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RUSH: Roy in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Roy, thanks for waiting. Welcome to the EIB Network.

CALLER: Thank you. It’s unthinkable to me that Michelle Obama would not have reason to be proud of our country, but Rush Limbaugh, you can’t live in a world without hope, friend. I’d love to hear your definition of hope.

RUSH: I’ve gone through a riff on hope before.

CALLER: I heard it when you opened it up, I’m sorry —

RUSH: No, no, no, that was quoting Friedrich Nietzsche.

CALLER: Would you mind quoting that again, please, sir?

RUSH: Let’s see. Which stack did I put it at the bottom of? I don’t want to have to paraphrase the thing. Bear with me here.

CALLER: Yes, sir.

RUSH: Friedrich Nietzsche. ‘Hope is the worst of evils, for it prolongs the torments of man.’

CALLER: That’s a foolish statement, and to hear you say it as profound and smart as you are, it blows me out of the water. You can’t live in a world without hope.

RUSH: Well, that may be, but what did hope ever do? What did hope ever accomplish?

CALLER: Hope got me through for 52 years. And hope is a biblical term, friend. Change — you can say what you want to about change.

RUSH: You may think it did —

CALLER: No, it did.

RUSH: It didn’t.

CALLER: It absolutely did.

RUSH: When you’re hoping, you’re sitting around hoping.

CALLER: No, no, no, no, no, no.

RUSH: There is no action, there is no action associated with hope. You’re confusing hope and desire.

CALLER: No, you’re confusing them, my friend.

RUSH: No, I’m not.

CALLER: And I have great respect for you.

RUSH: I am a great man, a very smart man. I know this stuff. Roy, can you hang on? I gotta take a commercial break. I seriously want to talk about this with you.


RUSH: Okay. Don’t go away.


RUSH: We are once again discussing the definition of hope with Roy from Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Roy, before I want you to explain your version of it, I want to explain Friedrich Nietzsche’s quote to you and what he means by this. You still there?

CALLER: I’m listening, sir.

RUSH: All right, ‘Hope is the worst of evils, for it prolongs the torments of man.’ Now, what I interpret his meaning to be, and I think he’s right, is that when you hope, it means things are unsettled, you’re unhappy, you’re dissatisfied, you’re not content. You hope for something —

CALLER: You’ve got a perverted meaning of hope, my friend —

RUSH: Let me finish, please.

CALLER: — when I hope I’ve done all the possible and I’m waiting on the impossible.

RUSH: Look, I’m not even trying to be contentious with you. I want you to understand what this means as I think it, and feel free to tell me how you interpret it, because this is important, because there’s a presidential campaign being run on this, Roy, and I —

CALLER: I’m aware, sir.

RUSH: All right. Well, it is my hope here that I am able to change your mind about this.

CALLER: I just heard you say it’s your hope. I’m glad you got some hope. I do, too.

RUSH: Roy, I have a very subtle sense of humor. Now, let me just finish this one sentence here. ‘Hope is the worst of evils, for it prolongs the torments of man.’ Meaning, unhappy, dissatisfied, not content, miserable, whatever, depressed. And you hope. You sit around, you hope something is going to change. But your torment continues because hope isn’t going to change anything.

CALLER: Okay, okay, your subtle sense of humor I didn’t catch. But let me tell you, it’s not humorous to me, and I’m glad you have it, that’s why I’ve been listening to you for ten years. And I will continue to. But for a man as masterful with words as you are, to let somebody steal this word of hope, which is a biblical term, which is going to abide forever because it’s written in the Bible that it’s going to abide, you’re letting them have this term, man. I want to hear a solid, sure definition from Rush Limbaugh, because Rush Limbaugh knows what hope is. Hope’s not some dummy sitting around here waiting for something to happen not doing nothing. It’s after you’ve done everything you can do, you’ve done the possible, now you’re waiting on God to do the impossible, and he’ll do it, and that’s what hope is. That’s according to a biblical term, not some whacked out nut that you quote.

