RUSH: Our last caller, a very nice woman, extremely complimentary from Texas, her name was Wendy. She wanted to know when people are gonna wake up. And she defines people waking up as realizing Ted Cruz is the answer, realizing the only hope is Ted Cruz. And part and parcel of that, in her definition, waking up is defined as when are people gonna realize that Trump is not one of us. When are people gonna realize that Trump is a fraud. When are people going to realize that Trump is dangerous, whatever she thinks of Trump -- and I'm trying to include whatever a lot of critics of Trump think of him. He's not genuine, not a conservative, not stable, unhinged, whatever. The criticisms of Trump run the gamut and are all across the board.
But the point of her question, "When are people gonna wake up and see this?" And my answer to her was that I think people are awake. Now, a lot of you are upset with me, and I understand that, because you think that I have been performing in more of an analysis rather than advocate role here during the primary. I would warn you this is what I do every primary. There's been one exception, and that was Perot back in 1992. And I've told you why the exception for Perot, and it was because I knew that Perot had no intention of wanting to be president.
He did not want to win. That is not why he was doing what he was doing. There was a personal vendetta there. I don't need to revisit it. Ross Perot is a fine man. He's very accomplished and a great American, a great patriot, but he didn't want to be president. He didn't intend to even get in the race. He was forced into it. He made a speech at the National Press Club that just lit up the country, on wasteful spending and how to get the budget in control and about lobbyists and a bunch of unaccountable people were running the country into the ground. And it resonated, as it always does, and he was propelled.
Perot snuck up on the establishment. They didn't even see him coming. They didn't take him seriously as a candidate because he wasn't when he started, when he made that first National Press Club speech. I remember tuning in to C-SPAN -- I used to watch C-SPAN back in the early nineties now and then, and I had it on and Christopher Hitchens was a guest, talk about some new book that he had. And every caller was asking him about Perot. And he didn't know what it was about. He had no clue. And after a half hour of not one call about his book and every call about Perot, he looked at Brian Lamb, and said (paraphrasing), "Who the hell are they talking about? I'm missing something. I'm gonna have to get caught up.?
And it all happened right in Washington at the press club. The establishment, Hitchens was part of it, was so insular, insulated, they had no clue. And it's amazing; back in 1992, don't forget, you had a conservative electorate, which felt betrayed then by George H. W. Bush. "Read my lips: No new taxes." He eventually made a budget deal with I guess it was Foley, whoever the Democrat Speaker of the House was at the time, and we got our tax increase and all that stuff that H. W. Bush said running as Reagan's third term ended up being compromised.
It was the same attitude, same mind-set in the electorate back in 1992, and they glommed on to Perot on the same basis they're glomming onto Trump, and that is, this guy's a doer, he's not a politician, he's an outsider, he's gonna get in there, take names. But I knew that Perot didn't want to win and, in fact, got out when it looked like he was gonna win. And you remember what his excuse was? That the Bush team had hired the National Enquirer to sneak photographers in to take pictures of his daughter's wedding. And that was the last straw.
(imitating Perot) "Larry, that's the last straw for me, Larry. I don't want this job if that's the kind of garbage I gotta put up with every damn day is having the paparazzi in there trying to undermine me. So, no, Larry, you can have it." That was it. He was on Larry King Live a lot.
So, Trump wants to win. Trump is serious about winning. But back to the point, folks, nobody's asleep here, especially -- now, people on the left, that's a whole different ball of wax. I don't know about them. My attitude about the low-information crowd, they're just mind-numbed, brain-dead robots anyway. It doesn't matter if they're awake or not, they're going through life in a dependency haze. So it doesn't really matter. They're gonna vote the way they vote anyway.
People on our side, if you think they're not awake, you've got to reexamine it. They are totally awake. They're awake to the point they're not sleeping, they're so ticked off, or so energized, or so engaged, or what have you. The second point that I made to her is that this is not an election of competing philosophies, ideological philosophies. People say to me Trump's not a conservative. People say to me Trump's not a liberal. Trump's not a conservative. What is Trump, then?
