RUSH: I got an e-mail last night about 10:30, and I get an e-mail like this every now and then, and it happens when I am really being excoriated in the media, and I’m really being excoriated in the media right now. I’m being accused of saying things I haven’t said about the oil spill. I’m being accused of accusing people of blowing it up when I haven’t accused anybody of blowing it up. And these things take on a life of their own. And I get e-mails, ‘Rush, how do you put up with this?’
Here’s one. ‘Dear Rush: I need to know how you handle it so well when you are constantly being maligned and attacked for your conservative beliefs. I’m also maligned, and I’m attacked at my job, but I don’t have the fortitude you do to deal with it. I know I’m right but I feel so weak and helpless, the liberals I work with train my confidence. You said yesterday something about being happy with who you are. How do you get to that point?’ Well, that actually is not a silly question. Most people are not raised to be happy with themselves. Most people are raised to think everybody else is better than they are.
Most people are raised to be humble and to treat people in a way that you don’t offend them because they are better than you are, maybe not use those words when you’re raised, but we’re all raised to think of ourselves as lesser than other people. And we’re also raised to say that if we like what we do and we admire ourselves, that we’re a braggart, and those kind of characterizations are not flattering. So it does take some effort, I think, to actively like yourself.
But I want to go beyond that and answer how do I deal with all this. A friend of mine sent a note about this very thing Monday night. A really good friend of mine sent me a note and the subject line was ‘I’m concerned.’ And the note was: ‘I am concerned, Rush, that you are being lumped in with –‘ he gave me some names, I’m not going to read the names, ‘some kooks in our media, and even some of our guys,’ meaning conservatives, ‘are starting to lump you in with the kooks in our media. I think you better be very careful about this, they’re trying to diminish you.’
I wrote him back and I said, ‘Look, I appreciate your concern. Let me tell you what my objective is every day. My objective is to come into this studio after having prepared for this show and do the absolute best radio show I can do on that given day. Seldom do I meet that expectation but I’m always shooting for it. And if I’m satisfied or more than satisfied or gleeful with how I’ve done, I’m happy. I go home happy. I don’t care what’s said about me. It hasn’t affected me, it hasn’t harmed me. ‘Well, what do you mean, Rush, it hasn’t harmed you? They drummed you right out of the NFL.’ Well, yeah, true, but that didn’t ruin my day, because you’ve all heard the phrase ‘Lord, thank you for my enemies.’ You’ve all heard that phrase.
I ran across a better saying than that the other day, and I’m going to have to paraphrase it. I should have written it down so I could quote it accurately. But basically it was something like this. A man is defined by the character and nature of his enemies. And that’s pretty telling. I’m very, very ecstatic at the enemies that I have. Look at who they are. Look at the enemies that are trying to diminish me. Bill Clinton? ‘Yeah, but Rush, he was the president.’ Yeah, but you want to be like Bill Clinton? Robert Gibbs, Barack Obama, some of these loco weeds in the media. I’ve told people I’ve written about this, actually, in one of my two books. Early on in this show this criticism really, really bothered me because I was never hated by anybody growing up. We all had people that dislike us, but nobody thought I was racist, sexist, bigot, homophobe, all of these labels that get attached to every conservative simply because of our beliefs. It took me awhile to learn that it’s not personal, it’s simply a way that they are reacting in fear. They fear conservatives because they can’t beat us in the arena of ideas. They cannot out-argue us. Obama is not even trying to.
Obama is not getting anything done by policy. Obama’s not winning converts. Obama is having to use thuggery, bribes, all kinds of kickbacks, ACORN-type, Alinsky-type Chicago organizer tactics to bully his way to victory. Nobody supports what he’s doing and people like that have to get credible opposition out of the way. And if they can’t get the credible opposition out of the way, they have to try to discredit the opposition. This has been going on against me for 20 years, or 21 now. I look at myself, where am I? I am still doing exactly what I want to do. I’m still doing what I love to do every day. We have financially not had a down year since we started, every year has been up. You know, success is the best revenge, is another statement that people make. I have learned, folks, that absolutely zero percent of my happiness is about what other people think of me. If you can get to that point, you can like yourself. I don’t care if it is your closest intimate friends, to people that you don’t know, or to casual acquaintances, or people that you work with, if you can get to the point where your happiness is not determined by what people think of you, then you are totally free. And at that point, all you have to rely on is being true to yourself. And if you fail to be true to yourself, then you’ll be miserable, then you’ll be unhappy, but then you’ll say, ‘I gotta get back on the horse, get back in the saddle and get back and be true to myself.’