RUSH: Now, wait just a second. Now you’ve brought something brand-new into the mix here, and you have shown me something. You have reached me in a way that few have on the subject of hope. You just said that hope is what follows the full expenditure of effort —

CALLER: Yes, sir.

RUSH: — and desire.

CALLER: — absolutely.

RUSH: — and when that has not succeeded, you hope for God to —

CALLER: Thank you.

RUSH: All right. Now, do you not find it interesting that the appeal that Barack Obama has is also based on a messianic godlike ability to deliver miracles?

CALLER: I may find it interesting, but I find it just as foolish as it is interesting. And anybody that’s nuts enough and dumb enough —

RUSH: All right.

CALLER: — to follow it, man, they’re not hoping. You’re letting him steal your word, Rush.

RUSH: I’m stealing nobody’s word! We agree on something.

CALLER: You’re letting Barack Obama steal your word, when you know more about the word than he knows.

RUSH: Wait a minute. I thought you were angry at me at the beginning of this call.

CALLER: I’m not angry at nobody. I’m angry at sin and the devil for trying to steal a word that belongs to the true people, and the true people know what hope means, my friend. Hope is not sitting around doing nothing. Hope is you’ve done the possible. Now you wait for God to do the impossible.

RUSH: All right, well, that’s what I mean. You’ve entered something new here. We’re not talking about the term hope in a religious sense, and most people don’t.

CALLER: Well, that’s where it comes from, and that’s what Barack Obama’s appeal is at and you just said it because he’s messianic or Christ-like and that’s why he’s duping people, and you know more about this than he knows about it.

RUSH: Well, of course. The whole Obama campaign is a fraud. Is that what you want me to say?

CALLER: Sir, I want you to speak like Rush Limbaugh, and I’m glad to hear you say you got hope because I knew you had it. You’d have never got to where you were without it.

RUSH: All right, all right, gotta take a break. It’s sad, folks, that we have to earn a living on this program, but we do.


RUSH: Remember, ladies and gentlemen, when talking about hope, you can talk about the theological: faith, hope, love, charity, that type of love. We’re talking earthly hope, and earthly hope is simply an excuse, ladies and gentlemen, for not trying. Make no doubt about it.

(playing of Thank the Lord Rush Limbaugh’s On)

(playing of Vote for Obama spoof)

That’s right, folks, we are family, family of hope, Sister Sledge. They’re part of the Niles Rodgers harem, empire, right? Empire. (laughing) Stable, stable, that’s right, stable. I meant to say stable. I love Niles Rodgers. Greetings, my friends, welcome back. Hope is simply an excuse for not trying. Pure and simple. Every time the subject comes up we have people weighing in on this, and it’s good. These are things that I think we need to discuss in greater detail, because there’s a presidential campaign being run on this stuff and I think people need to understand exactly what it is that they’re getting all caught up in.


RUSH: Cornelia in Santa Barbara, California, I’m glad you waited. Nice to have you on the program.

CALLER: It’s wonderful to be with you, Rush. You have my greatest admiration. Every time I’ve listened to you I’ve wanted to call in and express my appreciation for you.

RUSH: Thank you. Thank you very much. I appreciate that.

CALLER: I was listening to the man who spoke about hope, and I could agree with his feelings, but I also think that Obama is assuming that the American people have lost hope. Since when?

RUSH: Well —

CALLER: The United States has always been the last hope of mankind, with our ideals of freedom, our desire for liberty for all mankind, which is expressed in our Constitution, the Gettysburg address, and countless other leadership statements that have been made by people like our great President Reagan. Are we sending a message to the world that we’re in such despair that our nation and our way of life is under such pressure that we’re failing and we need someone like Obama —

RUSH: Bingo.

CALLER: — or Hillary —

RUSH: Bingo.

CALLER: — to give us hope?

