RUSH: I am very happy to welcome to the program Jenny Ballantine from Durham, New Hampshire. She’s a student at the University of New Hampshire. Jenny, hi.
JENNY BALLANTINE: Hi.
RUSH: I can’t tell you how excited I am that you agreed to do this. This is something I’ve been looking forward to ever since I heard an edited version of your question to Senator Edwards yesterday. Let me ask you a question first off. Are you nervous?
JENNY BALLANTINE: A little, yes.
RUSH: Don’t be nervous. Don’t be nervous. I talked to my chief of staff this morning, who told me that you had some doubts and that some people told you that you’re going to be mistreated on the program, and I want to assure you that when this is all over you’re going to have felt like a mink glove has been massaging your back.
JENNY BALLANTINE: Yaay!
RUSH: You’re going to want to do it over and over. Don’t be nervous. Now, first, so people who weren’t with us yesterday will understand what this is about, I want to play the full version of your question. We edited it yesterday for time, but we’ll play the full version of the question because this is the reason I wanted to talk to you. It takes about a minute and 42 seconds and this was her question yesterday to Senator Edwards at a town hall meeting. Well, actually was it Tuesday?
JENNY BALLANTINE: Yeah, it was Tuesday night.
JENNY BALLANTINE: Monday night. I’m sorry. It was Monday night because Tuesday I had class.
RUSH: All right, fine. Here’s the question that you asked.
BALLANTINE: Hi. My name is Jenny Ballantine and I’m a senior here. I’ve kind of been all over the place. I’m going to throw you a little zinger, so it’s not so much a question. It’s more words of encouragement and inspiration on my behalf. I’ve been on my own since 14. I am one of those people that you’re talking about that is poverty stricken. I made less than 8,000 this past year. Instead of going to school, I could have gone the dirty place, the bad place. I need help. I need severe help. I need to be able to look to my leader and see words of encouragement, words of hope. I need to be able to trust that person. I need to be able to know that I’m going to grow in a world that’s not going to be full of hate and prejudice and racism and to know that I matter, that I wasn’t just dumped in this world for no particular reason whatsoever. I’m — pardon my French. I’m busting my ass, still in school. I work 25 to 30 hours a week, and it’s just me and my dog. So what can you do for the people that are in my situation that are trying their damnedest in school, wanting to go to grad school, is going to be hit with the loans — oh, God the loans! (audience laughter) Oh, Jesus — and I have no idea what I want to do when I grow up. I don’t know what I want to be when I’m an adult. But I’m 22 right now. So people are like, ‘Honey, you are an adult.’ So (mic feedback) sorry. So I know this isn’t a question, but, you know, it’s about me. It’s about me voting for you or supporting somebody who’s going to be the next president. So it’s all about me right now. (audience laughter) I’ve always wanted to say that. (audience laughter) Just kidding.
EDWARDS: You enjoyed that, didn’t you?
JENNY BALLANTINE: I do. I enjoy this very much. All the cameras are on me. (audience laughter)
JENNY BALLANTINE: So just words of encouragement, something, just give me something. It’s been really rough.
RUSH: Okay, now, I’m not going to play Edwards’ answer because this is not about Edwards. It’s about you.
JENNY BALLANTINE: Oh, sweet.
JENNY BALLANTINE: I said, ‘Sweet.’ I was excited. I was just excited.
RUSH: Well, the reason I wanted to talk to you is because you sound very intelligent.
JENNY BALLANTINE: Well, thank you.
RUSH: At the same time, you sound desperate, and you sound almost like you have some hopelessness, you’re consumed with hopeless here, and in this question, ‘I need to be able to look to my leader and see words of encouragement, words of help. I need to be able to trust that person.’
JENNY BALLANTINE: Mmm-hmm.
RUSH: And I don’t know anything about your background, but I have a belief, Jenny. I believe that most people are far more capable of great things than they realize. They’re just not inspired that way when they’re kids, when they’re growing up, especially, in some cases, young girls are told they can’t be X or can’t be Y or whatever they say they want to do. I had a call from a woman who wanted to be a cop. She just wanted to be a police officer. Her parents told her, ‘That’s not for women. Women can’t do that,’ and she went through her life and got married at 19, did everything she didn’t want to do, until finally in her thirties, she said, ‘The hell with this. I’m going to do what I want,’ and she’s now a cop and she’s never been happier.
