do like the Democrats, and it's no more complicated than that. If somebody came along that was likable on our side, then they would listen to whatever the person said.
"They wouldn't feel vulnerable 'cause they would trust the guy, 'cause they would like the guy. We just don't have anybody likable." Anyway, I gotta take a break. I'm way long here. I've gotta go. Yeah, I'm too long. I wish I could continue, but I've gotta go. Look, Ian, thanks for the call.
RUSH: Folks, I don't know. After that last call, I don't know whether to blame the Republican establishment, the media, or the culture, but we just had a conservative on the air who does not think conservatism will work as a message. He does not think that liberty and self-sufficiency can win. Now, also, he's 33, so he has never been alive during a successful conservative presidential campaign.
He does not know, he did not live with any awareness of the Reagan years, which is why I didn't ask him. When I found he was 33, it wouldn't have mattered. But I think Ian is a great example of what we're up against on our own side. He just can't deal with hurting people. He can't deal. He's a conservative but he thinks the message is harmful. He thinks it's intimidating.
But it's a classic example of what happens when you have people coming of age who do not have any life experience relating to victory, to winning. Lord knows you would not want this guy as a football team coach, for example. Nothing against him, but he basically thinks people need to be coddled. That's why I kept asking him about how he would raise his own kid, 'cause I think that's often a very telling point.
He doesn't want go there, 'cause he thought it wasn't relevant. But when you have conservatives who are afraid of the message itself, when you have conservatives who think that the message itself is the problem, that's one of the things that we're up against. I just don't think he's heard it properly articulated by anybody other than me.
And when he heard the Koch piece, he heard things in it that Koch didn't say, which is really fascinating. Yeah, he read the Charles Koch piece and thought it said, "You are on your own, and you can forget any help," and that's not anybody's message. But, you know, you've got this... (interruption) Mmm-hmm. (interruption) Well, now... (interruption)
No, that's different. I wanted to be on my own. I couldn't wait to be on my own. It did not scare me. I was dependent my parents. I wasn't dependent government, but I was dependent on my parents. I started working essentially when I was 16, but I was still dependent on my parents. I couldn't wait to be on my own.
Being on my own was liberation, it was liberty, it was freedom, it was responsibility! It was the greatest thing in the world, getting old enough to be on my own. And today we have to deal with the fact that being on your own is so frightening and so scary and makes you feel so vulnerable. I wouldn't be where I am today if I had that attitude, if I had been afraid to be on my own, and that's the point.
RUSH: I wonder if old Ian, our caller in the last hour who said the Koch message makes people feel nervous, vulnerable, you can't go out there and do it alone, do you think if people are told they have to work, that that scares them? That having to work is not a winning political message? That if your political message involves working and providing for yourself and making your way through life, getting a job and so forth, if that's not a winning message -- let's put it another way. If that message harms you, that in order to be prosperous you must work, well, I don't know where we are. If that's the case, could it be why people don't care that we're losing jobs left and right, 'cause they don't think it's necessary?
Well, I keep saying we've got 92 million Americans on the beach. They're not working, and they're all eating, and they're all making phone calls, and they're all watching television. But they're not working. You mean to tell me if you tell them that to keep all that they're going to have to get a job, that that is a detriment to your campaign? Interesting, isn't it? Well, we'll come back to this. I'm sure some people want to weigh in on it when we get back to the phones.
RUSH: A couple of more observations about Ian and then I'm gonna get to the phones. One is, did you realize that when I ask him about Rand Paul, all of a sudden he contradicted himself? Rand Paul's message worked. Rand Paul's a conservative for the most part, a libertarian. But he made my point. The message can be a winning message if presented by somebody attractive or real or likable to him.
Rand Paul was likable to him, so the message was fine. He called here saying, "The message won't work, Rush! We can't..." But then you get the right guy with the message, and the message was cool. Folks, that's a salient point. 'Cause his original point was, "The message ain't gonna work. It scares people," but that Rand Paul doesn't scare people with same message. (interruption) Well, he's gotta point about likability.
That's the television age. Of course he's got a point about likability. Of course it matters. Absolutely it matters. That's the reality of television and modern politics. There's no question about it. But if Ian is right, it also means that we have become a nation of children, not adults. We have become a nation of children -- and I think that actually could be a profundity, if you get right down to it.
RUSH: It kind of begs the question, what has happened to mental toughness? What's become of it? Look at the growing number of people that want to ban football, for example. Or ban anything that might hurt somebody. Too violent or too brutal or what have you. There's a segment of our adult population that's still children, still kids. And you look at their parents, Baby Boomers, some of it's not surprising. And then you got the low-information voters. You gotta give the Democrats credit. I mean, the Democrats have made the low-information voters think they care about 'em. And the worst thing you can do is invest in the Democrat Party, the worst thing, in terms of life potential.
The worst thing you can do is to turn over your life to a political party that simply is going to use you. And the evidence is clear. Look at all of these groups that have been voting Democrat for 50 years. Take a look at the towns that have been nothing but Democrat, towns and cities, for 30 years, and just take a look at them. The evidence is right there. We got the strong, silent type, and they have been replaced by this pajama-clad kid that the Regime used to sell Obamacare. The pajama kid! The nerd in his pajamas.
RUSH: Zack in Colorado Springs, Colorado, you're next on the Rush Limbaugh program. Hi.