RUSH: Well, I think that’s been the theme of the Democrat Party for a long time, but intensely for the last eight years, since President Bush was inaugurated. There’s no question that the Democrats have continually tried, in a number of ways, to depress the spirit of the American people as have their compatriots in the media. The economy is going to hell in a handbasket. We’re soup line America. People are losing their homes. Nobody has health care. I mean every day is a litany —

CALLER: A barrage of propaganda against our country.

RUSH: Exactly.

CALLER: And that we’re losing the war, and that we’re homeless. And so he’s picked —

RUSH: It’s worse than that.

CALLER: — the trick word hope. The word despair would be almost a better word that they’re trying to pursue in the Democratic Party.

RUSH: Yeah, but, you know, it exists. This is the real problem. It exists within way too many people’s hearts in this country, and that’s what Obama’s playing on. You’re asking is, is Obama assuming we’ve lost hope, no. He is pretty confident that the people he’s speaking to don’t have any. They don’t have any faith. They don’t have any hope.


RUSH: And they don’t have any desire, they don’t have any action-oriented desire. These people are genuinely lost. I know who these people are. Their lives are meaningless. They have not amounted to much in their own minds and so they do things to make themselves feel that they matter, and one of those things is go to an Obama rally, another thing is go to a protest march, drive a hybrid, wear a ribbon, things like this that accomplish nothing but it makes them feel as though they matter, that they have relevance. He’s capitalizing on that, and it’s the result of the liberals in this country and the Democrat Party sponsoring that attitude and promoting it for decades, Cornelia.

CALLER: You know, Rush, once I looked up the word despair in a particular dictionary, does not appear, this definition in other dictionaries. ‘Loss of hope in the mercies of God.’

RUSH: Well —

CALLER: — and a country is really in trouble if they feel that way.

RUSH: Amen. You’re talking about people, with God, no, no, no, that’s not right.


RUSH: John in Kalispell, Montana, welcome to the program, sir. Nice to have you here.

CALLER: It’s good to be here. I count it a privilege to be able to talk with you. It’s the first time I’ve tried this, and I had hoped to be able to get through to you.

RUSH: Well, see, hope paid off for you.

CALLER: There you go. As I’ve been waiting and listening to some of the other callers, I think we mentioned that there is a distinction between hope and faith.

RUSH: Yes.

CALLER: But I also feel as though they share some things as well, and it’s important for us to note that it’s really not the quantity or quality of our hope that matters, it’s the object of our hope. The value of our hope is equal to the value of its object. And so while Obama may be asking for us to have hope, we have to recognize that he’s asking us to have hope in him —

RUSH: Right.

CALLER: — and how much value is there?

RUSH: You’ve nailed it. This was part of my original diatribe on this whole thing. Hope is an excuse for people not to do anything. Hope is an excuse for not trying, in this context. These people are not feeling hopeful about themselves. They are investing hope that Obama will make them feel better, or that Obama will improve their lives. That’s why I keep referring to him as having a messianic appeal to people.

CALLER: Correct.

RUSH: You know, it’s frightening, it’s frightening how many people in this country are that –well, what’s the word? Empty.

CALLER: Yeah. It kind of reminds me of a high school basketball pep rally. The high school basketball team hasn’t won for years and years, but the cheerleaders come out and they get everybody excited and they go out with tremendous hope, but their hope’s not reasonable. They haven’t won for years. They’ve not proven that they can win.

RUSH: Well, but the hope’s also unreasonable because the cheerleaders aren’t playing.

CALLER: (laughing) There you go.

RUSH: So many people confuse hope with desire.

CALLER: Right.

RUSH: Desire is action oriented. Hope isn’t. Hope, you’re sitting around hoping something will be different than it’s been or what have you. It’s the same thing with the cheerleaders cheering when you’re down 48 to nothing in the fourth quarter.

CALLER: Yes, right. Well, excellent. I just think that is a very important thing. We need to be very careful not to get sidetracked, keep our attention on the truth of the matter —

RUSH: We’re doing our best here, sir.

CALLER: Very good, thank you.

RUSH: That’s the motto of this program, based in reality and keep our focus on the truth of the matter.

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