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Rush Limbaugh

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RUSH: Now, I want to try to be as brief with this as I can. I mentioned this at the beginning of the program. I have, all throughout the history of this program starting in 1988, loved to share my passions, and I have shared with the audience, because we have a connection, you and I. I’m not just here pontificating and you’re out listening. This is not a classroom where you’re students and you just sit there and listen. There was an interactivity here, and not just based on the phone calls. We work well together. We have a connection. Part of that is that within the limits I’ve set for myself that make sense, I divulge some of the things I do in my personal life because those are things I try to do that I enjoy. I’ve gotten to a very, very rare place in life, and I wish everybody could get there. It is something that, sadly, very few people ever achieve or have happen to them, and that is that for all intents and purposes, I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to do — professionally, personally, you name it. There are occasionally things that we all have obligations to do and so forth, but I mean I don’t have to take on something I really despise because I have no choice. So I’ve reached a point where I enjoy life. I enjoy being an American. I enjoy the opportunities. I enjoy being able to go places and see things and meet people. When I do this, I enjoy coming back here to the Golden EIB Microphone and sharing it with you.

Now, something came up yesterday after the program, because I spent some time on yesterday’s program talking about those things and not as much time devoted to, quote, unquote, ‘the issues’ — and there’s been this nagging little group of people, probably Ron Paul supporters, that every time I do this, say, ‘Stick to the issues!’ It’s a small group of people, but they’re vocal and they’re out there each and every time. I’ve mentioned this to you on previous occasions. Yesterday, some people said, ‘You didn’t spend as much time on the issues. You talked about going to Oakmont.’ Other people wrote, ‘Well, how did you play? Tell us more about it. How about 281-yard par 3?’ They do have a 281-yard par 3 at Oakmont for the US Open, from the tips. I didn’t play the tips. We played the blues, which are two sets of tees up. We played about 6800 yards, I think the whole course was 72 or 74, don’t remember. But it’s the hardest golf course I’ve ever played. It made me appreciate the talent and skills of professional golfers more than any other course that I’ve ever played. I had a great time, and I met the membership — so I come back and tell people this, a couple other personal things, plus the story about running into Bill Clinton last night, and it got me thinking, got me wondering.

We hear all the talk about the angst that permeates our culture; that there’s a general malaise or unhappiness. People are on edge; the war has people uneasy, for whatever reason. We’re not winning it fast enough; we’re losing it. We’ve got all of this talk about this food is going to kill us, that’s going to kill us, so a lot of people are on edge. A lot of people are — this is the theory anyway — tense out there, nervous. Here I come on the radio, happy-go-lucky, holly-jolly and all this and just having as a good time with my life as much as I can, sharing that with you, and somebody said to me, ‘You know, that’s one of the problems. People want to be comfortable in their misery. And when you don’t sound miserable, they know you’re not in touch. They think that you may not really understand what their lives are like every day.’ It’s sort of a repeat of the argument that I’ve lost touch. That comes up now and then, too. I’ve always looked at this in a little different way. I’ve had periods of time in my life where I go through angst and I have days where I go through it, but I don’t want to live that way. I don’t want it to be what defines my attitude, and I don’t want to have to go through the news every day and have to come in here — by the way, I’ve never tried to relate to you. I’ve never tried to understand what it is you want to hear and say it. I do have empathy when it comes to the kind of subjects, issue-wise, but I don’t moisten the finger, stick it in the air and figure out what you want.

