RUSH: Blacksburg, Virginia. This is Heather, great to have you on the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Hey, Rush. This is such an honor. Thank you for all you do.
RUSH: You are more than welcome. Thank you.
CALLER: I wanted to go back to your conversation regarding flawed man and why it’s so hard to identify a good leader in today’s world.
CALLER: I have a little different take from what you were saying regarding media scrutiny, though I agree there’s a lot more media scrutiny and that certainly comes into play —
RUSH: Okay, hang on here just a second. People may not have heard what I said. What specifically did I say that you want to take issue with?
CALLER: Well, I think the reason we have a difficult time in seeing a good leader and instead of just focusing on flaws in man is that it’s a cultural change of expectation versus, you know, it’s not just media scrutiny, which I think you were talking about, and the examples that I gave to your call screener were Bill Clinton and George Bush. You have always had in history — and always will have in history — womanizers and alcoholics. The difference is, George Bush learned from his flaws and changed his behavior as a result.
CALLER: We live in a world that wants to find somebody that’s never had any flaws. That’s not how I identify a good leader. Everybody is flawed. That’s gonna happen on this side of heaven. It is who learns from those flaws and as a result betters themselves, changes their behavior. But we live in a culture that says you can’t even have flaws, period. That’s not even our cultural expectation.
RUSH: Well, can you hold on and, by the way, it’s gonna be a while, I gotta break here at the top of the hour.
CALLER: Sure, thank you.
RUSH: And don’t lose that thought, because we most certainly do live in a culture where certain people are not only allowed to have flaws, we are encouraged to embrace their flaws. They are excused for their flaws. I’ll ‘splain all this when we come back.
RUSH: Now to Heather in Blacksburg, Virginia. To set the stage here, in the first hour of the program I made mention of the fact that universal respect of public figures is something that’s long gone in the country. It used to be that a lot of people had universal respect. I’ll give you example. Walter Cronkite, what did they say about Cronkite? They said “the most trusted man in America.” But no longer because it was revealed that Cronkite was just another in a long line of media liberals who was agenda focused and agenda oriented. The Weiner business, the point of this is that here we have all these people claiming to be better than we are, smarter, capable, qualified to rule us, and they’re reprobates, and they’re the ones that make fun of middle America, hardworking people who make the country work.
They make fun of people who care about morality. They make fun of people who care about virtue. And then they go out and engage in this kind of behavior. With all this social media out there now, with everybody vomiting everything there is about themselves, we find out what has always been true, that everybody’s flawed. Even those who had universal respect, everybody is flawed. So what’s happened now, and this is my major problem, what’s happened now is that the flaws are becoming badges of honor that we are to respect, and it’s kind of a vicious circle.
Ayn Rand in Atlas Shrugged, it was pointed out to me, wrote that flawed leaders and leaders who admire the flaws of human beings make the most despicable feel welcome to follow a leader. Flawed leaders and leaders who admire the flaws of human beings make the most despicable among us feel welcome to follow the flawed leader. Those who hold themselves to higher standards are left to wonder, what in the hell is real anymore? Why even try to be moral and virtuous when depravity is rewarded and is claimed to be enlightened and advanced? And I think it’s a problem because I think people need people to look up to, people need heroes. And the dumbing down of our culture, the watering down, defining deviancy down is just a huge detrimental thing to our culture. We have Heather who graciously held on during the break who wants to weigh in on this. Thanks, Heather, for holding. Now it’s your turn.
CALLER: Thank you, Rush, and I definitely agree with what you just said, but I also see those same liberals that welcome depravity and say, “Come on and jump on my bandwagon and we’ll welcome you with open arms,” they’re also the same folks that are saying that man is in control of his ultimate destiny, and that you see in climate change, you know, if we make enough changes in law and how we live, we can control the climate. It’s also seen in youth. You know, if we eat the right things and we do the right this and we do the right that, we’ll be young forever, at least for longer. So it’s almost this sense that we are in control and we can manage all of this. So as a result, we can also control our flaws. And if we only work a little harder or make some changes, then guess what? We can minimize, if not eliminate, our flaws.
RUSH: Let’s go back to your example of Bush and Clinton. You said they’re both flawed, Clinton is a womanizer, you know, sex freak, whatever addict, and W. had his bout with alcoholism. And your point was that W. made changes because of it, tried to improve. Clinton excused it and lives off the reputation now, by the way.
RUSH: I mean there are women who write of Bill Clinton, “I would give Clinton a Lewinsky myself just to thank him for keeping abortion legal.” This is the whole point of this kind of stuff being celebrated. Look at Hollywood. Movies used to have heroes. And, by the way, this is just an observation. I’m not sitting here wringing my hands over this one, but movies used to have genuine heroes; now those actors and roles are laughed at: John Wayne. The heroes of today’s movies are the guys who get away with it, the guys who get away with poking authority. The roguish, lovable criminal gets away with it, those are the heroes. The heroes in movies today are probably the most flawed people among us. Any movie star, pop star, sports star, rap star you might want to name, flawed from beginning to end. But yet still idolized.