JENNY BALLANTINE: Mmm-hmm.
RUSH: You’re looking for inspiration. The situation that you describe yourself being in, your student loans and you only made $8,000, and you’re in poverty, you know, you’re not unique in that. You’re an American, and countless Americans have come from circumstances that are worse than yours and have triumphed over all kinds of obstacles and have become great, and the opportunity is there for you, too. But the idea that you think you need leadership or inspiration from a presidential candidate, any presidential candidate, is a mistake. That’s not what presidents are for. Presidents are not to motivate and inspire. Well, they can if you really happen to agree with them and so forth, but what you need or what you want is inside you. It’s inside you! You have all the capability in the world. Now, you’re going to need help. Everybody does. But I just wanted to caution you: Don’t sit around and wait for any presidential candidate to determine how you feel or think about your future. They ought to have not that much to do with it.
JENNY BALLANTINE: Yeah, I understand that, and I knew I wasn’t going to be expecting a hard-core answer. I just absolutely wanted to throw him a zinger, to give not a look at the real world, but to understand that it isn’t a publicity stunt. It isn’t about him campaigning around, making his millions, not giving his two cents worth to just ordinary people. So I don’t know. I just kind of wanted to just throw something out there, and I understand it’s all about myself, and I don’t need to look into the words of encouragement from a president or anything in that respect but it’s just also, too, to see that young people are trying to find a role model to look into, and I’m not one for Hollywood to look for a role model. You know, I’ve got a poli-sci and art and history major going on right now, so I was trying to —
RUSH: You got a double major, political science and art?
JENNY BALLANTINE: Yeah. Art history and political science, so it’s a dual major.
RUSH: You say you have a 3.0, is that what you said?
JENNY BALLANTINE: Yeah, I have a little bit over a 3.0. I don’t know the specifics, but I have over a 3.0.
RUSH: Okay, so maybe I misinterpreted your question, but it sounds to me you’re still in the throes of despondency or depression or you’re unhappy. What is it about your life experience right now that’s causing you to feel that way? Why do you feel lost? Why do you feel like there’s no future for you?
JENNY BALLANTINE: I don’t know. It’s hard for me to gather resources and to gather information that I need to seek out internships, to know that I have a stable position, that I have a safety net set up. If I had planned on doing an internship, say, down in Washington, DC, that I’ll be able to pack up all my stuff — and I have my dog, a responsibility right there. I need to make sure that he’s accommodated for, and it’s just I don’t have that many prominent adults. I have a handful of prominent adults that I can speak with or that can help or give me assurance and guidance but it’s difficult because I’m just kind of — I mean, I’m young and just trying to figure out everything. It’s a little overwhelming, and I come from a really rough background, and so that kind of doesn’t follow me around, but it’s just always a reminder. So, yeah, I am a little depressed, and I am a little not happy with my life, but things are perking up and as I get older, I mean, I accomplish each challenge and struggle, and I’ve been surviving so far.
RUSH: See, I think you have a lot about your life that you could reflect upon and take the positive from. I don’t know what the details are, and I don’t want you to have to tell them, but you said that you come from a really rough background. It seems you’ve overcome that. You’re in college. You’re getting a little above a 3.0 in poli-sci. You have a double major in art history. You’re an American, and one of the things that I wanted to try to impress upon you is that this is a country because of the freedom that we have —
JENNY BALLANTINE: Mmm-hmm?
RUSH: You can do anything. Now, wait a minute. Listen to me. There’s nobody stopping you but you. Most of the limitations that human beings have in life are self-imposed. Such as, you just said — I don’t mean this to be a criticism, I’m just trying to give you an illustration — you say you want to go to Washington but you got your dog is a problem okay.
