RUSH: The memories that are associated with Christmastime are just, some of them are sad, but even those end up being good. Before we talk about that in great detail, Christmastime is when I always get thankful. I’m thankful all the time, and Thanksgiving is what it is, but there’s something about Christmas that makes me all sentimental and gets me focused on the thankfulness of things.
RUSH: Amelia Island, Florida. Jesse, it’s nice to have on the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Merry Christmas, Rush!
RUSH: Same to you, sir.
CALLER: I’ve been glad to listen to you for 20 years now, and I really just want to thank you for educating me over these years. I’m honored to be talking to you now in the year 2008.
RUSH: Well, thank you. I appreciate that. You say I have educated you, but all of you people in this audience have educated me as well. I will explain how, ’cause I’m sure many of you think that’s not possible. I will explain how in mere moments. What’s on your mind, Jesse?
CALLER: Well, I wanted to tell you how because of my education I’ve gotten on the EIB Network, I have been able to put together a book recently. It’s called ‘Own Yourself.’ It’s a challenge to strong, brave, intelligent young men, and you’ll see that there’s a lot of information in there that I got from Rush Limbaugh.
RUSH: The book is entitled ‘Own Yourself.’ So it’s a book on self-slavery?
CALLER: Oh, no, Rush. It’s a book on self-reliance, individualism! (laughing)
RUSH: I was trying to be funny out there, Jesse. I’m just being a little clever here.
CALLER: Well, the reason I address it to young men is because I really believe that the older generations, those of us who were born after 1950, are pretty much already addicted to government — and give-outs and handouts, bailouts, and you name it — and it’s gonna take a new generation of individualists to bring us out of this situation.
RUSH: You know, I’ve done a study of this, because there have been plenty of times in American history where people think the country is headed into an abyss from which it won’t return. It’ll still exist, but it will be of a different structure and foundation. Yet, it has always rebounded. And if you look into research of this, you’ll find every two or three generations, just exactly what Jesse is saying here. Every two or three generations, you have a group of young people that just refuse to put up with it all. They just don’t accept the way their parents live and grandparents live and so forth, and change it. And it takes many forms. I don’t think that everybody born after 1950 has become dependent yet. I’m born in 1951 and I’m still as diametrically opposed to becoming dependent on anything or anybody for my wants and needs, financials and so forth.
But I know that people who only have Social Security, where else they gonna go? That was the grand design of Franklin Delano Roosevelt: ‘That’s all they got. What are they going to do?’ They’re not going to oppose any policy that might lower taxes that they know will come their way. This has been part of the grand design by the Democrat Party. But let me explain something here about this. You know, Jesse wanted to thank me for his education, and I said (I’m sure this was difficult for many of you to believe when I said this) that you have led to my education as well. Well, many of you listen to this program and say, ‘How in the world could we make Rush any smarter than he is?’ I understand if you would look at it that way.
But you see, education is an ongoing process. I’ve been doing this 20 years, and I get reflective this time of year, and I look back — and this is when I really count my blessings. Of course, the blessings of family are irreplaceable and unique. But, man, the blessings that I have had since 1988 hosting this program and having all of you be in the audience, it’s incomprehensible and it’s incalculable. I think back sometimes. I’m always assessing myself. ‘How did I do today, job-wise? Did I phone it in? Did the audience think I phoned it in? Could it have been better?’ and when I get reflective, I try and be as honest with myself as I can. I look back to just ten years ago — just pick a number, ten years ago, back to 1998 — and I’ll remember certain things I did, and I think, ‘Boy, how naive was I?’
I’m not talking personal life. I’m talking about understanding just the things that are discussed on this program. The point is, I learn every day. There are more things that become understandable immediately, which is the result of ongoing education. You see, I love it. I actually love learning. I hated learning when I was a kid, because it was being force-fed me in school. For everything I was interested in, I had to spend eight hours be bored with garbage I wasn’t interested in. I thought the education system was missing out with people like me. But they had to have a system that educated a mass number of people at the same time, and it was the only way it could do it. But, you know, I’m lucky. I ended up in a profession where doing what I love is what I get paid to do.
So it’s not work, per se. It’s an indulgence, and I get to indulge my passions each and every day, and I learn more, become more informed. You know, it’s true the older you get — if you’re paying attention, and if you’re clocked in — you can’t help but to accrue more wisdom. It’s impossible. I mean, all things being equal. If you’re an idiot or you have some sort of mental deficiency, of course none of this stuff applies. But all things being equal, you can’t help but learn more, and it’s exciting when you do. It’s exciting when instincts replace careful thought, when you just know, because the study has taken place in the years before. I think back to all of the good fortune that all of us here at the EIB Network have had. It’s why I always maintain my perspective on this and understand the root of it, and where it comes from — and that’s you.
I mean, I could be the exact person I am, doing exactly what I’m doing, but if nobody listened to it, then it would all have been for naught. And you all have listened, and you have stayed attached. Your loyalty and devotion to this program and our sponsors… I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the fact that I know how sophisticated you are, in terms of understanding what it is that keeps this program afloat. Like I’m getting e-mails all the time now about Carbonite. A guy just got it. He heard me talking about it. He got a new computer, heard me talking about it, went out, and signed up. It happens in the background. It’s a brand-new computer, and after three weeks his hard drive blew. He sends me a note to thank me. (Carbonite.com, by the way, if you’re interested. Use offer code ‘Rush.’) But nevertheless, every year at this time, I get sentimental.
You know, a lot of us have lost family members this time of year, and this time of year can generate a lot of sadness and melancholy, mostly when we think of nostalgia. When we go back and think of the past, we’re wired so that we remember the good times. We remember the laughs that we had. We remember the things and the people that we enjoyed. We figure out, as we get older, that it’s not what you have or what you have accrued over the course of your life. But, rather, it’s the relationships with people that you love that you remember. Those provide the fond memories. And, of course, you lose people that you love. And I’m sure, like myself, a lot of you have lost family members this time of year. This is when families get together, or try to, and you never get over the absence. But even so, the memories, they can overcome the sense of loss or absence. And the memories are positive, and they end up making for good times. And that’s what this time of year — other than, of course, the birth of Christ, the Savior — is all about for so many people, but once again, folks, you always tell me how much the program means to you, and I appreciate that, but there’s no way this program can possibly mean as much to you as what you have meant to me and my family and all of us here.
RUSH: Merry Christmas, everybody. We’ll see you on January 5th. I hope you get as much fun in the next few days as we plan to, and listen to Silent Night by Mannheim in its entirety when you have a chance.