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Symbolism Over Substance Doesn't Work for Republican Presidents

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH:  To the phones we go.  We're gonna start with Dave in Fort Oglethorpe.  Great to have you on the program, sir.  Hello.

CALLER:  Thank you.  It's a wonderful opportunity to speak to you, Rush.  Greetings and mega dittos.

RUSH:  Thank you very much, sir.  Appreciate that.

CALLER:  One of the things I've been observing is the rush to bring the world consciousness into saving these girls when it seems like we got the same thing before the attack in Iraq when the women in the United States were -- the liberal women were complaining about the horrible things that were happening to women in Iraq, and so therefore it was a wonderful thing that we should do, and we should drop what we are doing and run and help these people.

RUSH:  Wait a minute.  What did I miss?  When did women in this country ever say that they cared about what was happening to women in Iraq?

CALLER:  Well, I can't tell you.

RUSH:  Did they praise George Bush for going in there to --

CALLER:  No.  Nancy Pelosi specifically endorsed going in there, and then after a while when she got pressure from her cohorts, she backed up and said, you know, before I voted for, it I voted against it or, you know, that kind of thing.  And I think that it's a real tragedy to be scared, frightened to actually try and find a consistent support for it, doing something that's morally great.

RUSH:  I don't remember this.  I know Saddam had rape rooms.  I don't remember women ever demanding that we go anywhere in the Middle East to fix what's going on with women there.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH:  Let's talk about George H. W. Bush for a second.  You remember Mogadishu?  This is key.  Well, it may not be key, but it's interesting to remember this.  We kept hearing -- this is 1990, '91, somewhere around there -- kept hearing about atrocities in Somalia, starving children and this kind of thing.  Then one day the front page of the New York Times -- now, this is before Fox News.  The only cable news network out there is CNN, 1990, '91.  That's it.  There was basically this program and a couple other radio talk shows on the conservative side, but CNN was the only national cable network.

There might have been something over at NBC that was just beginning to gurgle, but not much.  Newspapers still were the dominant shaping media of the day, and the New York Times on the front page published a photo, black and white, above the fold, of a child in Somalia starving, wasting away, with insects flying all around its head.  And the collective cry in the media was, "We've got to do something.  We cannot sit by and let this happen." 

Now, there was no Twitter, and there was no MySpace and there was no Facebook.  So there was no hashtag.  There was an actual demand that Bush do something, and he did, because of a picture on the front page of the New York Times.  We sent an invading force into Somalia.  CNN had reporters on the beach awaiting their arrival.  This deployment eventually became Black Hawk Down under Bill Clinton.  But that's another story. 

My point is that a picture on the front page of the New York Times back in whenever it was, 90 or 91, resulted in action to feed starving children. And there was this dictator, this warlord over there by the name of Mohammed Zaheer Zaheen Skyhook or something, and he was the bad guy.  And it wasn't enough to condemn it.  There were the equivalents of hashtags back then.  There were people standing up and verbally saying they condemned it. "How horrible is this," and "This is outrageous." That was not enough. 

You couldn't get away in 1990 or '91 doing the equivalent of a hashtag.  That didn't buy you anything.  Now, admittedly, Bush was a Republican, and Republicans don't ever get any credit for caring about anything.  It's always said that that's faked, that they don't really care.  Republicans are haters and bigots and all that. So any time they actually care about something they're accused of faking it. So Bush, to show that he really cared, deployed the military to go in there. And we eventually found out that the warlord was actually stealing all of the aid that was being sent in from world charitable organizations, much like We Are the World, all that food was stolen, too, in Ethiopia.  But my point here is that a hashtag didn't get you anything.  The equivalent of a hashtag didn't buy you one smidgen of good intentions.  It didn't buy you one 25th of a big heart.

Saying that you were outraged and demanding that something be done about it didn't get you anything.  The United States actually had to do something.  Now, here we are in 2014, we've had 300 Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped, and we don't have to do anything today. With video of the schoolgirls, with video of the kidnappers, all we need to today is a hashtag, and that now suffices for taking action.  Some people even think it is the equivalent of taking action.  We have had some sound bites from people already today: "It is working," some woman said. One of our first sound bites today, "It is working."  That's just a small example of how the symbolic and how the image of something or the buzz of the PR has come, how far it has come to replacing actual action and substance of actual results. 

The hashtag does it all now.  It says that you care. It's the equivalent of taking action. And if something happens, if a deal is made with these clowns to give them whoever they want back in exchange for the girls, if that all plays out somewhere, the hashtag is going to get the credit.  And Michelle Obama right there at the top of the list of those who forced the bad guys because they were afraid of the hashtag. 

John, Corning, New York, welcome, sir.  Glad you waited.  Great to have you on the program.

CALLER:  What an honor, Rush.  Thank you very much for being a purveyor of truth.

RUSH:  Well, we try.

CALLER:  Speaking about purveyors of propaganda, which is the left, the only way they get their power is to create what's called disco sheep, dependent, ignorant, stupid, compliant, obedient sheep.  That's what they want.  When Reagan went over the wall in Berlin, he didn't preach.  He lived what he believed.  He told them, and this had come out of his speech a couple of times, but at the last moment, he put it back in there, and he told them, "Tear down this wall."  And he backed that up with his Star Wars program.  That wasn't just a threat.  And he preached anti-communism.  That was his light.  They believed him.  He led from the front.  Now, when you seek truth, which is what you seek and which is what you disperse to your listening audience, truth, I have an acronym for that, RAFI:  reliable, accurate, factual information.  And those who hate America and hate freedom and liberty, they hate RAFI:  reliable, accurate, factual information.  And that's how the left gets their power from their disco sheep.  And I'm so tired of it, Rush, but I'm thankful and grateful that you are there.

RUSH:  Well, John, thank you very much.  I appreciate it.  Reagan -- it's another good point -- Reagan went to the Berlin Wall.  "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall."  He was standing right there.  He actually went there. You didn't get away with this symbolism of a hashtag.  And there was the equivalent of it back then.  There was the equivalent of a hashtag.  You didn't have social media and the Internet wide, but there were things that people did that were a symbolic expression.  That did not get anything done. 

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

Oh, there's another example.  Darfur, George Clooney (imitating Clooney),  "We've got to do something, we've got to."  So Clooney goes to the White House, has a meeting with Obama, comes out, "Hey, we've done something. We had a meeting.  Are not we great people?  We care!"  Didn't do anything.  Darfur is still there, and whatever was going on then is going on now, but Clooney is considered a great humanitarian with a big heart, somebody who really cares, lots of compassion. 

He probably goes and talks to the UN about it now and then, too, like Sean Penn does or like Angelina Jolie. They really, really care.  Big, big achievements are hard to find.  But it's the way it works.  Real achievement is mocked.  Real substantive achievement is suspected now of not being real.  Somebody really wildly successful or achieves great things, they had to cheat, or they had to screw somebody.  'Cause it just can't happen.  We're really so convoluted, out of phase.  

END TRANSCRIPT

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