CALLER: Well, I think that speaks to the liberals as well. They speak on both sides of their mouth because both of what we’re saying is true. They welcome depravity and yet they also expect that there can be perfection. They don’t make sense in anything that they do in life. They see it from both sides, and they try to get us to accept both sides. They just use whichever argument happens to be expedient for whatever issue they —
RUSH: Well, there’s another element to this, though — and I also made this point, brilliantly, I might add, in my opening monologue — that is that conservatives are not permitted this rehabilitation. Bush was not credited for —
RUSH: The reason is hypocrisy. The left uses hypocrisy as a weapon. The right, conservatives, the moral majority, the Christian right, the morality of virtue crowd, you know, when they fall, as everybody does, they’re laughed at, pointed, “A-ha, you have no right to be preaching, who are you?” The other side never claims to be anything approaching virtuous and so they’re allowed to totally violate and get away with any social norm because they’re not being hypocritical about it. In fact, they are the ones we are told that are more genuine and that we should emulate.
When you have people who are given role models like that, that’s how you end up with, what, 47 million on food stamps in my opinion. And it’s how you end up with so many people scratching their heads out there, “Look, I’m playing by the rules. I’m trying to do everything I can as close to the right way as possible.” Nobody ever succeeds at this a hundred percent, by the way, but they’re the ones that are laughed at, the ones that try to be virtuous. The ones that try to have some modicum of morality are laughed at as fuddy-duddies, old-fashioned, made fun of. Nobody wants to be made fun of or laughed at, so it isn’t cool. But it’s cool to be roguish. Clinton is loved not only because of his roguishness, but because he got away with it.
CALLER: Yeah, but he’s loved by a part of the culture that I do not admire nor do I want to emulate.
RUSH: No, but it happens to be, in terms of media, and this is my point going back to the beginning, the dominant culture.
CALLER: That’s true. Well, that’s why we’re thankful for you, Rush.
RUSH: No, no. (laughing) I don’t qualify here. Well, yeah, I’m the epitome of morality. (interruption) I know, you could. You could trust your wife, your girlfriend in Motel 6 and your pets overnight with me while you’re out on a so-called business trip. Yeah, I’m the epitome of morality and virtue. I made a speech at the Heritage Foundation down at the Four Seasons here in Palm Beach, and Dr. Larry Arnn of Hillsdale College introduced me and he was going on and on and on about all the efforts that have been made to destroy me. He was talking about my resilience in his introduction. And I strode to the microphone to begin my remarks, and I tried to calm the nervous waters in the audience. And I said, “Folks, don’t worry, I have tried destroying me, and it didn’t work. It can’t be done. I’ve tried. So you don’t have to worry about it.” That’s the whole point.
It’s like I remember back in the early days of this program, late eighties, in talking about the defense budget, big argument back then, the size of it. I had liberals calling, “You didn’t serve. You never went to Vietnam, what right do you have?” So the argument was, well, if you’ve never been in the military, you have no right to talk about the defense budget. So I said, “Okay, I’ve never been to the moon so I can’t talk about the space program?” “That’s right, Mr. Limbaugh, you’re not qualified.” This is another way of restricting or denying or impugning people.
You see, my point has always been that everybody knows right and wrong even if they do wrong things. You just didn’t listen to the little voice in your head telling you not to do whatever it was. But it doesn’t mean you don’t know the difference between right and wrong. Doesn’t mean that. And it doesn’t mean that you’re not qualified to talk about right and wrong. In fact, you may even be more qualified to talk about right and wrong when you have been to the dark side and seen what’s there and how you don’t want to be there ever again. Anyway, Heather, is there anything else? I know I asked you to wait, and it’s been a long time, I don’t want to shortchange you. Is there anything else you wanted to add before I have to go?
CALLER: I just want to say thank you. I appreciate all that you’re doing, Rush.
RUSH: You’re more than welcome.
CALLER: Tell Kathryn “hello.”
RUSH: (laughter) All right, will do. Will do. Thanks very much, Heather.
RUSH: Let me try to make this clear. This flawed business, it’s understandably confusing because nobody’s perfect, so here’s another stab at this. Nobody is expecting people to be Christ-like. It’s not possible. However, people do admire the effort. But if the notion is that flawed people cannot promote a better and more moral society, then what’s left? Simple, basic existence requires that we try to improve ourselves and our society but at the same time recognizes the obvious fact that perfection is unachievable. And yet isn’t that really the underlying theme of the left, that there is a utopia, that there is a perfection — and that they are it? They and their policies, way down the road — if we would just stick with ’em — embody that perfection, which is so hypocritical because they end up representing the highest of flawed people.
RUSH: I lit some kinda fire here with this flawed person business and apparently the more I say the more questions I raise. Being alive requires that we try to improve ourselves, that we get better, learn from mistakes, and at the same time we improve our society and our culture. While realizing that perfection is unachievable, we are confronted with people who actually think there’s a utopia out there. We have people who believe they are perfect but that we are flawed. The leaders are perfect, but the people are flawed, and the people’s flaws have to be fixed. The people have created global warming. People are destroying the environment. People caused homelessness and so forth. We have to have leaders who are not flawed because they’re better than us, telling us what we need to do to improve.
Weiner’s situation is another reminder that we allow politicians to run our lives at our own peril. They are not the super-smart people that they claim to be. They are seeking power over all of us, and what do we really know about them? So Weiner sends out this picture or somebody sends it out, how many people said, “Gee, I really thought I knew this guy”? Why did you think you knew him? When’s the last time you ran into him? Who is it that’s told you that Weiner is whatever you think he is? These are the people that want to rule us, folks.
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