RUSH: This is Galen in Cincinnati, as we return to the phones. Thank you for waiting, Galen, great to have you here.
CALLER: How you doing, Rush? Look, I wanted to tell you that I think you may have this wrong, in terms of Mr. Obama being The Messiah and people looking at him as such. I don’t think that people look at Mr. Obama any differently than the people who follow you or who are hanging on every word that you say, and follow you. You are a person who speaks for a certain segment or generation of society, and they hang on your every word. Well, the same is true of Mr. Obama. Just as you lead people, people look to him as a leader. Now, understand, I’ve never voted for a Democrat, I did not vote for Mr. Obama. I am a Republican, but I have backed far enough away that I can actually see the forest now, I’m no longer in the trees —
RUSH: What does that mean? Wait a second, what does that mean?
CALLER: Here’s what it means. You’re so close to this that you can’t see it objectively, you can’t give this man credit. I’m actually a Dittohead. I’ve been listening to you for 18 years, all right? All my friends here in Cincinnati know me and they know that I am.
RUSH: What were you doing the first day you heard me, what was I talking about?
CALLER: I was working at a T-shirt company and I don’t know exactly what it was you were talking about, but a friend of mine came to my desk, and told me, he says, ‘You gotta listen to this guy,’ so I turned you on and I was the only black person working at this company and this guy said, ‘Is that offensive to you?’ and I said, ‘No, the guy, what he’s saying is right.’
RUSH: I have to tell you, I appreciate that, but nothing’s changed. I’m no closer to the trees than ever. I’m further away from them than I’ve been.
CALLER: I don’t know. At times it doesn’t appear that way, it definitely appears you have a certain bias and with —
RUSH: No, no, you’re misunderstanding. I’m glad you called because I’m in the communication business and if I’m failing to communicate in a way that you understand the points I’m trying to make it’s my problem because you sound like an intelligent guy.
CALLER: You might be giving me a little too much credit.
RUSH: What did you hear me say that you think makes me think I’m too close to things or I’ve lost touch or whatever you would say?
CALLER: I mean, let’s go to the point of why I called. You mentioned the fact that people are looking at this man as a single person to cure their ills. I don’t think that’s any truer of him than it is of you because —
RUSH: Now, wait a second, it most definitely is. You said I’m too close or too —
CALLER: Allow me to explain in context.
RUSH: You did. You did earlier. You’re going to be repeating it here.
RUSH: The people in this audience are not waiting for me to do things for them. They’re not waiting for me to cut their taxes or to punish somebody or to give them a check or to make their small businesses healthy. I’m not a messiah to these people, I’m not godlike.
CALLER: I didn’t say for the same reasons. You’re misconstruing what I’m saying. I said in the same way. In an analogous way, you inspire people, okay? I’m inspired myself. I’m inspired to do things that I probably wouldn’t have done in my life if I had not listened to you for so many years. I understand politics. Politics before was boring to me. You do take the complex and you do make it simple. Well, in the same way, Mr. Obama speaks to a generation of people who don’t have a lot of hope, that’s why ‘hope’ is a big old word to them, they don’t understand what’s going on and why it is the way it is, why they feel so negative or why generations before them —
RUSH: No, but I do.
CALLER: They don’t. I’m just saying —
RUSH: I do.
CALLER: This man has put language in a context and in a style that they can comprehend and get behind.
RUSH: A style. He has no substance.
CALLER: Well, I didn’t say he did or didn’t.
RUSH: He has a style of speaking that people think he’s going to do things, and my audience doesn’t think I’m going to accomplish one thing for them. My audience is not waiting around for me to do things or to cause things to happen for them. The comparison, if I were a less secure person, I’d be sitting here thanking you for flattering me like this by comparing me to a messiah. But I know I’m not a messiah. He really thinks he is. He just said at this signing ceremony, the American people are really counting on us now. Well, I know that’s true, and that depresses me. I want the American people to count on themselves.
CALLER: Rush, that’s true of every administration. That’s true every administration.
RUSH: It is not.
CALLER: — an administration to lead them, to make wise decisions —
RUSH: Obama, now, this is key here, Galen. You know, you could say that Reagan was great because he made people feel better about themselves.
CALLER: That’s true.
RUSH: You might say that Obama did the same thing. The problem, the difference is Reagan made them understand they are the ones who make the country work, that America’s greatness is defined by them. Obama is telling people that it is government that is the only institution that can save them. That, sir, is sacrilegious to me. That’s heresy as a capitalist, that’s heresy as an American, that’s not inspiring. I think Obama, quite frankly, is depressing people.
CALLER: Well, I’ll tell you, I think you’re wrong. I didn’t see anybody on television yesterday that was depressed. All the people that called me on my phone did not express depression. You know, so I don’t see that. But in any case what I’m trying to tell you, from what I see, is that Mr. Obama is someone who people respect and they think of as a leader, just like you, just like any other person who in the media who is exciting people. The problem here for other people is that they don’t realize that this is a contextual situation.