Over here, Cruz, Rubio, the Republicans for the most part are conservatives. There's some of them that really aren't. But this primary, this election is not conservatism versus -- I mean, it is, but that's not how voters are going to decide it. And when it comes to conservatism, I can say this with 27 years here behind the microphone doing this program -- and I say this 'cause I've had people say it to me. This is not something I'm intuiting, although after it was said to me a couple, three times, I started to intuit it, meaning dig deeper.
But there are a lot of people who have been donating to Republicans, and a lot of people who think they've been giving money to conservatives and conservative causes, and they've started asking themselves, what are they getting for it? Where is all this conservatism? People solicit money in Washington to keep conservatism alive, in Washington, in the Republican Party. "We're the guys that can do it. We have the contacts. We help 'em write policy. We help 'em understand policy." Great, great, that's fabulous, but where is it, a lot of people are asking.
Where is all the conservatism? Is it on Fox News? Is it National Review? Is it over at the American Spectator? Where is it? It isn't in the Republican Party. That is for darn sure, and so many people are livid about that. I'm talking about the party establishment. Yes, Ted Cruz. Look, what more do you want me to say? Ted Cruz is the closest living thing to Ronald Reagan we're ever gonna have in our lifetimes. I don't know what more I can say about Ted Cruz.
I also like Marco Rubio, in comparison to other options and choices. People get mad at me for that. "He's not a conservative, amnesty, Gang of Eight Bill, the lying through his teeth." Folks, I know every objection you're gonna throw at me. I know it myself without having to be told. You know, I'm the last person you should think doesn't know something. If you're running around thinking, "He doesn't know," don't include me in that list of people doesn't know. I know everything about these guys -- good, bad, indifferent, ugly, pretty, what have you.
I don't say anything I say about anybody from an uninformed position, and there isn't anybody that's fooling me about anything. "Rush, Rubio's fooling you over amnesty." Rubio's not fooling me. Once you realize there's no perfection, then the view -- (interruption) What? Now, okay, see,
Snerdley thinks I have stepped in a huge pile of manure here by saying once you get past there's no perfection. He thinks that's the biggest step-in-it I've done all day, maybe all week. I'm talking about in a candidate. There isn't perfection in a candidate. There's no utopia, there's no perfection anywhere. That doesn't mean that you settle.
I'm just advocating an honest perspective on things. I can't come up with a reason to hate Marco Rubio like some people. I can't come up with a reason to dislike Rubio, just like I can't come up with a reason to hate Ted Cruz. People come at me, "You can't be serious what you said about Ted Cruz. Really?" And if I told you the kind of people saying it to me, you'd totally understand who they are. Ted Cruz scares a lot of people simply 'cause he mentions God. Ted Cruz scares a lot of people 'cause he looks to the heavens when he talks about God. That scares a lot of people.
RUSH: And back to the tones we go. This is Moshe in Clifton, New Jersey. Welcome. Great to have you on the program. Hi.
CALLER: Hey, Rush. Dittos. I've been listening since 1988, ever since I was a little boy in the eighth grade, and I've been listening to you and seeing you as the father of modern day conservatism. I look to you for years to help clarify how I thought on various issues and I've never called a talk show before. But today, I'm confused. I feel like a ship being tossed about with the navigational system gone blank. I'm not used to calling Rush as the dispassionate observer of things that are going on. I mean, if we believe that conservatism is the hope for our country, how can we just sit back and just watch Trump take it away?
RUSH: Well, I have not been dispassionate, and I'm not just sitting back watching. I'm doing everything I can --
CALLER: You're analyzing, you're observing, you're helping us explain why Trump is doing what he's doing. But, I mean, look at what he's doing. Why not get out...? Do you believe that you have the ability to influence millions of people? I believe you do.
RUSH: You don't do this program every day with that in mind, and I never have. That's what I mean. I've often said that I don't show up here cognizant of having power. And I don't contemplate it. I don't think, "Okay, how can I use it?" You know, I hope to play a role in people's level of being informed and educated and being able to critically think rather than be force-fed stuff and become sponges or mind-numbed robots and so forth. It's the primary criticism you've always faced on this program; that's what I've been fighting against. But let's cut to the chase. What would you do, if you're sitting where I'm sitting and you are everything you think I am? What would you be doing, if I think you think Trump needs to be exposed and --
RUSH: What would you say? What would you do?
