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RUSH: Hey, folks, how are you? Greetings. It’s great to have you here. Rush Limbaugh. Today’s the day people all over America say TGIOLF: “Thank God It’s Open Line Friday!”

JOHNNY DONOVAN: And now, from sunny South Florida, it’s Open Line Friday!

RUSH: Open Line Friday, the day you can discuss anything you want. You can discuss… I don’t care, even if it’s football or golf. In fact, Open Line Friday was practically invented to be the day you can stick it to the Stick-to-the-Issues Crowd — a lot of sticking it to the Stick-to-the-Issues Crowd. I mean, I love the Stick-to-the-Issues Crowd, but I love sticking it to the Stick-to-the-Issues Crowd. For those of you new to the program, you might not know what the Stick-to-the-Issues Crowd is. Okay, I’ll explain it. Any time I talk anything other than politics or cultural-political events, I get threatening e-mails from people who say, “Stick to the issues!

“I don’t care about X. I don’t care about golf. I don’t care about football. I don’t care about Apple. I don’t care about anything like that. If you keep talking about this, not only am I not gonna listen anymore, neither are my friends, and nor is my dog,” and they keep peppering me. So they’ve become popularly, affectionately known as the Stick-to-the-Issues Crowd; and Open Line Friday was basically created to help stick it to the Stick-to-the-Issues Crowd. But it’s up to you. On Open Line Friday you talk about whatever you want to talk about. Monday through Thursday has to be something I care about — and I’m gonna let you people in on a secret. I probably shouldn’t say this. (sigh) Now I gotta say it. Now I have to say it. Back in the early days of this program when it was just expanding like nothing before it…

Remember those days, Snerdley? Every week we were announcing 10, 15 new affiliates. Yeah, we started with 56 radio stations. As is common, people — friends, foe, media (well, what’s the difference there?) — would ask the question, “How long do you think this is gonna last? How long can this go on?” and I’d say, “As long as I’m interested in it, as long as I have the passion.” I said, “When I get up and don’t care about what’s in the newspapers, that’s when I will know that it’s nearing the end,” and that hasn’t happened. But I’ll tell you what has happened. This is what I shouldn’t admit. I’m gonna create all kinds of problems here by admitting it, but I’m gonna go ahead and admit it. There are things that I really am interested in that I am not talking about, and it’s very frustrating.

It really is. I have always, no matter what it is, talked about the things that I really passionately care about — and this is recent, too. This is within, I guess, the last six months that I have done this. Maybe the Stick-to-the-Issues Crowd is getting to me. Maybe it is, because there are things that I really care about that I’m shelving that I’m not talking about because I think nobody else is gonna care about; and the reason is they have nothing to the with the country. Well, I can always relate it to what’s going on in the country, but they have nothing to do with political issues per se. They have nothing to do with the political campaign. They have nothing to do with anything to do with any of that; and I figure people really care about that stuff these days.

The country is at a crossroads. We are at a fork in the road. We are at the precipice. I’ve just decided, “You know, I’ll shelve and put aside some of the stuff that really fascinates and interests me, and I’ll just keep talking about the fate of the country,” because I’m figuring I’ve always used my instincts and I’ve always been guided by my empathy. And I have — because of the seriousness, because of the grave consequences the future of this country — stayed focused on matters relating to that, ’cause I have assumed (using my instincts and empathy) that that’s what people are primarily concerned about and interested in each and every day — and, folks, I must tell you, it’s been very hard. Look at it exactly that way: I’m holding back as a public service. (interruption)

(laughing) Snerdley says, “Go ahead and tell us what it is. It’s Open Line Friday. If we’re not interested in what you’re interested in, we’ll fake it.” No, don’t say that! Don’t. (interruption) No, no, no, no. Don’t remind people of that. That’s just gonna put added pressure on me out there, and I don’t need any added pressure at the moment. Call it “courageous restraint,” folks, but I must tell you: It’s the first time in 23 years that I’ve done this. It’s the first time in 23 years that I have set aside some things I really care about; I’m interested in, passionate about, and not discussed. “Restrain we much,” is the new phrase that I’m using here to guide me. (interruption)

No, Snerdley, I don’t even think I should mention what it is. That’s just gonna get me to start talking about it and then the Stick-to-the-Issues Crowd’s gonna blow up. (laughing) See, I love the Stick-to-the-Issues Crowd. The Stick-to-the-Issues Crowd is basically three people who write e-mails in such a way as to make it look like they represent hundreds of thousands of people. So, anyway, here are the rules for Open Line Friday: Whatever you wish to discuss, doesn’t matter, fine and dandy. That’s the purpose of Open Line Friday. Monday through Thursday we only talk about things I care about. Oh! I should add, folks: In all candor, in a professional sense, I’ve been agonizing over this.

Because I’ve been talking about things I really don’t care about and I have been worried (particularly for the past month) that I’m boring everybody silly. I’ve always known, and I’ve always believed that passion is the magnet. You talk about something that you’re passionate about, it is magnetic. It is what locks people in. I’ve been talking about things I really couldn’t care less about, the things that have been boring me. But I’ve been doing it because that is what I have judged has been the desire of you people in the audience to have discussed or to be part of a discussion when you call or what have you. So I’m asking myself in my private moments — when Kathryn’s gone to bed, when the dogs are still peeing on the floor in the kitchen and I have to go clean up.

I’m asking myself, “Have I reached a career crossroads here?” This is a new experience for me. (interruption) Well, it is. I mean, I’ve really been agonizing over this in a career sense, and I have been dealing with it as best that I go. So I just wanted to share all this. So I figure Open Line Friday… (interruption) One thing I don’t care about? One thing I don’t care about? Uhhhhhh… Ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta. Well, I’d have to go to the Stack here. I’ve got some stuff in the Stack I really don’t care about. I just put it in here because I figured I have a duty to discuss it. Uhhh… Ta ta ta. Ta ta ta ta. I don’t know. I’ll tell you as I go through the Stack, as I do the program. I’ll start out by saying, “Folks, I really don’t care about this, but here goes.”

Will that suffice you? But I’m not gonna tell you the things that I do care about that I’m not talking about. I mean, that would defeat the whole purpose. Because if I tell you about the things that I do care about that I’m not talking about, then I’m talking the things that I do care about violating my own rule because I’m assuming you don’t want to hear it. That’s the assumption that I’m making. (interruption) Well, it could be a wrong assumption. It’s the assumption that I am making. Eh, we’ll see. In the meantime, I have to take a brief time-out here. We’ll come back, we’ll get started with all of the program today. In fact, let’s just do this now. Grab audio sound bite number two. Let’s go back Wednesday, just two days ago — just two days. It’s stuff like this that makes me think, “Okay, maybe I haven’t lost it,” ’cause that’s what I’ve really been worrying about: “Have I lost it?” Snerdley, I’ve walked outta here every day the past month thinking, “This has to have been boring as hell to listen to. Just has to be,” and I worry about it, ’cause every day this show I do for the audience. I don’t do it for me. Well, I do do it for me. That’s crazy. But I do it for the audience. I know what the audience expectations are, and they are high, and the objective here is to meet and surpass them each and every day. When I think I’m not doing that, I get depressed in terms of letting people down.

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