CALLER: You’ve done as usual an outstanding job of pointing out the rust in the liberal bucket. However, just when I start looking towards Mr. Bush, he introduces the things like this immigration bill, where instead of employers taking their jobs offshore, now they can just offer their jobs for half the normal wage, but Americans can’t live on that, they don’t take the job, they might use that as an impetus to offer the job to immigrants, for example. So I’m just concerned that, you know, you spent a lot of time doing a good job pointing out the liberals issues. What do you believe Bush is going to do for we working Americans with regard to education, health care, you know, the economy, jobs, and so on?
RUSH: Well, I’m a little suspicious of the call. A genuine conservative doesn’t ask that question. A genuine conservative says, and you’re portraying yourself as a Bush supporter, but a genuine Bush supporter is going to be upset, because a Bush supporter wouldn’t go around, “What’s Bush going to do for me? What’s Bush going to do for education?” I thought there was something odd, I didn’t think there were any conservatives in Ann Arbor, you know, I was going to ask him about that, and I said no, there’s got to be one and if we’ve got one there he’s obviously going to listen to this program.
Conservatives don’t ask that of government; what’s Bush going to do for me? What conservatives want to know is what’s Bush going to get out of my way, not what’s he going to do for me? And that’s what conservatives are. Bush is spending more on education than anybody ever has. This is the thing that ought to be illustrative to whoever thinks this stuff is going to work politically.
Do you see the Democrats anything other than sheer hatred for Bush? You don’t. He’s given them more than they ever spent on education. He has given them more than they’ve ever spent or even proposed on AIDS research. He has given them immigration reform, and exactly as I predicted, the liberals are out there saying it’s not enough, as always the answer when you give liberals what they want, it’s never enough. And this education bill, what is this, what is Bush going to do for education? When are we going to scale it back? When are we going to straighten it out, instead of blowing it up into a monstrous bureaucracy that screws things up for people? That’s what we want to know. We don’t run around asking what Bush is going to do for us in education, health care, and all that. We’re oriented toward doing as much for ourselves in those areas as we can first.
So anyway, Bush is doing all these great things that’s supposed to make all these liberals and Democrats like him, and they hate his guts with a purple passion. And the hatred seems to grow even more. Folks, you know, I know politics is strange business, you’ve got to get votes. But this business of trying to get people who don’t like you to like you, you know in your personal life what you have to do to do that? In the first place, it’s a total waste of time. It is an utter waste of time to be concerned about people who don’t like you. Now, I know a lot of people are. A lot of people, well, makes me feel uncomfortable, I don’t know why people dislike me, maybe they just don’t know who I am.
So what if they don’t like you? It’s impossible for everybody to like you. You just have to be who you are and let the chips fall where they may and if you’re a creep, then you’re a creep. If you’re a nice guy, you’re a nice guy. Somebody’s going to like you. You just got to find out the people that you attract and be happy with it. But if you start trying to make the people who don’t like you happy, you’re going to make the people who do like you think you’re a nut, and they’re going to walk away from you, they’re going to keep their distance from you, and you’re never going to have anybody in your close orb because you’re not going to be anybody real. And in politics, this business of trying to get votes from people that hate you by giving them what they claim they want. I mean, if anybody thinks that the liberal hatred for Bush is oriented toward policy, they need to have their head banged a couple times. The liberals don’t hate Bush because of policy. They hate Bush on pure raw emotion; they hate Bush because he’s there; they hate Bush because he’s from Texas; they hate Bush because he’s happy; they hate Bush because he’s confident; they hate Bush because they’re cowards; and they think Bush has made the world a more dangerous place.
That’s the real truth to these liberals, folks, when it comes to foreign policy. Why do you think they want to go to the UN? Why do you think they want to make friends with all these dictators around the world and tyrants? Why do you think the Clinton administration gave nuclear technology to China and extended a nuclear deal to North Korea? It’s because they think that that’s how you keep enemies at bay, make ’em strong, show ’em you don’t threaten them and they’ll leave you alone. Yeah, like the United Nations waves the white flag, we’re for peace in Iraq, they got bombed to smithereens and moved to Crete or Cyprus or wherever the hell it is. The liberals are just afraid! They’re literally afraid and they think Bush has made them live lives that are at greater risk. That’s why liberals think that they can go out and drove people through harmonic convergence our mutual meditation ohmmmmm but they don’t mean anybody any harm. That’s why they want to cut the defense budget, to show people they don’t mean anybody any harm, and then nobody will attack us, and we can go ahead and live our lives developing the hydrogen car and windmills and whatever else that they want to do.