RUSH: Here’s the problem. All right, look, Galen, I appreciate what you’re trying to do here, but there’s so many — Galen, I don’t run the country. I’m not trying to tell people, I’m not trying to come up with policies that are going to require people to live the way I damn well want ’em to. I’m not the one coming up with plans telling them what they can do and when they can’t do it, how much they have to give me, Obama, to make sure everybody else is happy. I’m taking nothing from anybody. I’m giving nobody anything. I cannot raise their taxes. I cannot redistribute their wealth. I cannot deny people their earnings. I cannot rearrange society. I cannot proclaim this group of people unfair and those people need to be gotten even with. I can’t pick winners and losers in this country. I can’t tell you that you deserve to lose some so somebody else can win some. Obama has that power, and, my brother, he wants that power, he wants to be able to pick winners and losers.
I deal in ideas. I inspire people to think. I inspire people to be positive and optimistic because I believe that’s the way life is enjoyed, and that’s the way people get things done. Obama is inspiring people to sit down and wait for help from Washington. I already see what has happened to a whole population of people who have been for 50 years, Galen, sitting around and waiting for help from Washington. Their families are destroyed. They are single mothers, they are drug-infested neighborhoods in which they live in, and they have no hope. Because for 50 years they have been sitting around and waiting for help from Washington. And every four years they complain about the lack of help from Washington arriving. And the people promising the help from Washington blame it on people like me because we are racist, sexist, bigot, homophobes who are holding those people who need help from Washington back. I seek no power over people. I seek people to have and own their own power and their own confidence and their own optimism. I seek to have people realize that they live in the greatest country on earth and it’s the greatest country on earth because of them, not a single figure, not a personality, not a celebrity, not a single hero.
This country is an idea that is bigger than any mortal individual. I can punish nobody. I cannot reward anybody. I cannot close a prison where terrorists are housed and let them go and call it national security. I cannot meet with Hugo Chavez or Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and claim, in doing so, that I’m making them my friend. I can’t do anything Obama can do. I don’t want that kind of power. That kind of power invested in one person who believes he has it scares the hell out of me. And you compound that fright with the fact that so many people do not have the guts, the strength, the education to resist the tug of popular sentiment, and we have a nation of lemmings believing lie after lie after lie, myth after myth after myth, liberal idea, failed liberal idea, failed liberal idea after failed liberal idea. I don’t compel anything. I don’t try to confuse people.
I simply turn on the Golden EIB Microphone and share my honest passions and beliefs with people. And they’re free to go elsewhere. They’re free to ignore; they’re free to believe; they’re free to be entertained, I don’t care. They’re free to do whatever they want. But a lot of people aren’t free to smoke cigarettes where they want; they’re not free to drink where they want; they’re not free to eat the kind of food they want to eat; they’re not free to eat trans fats; they’re not free to drive certain places. Pretty soon we’re going to be told what kind of cars we have to drive. I can’t cause that. I can’t restrict anybody’s freedom. We’ve elected a guy who can, does, and wants to, all under the guise of saving us. So I appreciate the effort, and I appreciate somewhat losing my temper here. But don’t compare me ever to an authoritarian who thinks so little of people that without him they can barely breathe on their own. Don’t ever do that.
RUSH: Let’s go to audio sound bite number 12, shall we? As a backup. By the way, if you want something chiseled in marble, what I just said needs to be chiseled in marble. Right, Snerdley? All right. Here’s Obama. Last night, ABC TV, during the coverage of the Neighborhood Ball. By the way, American Idol outrated the Obama inaugural coverage last night. But that ain’t good. Look at the two choices. I mean, they’re both pop culture cellar dwellers. On one group, you’ve got a bunch of people with no talent on a music show. On the other group you’ve got people with dangerous talents running the country. Anyway, here’s Obama. He was interviewed by Robin Roberts of ABC. She said, ‘When you walked out and you saw that sea of humanity all the way back to the Lincoln Memorial, what are you going to remember most?’
OBAMA: You know, I think it is just the — the way that the American people have made this about more than just an election, and that kind of spirit, part of what I wanted to communicate, uh, in, uh, my inauguration speech, was that government’s gonna work. We’re going to make it work.
RUSH: There is a commitment to government. So Marie in Discovery Bay: a commitment to government. We’re going to make government work. It’s an insult to Bush, and it is a message to sit back and wait. ‘We’re going to make government work. We’re going to make government work for you.’ If only that were true, if only government really did work for us. We work for it! We work for government. We are totally dependent on what the hell they do and what obstacles they put in front of us. But there you have it: government, government, government, government, government — and Big Government is not the answer.