CALLER: Yeah, well, I mean I have a lot of conservative and a lot of liberal friends, and some of my less liberal Democratic friends have even voted for Bush just because they did not want to see a change right now. They thought even if they didn’t agree with being there right now, in Iraq, they did not think it would be better to change leadership, to have a hand over of power.
RUSH: All right, let me tackle this because anecdotal evidence is tough to deal with. I mean, I could sit here and tell you that, “Well, I got a bunch of liberal friends and they voted for Bush because they hated Kerry.” But we couldn’t make any scientific conclusions on anecdotal evidence. The people you talked to are not a big enough cross-section of the American people. I’m not trying to render their opinions irrelevant but you just can’t extrapolate them and say, okay, your friends’ opinions represent the country’s. Which is why you have to look at scientific polling data if you want to discuss this.
Now, I’m going to tackle the first thing you said. You said, “I would disagree with you, I don’t think the country has turned conservative.” I agree with you. I don’t think that it has and I’m not suggesting that it has. I’m suggesting that when a conservative agenda is specified by a candidate running for President of the United States, it wins every time it’s tried. But, you know, turning the country — the Democrats still did get a large percentage of votes. Kerry still did get — I mean, the country is not conservative, it’s not liberal. It’s majority conservative in the way people lead and live their lives. I am convinced of that. There are a lot of liberals, and I know them, when you watch them lead their lives they lead their lives just like any other conservative does. They’re concerned about values, they’re concerned about where their kids are going to go to get in trouble, stay out of trouble. They go to church, and when it comes time to vote, they get overwhelmed with this guilt sensation that there is suffering out there and they think they’ve got to do something to assuage their guilt, so they vote for people, the vote’s going to make them feel better because the policy isn’t going to change anything. Liberal policy has not wiped out poverty. Liberal policy has not wiped out suffering. In fact, it’s increased it.
So the reason I say this is that the education by conservatives as to who we are, and what we believe in, and why we believe in it needs to continue right where it’s been going on, in the arena of ideas. And this president did that in this campaign. If you look at the exit polling data and if you just study the debates and you study the campaigns, you’ll find that the president not only articulated without one shred of doubt what his policy on the war on terror and Iraq is, he also took on Social Security. If conventional wisdom is right, George Bush should have lost this election on the vote of the senior citizens alone because Social Security you’re not supposed to mention, certainly you’re not supposed to mention changing it.
The president of the United States also campaigned heavily on tax reform. And that has not traditionally been a giant winning issue — well, it has, actually, been a giant winning issue. So you can throw that in, and that’s a domestic policy issue. But you can’t throw other things out. You can’t throw out the fact that the Democratic Party offered an alternative that was basically vacuous. They had a candidate who uttered words as he thought he needed to utter them. He went hunting when he thought he had to go hunting. He said he believed in God when he thought he needed to say he believed in God. But you couldn’t tell from watching him or listening to him or from looking at his past what, if anything, he believed in. And this is where liberals are going to keep losing, David, because liberals cannot be honest about what they believe in because if they were honest about what they believe in they would lose in landslides. Because the American people, when they hear liberalism, when they hear what a politician who is liberal is actually going to do, they will reject it. Liberals have gotten where they are by camouflaging it and by masking it and by portraying liberalism as something that it’s not, something of huge compassion and love and openness and tolerance when it’s just the opposite. They’re the ones who are intolerant. They’re the ones who live in fear. They’re the ones who come up with the political correctness to limit speech. They’re the ones who cannot possibly be honest about what they believe.
You look at John Kerry when he was called a liberal in the campaign during the debates, it was like showing Dracula the cross. He just retreated from it and said we don’t need to get into labels. He said he’s a conservative at some point. You look what John Kerry did when he thought it was down to the nut-cracking time and he was desperate and had to win, he started trying to make himself out to be conservative. He started talking about church, he started talking how he was going to govern in the Oval Office and take his Bible in there with him. I couldn’t believe this stuff because I thought, man, you are really going to turn your base right around and send them running for the tall grass. Because this supposedly is what scares the hell out of the base is talking God and having a man of faith in the White House, and here was Kerry promising to do it.