Their hatred for Bush has to do with who they are, not who Bush is, and Bush can’t change who they are. This whole thing just frustrates me to no end. You know, I can tell you about trying to make friends who hate you like you. I can tell you about making people who hate you like you. You can, too. It’s an absolute waste of time, and if you think you’ve ever turned somebody around, I’ll guarantee you, it took behavior on your part that was a denial of who you really are.
I don’t know why people are not content with the friends they have. You talk about the conservative base with Bush, there’s a lot of policy disagreement with Bush, there’s no question about it, but you know what else has people bothered? They feel ignored, they’re Bush’s friends. They think that they’re the ones that have common cause with him, and they see him out there trying to wine and dine and woo people who hate him! And they feel, we’re your friends, what are you doing? And that’s as much of what’s going on here as there is policy disagreement and lack of understanding of some of these domestic policy issues.
RUSH: I’m going to keep on with this business of trying to get Democrat votes by trying to do things that will soften the Democrats’ view of the president. Bush is not the first to do this, by the way. There is something about conservatism. I’ll tell you exactly what it is. Conservatism for the longest time was a minority movement. If you look at, let me give you another way of explaining this. Conservatism was not the big clique. Conservatism was the geeks, conservatism was the nerds. Well, if you have been a member of a group of geeks or nerds or the outcasts and not the big clique for a long time and all a sudden you become the biggest group it’s hard to all the sudden change the way you think about yourself overnight. It’s like an obese person that finally loses all the weight still thinks big, still walks through doors the same way used to and it takes awhile to adjust mentally. I think that’s what’s happening now. There’s some people that still feel like we’re the outcasts or the oddballs or the minority or what have you, and the liberals are still the big guns in town and (big sigh) what can we do to make them like us, or what can we do to show them we don’t dislike them? Whatever, it’s a common thing that happens in culture and society from high school on up, or junior high, and there’s no reason why it shouldn’t survive in the world of politics.
Now, let me just ask a question. It’s a pure hypothetical. But, you know, this program has the largest audience of any talk show in America, and maybe one of the largest audiences in the history of radio since the invention of television. But, my friends, there are people out there who despise this show, people out there who hate you and me. There are people out there who think that we are in charge. There are people out there who think that we are running the show, and so they want to come up with their own version of this, some stupid talk radio network liberals think they’re going to do, or they try to enact government policies to shut people like me up, or what have you. We started in ’88 – this has been going on in earnest for the last 10 to 12 years, all these people taking shots and coming at targets. That’s what happens to you when you rise to the top, okay?
Now, what if I said, “Gosh, I don’t like this. Why do people hate me so much, I’m just a nice guy and nobody ever said that I was all these things before I got this radio show, nobody ever called me a racist or a sexist or a bigot or a homophobe. I’ve not changed. The radio show reaches a lot of people.” So what if I said, “You know what – I don’t like what these people say about me and I want to get those people that hate me become audience members and understand that I don’t hate them and that I’m a good guy.” What would I have to do to do it? I couldn’t do it, is the thing, I could try, and I would lose you in the process. You would think I had abandoned you, you would have thought I was a phony. You would have thought that I was just saying whatever I wanted to say to get the right audience I wanted and that I was unhappy with you and I was now trying to go get people who hated me.
It just doesn’t work. And you would not believe, my friends, I’m not going to give you any specifics because it’s not the point, but you wouldn’t believe the number of, how can I put this, of entreaties that have come my way from certain people who said, you know, you could really be something in the media if you just change a little bit about what you think. There have been attempts been made by people to get me to become a liberal, and they’ve held out big carrots of, “You think you’re big now, Limbaugh, you don’t know what big is, if you just…” I mean, this has been going on for the last five years or so. I have never been interested in it because, it’s stupid to even explain it because I was never even tempted by it. But that’s why to me this whole domestic agenda is just so hard to understand, I mean just in a genuine sense. I understand it politically, but then I don’t understand it in terms of intelligence. It would never work. It?s not going to get the people it’s aimed at getting. All it’s going to do is alienate people who have been loyal, all it’s going to do is alienate people who thought they were getting something else when they cast their vote. That’s all it’s going to do. It isn’t going to go out and get all these Hollywood liberals to go become Bush supporters, it’s not going to go get all these gay activists to be Bush supporters, it isn’t going to get teachers union and big labor people, it isn’t going to happen. Look at Jimmy Hoffa, Jr. Jimmy Hoffa, Jr. flirted with Bush for a while. You see where he was in Iowa? Right there next to Gephardt and guess where he’s going to be next week? Right next to Kerry. A union guy is a union guy, a gay activist is a gay activist, a tiger is a tiger, a liberal Democrat is a liberal Democrat.