We all fall off the horse now and then. But nobody is going to be free, and nobody is going to be happy, and nobody is even going to be content if they are obsessed with the approval of others, particularly people that don’t do what they do, people who couldn’t do what they do, people who wish they could do what you do, wish they could do what you do half as well as you do. There’s so much envy and jealousy and if you can understand that that is the primary reason people say bad things about others, you can turn that into a positive. But honest to God, folks, this poor guy says here: ‘I feel weak and helpless, the liberals I work with drain my confidence.’ Let me tell you something. No liberal is worth losing your confidence. No liberal is worth losing your like or love for yourself. No liberal is worth questioning yourself. No liberal is worth making you wonder, ‘Gosh, am I right or wrong about this?’ Having the courage of one’s convictions is tied to knowledge. It is knowledge, experience that combine to give you confidence in your core beliefs. If you don’t have a lot of knowledge backing up what you believe, all you have is your instincts, which are not bad, if you are conservative instinctively, what you need to do is learn why you’re a conservative, learn to be able to explain it to people, become, as I say, the go-to guy in your group, whenever anybody has a question, culturally or politically, you have the answer. There’s no way you’ll end up being down on yourself.
But to let a bunch of deranged, unhappy, miserable people like liberals take away your self-confidence is something that you gotta work on. That’s not good. And you also have to learn to realize — I wish I’d learned all this stuff 40 years ago. I’ve learned most of it in the last 20, and it was experience that’s been the teacher. There’s nobody that taught me this stuff other than having lived through it. Oh, there was one thing, and I’ve told this story before. In 1992, I’d been in New York four years, and in those four years I had been called every name in the book, things that nobody who ever knew me thought of me: racist, sexist, bigot, homophobe, all these things, these character assaults and attacks. I didn’t know how to deal with it. I had all kinds of people, ‘You can’t let that stand, that person in Oshkosh, did you see what they wrote about you in Oshkosh? You can’t let that stand.’ So you respond to somebody in Oshkosh, the guy in Oshkosh thinks, a-ha, home run. The minute they learn that they’ve bothered you they just keep it up, they think that they’ve scored.
Other people said, ‘You gotta ignore it. I mean, it’s going to be happening the rest of your life. You gotta ignore it. If you pay it any attention, you’re allowing yourself to be distracted.’ And there was a bunch of people I talked to and not one person was able to give me a definitive, ‘Here’s how you should do it.’ So I dealt with it on a case-by-case basis. One day I was invited to go to dinner at the fashionable New York restaurant, 21. First time in there. Some friends of mine in California had friends in New York that they wanted to introduce me to. And I was told by my host, who I had not met, I was going to meet at the restaurant, ‘By the way, the restroom attendant here loves your book. Would you bring a copy of your book, The Way Things Ought to Be, and sign it for the guy?’ ‘Absolutely. I’d be thrilled to.’ So I walked in, and they took me into the restroom and this attendant in there was a man of the cloth, was a reverend, he was just laughing and smiling, he was of good cheer, he saw me and his eyes lit up. I hadn’t said a word. He said, ‘Mr. Limbaugh, this is the second happiest day of my life. The first is when I met Mr. Reagan, right here. You know what he did, Mr. Reagan? He just laughed at ’em, Mr. Limbaugh, he just laughed at ’em.’
I hadn’t said a word. I’m thinking, ‘Whoa, here I’m struggling trying to find out how to deal with all this rotgut and a guy who wants a copy of my book signed tells me Reagan just laughed at ’em, just laughed at ’em,’ which is what I do now. Knowledge will give you the confidence of your beliefs. Once you have the confidence of your beliefs that are in your core, nobody can talk you out of them. You might change them yourself, but nobody can talk you out of them. The whole point here is to learn to get over the way we’re all raised, that somehow everybody else is better. I mean nobody intends to do that to you, but I mean think about when you were growing up. Your neighbor. Your mother or dad, ‘Look, those kids never misbehave like you do. Why don’t you act like they do? They’re always respectful of their parents,’ that kind of stuff, everybody else is better. And so you grow up thinking, ‘Okay, I have to impress other people ’cause they’re better than I am,’ so then you subordinate who you really are, try to figure out what everybody wants you to be, and when you do that, it’s over.
