RUSH: Santa Clarita, California and Rich, as we start with you on the phones today. Thank you for being with us.
CALLER: Hey, Irrelevant One! How are you?
RUSH: Hey, hey, never better. Thanks for the call.
CALLER: Hey, you were talking about being friends with Arnold, and I don’t want you throwing any softballs at the guy. I voted for him twice, and you know, when he went in calling our legislators ‘girlie men’? He has turned into a girlie man himself, and I’m kind of sick of his spineless RINO way of dealing with things. He said he’s for the people, but you know what? It’s Republicans that put him in office, and I want to make sure you hit him hard with some questions. This global warming stuff he just signed into legislation? I mean, give me a break.
RUSH: I know. I’ve got all this stuff written down ready to go. I find this amazing. You are an example of a slew of e-mails I received ever since we announced on my website last night that Arnold would be appearing today. ‘You better not go soft! You better not be a wuss! You better not be all chummy! I don’t want to hear about the times you’ve been smoking cigars. You better not be like other people who want to get along and be buddies. You better hit hard, because if you don’t, I’m never listening again.’ That kind of thing.
CALLER: I’ll still listen to you, but I just want to hold you in check.
RUSH: Well, I understand that. I understand that. I know exactly where this sentiment comes from. You people out there — and I understand it. I’m one of you — are desperate for a fight here because you see a bunch of timidity in people in your own party. Now, I just want to tell you. We have five to seven minutes with Governor Schwarzenegger, is what his office just told us in an e-mail about 20 minutes ago. The way these things work is if he’s enjoying himself, it will go a little bit longer. [Actual runtime: 15 minutes] But, remember, he asked to appear on the program today.
CALLER: Yes, and also I bet they’re listening now and hopefully they’re hearing from a Californian. You know, he should be giving you longer than five to seven minutes no matter how uncomfortable he is.
RUSH: They know. They’re not in a vacuum. They know how some of you feel out there. That’s why I say he gets asked about it every time he’s on television. They’re clearly aware of this, but there are ways of doing this. I’m going to follow my instincts here, and I don’t have any set plan here. There’s no battle plan or any of that sort of thing here. We’ll roll with it and see where it goes. But I understand where you’re coming from, and don’t worry, it’s not going to be… You know, nobody’s going to be talking about gay marriage after this interview. You need not worry about it.
CALLER: Well, thanks, Rush. I appreciate it. I listened to you since 1990 after I got out of the Army, and you were someone saying the things that I was believing.
RUSH: See? Another piece of evidence: I validated what you believed. I did not create a mind-numbed robot out of you, right?
CALLER: That’s exactly it.
RUSH: Exactly right. Where were you in the Army?
CALLER: I was actually a combat medical specialist. I was at Fort Knox, Kentucky most of the time.
RUSH: Well, God bless you.
CALLER: Thank you.
RUSH: Thanks for the call. We appreciate it.
RUSH: Next: Richard in Richmond, Virginia. What are the odds of this? Our first call is Rich, and our next call is Richard from Richmond, Virginia. ‘Rich’ three times in two calls. Richard, welcome to the program.
CALLER: I’m a former president of a college Republican organization back in the 1980s, and at that point — in my mind, at least — there were really three branches of conservatism or three aspects to conservatism. One was a belief that the Soviet Union was an ‘evil empire’ that needed to be eliminated. The second one was the economy was in absolute shambles or at least the government’s relationship to the economy was, and there was reform needed to open up an entrepreneurial impulse and initiative — and then there was a third agenda which I never agreed with, at least a significant portion of it, which was (for lack of a better term), the social conservative agenda, or Christian right agenda, and it seems that now the Soviet Union question is now essentially irrelevant.
RUSH: No, it’s not.
CALLER: Okay. At least this is what’s in my mind right now.