So if you look at the substance — and I believe people vote issues, and I think this election buttresses my belief, and the president did not camouflage or mask or hide anything. He was flat out in the open about what he was. Now, it’s a far cry from saying a conservative agenda clearly articulated won this election. By saying that I’m not saying it’s a conservative country. Long way to go before it’s a conservative country. Don’t know that it will ever be a conservative country. My point is we have to continue to keep articulating what we believe and find important and never make that assumption. I don’t assume it’s a conservative country. I don’t assume everybody is now conservative so we can stop talking about it because everybody now gets it, because that’s not the case.
And we’re going to lose some elections during this transformation, but there’s a huge transformation going on out there, David. It’s happening in the media, it’s happening in the Democratic Party. The people that used to run this party don’t anymore and they haven’t for a long time, and they don’t know what they’re going to have to do to get that chance at running the country or their power back again. They had it for so long it was a monopoly, it came at them without effort, it came at them by default, it took 40 years of a so-called conservative movement to wrest control of the nation’s affairs from them, and it’s still not a job that’s anywhere near being done. They still control much of the education infrastructure in this country from K through graduate school. A lot of work still to be done, which is why you can’t ever sit on laurels and assume anything is over. So don’t misunderstand what I’m saying here, but if you don’t believe — well, if you do believe that the only reason Bush won is that he’s a wartime president and a bunch of people didn’t want to change horses in the middle of the stream, you’re short sighting yourself and your understanding of the political process.
I’m not saying it’s not a factor. But there is no one single factor. But I’ll tell you one of the things I think is the largest, and it’s an intangible. I think if you go look at the Democrat campaign, and let’s just talk about this calendar year. Some of the most vile, filthy, dirty, scummy, putrid, lying things were said about this president than have ever been said about a president in my lifetime, and even a few years beyond my lifetime. Everything that could be said to disqualify a man for leadership was said of George W. Bush. Every insult, every lie, every attempted way to impugn his character, they went after the National Guard story five different times. They ended up using forged documents on CBS to try to make the case for a lie. They had books on how to assassinate George W. Bush, none of this was condemned. Mainstream media, if they didn’t acknowledge it, supported it and used it, and the Kerry campaign ended up using some of the same stuff. They had documentaries, so-called documentaries that were nothing more than cheap propaganda films. And what did the president do to counter this? Did the president respond to each individual charge? Nope. In fact he ignored each individual charge.
What the president did was simply be who he is. He was just himself. And his character and his stature, his seriousness stood above all of that gunk. It stood out like a sore thumb. Those values that people say won the election are actually the values of character and decency and attempting to do the right thing, decisiveness and steadfastness and he just continued to be who he is and it spoke volumes. He didn’t have to say, “I’m a moral man.” He didn’t have to say, “I’m a decent man, those things they’re saying about me are lies.” They were understood to be lies simply because the president’s character spoke volumes for itself. And as such, all this scum and filth and putrid dirt caused a backlash, just as Bill Burkett’s forged documents caused a backlash. So there were many factors here in why the president won, but I think one of the largest is the intangible of how the time-honored values that we have all been raised by and we try to raise our kids with, triumph. They endure generation after generation after generation, despite how it may appear they’re under assault, despite how it may appear that they’re losing, because the pop culture gets a whole lot of attention, but I’ll tell you what, the pop culture icons failed dismally here.
You can pick any pop culture icon you want and ask ’em, “Did your candidate win?” And they’ll all start cursing at you and say no and start muttering obscenities under their breath. But I don’t care who you want to mention from the pop culture, take a musician, take an actor, take an author, take a television personality, doesn’t matter, whoever they were, not one pop culture icon can say his candidate won. And yet everybody lives in such mortal fear of the pop culture bending and shaping minds, and I have no doubt that it does in certain quarters. But in matters of seriousness such as a presidential election, we haven’t gotten to the point anywhere where the pop culture has polluted. It may yet someday, but not if we continue to behave as we have been. It’s really not all that complicated, and the efforts by the liberals here to come up with any excuse they can to explain their loss and an excuse which gives them moral superiority and an excuse which takes away the strength of the president’s victory is only a futile exercise in continuing to lie to themselves, which will only redound positively to us.