If you get to the point where your happiness is determined by what people think, especially people you don’t know, who couldn’t do what you do in a lifetime, what they think of you, then you’re never going to fully be happy. The really interesting thing is everybody wants approval from others, but they can’t make you happy. If you got approval from ’em all the time you still wouldn’t be happy because you still wouldn’t like yourself because you’re still not doing what’s necessary to make yourself happy. And if you get caught in the trap — this is why, Hollywood celebrities, I could never do it, depending on paparazzi, depending on People magazine to say good things about you, depending on all these people in the entertainment media to like you and then they turn on you on a dime, hello, Tiger Woods. To have your success be determined by what other people say about you by slick PR campaigns rather than your real achievements? Not me. So it’s very simple, as far as I’m concerned. A man’s defined by the nature of his enemies. The president of the United States, and we know who he is, thinks I’m an enemy, makes me pretty proud.
RUSH: It’s a James Bond quote, too: They say you are judged by the strength of your enemies. You are judged by the strength of your enemies. Well, the president of the United States is a pretty powerful dude, and I’ve had two of them gunning for me. I go home at the end of this radio program every day and if I think I’ve done a good job, I am a happy person and the rest of the day falls into place. Another nice, simple little Ronald Reagan quote: ‘Do not be afraid to see who you are.’ Not what you are. Well, what you are and who you are.
RUSH: John in Cape Cod — on Cape Cod — great to have you on the EIB Network, sir. Hello.
CALLER: Hey, Rush. What an honor to speak to you —
RUSH: Thank you.
CALLER: — and speak to the man ‘living rent free’ in my commander-in-chief’s head. I wanted to address the point that you were talking about earlier related to what you think of yourself, because I believe it is a form of leadership. You, for example. I know you. I’ve been listening to you for 20 years. I firmly believe that understanding that that leadership is lonely, that you often find yourself disagreeing with people that you may in fact kind of like, but which you’ve had to go in the opposite direction of where the tide is — and that you would never quit your country, or subordinate your country, to your own success. I can’t see that or say that honestly about some other folks — you know, particularly in leadership positions today — that they would subordinate the country to their own success. I think that’s something that you were describing, that being liked —
RUSH: You know, you can find that in the immigration bill.
RUSH: You find people in both parties are willing to subordinate America, our culture and society for the votes of illegals.
CALLER: Exactly. And I find that with you, that that’s part of reason that you’re so often… When you said that you were hoping the president failed, we knew that you are not talking about him as a man but just his ideas because it ran counter to the success of this country, and it is an imperative that freedom is maintained here. And because that’s really what the president is trying to guarantee with his own policies, that’s I think as a comparison it’s a good example of what you were talking about, about yourself, too.
RUSH: I appreciate that. Since brought this back up, I always check the e-mail. I’ve always got these ne’er-do-wells, ‘Well, you talk about self-love. You’re always complaining Obama does everything for himself! He likes himself, how is that anything different from what you’re saying about yourself?’ Oh, there’s a huge difference. In describing Obama, the word is ‘narcissism,’ not self-love — and, frankly, I wasn’t even talking about self-esteem. Self-esteem, as it’s being taught in schools today, is not good. Self-esteem tells people: ‘No matter what you do, no matter whether you succeed, no matter how much you know, you’re good! You are great; you are privileged.’ Self-esteem classes in school are not the way to get where we need to go on this. But self-love/liking yourself and narcissism are two different things. A narcissist has zero humility. You will not find one humble narcissist.
A narcissist thinks they’re better, smarter, superior to everybody else. I don’t think that by any stretch of the imagination. Clint Eastwood said — I think it was Eastwood. He was in a movie. I forget if it was Eastwood, after he gunned somebody down, he said a man’s got to know his limitations. That’s humility. You know, Churchill said, ‘Never, never, never, never give up,’ never, never, never. Well, he was talking about saving the country, not winning a baseball game. At some point you’re losing 19-0 at the bottom of the ninth and you don’t want to waste your starting pitcher for tomorrow. You got another game tomorrow. But you might not have a country tomorrow so you put all these things in context. ‘Never, never, never, never give up.’ You have to know your limitations at the same time — and I’m telling you, the narcissist doesn’t he think he has any. Don’t confuse the two. (chuckles) I mean I wasn’t saying that. Oh, gosh! If people think that I’m saying I’m Obama…? Now. Now, that insult I might allow that to offend me for like five seconds.
RUSH: (interruption) No, no, Snerdley. It’s very simple. (sigh) They say you are judged by the strength of your enemies. That’s why you say, ‘Thank you, Lord, for my enemies.’ You’re judged by the strength of them.