And there are people who change their minds, but it usually is the result of having gotten to them through their hearts, not by throwing programs at them or not by trying to show them you’re not who they think you are. I mean we persuade liberals on this program all the time, but it didn’t happen in show one, didn’t happen after ten shows, who knows how long it took. The liberals know that it’s happening, that’s why they’re really worried about this program. Daschle admitted it in November of 2002 when he released and talked about their research that their experts told them. When they really started getting panky about this program and when they found out Democrats like this program, they found out Democrats listen to this program, and former Democrats listened to this program. They thought this program was preaching to the choir. You think Tom Daschle is going to become a fan of this program?
Let me tell you something. If I were able to get Tom Daschle and Ted Kennedy to be fans of this program I shudder to think what it would take. I don’t think it could be done. But if I were able to persuade them and people like that, that all of a sudden I’m a good guy, A, what would it say about me, not them. They will not have changed, I will. What’s that worth? And I will not be who I really am in order to do that and that’s what’s wrong with this domestic agenda business. I don’t know. Some people I guess are just not content with what they have, and some for some reason are not content to want to build on what they’ve got that way. This is what’s so frustrating to us. I have to tell you, folks, to have the White House, to have the House, to have the Senate, to have all those bully pulpits, to go out and then educate this country on constitutionalism, limited government, the principles on which the country were founded, that was the great opportunity, that’s what everybody was so excited about. Now we’ve got a presidential campaign going on, and there’s none of that in the debate. Forget conservatism for a second, although it’s a euphemism for it, another name for it, synonym, there is no talk of limited government, there is no talk of constitutionalism, there is no talk of individual liberty being strengthened.
All there’s talk of is we’ve got to get rid of the economy of privilege, all that class warfare crap all over again. We’ve got a robust economy going, strong as hell, and somehow we want to take the proceeds and give it to the people that had nothing to do with it. We got an economy that’s going through the roof, ladies and gentlemen, and the people that are making it happen need to be rewarded, the people that are making the economy go through the roof, and I’m talking about average citizens, not government types, need to be inspired to keep doing it. They need to have regulations and restrictions removed from their path, get rid of those obstacles. Instead we’re going to take the proceeds of this great economic recovery and what are we going to do, we’re going to start paying for people’s hangnail insurance, we’re going to start paying for all these little bitty things that are going to create more and more people who never contribute to economic growth.
So it’s stupefying to me. And this is not easy to say. It’s not easy to say. And I’m not under any illusion here that there’s any of us that can change what’s going on in the White House. I mean, that’s not the point of this little diatribe. The only point here is to try to illustrate to you my opinion on what the thinking is behind their strategy. I just don’t understand it. Even if, let’s say that the strategy is, as I’ve said, that they see a weakened Democratic Party in an electoral sense and they want to wipe it out. They’re not trying to get all of these union people and all of the AIDS, gay activists and all of the teachers unions and all of the civil rights groups, all the typical liberal constituency groups, just 5% of each, and you ruin the Democratic Party. What do you have to do, to do that? And so then what are you after you’ve got ’em? You can’t very well turn around, implement policies they disagree with, after you just got their votes or you’re going to lose ’em. So you build a movement, you build a Republican Party by stealing Democrats? I just don’t see it’s possible. I don’t see it happening. And, you know, there’s this poll out of New Hampshire, independents aren’t breaking for Bush. Well, duh! If you want the independents to break for Bush, be who Bush is, start seeing some conservatism, let’s talk about individual freedom and liberty, let’s start talking about limited government, and you watch the independents start moving in the right direction.
The liberals are well known. Everybody knows what liberals are, and nobody is moving in their direction. That’s what’s also so frustrating about this. Nobody is making tracks to join liberals. Except us. Some of us. It’s mind-blowing. Anyway, sorry for pounding the desk, I know. I’m not sorry for pounding the desk, because that’s who I am, by gosh!