RUSH: Mark, Columbus, Ohio. Nice to have you, sir, on the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. How are you?
RUSH: Just fine, sir, thank you.
CALLER: I am an on-and-off listener, mostly because I travel a great deal for my consulting job around the state and I love the fact that you are a solid source of actual factual information. My question is, and you may have talked about this at a time I wasn’t listening, but I hear a great deal about, in particular Hillary Clinton, Democrats, issues you that you probably wouldn’t hear about, which I totally agree with —
RUSH: Thank you.
CALLER: — but what I’d like to hear a little bit more of is, what have we got going for us on the conservative side? Where could our support be for the presidential election? What things might we want to be encouraging in the conservative side for the forerunners of that option?
RUSH: You know, actually I spent a lot of time on this, I just don’t talk about candidates yet because I don’t get involved in primaries unless somebody really bowls me over and knocks me dead, and right now without any of the first votes cast and the polling data, looks like Rudy is going to be the nominee. But what I’ve said about this, and I’ve said it quite a few times, I’m concerned that there is not a full-fledged conservative in our field. Now, that’s fine, I’m going to vote for whatever the nominee is over the Democrat. What I’m concerned about is that conservatism may be redefined here so that this candidate, whoever it ends up being, is the New Conservative. That’s something that will disappoint me. There are a lot of conservative commentators all of a sudden popping up in the print media who are saying that it’s silly to hold out hope for another Reagan, that there was only one Reagan, and some of them were even saying that Reagan wasn’t even that conservative and so forth, which I don’t understand why it is that our side seems so eager to run away from the conservatism that was popularized by Goldwater and Reagan, when it was so successful, when it was so overwhelmingly successful, not only in winning elections, but in changing the direction of the country, improving the lives of so many people, why run from this?
I have my theories, and I think a lot of it has to do with the New York-Boston-Washington corridor where a lot of conservative pundits happen to work and operate, and that’s where the liberals are headquartered. You want to get along with them, you want them to think that you’re not an ideologue because liberals really make fun of ideologues even though they’re the biggest ideologues around. That’s why on this program, other than talking about particular candidates, I do talk about conservatism. We have a lot of candidates who are conservative on some things, but I don’t think they’re full-fledged conservatives. Reagan was leading a conservative movement with every public appearance, every State of the Union speech, every speech that he gave, there was conservative theory, consisting of optimism, good cheer. He was teaching what conservatism was all about, he embodied it. This is what we try to do on this program at the same time.
This program’s not about the Republican Party. It’s about conservatism and having it grow, having people understand it, because it clearly, to me, clearly is the simple, best, and most productive way for people to manage their affairs and to manage their lives and to live their lives. It’s rooted in capitalism; it’s rooted in freedom; it’s rooted in respect for other people; not holding them in contempt, not looking down upon them, not being arrogant and condescending. Conservatism has faith in the individual to do anything and everything that individual wants based on that individual’s degree of desire and ambition. Conservatism wants to promote that. Conservatism wants to get the government and the regulations that come from government out of as many people’s way as possible so that they can realize their dreams. We want ’em to dream; we want the dreams to become reality; we want them to think that there’s reason why they can be; we want to learn to rely on themselves; have high expectation for themselves and members of their families. I think a message like that in a campaign would be a pure winner. It’s full of optimism.
We have a contrast here that’s so easy to make. We have the Democrat Party that is trying to paint a picture, and have been doing so for six years, of this country as though it’s 1929 all over again, it’s soup line America, nobody’s happy, everybody’s miserable, the war is not going well, all of this stuff. Do you realize, most people do not want to be surrounded by misery; they don’t want to hear it all the time; they certainly are not inspired by it. This is a golden opportunity for somebody to come along and fill the void of being upbeat, positive, unafraid to expound on conservative ideals that have been shown to work. It’s happening. Rudy does a good job and Mitt Romney, too, and Fred Thompson, Huckabee, they all do a good job part of the way. But then they gotta qualify it on some social issue or this or that for the hope of maybe picking off a few liberal voters in a northeast state here or a western state there, and that’s not how you do it.
You don’t get liberal voters by being a little liberal when the Democrat’s going to be a full-fledged liberal. You go get independent voters and some liberals by being confident, and conservative, and upbeat, and optimistic, and telling people why this is the greatest country in the world and how it’s going to be even greater depending on them, because it’s the people who make the country work. Having them inspired, and motivated, and proud, and happy to be Americans is what conservatism is all about. Liberalism has got so much disgust and disregard for this country it makes me sick. So, for me, it’s a little frustrating because there’s such an opportunity here to smoke these people, I mean literally smoke ’em in a landslide. Instead, we’re trying to pick off a few little liberals here in the northeast and in the western states with a little subtle change in our social policy and so forth — a guaranteed loser. It’s never worked.