RUSH: I went to the e-mail during the break and I checked some things, and a lot of people are saying some very nice things, complimentary things regarding my monologue one hour ago. But as always, there are some people that want to take their shots. And they say, ‘Well, that’s easy for you to say, Rush. You’re a big star. Everybody’s going to be deferential to you. You don’t have to sit around, you don’t have to listen to people insulting you at work and making fun of you.’ Really? I’m going to say one more thing about this and then I’m going to get back to the issues, quote, unquote. Nothing, nothing is as it seems to you on the outside, nothing is as it seems to me on the outside. I look at things, I look at people, if I tell myself a story about what I think somebody else’s life is like, the odds are I’m going to be 80% wrong.
I can’t tell you the number of times I find myself in social situations with a bunch of not even hardcore liberals, they’re just the average touchy-feely people who automatically look at me with hate in their eyes. They may not know who I am by virtue of listening. They know who I am by reputation. And they act superior and they condescend all over the place. They try to goad me into being the person they think I am, and I just sit back and smile. And it is I who have the air and attitude of superiority. I know it’s not worth my time to get engaged with this kind of small fry. I have people constantly looking to notch their belts with me. I don’t surround myself with, what’s the word? Brownnosers. I do not in any way, shape, manner, or form. My staff gives me crap all the time. I barely got through the show yesterday and they’re telling me the show was horrible. I’m in the middle of thinking I’m doing the greatest show ever, ‘You know, could you kinda refocus here a little bit, Rush?’ I’m thinking I’m on the highway to happiness here. There’s nobody in the world, except kings who can force people to treat them with respect when they don’t desire because they can kill them otherwise.
Everybody thinks that everybody else’s life is perfect, everybody’s got far more respect than you. It’s not the case at all. I can’t tell you the number of times I’m surrounded by smug, arrogant little people who get their little digs in, they think they’re scoring points, they’re trying to goad me. I don’t even rise to the bait. In fact, in some cases I got people grabbing my wrist, ‘Just don’t do it, don’t do it, let’s just get outta here, let’s just take your time.’ These are people that I’m meeting for the first time, not people that I know well. But it happens all the time. What started this was this guy sends me an e-mail and says liberals at work are taking away his self-confidence and so forth, and I answered him an hour ago, and then people are responding, ‘Well, yeah, nobody disrespects you because you’re a big star, you’re very powerful.’ Not true. You think nobody disrespects me? Let’s go to the audio sound bites. This is exactly what I’m talking about here. They are lying and making up things that I have not said, either about slavery with the NFL and the St. Louis Rams, Michael J. Fox, and now the oil spill.
KING: Rush Limbaugh’s conspiracy theory about the oil rig explosion.
COOPER: Rush Limbaugh suggests environmentalists may have tried to blow up the oil rig.
MATTHEWS: Dangerous for Rush Limbaugh to say that the president or one of his supporters somehow blew up that oil rig to create havoc.
HAYES: Rush Limbaugh made noises in that direction the other day that this is suspicious somehow, that actually this is this conspiratorial desire to stop offshore drilling.
BEHAR: Rush Limbaugh says that hardcore environmentalist wackos blew up the oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico. Is it time for the tinfoil hat for Rush Limbaugh?
COLBERT: Everyone just has to cool their jet fuel, like Rush Limbaugh.
BROWN: This has been Rush Limbaugh’s whole shtick for the last few days.
RUSH: Right. Never mind I never said any of this. Now, I sit here and laugh at it. Not one of these people listened to this show, not one of these people has gone to my website, not one of them has read the transcript of what I’ve said. It’s par for the course and it is what it is. I think it’s hilarious. What I said was, ‘Whoa! The regime is sending SWAT teams out there? This changes everything. If the regime is sending SWAT teams down there, maybe somebody thinks this isn’t an accident.’ I never accused the regime of blowing up the rig. I haven’t accused anybody of blowing it up. We do think pieces. We react in real time on this program. Here’s James Rosen, Fox News Channel Special Report last night on the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
ROSEN: Not until eight days after the Deepwater Horizon well exploded, according to published reports, did federal officials purchase the fire boom they used to begin containing the spillage, even though a federal plan for such disasters drawn up in 1994 called for just such a response, and might, if adhered to, resulted in the capture of 95% of the spilled oil. That apparent failure feeds into complaints launched by the New York Times and Rush Limbaugh alike alleging the Obama administration waited too long to wrest control over the accident from BP.