JENNY BALLANTINE: No, no, no. I was just using it as an example, but —
RUSH: Well, but still, there’s some people that grow up in a town, and they don’t want to leave that town. Well, that town may not have all the opportunity that they want, but they’re making a decision they don’t want to move, don’t want to leave family. That is a self-imposed limitation. That’s not the society’s fault. It’s not the government’s fault. It’s not the president’s fault. It’s not anybody else’s fault that the opportunity might not be realized. People do this constantly. Your horizons are far broader than you know, and you’re being — and I understand why you’re consumed here with the problems that you’re immersed in at the moment, but there are countless millions of people in your circumstance, and the way people get through this is to accept the responsibility of their circumstances and do what they can, and everybody needs help, and I’m sure you’ll find it, if you engage in positive steps designed to — as you’re doing with your schoolwork and everything else. There was something else that you said. You ‘could have gone to the dirty place, the bad place.’
JENNY BALLANTINE: Oh, right, I was stumbling for words. I was searching for words.
RUSH: I know what you meant. I know exactly what you mean. But you didn’t! That’s a positive.
JENNY BALLANTINE: Yeah, I know I kind of did that on my own, too. I didn’t have any direction. I just did it myself, and I had honors and AP classes all throughout high school and we were based on 5.0 GPA, and I had 4.67 or something like that.
RUSH. Okay. Well, here’s another thing: ‘I need to be able to know that I’m going to grow in a world and able to trust that person,’ meaning the president. ‘I need to be able to know I’m going to grow that world that’s not going to be full of hate and prejudice and racism and to know that I matter, that I wasn’t just dumped in this world for no particular reason whatsoever.’ Now, that’s what really caught me. In the first place, you were not dumped in the world for no particular reason. You have every legitimate reason to be here, as does anybody else. You weren’t dumped. There is no mystery why you’re here. Those of us who have life, it’s a God-given gift, and we only get one, and it is to be maximized and enjoyed and however you choose to pursue it: hard work, combined with pleasure, but this business about when I saw that you mentioned ‘a world full of hate and prejudice and racism and so forth…’
JENNY BALLANTINE: It’s really unfortunate. It’s just unfortunate. I know that that’s the world that we live in, and that’s what’s going on right now. It’s just really unfortunate.
RUSH: Well, it always has, though. There’s always going to be racism. There’s always going to be prejudice. There’s always going to be bad guys. There are always going to be enemies. There are always going to be reprobates.
JENNY BALLANTINE: There’s always going to be war, too, and I understand the reason for war. I actually enjoyed Machiavelli, The Prince, very much so, and I really appreciate his philosophies, and that’s what a lot of people use when they engage in war and the aftermath of it, and I respect war, and I understand why there is a need for it, and I understand why there’s a need to push for democracy, and I understand the gap that occurred and happened — the widening gap I should say — with discrimination and so forth. It’s all very interesting.
RUSH: But it’s not. See, there is no widening gap of discrimination. It’s getting better. See, your historical perspective as with most people, most people began the day you were born. You’re 22 years old. You’re going to have to really study because history education is pretty inept in this country, particularly in high school, but the discrimination that existed in this country in the forties and fifties, even before, is far, far worse. So much progress has been made in all this! Racism is far less than it was. Prejudice —
JENNY BALLANTINE: Maybe it’s because of the multicultural theory class I’m taking right now. (laughs) I think —
RUSH: Well, you’re exactly right. You are. Way to go. The multicultural curricula is designed to get you feeling full of chaos and —
JENNY BALLANTINE: Right.
RUSH: — tumult over the unfairness and the injustice of the country, because the teachers — the people that believe in it — want that exact thing to happen in your mind.
JENNY BALLANTINE: I hope my professor is not listening to this, but I’ve always… This is how I feel. She says, ‘Think outside the box.’ However, it’s ‘thinking outside the box’ on her terms, on her perspective, and the books that we’re reading that we’re engaged in, it’s just full of, as you say, chaos, and it’s just full of all these, you know, ‘This happened and this happened! Oh, God,’ and it’s just like, ‘Okay, we’ve addressed that. Why don’t we start establishing legislation or whatever else, the Senate, to start working or progress or why don’t we go ahead and state what the progress has been since we’re just such a screwed-up nation back in the forties and fifties?’ I just don’t understand the literature that we’ve been reading, and it’s just been frustrating — and I’m not the only one who feels that way in my class and it’s just been really different.
RUSH: Well, you are warming my heart.
