RUSH: This is Pat, Dellville, Pennsylvania. Great to have you on the EIB Network, sir. Hello.
CALLER: Hello, Rush. While I was on hold, one of your parodies made the statement: ‘Don’t be part of the problem, be part of the solution.’ And I think you’re being part of the problem today. In the first segment, you’re really upset with Republicans and conservatives because of backing wrong candidates, but you consistently do not back a candidate in the primaries, and you won’t even put forth what candidate you think is the most conservative. You have yet to do that.
RUSH: Yes, that’s all true.
CALLER: Well, then you’re being part of the problem that you’re describing. Why don’t you break it down which candidates you think are the most conservative, and by doing that, your listening audience would maybe then start backing the candidate that maybe will be more conservative.
RUSH: Well, that’s not why I would do it. You may be voicing the attitudes of many people. My angst here is not so much somebody, people, supporting the wrong candidate. It is why. It is these people that concern me, and I do not consider myself some pied piper that’s out there leading a bunch of mind-numbed robots. I sit here, maybe I’m pie-in-the-sky on this, but I want people to come to the correct and right conclusions on their own without me having to tell ’em. It’s a sign of success, it’s a sign of education, sign of information, it’s a sign people are engaged. If anything, sir, it is that I consider myself a failure in what I have set out to do here. If I have to tell people what to do, then what good is all this? That’s not how I view myself, telling people what to do.
CALLER: What’s more important, informing people and giving them more information and letting them make a more informed decision, or letting the country go in a direction that you don’t like the country going in?
RUSH: Okay, so you think in order to help people become more informed, I ought to go through the list of candidates and say, this is good, this is good, this is good, this is bad, move on —
CALLER: No, I don’t think that at all. I think you ought to say that, ‘I like this about this candidate. I like this about this candidate,’ and you could point out a few things that you like about Huckabee; you could point out a few things you like about Thompson; you could point out a few things you like about McCain. But as far as I’m concerned, when you’ve talked about Huckabee, you’ve talked about Romney, you’ve talked about McCain, and it’s my opinion that none of them are conservative enough. So to me, maybe it’s Fred Thompson that you like. I’ve never heard you say anything about some of the other candidates. I’ve always heard negative commentary about the Republican candidates, but I’ve never heard any positive comments about any conservatism amongst these candidates.
RUSH: All right. Well, I will take your suggestion under advisement. You don’t want me to say what I don’t like about any candidates, only what I do like?
CALLER: No, now you’re taking that out of context.
RUSH: No, I’m asking for clarification.
CALLER: (laughter) That’s not what I said. I just said what you have been doing. I didn’t say that —
RUSH: No, but you suggested before you did that riff, you suggested that I go through the list and say what I like, and I said, okay, I don’t like this, I like that, I don’t like that, you said no, don’t do the don’t-likes, tell me what you like about all the candidates.
CALLER: How about a little fairness towards some of the more conservative candidates?
RUSH: Fairness — all right, well, I will take this under advisement.
CALLER: I will say this. I agree with you that people need to stand on their own two feet and I realized that when I was sitting in a bar one night, and a friend of mine was bad-mouthing Tom Ridge. My friend was out of work, he’s bad-mouthing governor Tom Ridge, and I said to him, ‘Well, why is it his fault?’ I said, ‘Who’s responsible for you?’ And he says, ‘Well, I am.’ I said, ‘Well, how did Tom Ridge lose your job?’ He said, ‘Well, he didn’t, but he’s the governor, and he should be getting me a job.’ And I went on to tell him that it’s his responsibility for his life. And, you know what? From that day on, I think he’s realized that, and I think more people ought to just stand up and take responsibility —
RUSH: Well, amen.
CALLER: — for the decisions they make in their life.
RUSH: Well, amen. We’re on the same page, bro.
CALLER: Well, I agree with that.
RUSH: All right, then. Well, we end up with common ground here. We end up with bipartisanship here on a call that started in a contentious manner. But, as far as your buddy getting mad at Ridge, it’s a natural human tendency to blame everybody else first for whatever problems people have in life. Everybody does it, until you get hold of yourself and until you accept reality, until you say, ‘Okay, it is what it is,’ until you realize you can blame whoever you want, but if you’re right that they screwed you, they’re not going to then help you! So continuing to blame them isn’t going to get you anywhere. We all get screwed left and right in work, and this happens. Thanks for the call out there, Pat. Appreciate it.
RUSH: Here’s Julie in Normal, Illinois. Nice to have you on Open Line Friday.
CALLER: Hey, Rush. Your first caller talked about you pointing out a few things you like about each candidate, and I want to have a different spin on that before my question.
CALLER: I would like for you to go through each candidate and their stance on each issue and explain if it’s a populist, conservative, socialist stance to help people better understand. Because I, too… I don’t know why people are going toward Huckabee.
RUSH: I do.
CALLER: (laughs) You always do.
RUSH: I just got an e-mail from my North Carolina mistress, who was mad at me yesterday, but she’s back in good graces today, and she’s saying, ‘I can’t believe what I’m hearing from you. You want people to sit around and come up with the right idea on their own? Don’t you understand that people only do what they’re told?’ This is her opinion. She’s saying, ‘The Drive-Bys are telling people what to do every day. They don’t leave it to chance! You’re sitting there thinking you want people to see it on their own and do the right thing on their own. If you think that’s going to work, you are missing the boat,’ says the North Carolina mistress. ‘You gotta tell people what you want them to do,’ and like you’re the second call this half hour: Tell us about these people.
