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Rush Limbaugh

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RUSH: I was perusing various websites, conservative websites. (I’m not going to mention the names; it doesn’t matter; they’re a dime a dozen now.) But I ran across some guy in a little post on his blog say, ‘You know, conservatives have got to change with the times. This is not Reagan anymore. They can’t keep talking about Reagan. We’ve gotta modernize. We’ve gotta adapt.’ You know, the problem with this is… Let me make it as simple as possible. It has nothing to do with Reagan. It has nothing to do with cult-like devotion to Ronald Reagan. It has to do with the fact that personal freedom will never go out of style and personal freedom is at the root of conservatism; personal freedom and liberty and holding on to it and maintaining it. And that’s what conservative is, and that’s never going to go out of style, and I don’t know that we have to adapt that to anything other than what needs to be adapted and changed and stopped is the ongoing movement found in way too many parts of this country that would infringe upon individual liberty and freedom and yet we’re told, ‘Come on! You gotta adapt, you gotta modernize. You gotta understand where we’re headed here. We got a new set of problems and so forth.’ That’s just it. There isn’t a problem in the world that doesn’t have as its best start in solving it freedom, pure and simple.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: This is Northbrook, Illinois. Darren, hi. Great to have you here.

CALLER: O’ captain, my captain. Rush, what an honor it is to talk to you again.

RUSH: Thank you, sir, very much.

CALLER: You’re doing a great job. Don’t let the turkeys get you down. I know there’s a lot of people asking you to do more, and I just gotta say: Since Buckley’s death, you’re the greatest philosopher and pamphleteer we conservatives have.

RUSH: Well, thank you, sir, very much. I appreciate it. The pioneers take the arrows. I can handle it.

CALLER: Indeed. Indeed. Rush, it’s a truth today that if conservatives are going to beat back the socialist looters, we need to get back to basics. And, you know, there’s a three-step process for building a conservative political movement — any political movement — and it starts with the philosophers. And conservatives are lucky because we already have had our philosophers. Some 50 years ago we had guys like Russell Kirk and Friedrich von Hayek and Ludwig von Mises, Fred Meyer, and Irving Kristol, who gave us these timeless, permanent principles.

RUSH: Don’t forget Edmund Burke.

CALLER: Yes. I edited him out due to time, as a matter of fact. (laughs) Edmund Burke is obviously a great conservative philosopher that we need to pamphletize his philosophy today. The philosophers are saying something that are making a lot of sense, then the pamphleteers grab that and they distill down those ideas for mass consumption. And once those pamphleteers create this greater seabed for a political movement, then the politicians follow. And what’s happening today is the politicians have gotten away from those permanent principles, those principles ratified by the entire human experience. You know, conservatism doesn’t go out of style because human nature is not going to change. And, like I say, our politicians today aren’t articulating the conservative principles. Nobody is making a principled case against socialized health care, for example.

RUSH: Well, you are singing my tune, which basically is: We have defeatists who do nothing but accept every premise offered by the left. I have been part of a discussion before the program today — well, I have been a witness to a discussion, one of these chat things, in a chat room on a blog — amongst conservative intellectuals on global warming (conservative intellectual pamphleteers as you would call ’em) and they’re all saying, ‘Well, of course it’s happening, manmade global warming. What we have to do is accept the premise and then go in there and tweak it and make sure that what they fix is doesn’t cost a lot of money and ruin the economy.’ So this is what’s happening in way too many instances. We accept the premise because it’s easier to do that than to fight the premise. It’s precisely what American conservatives want from their leaders, though, is to fight the premise of all this; to fight the premise of socialized health care; to tell people how it’s going to cost them more money and reduce the quality of their care, and the availability of it.

It’s so frustrating because it’s happening all across the world, where they’re trying it. Canada, the UK. There is a great column in the op-ed section of the New York Post today about the kind of care Ted Kennedy got for his brain tumor and the surgery to remove it, versus somebody who has the same circumstance in the UK. Yet the same people who are benefiting from the greatest health care system in the world are those who want to destroy it in order to put themselves and the government in charge of it — and it’s a pure myth. It is a myth that they want to do this because they feel sorry for poor people. It’s because they want power. Liberalism is oriented around a series of false promises and fallacious premises. And one of the primary things that drives it is this whole notion — and we have talked about this before, and it’s the root of class envy — is the equality of outcomes. It isn’t fair that some people should have more money than others, bigger houses, nicer cars, better neighborhoods, better schools. It isn’t fair. And America will not be a just nation until all these inequities have been rectified to where everybody is the same. Well, the only way everybody can be the same is if a tyrannical despot dictator takes over the group and forces misery on them all, because no two Americans are the same. Aside from physically, look at the psychological. Look at the differences in ambition, desire, abilities. And you’re absolutely right: Conservatism is nothing more than natural law, and at the root of it is freedom. And they tell us conservatism needs to reform and adapt to the times? Nope. Because personal liberty and freedom is for all time, and it’s the foundational building block of what we believe in.

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