JENNY BALLANTINE: (Laughing.) And again —
RUSH: You are. Now, wait, wait, wait. I have to take a commercial break. Can you hang on a couple of minutes?
JENNY BALLANTINE: All right.
RUSH: Don’t go away, we’ll be back, Jenny Ballantine from Durham, New Hampshire, who asked a question of John Edwards on Monday night at one of the town meetings.
RUSH: We’re back now with Jenny Ballantine from Durham, New Hampshire. She’s a student, a poli-sci student with a three-point-plus GPA at the University of New Hampshire. Jenny, I know that you want to make it plain here to people you’re not an Edwards supporter, right?
JENNY BALLANTINE: (chuckles) Yeah, I just went to the campaign just to hear what he had to say, just to experience what he was saying. I wanted to know what each presidential candidate regardless if they’re Republican or Democrat, have to say just so I can gather information and hear their standpoint. So it wasn’t so much — I mean he’s a nice guy and so forth. It wasn’t so much that I was there, ‘John Edwards, wooooo!’ It wasn’t anything like that.
RUSH: That’s fine. The fact that you went to an Edwards event is irrelevant to me. That has nothing to do with why I wanted to talk to you. You could have asked this question of anybody. Whether you end up supporting him or not –if you do, call me back and we’ll talk.
JENNY BALLANTINE: (laughs)
RUSH: The reason I wanted to talk to you is because… You said in the previous answer about multiculturalism that you’ve heard enough about what ‘a screw-up nation’ we’ve been, let’s get legislation to fix it and so forth. The United States is not a screw-up nation. The United States is God’s gift to the world. The United States is the greatest nation, the greatest civilization of free people ever to walk the planet. Now, of course we’ve had problems, but we are not inherently racist or bigoted or sexist or homophobic or any of that. We have the finest people in the world.
JENNY BALLANTINE: Something that’s learned, yeah.
RUSH: No, it is something that’s taught to you. It’s something that people have been trying to stuff in your skull full of mush and get you to believe this. There’s a certain cadre, a certain group of people that want you distrusting your own country. They want you suspecting it. You have more opportunity as a human being here. All you have to do, Jenny, is find out what it is you love, and 22 is not too old for that. You’re thinking. I know you’re self-absorbed right now, you’re self-focused, and you’re looking at yourself at 22 and you’re thinking, ‘My gosh, I’m a failure! I’m not going anywhere.’ You haven’t even begun to crack the egg! You’ve barely hatched yet. All you need to do is find out what it is you really love, whatever that is — and don’t let anybody talk you out of it, and when you find out what that is, talk to people who have done it and who have succeeded at it, and let them mentor on you or motivate you. Don’t talk to people that tell you, ‘You can’t do it,’ or, ‘It’s not for you,’ or what have you. You know, learn all this stuff that you’re learning. Keep an open mind, Understand that everybody teaching you something, including every history book, has an agenda, and don’t think that you’re an idiot. Don’t think that you’re not bright. You’re capable of learning anything! Whatever you do, don’t run around and think that what you think is wrong, or what you think is incorrect. Don’t put yourself constantly on defense in dealing with teachers or dealing with other people or other students. You know, and finding your passion, and doing what you love is what’s going to give you the confidence necessary to overcome whatever obstacles that you find yourself mired in now, and, believe me, I know that you’re going to think this is insensitive, but they are not that great — and there is no president that’s going to get you out of it. I don’t care who it is.
JENNY BALLANTINE: Yeah.
RUSH: There’s no president that’s going to pay off your student loan. There’s no president that’s going to forgive your student loan.
JENNY BALLANTINE: Yeah. It’s interesting how Edwards, he was claiming his universal policy of education and so forth, but it’s also — it doesn’t seem impossible, but, you know, it’s along those lines.
RUSH: Jenny, if you hang around and wait for a president or any politician to do anything for you, you’re going to be waiting when they bury you. It’s up to you. Not that they don’t do valuable things. Look, I have to run. I appreciate it. I want to talk to you again but I’ve got my back up here against the wall on time. I’m going to make you a comp subscriber to The Limbaugh Letter.
RUSH: You gotta give this young woman some credit. She doesn’t have much of a support group and she’s ahead of the game, and doesn’t even know it.