CALLER: Hey, Rush, how are you today?
RUSH: I'm good. Thank you for the call, sir.
CALLER: Good. This is addressing your 33-year-old caller that called about a half an hour go saying --
CALLER: -- that conservative principles will not work. Well, I'm 26 and I'm one of the few who got more conservative through college. I love to talk politics with anyone, especially people my age, and I think calling most of the people my age low-information is probably a compliment. And the biggest complaint I hear from people coming out of college and in college is that there are no jobs, they're throwing their money away. So I say, "Okay, well, I get that you're a liberal, these are your principles. Let's take a look at history. Let's see where we are today. Name one liberal haven, be it Detroit, Chicago, California, that liberals have had free run of for more than 30 years that is better off for it. They're all bankrupt. Now let's look at Texas and Tennessee, who are historically conservative. These two states have the highest ratings for economic freedom, and both states are running billion-dollar surpluses." Okay, so you lay the facts out on the table like that --
RUSH: Let me give you one more state to put in that list when you talk to people. Mention Wisconsin to 'em.
RUSH: And you're right about Texas is growing gangbusters, and North Dakota. A lot of it is energy based, fossil fuel, oil industry based in many cases, not only. Some of it's cattle in Texas. But, you're right, Texas is going gangbusters.
RUSH: And Detroit isn't. New Orleans isn't. I mean, all of these places run by liberals you can see what happens.
CALLER: That's exactly right.
RUSH: Look at the black population of this country, if I dare say so. That's what I was thinking of a moment ago. Look at the people who have invested the Democrat Party for 50 years, look at 'em. How have their lives improved? They haven't.
CALLER: I heard you say that, that was perfect timing. So I ask these people, if their liberal policy is superior, then why are three of these havens bankrupt and people are fleeing like they have the black plague and going to conservative states like Texas? When Obama puts out his job numbers, if you took out Texas from all that, our economy would be in the tank. It just would. These are where our jobs are coming from, from the conservative states that have healthy economies with minimal regulation. And I don't understand why people in the United States and especially people my age who complain about not having jobs don't understand that.
RUSH: Well, the people your age that you're talking about that don't have jobs, do they really want one?
CALLER: They want one-handed to 'em. Let's call it that. I had a great professor. I went to school at a state school here in Colorado, and I had a professor who was asked that question: Why aren't there any jobs for us here? And he said, there are plenty of jobs if you're not an idiot. He was very blunt, but he said, "The only way you're gonna get to where you want to be is to be willing to outwork every single person around you." And I've followed that as a principle in my life. I got hired directly out of college. I'm prospering while those people are still sitting there 'cause they don't want to fill out cover letters or applications personalized to the company 'cause it's too much work. That's the fundamental problem. Everybody my age wants something handed to them on a platter. They want the egg before the chicken and it's a systematic disease. I don't know how to fix it.
RUSH: Well, some of that is common to every generation of young people, because most people have always done better than their parents, and their parents have done pretty well, and there's always been a sense of expectation or entitlement. It's part of being an American in a sense. Not the excessive degree to which you're describing it, but it's not uncommon for young people to expect things. It's part of growing up. But one thing I was gonna point out to Ian, the 33-year-old guy you're calling about. You're 26. Now, you're not afraid of the message, but a guy like Ian -- here's the thing. He's never seen the message win a presidential election. He's never seen it. And you haven't, either, actually at 26, although you may have seen local elections with conservatives win and so forth. But what kind of factor is that?
CALLER: I look at it the complete opposite way. Growing up in Colorado, there's been such a liberal push here, and the last couple of governors that we've had and the state legislature with their attack on the Second Amendment and civil liberty, I've seen what doesn't work. I've seen them run on ideals, emotions. I've seen what doesn't work. And so I don't see how this could fail, because we feel oppressed here in Colorado. You've got northern Colorado that's trying to secede from Colorado altogether. We've seen what doesn't work. So I think if we have a strong candidate who will adamantly oppose everything that we're being spoon-fed here in Colorado, I don't see how it wouldn't work. I don't need to see the success story 'cause I've seen all the failures.
RUSH: Let me ask you one more question, as time is dwindling and I gotta go, but he also talked about likability in a candidate and how that can overcome defects in a message. What do you -- and no wrong answer here. I'm not trying to put you on the spot. I'm really trying to learn what you think. What is your reaction to Ted Cruz?
CALLER: I love Ted Cruz.
RUSH: Do you think he's a likable guy when you see him on television?
CALLER: Not if you have an opposing view, but me aligning with him on about 99% of ideals, absolutely. I think he's a credible candidate.
RUSH: See, I don't understand. There are establishment Republicans who think Ted Cruz is not a likable guy. I don't understand that. I've had occasion to meet him twice, but just watching him on television, he's not unlikable, he's an dislikable. Sarah Palin is a likable person, don't you think? But even people on our side, "Well, Ted Cruz, he scares people, Rush." What is it that scares people? Is he too opinionated? "Yeah, Rush, he's just too sure of himself." That's another thing. I've heard that throughout my star-studded career. "Rush, nobody's that sure of themselves like you are. That's off-putting, Rush. You've gotta be more open to other points of view. Nobody's that sure of themselves." And that translates to being unlikable in some people, in a nation of children. Anyway, Zack, you keep on. You hang in. Keep on. 'Cause if I were doing your commencement speech, I would say you are the future of the country.