CALLER: Listen, Rush, I speak to people who are Trump supporters who sincerely believe that Trump is the conservative choice. And Trump gets up there and says it all the time. And they believe it. It needs to be exposed by the leaders in the conservative movement. And leadership... Leaders don't choose to be leaders. When people follow someone, that makes them a leader.
RUSH: Well, but I have made it clear. I've not made it a theme every day, but I have said countless times that Trump is not conservative. I said he's not ideological. I've said he doesn't look at Chuck Schumer and see an ideological enemy like you and I would. He just doesn't. I've tried to say it after the debate on Saturday. What more do I have to say? Trump's targeting liberals and Democrats. Name a conservative who does that.
CALLER: Do you believe the country would be in good shape with a President Trump?
RUSH: Do I believe the country would be in good shape with a President Trump? I believe --
CALLER: Versus a President Cruz or a President Rubio.
RUSH: I'm gonna answer it this way. Honest, from the depths of my heart: This country needs to be saved from the Democrat Party. The Democrat Party is the most destructive force in this country, and anything that beats it, anything that blows it to smithereens, anything that renders it a minority institution -- 'cause that's what I think needs to happen --CALLER: The Democrat Party just as an institution or liberalism in general? Because Trump is liberalism.
RUSH: The Democrat Party as an institution. The people who... The Democrat Party and the things that it stands for, the things that it's doing under Barack Obama, that's the new Democrat Party. The new Democrat Party believes America is ill-formed, it is ill-gotten. The modern Democrat Party thinks that United States of America is illegitimate. Donald Trump doesn't think that. The modern Democrat Party thinks that United States of America is the problem in the world because of our superpower status.
We are too rich. We're thieves. We've stolen everything we've got. The modern Democrat Party thinks that this country does not deserve half of what it has, and its objective is to strip this country down. Strip it bare, open the borders, and let anybody in the world in here. The objective is to tear down every institution and tradition that's made this country great from our founding forward. That's gotta be stopped. It's simple, to me.
You look at the polling data, particularly the polling data coming out of South Carolina, and it looks like Trump has topped out at about 25% of the conservative vote. I think this is why he is making moves in other directions, and it's, of course, strategically understandable given South Carolina is an open state. But I think Trump's been pretty steady in the percentage of the conservative primary vote that he's getting from poll after poll after poll. If you average it all out, he's around 25, maybe 28%. But his peak has been reached for a while, and it isn't expanding.
Cruz is catching up, in some polls rapidly, in other polls not so rapidly, but still closing the gap. And Trump knows this. And that's why there was no doubt, or to me, anyway, it wasn't confusing why he would take the positions he took on Saturday night in the debate, given the fact that South Carolina is open and he wants to win.
Now, one other thing, before we get back to the phones on this other matter, a couple other things. Snerdley thinks I stepped in it big when I said moments ago that once you realize there's no perfection, then everything becomes little easier. Well, if I stepped in it, so be it. But I think the pursuit of perfection in candidates has been one of the reasons that we've been losing. We might have a guy -- and by that I mean a woman, could be women, a candidate who is 95% adorable, lovable, perfect, but might be pro-life. Gone. You're finished. Out of there. Ninety-five percent perfect except -- well, that's not good, you couldn't be 95% perfect if you're pro-life. Let's throw that out. That's kind of mandatory. Gotta be that or you're not even a conservative. Second Amendment and so forth.
But immigration. There are a lot of conservatives out there who are not part of the no-amnesty crowd. My point is that the closest we've ever had, if you want to call Reagan the perfect conservative, then Cruz is it, Cruz is the closest in my lifetime that we've come to it. And obviously is the closest in my lifetime we're going to come to it. But, see, what if Cruz doesn't get the nomination? Republicans get ticked off, to hell with it, and stay home maybe, or not vote, which just cedes the election to the other side. It's a fine line and a tightrope here, but in this particular reelection, I really don't think it's a battle of philosophies, as I've said. And I really believe what I just said to the last caller here.
