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RUSH: Gallup poll, remember last week the Drive-Bys went all nuts with the USA Today/Gallup show that showed only 13% of the Republicans thought I spoke for them and then Cheney was at ten and they tried to paint this picture of the Republicans in the wilderness. Well, the Gallup people are out with another poll today, and it’s very, very cool. Conservatives are the single largest ideology group in America. Forty percent of Americans call themselves conservative. The number of moderates is 35%. Liberals are 21% and 22% of Democrats call themselves conservative. This is why the left is afraid of Sarah Palin, folks, this is why they’re trying to destroy her. Nobody else on the Republican side excites the Republican base like she does. I don’t mean to insult anybody out there. Some great people on our side, but this ought to have specific impact here on our conservative media which is wandering off the reservation continually saying we gotta get rid of Reagan.

If I were Dick Cheney I would think about suing Leon Panetta for defamation. Panetta says it’s almost as if former Vice President Cheney would like to see another attack on the United States. That’s patently absurd.

RUSH: You know, back to that poll, the Gallup poll. Conservatives are the single largest ideological group in the country. Liberals are 21% and independents are 35%. If I were running the Republican Party, you know what it would tell me? And if I were in the conservative media, and if I really wanted to win the next series of elections, as Randall Hoven here of the American Thinker says, ‘Here is how you do it: get 40% of the vote by being genuinely conservative, without apology,’ and that’s where you get your (quote, unquote) ‘Reagan Democrats.’ Just be pedal-to-the-metal conservative and don’t apologize for it. ‘Then go after one third of the ‘moderates’ (thus getting another 12% of the vote, for a 52% majority) by pushing responsibility, competence and integrity.

‘Heck, maybe you’ll get half the moderates, for a total of 58%, almost what Reagan got in 1984.’ Forty percent of the people of this country identify themselves as ‘conservative.’ Twenty-one percent identify themselves as liberal. This is why I closed the program on Friday telling you I still have faith. I still have faith in the people of this country — and if you look at the campaign of 2008, the 40% of the American people who were conservative had nobody to vote for! And if the Republican Party keeps up, they’re not going to offer anybody to vote for. And that’s why the left is so scared to death of Sarah Palin. Sarah Palin excites this 40% of Americans that are conservatives. Of course, the blue-blood, country club, Rockefeller Republicans and the media and the Democrats make fun of her and say that she’s a dunce and she doesn’t have any experience, she’s uninformed and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. But all you have to do…

If you want to know, the left will tell you everything you want to know, if you listen to them. The far left, the left, the Democrat Party will tell you everything you want to know. And I just need to ask you one question. Of all the potential Republican presidential candidates that people could name for 2012, which one sends the Democrat Party, the media, the Comedian Community, and everybody else into an absolute insane tizzy? It is Sarah Palin. Why? Because they’re scared. And why are they scared? They’re afraid of her. They’re afraid of that 20,000 people she can draw anywhere, any time, when she shows up to make an appearance. They’re afraid of her because she can win. They’re afraid of her because she could beat Barack Obama. That’s why they trash her. That’s why they’re trying to destroy her. It’s not because she embarrasses them. It’s because she frightens them. Listen to the left, listen to the media if you want to find out what they think ’cause they’ll tell you every time.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Now, back to this poll for just a second, the Gallup poll, 40% of Americans identify themselves as conservatives. Our buddies at Power Line today right after eight o’clock posted a post on their blog called, ‘Conservatives in the Wilderness — The lead essay in the current issue of the Claremont Review of Books is William Voegeli’s ‘The Wilderness Years Begin.’ Does American conservatism need to reinvent itself for a new age? Voegeli addresses the diagnoses of the decline of American conservatism, and various prescriptions for its recovery. In the second-to-last paragraph (it’s a long essay) rendering the case for the conservative opposition to the progressive liberal project.’ And this, folks, is a great way to express and define liberalism for people. Listen to this: ‘The danger liberalism poses to the American experiment comes from its disposition to deplete rather than replenish the capital required for self-government.

If I might add something to this, ‘The danger liberalism poses to the American experiment comes from its disposition to deplete rather than replenish the capital’ necessary for economic growth, and that’s precisely what’s happening now. People’s retirements are gone. I’ve gotta story about that in the stack today. Economic expectations are plundered because more and more of the private sector has been taken over or completed by Barack Obama and transferred to him and his czars to rule in an unconstitutional manner from the White House, including the Census and other things. ‘The danger liberalism poses to the American experiment,’ and forget that ‘experiment.’ It’s the danger liberalism proposes to America. I think America, as an ‘experiment,’ has succeeded. America is now in the process, our private sector, being destroyed by President Obama.

