RUSH: Mike Rice of the Boston Globe has a story, “What Happens When Everyone’s a Winner?” You remember this trend started, at least to my knowledge, back in the late eighties, early nineties? A Pop Warner football team down here in Florida was just creaming every other team in the league. I mean, slaughtering them, and so the grand pooh-bahs of the league got together and said, “This team is so good we’re going to have to penalize it before the game starts. We’re not going to start the game at 0-0. This team is going to start 35 points or 28 points,” or whatever it was, “in the hole so that the other teams have chance, so that they’re not discouraged. So they think that they can actually win,” and that became symptomatic of other such movements in the classroom, outcome based education.
We couldn’t destroy anybody’s self-esteem, and in order to protect their self-esteem, we had to make them think they could win when they couldn’t — and how did we do it? Not by making them better! We penalize the people doing well. It’s pure liberalism. Liberalism will see economically, people at the top, the winners of life’s lottery, and at the bottom, the poor, the downtrodden, the victims of the winners of life’s lottery — and they’ll see this gap, call it an “income gap,” a “wealth gap” or whatever, and they’ll try to narrow the gap. Liberals will do that, but they will not do it by elevating the poor, the thirsty, and the downtrodden so that they’ll become more prosperous.
They will do it by punishing the achievers, punishing the winners of life’s lottery, raising their taxes, making it harder for them to do business, more regulations, so that the people at the top are lowered. The people at the bottom stay where they are, and everybody becomes equal, equally miserable. Well, that’s the same thing at work here, penalize the good people, penalize (interruption). What are you frowning at? Don’t get me into handicaps. No, it’s not the same thing. It is not the same thing, because everybody playing golf is already an achiever, and there’s just different levels of talent and how good you are. The handicap system in golf, it’s really not what you think it is. Nobody can play to their handicap. Very few people can.
If I’m a ten handicap, it’s just because I happened to have a run where the last ten scores’ average came out to that, handicap of ten. But maybe I played over my head three or four times in that run of ten, better than I’ll ever play again. It doesn’t matter. I got a handicap I can’t play to. Most people don’t play to their handicaps, and it’s built into the system that way. You’re just trying to yank my chain with this handicap thing. Everybody brings up the handicap system in golf when I get on my roll here about how liberals deal with the inequities of life, but I have an answer for you as I always will. Now, back to the story.
“When a youth basketball league in Framingham finishes its season next month, every fifth- and sixth-grader will receive a shiny trophy. Even those on the last-place team. ‘We want them to be happy and come back to play the following year,’ said the Temple Beth Am Brotherhood league’s director, Rich Steckloff.” Notice the voice I use is that of the castrati. We’ve heard the term the castrati. These are the men who have been feminized by militant feminism over the course of their lives. I had some guy call here, accuse me of being a homophobe because he thought that this voice was supposed to represent effeminate gay. No. It represents the new castrati, men without.
Yes, we want them to be happy and come back and play the following year! “In communities across Boston’s western suburbs, at the end of long seasons on the soccer pitch, hoop court, or baseball diamond, kids are getting trophies not for winning championships, but for simply participating. Some say there’s no harm in awarding trophies to all, that it’s a reward for playing a sport that keeps them fit. And it’s hard to argue with the warm feeling a parent gets when their wide-eyed child receives a prize. But others have raised questions about whether getting trophies so easily is the best thing for youngsters. ‘There is something inherently good about trying to raise kids’ feelings about themselves, but there has to be balance, said Leonard Zaichkowsky, a Boston University professor and director of its sport and exercise psychology training program, shared by BU’s schools of education and medicine.
“‘We also have to teach kids to be mentally tough, to take criticism, to experience failure, to learn that somebody wins and somebody loses. We have to take teachable moments to reach kids and explain that there are going to be setbacks and losses, and to be able to cope with that,’ he said. Roy Baumeister, a professor of psychology at Florida State University, said the trophy explosion was a product of the self-esteem movement, which began in the 1970s and gained momentum in the ’80s with promises of more successful children. The movement started to unravel a decade later, when questions were raised about its results, said Baumeister, who has specialized in self-esteem issues. Baumeister said feel-good trophies don’t serve any purpose. ‘The trophies should go to the winners. Self-esteem does not lead to success in life. Self-discipline and self-control do, and sports can help teach those,’ he said.”
Yes! Finally somebody said it! I don’t know how this got past the editors of the Boston Globe. Self-discipline, self-control, sports teaches it all! Losing is part of it. Learning to cope with it; learning how to overcome it. It’s all part of it. You know, just as its manifested itself in sports, how many stories have we done over the course of the recent past in which ideas have been floated to actually pay kids to do their homework, “Because we want them to show up and we want them to experience doing well in school, Mr. Limbaugh. That’s why.” Pay ’em to do their homework? Now we’re going to give them a trophy to show up and play sports, “because we want them to play.” If they don’t like it, they should be doing something else with their time. We presume they like it because they’re out there playing.
“It could be that they have oppressive fathers, Mr. Limbaugh. You know about that, where their fathers want them to be the athlete the father never could be and is pushing an unsuspecting child into an area of ultimate humiliation, Mr. Limbaugh. That’s why we have to protect against abusive parents.”