I’m not a politician. I don’t do polls to find out what I should say or what I should wear or any of that. But it got me to thinking. Is it really that bad out there among us? I know that liberals and the Democrats are in a constant state of agitation, a constant state of misery. That’s their natural existence. They’re born that way, and they do seek out people who are suffering. They want to suffer. They want to be made to feel like they are suffering and life is just impossible and they blame everybody but themselves for their plight. I’ve always tried to be optimistic — within reason, not falsely so. I’ve always tried to be of good cheer and laugh and have fun because I think that that is in itself inspirational and motivational. We only get one life. We’re all raised in different ways as to how we should live it. Some of us have been raised deeply religious. There’s virtue in suffering. There’s virtue in a hard life because it’s conditioning. It trains, prepares. It’s real, and there are rewards for it later in life. My grandfather, who was a great, great, great man, loved his work, and his family time was his enjoyment of lifetime. Work, work, work, work, home, office, day, night, traveled on business and this sort of thing. He was always at home, though, for Christmas, Thanksgiving, holidays, Easter. His view was that there’s plenty of time to have fun after you have completed the serious part of your life, which is your work, that combining those two things would lead to a loss of focus on one’s work because obviously people like fun more than work, unless your work is your fun. In my case, that’s what happened. That’s another very fortunate thing for me.

I grew up, even going on vacation, feeling guilty. ‘I really should be enjoying myself. This is not right.’ I felt little tinges of it. I still did it, still went on vacations. I still took them and so forth. There’s something that still happens now. On Tuesday when I was at Oakmont, I thought, ‘The audience is not going to like this.’ I’ve taken a lot of single days, so I know. I’m very sensitive to this, but at the same time we only get one life and it needs to be as diverse and well-rounded as you can make it because I don’t believe life is to be suffered. I don’t believe that’s the intention of life. I don’t believe that’s the intention of creation. It’s a sad reality for all too many people, but it isn’t necessary. It’s like a certain economic circumstance is not permanent, doesn’t have to be permanent. People have more power over their lives than they know. They’re not raised with the notion they have power. We’re raised with the notion that we go to school, and we’re in prison because the teacher is the boss, the principal is the boss. At home the parents are the boss, and our younger years are raised with a whole notion of we don’t have any choices. We’re kids. We can’t do anything. We can’t even get answers to questions. It’s just yes or no and do what I say. That conditions or trains you.

You grow up, then you work for the boss. Everybody has a boss. There’s always an authority. See a cop car, ‘Uh oh, slow down. I forgot my driver’s license,’ all of these things. People end up very easily feeling trapped and thinking that they’re in tight confines and boundaries that trap them. They’re stuck in things they don’t want to do, but you have more power than you know. You have all kinds of ability to change your life and take control of it. That’s change. Change is new, change is difficult, and taking control is assuming responsibility. It’s always easy to fall back on, ‘Well, I couldn’t get that done because the boss wouldn’t let me off,’ or, ‘I couldn’t get that done because it rained, so the yard is growing,’ whatever. It’s tough to take full responsibility. Talk to people who have been an employee then gone out and owned their own business, and you ask them how much their — even if they didn’t make as much money at first — life improved because the feeling of being in control, of having the power over your future. Nobody’s totally scot-free in this way, but there’s a lot more power that more people have. I’m simply trying to take advantage of the opportunities that have been presented to me or that I have created. I’m not trying to laud it over anybody. I’m genuinely trying to share it. If it’s a problem because there’s so much angst and so much misery and I’m losing my ability to relate to and understand the audience, that’s tough, because wherever you are in life, there’s always somebody who’s done more, who goes more places, who has more money than you.

Always.

I’ve always been inspired by that. I’ve always been like, ‘Boy, that would be fun to do, fun to be able to do.’ It’s one of the things I’ve been working for. I’ve been in this business for 40 years, minus five years at the Kansas City Royals. (They still haven’t, by the way, found any decent National Anthem singers since I left, and that was 1983.) So I wanted to just put this out on the table. Because some people, it is easy to relate to, if a host comes on and is mad, in foul humor, ‘Yeah, that’s how I feel! I’m mad as hell.’ If I am that way on a particular day, I tell you. Maybe I should say I’m sorry for enjoying life. No. That’s not me. I’m not going to do that. And who knows? I may not be enjoying it tomorrow. You never know what’s going to happen, folks. There’s hope that I will be miserable tomorrow; hope that I’ll be miserable next week; hope that I’ll be miserable in November of ’08. There’s hope that I will lose this perch of joy and joviality and rejoin you later on down the road.

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