‘The danger liberalism poses to the American experiment comes from its disposition to deplete rather than replenish the [money] required for [economic growth]. Entitlement programs overextend not only financial but political capital. They proffer new ‘rights,’ goad people to demand and expand those rights aggressively,’ which is exactly what the left has done. New ‘rights,’ new entitlements, health care, read it that way and other things. People demand those things and expand on their demands. They ‘disdain truth in advertising about the nature or scope of the new debts and obligations those rights will engender. The experiment in self-government requires the cultivation, against the grain of a democratic age, of the virtues of self-reliance, patience, sacrifice, and restraint. The people who have this moral and social capital understand and accept that there ‘will be many long periods when you put more into your institutions than you get out,’ according to David Brooks.

‘Instead, liberalism promotes snarling but unrugged individualism, combining an absolute right ‘to the lifestyle of one’s choice (regardless of the social cost) with an equally fundamental right to be supported at state expense,’ as the Manhattan Institute’s Fred Siegel once described it,’ and isn’t that where we are with the American left? People think they have an inherent right to live however they want with the government paying for it. They have an equally fundamental right to be supported at state expense because that’s what they think America is because the Democrat Party and the American left have been working on them for years in this way. ‘Finally, the capital bestowed by vigilance against all enemies, foreign and domestic, is squandered,’ read the defense budget, ‘when liberals insist on approaching street gangs, illegal immigrants, and terrorist regimes in the hopeful belief that, to quote the political scientist Joseph Cropsey, ‘trust edifies and absolute trust edifies absolutely.”

That’s just the second-to-last paragraph of William Voegeli’s, ‘The Wilderness Years Begin.’ Conservatives are not in the wilderness. The Republican Party is in the wilderness. Conservatives are fine and dandy. Conservatives know exactly what they are. Well, some Washington conservatives don’t. Some media conservatives have gotten all confused and are off the reservation saying some of the most ridiculous things, But as far as the people outside the Beltway, the American conservative population, wham bam! We don’t need to reinvent it ’cause it’s timeless. Conservatism’s foundation is freedom. Freedom will never go out of style. And you get people saying, still to this day, ‘We gotta forget Reagan and we gotta do…’

Nobody is holding onto Reagan as a cult. What people are holding onto is there was an application of conservatism and look at what it got. Fifty-eight percent of the vote! It wasn’t just the positions on taxes and communism and defense. It was the philosophy that produced those positions. And that philosophy existed the same then as it does today and is just as applicable to issues today as it was then, even though the issues may be different. There doesn’t need to be any realignment, redefinition, or anything of the sort. So this ought to hearten people. Republicans aren’t going to like this. Some of the conservative intelligentsia media aren’t going to like it and they’re going to say people like me are misrepresenting the poll and misreading it, but I’m not.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Well, it will depend on who the candidates are but, look, let me remind you again Gallup poll out today, 40% — and this is the largest percentile — 40% of American voters identify themselves as conservatives. Twenty-one percent identify themselves as liberal. About 22% of that 40% is Democrat conservatives. So all the Republican Party has to do is run a full-bore conservative campaign and they’ll pick up that 40%. That’s why I said if the Republicans had nominated a conservative in 2008, Obama could have been beaten.

Don’t listen to people on our side who rip Sarah Palin. Don’t listen to Republicans who rip Sarah Palin. Listen to Democrats. Listen to liberals. They’ll tell you who they’re afraid of. They tell you who they’re afraid of by trying to destroy them. If they thought Sarah Palin was the easiest slam-dunk defeat they could ever engineer, they would be talking her up, they’re scared to death. She can draw 20,000 people, as it was said early today by somebody, reading a cookbook. There’s no other Republican candidate that enthused and energized the crowd that way. So just listen to the left. Just listen to the Democrats. Forty percent of the people identify themselves as conservative. Now, people say, ‘If that’s the case how did Obama win?’ I can give you a number of factors — Bush fatigue. There was no conservative on the ballot to vote for. And the whole notion, ‘Change parties, let’s just change, it’s been eight years. Everybody hates the Republicans. Let’s just change parties.’ A lot of conservatives stayed home.

But 60 million people did not vote for Obama. Fifty-eight, 60 million people did not vote. We gotta get rid of Reagan, they say. Reagan got 58% of the vote in 1984, 58%. What was Reagan? He was a conservative. I get blue in the face talking about this stuff, it’s so simple, it really is so simple. And the people who think they’re the smartest people in the room have to get in there and start monkeying around with something that’s not complicated to try to prove how smart they are or whatever else they’re trying to establish when the blueprint’s there and the base, it’s ready to go, with the right candidates. So if you are a Republican, if you’re thinking of running, I don’t care what part of the country you live in, either, by the way, forget this Northeast garbage, might have to exempt Massachusetts, but I doubt it, maybe Maine. If you’re Republican and you want to win and you want to run for office in 2010, be conservative and don’t make any excuses for it! And don’t apologize for it. Just run as a conservative on the principles. Apply the principles to today’s issues, and it ain’t going to be hard because it’s the easiest thing in the world to contrast conservatism with socialism. And that’s what Barack Obama and the Democrat Party is.

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