The biggest and most destructive force in this country today is the Democrat Party. They've got to be beaten. They've got to be stopped. This Democrat Party that we're up against today is not the Democrat Party of 20 years ago or further, 25, 30, 40. The Democrat Party today has been totally taken over by ultra left-wing radicals, international left-wing radicals for whom the United States of America is an obstacle, for whom the United States of America is a problem, for whom the United States of America is largely disliked. And they have power now. And you see what they're doing with the power.
They are chopping this country down to size every which way they can, some of it very publicly, much of it you don't see until it's too late to stop, but nevertheless that's the objective, and that to me, speaking personally, my overriding desire is for them to be stopped. My overriding desire is for that party to lose. Now, you get into an argument, well, what's the best way to make that happen. I realize that some people say the only way that can happen is with conservatives dominating and so forth. And that'd be great if it was the case.
But my point to you, I'm not going to not vote. I'm not going to stay home or get my nose out of joint or get twisted in a bunch of anger if my preferred person doesn't win but there's still somebody out there I think can snooker and smack around and beat the Democrats. And that shouldn't surprise anybody. People can say I've been leading conservatism these 27 years. I've also been doing everything I can to inform and educate people about who and what the Democrat Party is as well.
Anyway, I have this story by Mark Cunningham that is in the New York Post today, and it's about Trump, and it's yet another attempt to explain Trump. I go back to Wendy, our caller from Texas, "When are people gonna wake up? When are people gonna find out that Trump's a fraud? When are people gonna wake up and find out this is a disaster, it's an accident waiting to happen? When are they gonna realize they're making a huge mistake? When are they gonna see that Cruz is the only solution?"
So knowing that there are people out there in droves trying to come up with explanations, Cunningham's is the latest. And his piece begins this way: "The other GOP candidates are finally starting to fight on Donald Trump's terms, to judge by the slugfest that was Saturday night's debate. But it speaks volumes -- whole encyclopedias -- about the ignorance of our political and media elites that they're only now realizing that much of what Trump's been doing is just busting balls. It's a blue-collar ritual, with clear rules -- overtly insulting, sure, but with infinite subtleties. It can be a test of manliness, a sign of respect, a way of bonding and much more. Rule No. 1: You can wince, but don't squeal." You never complain. You never whine.
"Rule No. 2: Bust right back, if you can. Not knowing how to play is no excuse. And not getting it shows you have no idea how a huge swath of America lives -- the Americans whom Trump has made his base. From the start, Trump targeted the (mostly) white working class, which happens to be 40 percent of the country. And he's done it not just with issues, but with how he talks -- the ball-busting, the 'bragging,' the over-the-top promises. 'Bragging' is in quotes because it's not (all) about his ego: The endless reciting of poll numbers, the constant references to how much the media's paying attention, is mainly about showing that he's beating the cultural elite."
Trump is reminding people that he's winning. He's not blowing his own horn because he's an ego freak. He's reminding everybody he's succeeding. He's bragging about his success. This is expected in this world. "Beating the elite on behalf of his voters -- who've been invisible to the politicians and the media for decades." I think it's all wrapped up right there, if you want to know the truth. The people in Washington have been doing whatever damage is done to this country in order for them to get and save theirs, to get and protect theirs, their positions, their jobs, their power, their money, everything they do is oriented toward self-preservation and self-growth.
And whatever happens to the country in the process is of no concern to them, because they don't think they're ever gonna live among the country. They're the elites. They're always gonna have enclaves, walled and gated communities and so forth. "Yeah, there's a mess being created, but somebody will mix it down the road. In the meantime, I'm getting mine, and I'm taking care of my family, and I'm taking care of my kids and grandkids, and I'm acquiring some power." And so there's a disdain. Washington isn't about what's best for the country anymore; it's about what's best for Washington.
Consider a huge story that vanished almost immediately in early November. Two Princeton economists discovered that deaths are soaring among middle-aged low education whites. We pointed out that story on this program, and we gave you the details as to why.
It was a genuine academic study that tried to figure out why suicides and premature deaths are "middle-aged, low-education whites. The rise in mortality..." That would be "death," for those of you in Rio Linda. "The rise in mortality from 1999 to 2014 was 22%: Up 134 deaths per 100,000 for whites aged 45 to 54 whose education ended in high school. To blame: jumps in suicides and in deaths from drug abuse -- that is, from alcoholic liver disease plus overdoses of heroin and [other drugs]. One of the economists, Nobel winner Angus Deaton, notes that the only modern trend that compares is the AIDS epidemic.
