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Michelle Obama and Nancy Reagan: A Tale of Two Slogans

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Here is Bob in Albany.  Great to have you, sir.  The EIB Network.  Hello.

CALLER:  Hi, Rush.  I just wanted to remind you that, remember the left, the same left that supported Michelle Obama and having a problem with what you said regarding her hashtag. Remember when Nancy Reagan had the, "Just say no" campaign for drug use for teenagers, and they came out and said, "Oh, gee, those are just words. No actions," and Reagan and Nancy Reagan --

RUSH:  Well, yeah, I do, but it was worse than that.  It was not simply that Nancy Reagan was just uttering words.  It was silly to tell kids not to do it.  That wasn't effective.  You can't tell kids not to do drugs.  It's like telling kids not to have sex. They're gonna have sex anyway.  They're gonna do drugs anyway.  They ridiculed Nancy Reagan, but Bob, it's a great point.  Nancy Reagan, the precursor of the hashtag.  Do you remember this?  Every first lady has to have a cause.  It's required.  Barbara Bush and Laura Bush, literacy.  Michelle Obama is -- well, what?  It's everything.  And Nancy Reagan was, "Just say no."  Just don't do it.  And she was ridiculed. I mean, the left and the media, and you may say they're the same thing, but we had Hollywood types and elected officials and the media combined, and it was vicious. 

And they said that's simplistic; that's not effective. It's a waste of time. It's ignorant.  What you mean, just say no?  And a lot of people, "Yeah, A, it's good advice, just say no, don't do it."  It was a message that was aimed at parents.  Just tell your kids no. And it was a message aimed at young people, don't do it, just say no. You got the option of drugs, don't do it.  They ridiculed her because they claimed it was just words, and it was ineffective to boot, even if the words were listened to.  This is not how you reach kids. 

The same group of people, a short time later in the early nineties -- we talked about this so many times.  It seemed like teenage sex was unstoppable, and there were people really worried about it, and the left said, "They're gonna have sex.  You can't stop it.  The thing you need to do is make sure it happens clean place, and it's supervised. Give them condoms and teach them how to use condoms with cucumbers," and that was going on in the schools.  I remember getting a call from a mother somewhere out on Long Island, "Look, Rush, they're right.  I have a bedroom here, I'd just as soon my son bring his girlfriend home and they have sex here than in the back of a car.  At least I know the bedroom's clean."  She actually said this on the phone. 

And when anybody said, "Well, just saying 'no' isn't gonna work." 

I said, "You try that with cigarettes. Don't you just say 'don't do them.' Do you put a pack of cigarettes on the nightstand in the bedroom after they finish?" 

"Well, no, of course not, they can't smoke." 

"Why not?" 

"Well, they shouldn't smoke." 

"Well, how do you get them not to smoke?" 

"We just tell 'em not to do it."

"Wait a minute, you tell 'em not to smoke but you --" So it's a great point.  Nancy Reagan was like the forerunner of the hashtag, "Just say no."  It was vicious the way they ridiculed her on that.  Bob, I appreciate the call. 

You know, with Obama releasing 36,000 convicted -- well, 27,000 of 'em convicted criminals, 36,000 that are in jail being released before their deportation hearing, we need a new hashtag, #BringBackOurBorders.  You know, if I was on Twitter, I could be having some real fun with this: #BringBackOurBorders, #CloseOurBorders.  Well, if it works, it works.  But, see, "Just say no" to drugs. That is simplistic and ineffective and shortsighted and ignorant and all of that.  #BringBackOurGirls is profound. It's deep. It's meaningful, and it is filled with caring. 

But, "Just say no," Nancy Reagan doesn't really care.  If she really cared she'd do something more than just say no.  Now, part and parcel of the opposition was that, in that era, 20, 25 years ago, leftist parents saying "no" to kids was something you just didn't do.  That would stunt their growth, give 'em complexes. It would give them inferiority problems, saying no. You couldn't say "no" to a child. It would stunt their growth, and that was all part of it, too.

END TRANSCRIPT

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