So this is the liberal world view out there. Nobody is happy. They aren’t happy. Everybody is a victim of something. Everybody would rather be doing something else and so since everybody’s being forced to do what they really don’t want to do we’ve got to pay ’em to keep them doing it. I realize I’ve just described jobs for many of you, but I hope that’s not the case. Yeah, it’s the best thing in the world to end up loving what you do.
“At least one area league is cutting back on trophies. In the Northborough/Southborough Pop Warner program, president Mike Vulcano said, each player this fall will receive a medal, rather than the engraved trophy each of its nearly 200 participants received last year.” We’re talking about eight- to fourteen-year-olds. “Vulcano, who turns 50 next month, said it’s OK for children to experience disappointment,” and I’m sure that was tough to write. It’s okay for kids to suffer disappointment. We would rather they not be disappointed; we’d rather they not, but it’s okay if they do. “‘I’m not sure where the mentality came from, or how it got to this point, but the stuff given out to kids — the “thanks for participating trophies” — it seems we’re more worried about not hurting feelings,’ Vulcano said.”
Exactly! Exactly right. But the problem is the feelings aren’t yours. The feelings belong to the kids. You didn’t make them lose, they lost, their feelings, they have to experience them and deal with them. This whole notion that you can make other people feel a certain way is so wrong, folks. I know it’s hard to believe, and you think I’m nuts again and lost my mind, but your feelings are yours. You have the power not to feel sad or unhappy no matter what somebody else does.
“‘It’s a tough call,'” he says, “‘and I don’t know what the right answer is. But I certainly know it’s not a good idea to keep rewarding people, day after day, when they don’t earn it. They lose their workmanship. I don’t know if we’re doing kids justice in the way we’re handling it.” You’re not. I guarantee your instincts are exactly right. You’re not. You are rewarding people when they don’t earn it, and, guess what, that’s a subset definition of liberalism. If you’re going to give these kids a trophy, then I suggest you give them all an A. Don’t make any corrections on papers, especially in red ink. Red ink sends signals of violence and confrontation to the student. Use purple ink. We heard about that in Minnesota, I think.
Don’t ever make the slightest disparaging remark between students. You’re not going to have it. Everyone is special and everyone is perfect, and everyone will have high self-esteem, and then we’re going to send them off to college where this is all reinforced in their little skulls full of mush. It is no wonder when they come out of college that half of them are mind-twisted little socialists who haven’t the slightest idea what reality is. I think this actually comes close to describing the current mentality of the Democratic Party. They have an entitlement to power, entitlement to victory, democracy isn’t working so we should just give them power. They think they have some inherent right to it. A quick time-out. We’ll be back. They will not accept the reality of their position right now.
RUSH: Dana in Glen Arm, Maryland. Welcome to the EIB Network. Hi.
CALLER: Oh, mega dittos, Rush. I have been listening to you since about 1989, and I might need a mink glove, if you remember using that years ago.
RUSH: Oh, yes, yes. I still have some in stock that I use personally.
CALLER: Well, if I sound a little bit nervous, it’s all excitement. It’s not nerves.
RUSH: I appreciate it, but you don’t sound nervous at all.
CALLER: Okay, good. I was calling because the scenario that you had given regarding the baseball, the children playing baseball and getting a trophy.
CALLER: I am a mom with two boys. They both play the recreational baseball. Neither one of them are selected to play baseball. They’re not trying out for it. We pay a fee as parents. They get a uniform shirt. They go to the games and all that, so it’s an everybody-play scenario. So at the end, when they’re all given a trophy, because they’ve all played and they’ve all done their best —
RUSH: Wait. Your kids are — wait, wait, wait, wait. Your kids are given trophies, too?
CALLER: I have had my kids in basketball, during basketball season, my little one got a trophy and really never understood the basics of the basketball game, and he was, you know, he played all season and all that, but I agree with you.
RUSH: I’m not one of these people. I always… The whole time I was growing up, when I was a young smart-aleck adolescent and then a really mischievous teenager, I always said to myself, “I am not, when I get older…” because I’ve always wanted to be older. Even today I can’t wait till I get older. The older I get, the better things get. It’s always been the case. I knew it would be the case. I hated being 20 and 30. I hated going through all that, but I had to, to get where I am, and I knew I’d be where I am if I just wanted to get there, and I always vowed that when I got old, whenever that was, I would never be an old fuddy-duddy.
I would never be one of these people that said, “Well, son, you may be complaining, but I had to walk five miles in the snow, with no shoes someday just to get to school.” You hear all that growing up from your parents. I said, “I’m never going to become one of those people,” but this issue makes it tough, because now these everybody-plays things, if these are part of school, schools can do what they want, I guess, but in the summer, I was in Little League. This had nothing to do with school, and this was ten to 12-year-olds, and then after that it was Babe Ruth league, and then beyond that it was better, and it got harder and harder to make a team as you increased in age. So if your team ten and 12, you had to try out.
It was not automatic that you would end up on a team, and sometimes you didn’t make it, and you had to try out every year. Nothing was automatic. There were no trophies. I don’t think — there might have been a trophy for the team that won the championship. I don’t think my team ever did. So I don’t recall. All I know is I didn’t get one for losing. But I mean I went out for the high school baseball team, I thought that was a lock, I thought that was automatic, my dad knew the coach, they were big buddies. I was in the first cut. I was stunned. It was one of the biggest wake-up calls of my life. It turned out to be a good thing, because it was the least expected. This everybody-plays business, if it’s to get everybody some exercise, if that’s what it’s about, fine and dandy.
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