"AIDS won headlines for a decade. The Deaton findings basically vanished from the media after a day." In other words, the story of advanced premature death of large numbers of middle-aged white men got scant attention. "And these soaring death rates are just one sign of the stresses the American working class faces. Many other blue-collar folks struggle on OK. But they know they've got huge problems that just don't get talked about -- and anyone who does raise them gets denounced and then ignored.
"Until Trump. America hasn't been great for the working class for decades -- which is why 'Make America Great Again' is a great slogan for a guy who's talking tough on the problems that blue-collar Americans ... see as killing them. And getting attention -- unbelievable attention -- even as he breaks all the 'establishment' rules," makes them glom onto this even more! "Because he's playing and winning by blue-collar rules, and what are you gonna do about it? Of course, he also has to show he's for real.
"Why should these voters trust him? Answering those unspoken doubts is why Trump doubles down on his promises -- he's not just going to build a wall, but make Mexico pay," and he keeps saying it over and over again. He's hell-bent on making sure these people believe him and understand that he means what he says. He's not just sloganeering. My point is if this guy's right about this, the competing philosophies that you want to throw up against it are not gonna register.
If people's lives are so dire that they're considering suicide, that they have no money, that they can't get jobs anymore, that they can't find health care, they're being priced out of everything -- Christmas isn't Christmas anymore -- you can hit 'em all day with how great one philosophy is over another, and it isn't gonna register. And the anger these people have -- and it's not an insignificant number of people, either.
RUSH: Let me try this another way. Now, just so you all know, I hope you don't have to actually be told this, but I don't live in a place where time has stopped. I'm not still thinking of things in the nineties like the Clintons are. I'm on it. I'm up with it. I am, as always, ahead of the curve. I am in advance of societal evolution. I also have a deep respect for your own independence and your intellect and your ability to think for yourselves.
I have never, ever engaged in what the Democrats engage in, and that is trying to create armies of people not knowing what they hell they're doing. I have much more respect for you than that. You're free to make up your own mind about whatever. I'm here to help inform you, in my mind. I'd love it if you agreed with me, but it's up to you whether you want to. But let me ask you a question in terms of strategy -- a strategical question, experience guided by intelligence and all of that.
How many years did I attempt to awaken the American people about Bill Clinton? Maybe nine. Maybe more. You could say that I continue to try to tell people the truth about Bill Clinton ten years out of office, five years after he left office. How many years have I been trying to tell people the truth about Hillary Clinton? How many days have I spent trying to tell the people that voted for Barack Obama of the grave error and mistake they made? What was the result of it?
Bill Clinton served two terms; Obama served two terms; Hillary is the front-runner for the Democrat Party. And the reason is something I realize from before I started doing this program. The people that listen to this program are totally capable of thinking for themselves. All of you are. At least that's how I approach you. I don't approach you as not knowing what to think. I don't approach you as not the being able to think. To me, it would be insulting.
It's the Democrats that treat their voters that way, and try to create little armies of essentially robotic voters. The bus picks you up at certain time, takes you to the poll, they tell you what lever to pull, and you go back home. That's not at all what I've been aiming at here. But my point in terms of strategy, maybe there's a different way than simply telling people what a reprobate Bill Clinton is or what a danger Barack Obama is.
I mean, I can't tell you the number of days I lost my voice trying to tell people about Obamacare. It still passed. I can't tell you the number of days I lost my voice trying to warn people about what Obama's real intentions were with this country and what he really intended to accomplish with Obamacare and immigration. He still won reelection. (interruption) No, I'm not... No, no, no, no. I'm not saying it doesn't matter. I'm saying there are different ways of going about accomplishing the same goal.
RUSH: It's really simple, my friends: I don't want to destroy anybody who could defeat Hillary Clinton. I don't want to damage anybody who could defeat the Democrat Party. It's no more complicated than that. The establishment still thinks all this anger here is a bunch of spoiled brat, little children-type anger. They don't get it yet. They need to be awakened fully.