RUSH: The Soviet Union was not a conservative issue. The Soviet Union embodied the threat to world freedom, to freedom of the individual, which is the foundational building block of conservatism. Right now it has been replaced. There will always be a threat to human freedom. Most of the world’s people are not free. That’s why it’s vigilant for us to maintain ours and do what we can to spread it to as many people around the world because it’s a natural yearning of the human spirit to be free. Today it’s Islamofascism, but that threat is not viewed nearly as seriously as the Soviet threat was because it’s a different threat. They don’t have nukes aimed at us and they don’t have guys like Brezhnev with the giant eyebrows out there and Khrushchev banging his shoe at the UN. It’s a much more subtle threat but it’s there.
Conservatism is what it is. Your complaint about the so-called social conservatives or the Christian right or the social wing of conservatism, if you want to describe conservatism as a stool that has three legs, you do have what you call the Soviet Union leg, and then you do have what would be called the economic leg, and then you have the social leg. But that sort of complicates the issue. I must tell you also, Richard, you’ve been a conservative all these years but when you say that you have this distrust, you never thought it should have been part of the conservative movement, the social aspects and then you mention the Christian right, it sounds like to me you’re a little bit more of a moderate Republican than you are a conservative if you think the social conservative aspect is not valid or should not be part of it. Let me try to give you a brief definition, because everybody’s asked, ‘Well, what is a Reagan conservative? Why are some Republicans a conservative in your mind and others are not a conservative?’
That’s a long discussion for which I don’t have time before the break here. But let me just explain to you in a nutshell, as best I can, in a broad sense the difference in the two. Let’s accept some givens, that all people — and I’m going to be very charitable here, because in some cases what I’m going to say is not applicable to some liberals, but just for the general discussion here, we all — want economic prosperity. We all want opportunity. We all want a chance at the American dream. We all want to be left alone. We don’t want to be hassled. We don’t want to have obstacles placed in our way by government in the pursuit of our dreams. The question and the argument that we have in this country is how best to provide it. That’s where the line of demarcation is broad, because on the left, liberals do not believe that a majority of people have the ability to realize the American dream on their own. Liberals have general contempt for the average American and average human being. Liberals have a condescending contempt for the abilities, the intelligence, the ambition, and desire of average human beings.
They must hold that view in order to be liberal, because liberalism is assuming people are helpless and hopeless and then growing government and all kinds of state power structures to ‘assist’ people in their incompetence, and in the process you actually make your philosophy a self-fulfilling prediction. You disable the competitive nature; you disable the entrepreneurial spirit; you disable the American dream; and you force people to focus on government and whatever benefits they can get as a means of getting by. Conservatives have the ultimate faith in the individual. Conservatives believe that the individual, rugged individualism is what defines excellence and its pursuit is what made this country what it is. We believe that people can be better than they even know themselves or think themselves capable of being. We want to do everything we can to educate and inspire and motivate people along those lines. We want a great country! We want people who are individually able to raise families, to support them, to inspire them because they themselves are that way.
We want optimistic people of good cheer who have a hope that is realistic: that they can triumph over the obstacles that all of life throws at us. Liberals think those obstacles are insurmountable because they must. Now, that’s the basic difference. So, okay: how come some people are not conservative and some are? Well, you have to get to specific issues like abortion and gay marriage and this sort of thing, and that would be one way of doing it. But any Republican who is oriented toward growth of government, the growth of the state, and the idea that people need infinite amount of help because they’re incapable of doing things on their own, doesn’t qualify as a conservative to me — and there are plenty of those. There are liberal Republicans all over the place. It’s not hard to make these distinctions or to draw up these definitions.
By the same token, this is one of the big problems we face: the liberals, in their pursuit of this agenda, use government. They train their youth. They train their college students. They get them into ‘nonprofits.’ They get them into Harvard and Yale for the express purpose of going into government, being a bureaucrat forever, growing government, and controlling it and taking over. Republican conservatives look at government as something that ought to be out of the way and invisible most of the time. So we don’t target our people to go there because when you go there you want to use it to enact your philosophy. Conservatism does not use government to enact what it believes. It uses individuals. It empowers individuals. Conservatism wants to limit government — and often going to government to limit it is not an attractive option for young people, but it is for the left. So it’s challenge.