RUSH: Now, you might think, ‘Oh, wow, Rush should be flattered here.’ No, they lump me in with New York Times, I must be doing something wrong. I have to reexamine — (laughing) — reexamine what I’m doing here if they’re going to lump me in with the New York Times. (laughing) If I’m on the same page with the New York Times — actually in this case, the Times did have an editorial, they buried it on Saturday, but they did say the timeline here is not favorable to the Bamster. The timeline’s not favorable here to the regime making the case they’re on the case from day one, they really weren’t.
RUSH: They say you’re judged by the strength of your enemies. Here’s a Politico story: ‘The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee e-mailed to ask supporters today to sign a petition to ‘stand with President Obama to hold BP accountable.” So they are now fundraising off of the oil spill, they are fundraising off of it. The Democrats and Obama are fundraising off of it. They’re not solving it, they’re not partnering up, they’re seeing a demon, and they’re using it to raise money. They don’t lift a finger to solve this problem, while demonizing poor old British Petroleum. Let me read to you a section of the e-mail. ‘The Obama administration has vowed to ‘keep a boot on the throat’ of BP to ensure the corporation is held accountable for the spill. But Republican Leader Rush Limbaugh has a different plan. He said there’s no need to clean up the spill because ‘the ocean will take care of this on its own,’ and that oil is ‘natural. It’s as natural as the ocean water is.”
The Republican leader, Rush Limbaugh, has a different plan. So they’re using boot on the throat, BP, and me to fund-raise. A person is judged by the strength of his enemies. Of course, again, a total distortion. I never said the ocean will take care of this on its own. What I said was there is seepage from the floor of the Gulf every day equal to the amount leaking from this rig. We don’t see it because in small amounts the ocean eats it up. In time, the ocean will deal with this. But I didn’t say that along with saying, ‘Leave it alone, the ocean will take care of it, no big deal here.’ Now, I will maintain — can you believe it’s controversial to say that oil is as natural as water? That’s very controversial, yet is it undeniably true?
Why do I have to explain that oil is as natural as water? Snerdley is saying this is today’s America, kids have been brainwashed for 50 years. I know, so they think oil is a poison, oil is destructive, dirty, destroying the planet. Oil’s destroying the planet. Right. They think oil is manmade, yeah. The oil companies, they have to go to find it, but they know where it is because they put it there and so they have to go get it in order to destroy — yeah. The oil companies want to kill their customers. Just like the drug companies do. This is what the left tells us. Drug companies want to kill you. They’re willing to put faulty drugs on the market that will kill you ’cause they like to kill their customers. This is what kids have been taught. Well, when I say that oil is as natural as water, is that both were here before we were. Now, oil may be a little bit tougher to find than water is, but it’s as much a part of nature as the clouds are. Oil is as much a part of nature as mosquitoes. Viruses are part of nature. Everything is nature. We are part of nature yet man is said to be an enemy of nature because we found oil. (impersonating libs) ‘You’re right, Mr. Limbaugh, it was there but we found it and we are using it to destroy the planet.’ That’s the voice of the New Castrati as popularized by the modern Democrat Socialist Workers Party here in the United States of America.
So anyway, they’re fundraising. ‘Republican leader Rush Limbaugh says…’ Now, my friends, don’t you get mad at this? Don’t you get so mad the way they lie about you? The way I look at it is this. Everybody gets lied about. Obama, everybody gets lied about at some point. Reagan got lied about, Churchill got lied about. Jesus Christ gets lied about. You can’t stop being lied about. It’s how you deal with it. And part of dealing with it is to come to grips with who’s doing the lying. And as far as I’m concerned, these are a bunch of pip-squeaks who are so desperate to try to hold onto some political office in November that… (laughing) the Republican leader says, there’s no difference, leave it alone, it will fix itself.
There’s also a factor here. You might disagree with me on this, but the reason I’m still optimistic, I look at things like this and I say, ‘Okay, the Democrats receiving this of course are going to be rabid insaniacs looking at, ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah, Limbaugh is dead.” I know they’re going to say that. But the majority of the American people, particularly the ones who listen to this program, the ones I care about the most, I mean this program is for you, and I finish here every day knowing that when any of you in this audience see this you know what a bunch of absolute pap this is. And we enjoy it together. I’m not worried that this kind of stuff is gonna change your mind about me ’cause you already know. So they can’t shake my confidence. In fact, the fact that they have to lie about me I take as a compliment. The fact that they do not address what I actually say I take as a compliment. Now, it took me awhile to get here, but I’m there, but I’m here, and I’m not leaving.