CALLER: Well, the only reason I say that is because I began listening to you in the 2000 election, not knowing anything about conservatives, liberalism, nothing. And you helped me make my decision this election. I made it on my own. I started to go toward Huckabee because of his one-liners, and then I started to look at what he believed in and his issues, and I want to know why no one talks about Fred Thompson, including Fox News. I’ve just about had it. You don’t even hear his name mentioned.
RUSH: Well, that’s… Let me ask you: What do you think the reason is?
CALLER: The only thing I can come up with is that he’s not playing the media’s game, and he doesn’t have one-liners. Huckabee puts out a one-liner every day. That sounds pretty cool, but it doesn’t mean much.
RUSH: Well, there is that aspect. If the media doesn’t get what they want in 30 seconds, they’re not going to use it and Fred is not a sound bite guy.
CALLER: No. And even what you just said about 30 seconds, on Fox News they were talking about Fred Thompson’s 17-minute video on his website.
CALLER: It was fabulous. He can actually talk about conservative principles.
RUSH: Yep. I saw that.
CALLER: Yeah, and their only comment on Fox News, Fred Barnes, was, well, if he can put it in 30 seconds… I don’t want a president who tells me what they’re going to do in 30 seconds.
RUSH: Well, but… Look, again, I have this saying. I use it myself all the time: ‘It is what it is.’ There are certain things that running for president, politics is a business, and the business of politics is heavily dependent on television. And television is what it is, and if you can’t hone your message and look good in a 30-second sound bite you’re going to be at a big disadvantage, because television does not marvel at wisdom. Television does not marvel at great communication skills. Television is showbiz, and Fred Thompson is showbiz! Fred Thompson is in Law & Order, Fred Thompson has been in The Hunt for Red October. (interruption) Die Hard? He’s been in a (interruption). Well, he was in The Hunt for Red October, too. One of those Clancy movies. He’s been in a lot of things. There’s some people that think he needs some political Viagra, you know, just a little energy out there and so forth. But you can lament this all day long, but it is what it is, television, and it does not reward depth. It does not reward those kind of things that you think we would elect an Abraham Lincoln over or some of the great presidents of our past, prior to television. Anyway, look, Julie, I appreciate the phone call.
RUSH: To Belleville, Michigan. This is Samantha, great to have you on the program. Hello.
CALLER: Hiya, Rush. Thanks for taking my call.
RUSH: You bet.
CALLER: You know how you say that reading the New York Times makes you want to puke? Well, these people calling you giving you a hard time makes me want to puke as well. I totally get what you are telling us as far as Huckabee and the primary election. I get what you’ve been saying, you’ve been so clear, you have told us where you’re coming from, what you think, and you are showing us listeners total respect by letting us decide for ourselves. These people who are calling you, they must be purposefully not getting it, which proves yet another one of your points that the response is to criticize you and to not deal with the substance of your comments. So I got so sick of it, I had to call you and encourage you and let you know you are doing great and that I absolutely love you for it.
RUSH: Well, thank you, by the way, first. Do I sound depressed?
CALLER: No, I just think that you sound like you’re getting a lot of calls, and not that you’re getting defensive, but you conceited to the last caller who was giving you a hard time that you would consider what he said. And I don’t think you need to consider what he said. You’re such a gentleman, but really it’s totally okay to stick to your guns and be consistent.
RUSH: Yeah, but, you know, here’s the thing about that guy’s call. This is a fine line for somebody like me. People need leadership. It’s one of my mantras. They want leadership. And to a lot of these people, I am their leader. And they think that I am AWOL on leadership because I don’t come out and endorse a candidate, and because I don’t come out and go through the candidates’ particulars and suggest this is good, this is bad. I have actually been doing that; if anybody listens regularly, they shouldn’t really be having a tough time figuring out who I like and who I don’t like.
RUSH: But nevertheless, maybe that kind of subtlety is not powerful enough to get through. Look at the Huckabee voter. The Huckabee voter in New Hampshire was largely evangelical, many more than anybody thought showed up. Most of them were female; most of them were rural. Now, the question is, did they show up of their own volition or were they told to? Were they told to in church? Were they told to by campaign activists or did Huckabee just leave it up to them to find him at the ballot box, or at the caucuses, rather, and my guess is that they were pretty much told to. I don’t mean this as a put-down, but it’s a fine line. I’ve never been comfortable sitting here telling people what to do. I don’t mind telling them what to think or helping them understand what I think, but telling people what to do has been anathema to me.
CALLER: Well, absolutely, and you again, you have been so consistent about that, and that’s one of the reasons why I do listen to you, and I listen to the podcasts all the time, and even repeat it over and over again because I have to remember what you’re telling us, because it’s so easy to forget if I listen to the mainstream media. The thing about these Iowa voters I have a hard time relating because, you know what, I’m an evangelical Christian, I’m a woman. I don’t know that I would consider myself as being in a rural place. I live between Detroit and Ann Arbor, God help me, but I do not relate to those evangelicals. I use my brain. They are voting out of emotion, and I don’t get it. Michael Huckabee, he actually bothers me more than Hillary Clinton. He drives me crazy because he is the emotional stereotype of what an evangelical Christian is. And that is not me. I’m emotional right now, but that’s because I’m so upset about this vote and upset about how you’ve been treated.
RUSH: Well, you’re right about the emotional attachment, and those things are hard to break. I’ve learned a long time ago you can’t. You cannot separate people from their emotional attachments with anything other than competing emotion. You can’t do it with, say, ideas. You can’t do it intellectually. At any rate, keep learning these lessons, even though we’re here in our 20th broadcast year. Appreciate the call very much, Samantha. Thanks so much.