Rush Limbaugh

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RUSH: This is Tulsa and Kent. Thank you for calling, sir. Great to have you here. Hi.

CALLER: Hi, Rush. It’s wonderful to speak with you. How you doing?

RUSH: Very well, sir. Thank you.

CALLER: I’m not a big fan of the words that we use a lot, “capitalism” and “free markets.”

RUSH: You’re not a big fan of the words?

CALLER: Of the words. Back many years ago in my first econ class, the professor said business is simply about recognizing a need and then developing a product or service that serves that need. It seems like that definition is better than the word that describes that definition, capitalism and free markets. I mean I think 80% of the country believes in recognizing a need, helping other people, and with a product or service to serve that need. And it could be as simple as a lemonade stand or as complicated as building a fiber optics network. You know it’s all the same thing. It’s just people helping people.

RUSH: So tell me how this would work. Not supposed to say “capitalism” or “free markets” anymore, so what would we say?

CALLER: I think that “free markets” to some means the 1% takes advantage of the 99%.

RUSH: That’s what “capitalism” means?

CALLER: Well, “free markets” to some people mean that, to some people. And I think we just need to say it’s people helping people, and that’s really what business is, whether it’s building a house or, you know, fixing their computer or whatever it is.

RUSH: Okay, but how would it work? I’m talking about Goldman Sachs, and what am I supposed to say about Goldman Sachs, that they’re not engaged in free markets, that they’re just helping people?

CALLER: I think there is a need, some sort of transaction or investment or funding that they’re doing and they’re solving a problem. That’s all business is, is solving problems, and somehow we’ve gotten into one versus 99. A person told me once if you can’t win on a certain playing field, you know, change the playing field, change the game, and I think there’s some lingo that we use —

RUSH: Wait a minute, who says we’re losing?

CALLER: Well, I think a lot of the independents, we’re not influencing them like I think we should.

RUSH: Are you saying the independents are too stupid to know that capitalism is a good thing, free markets are good thing, they’re not smart enough to know that just by hearing “free markets”? What is a free market? Is a free market where the 1% can screw the 99?

CALLER: I think some people interpret it that way. I don’t believe that’s true at all, of course. But I think —

RUSH: Yeah.

CALLER: — some people interpret it that way. Most people think we’re living in the Information Age, and I believe with Ronald Reagan and those that followed we’ve kind of gone to the Communication Age. Why is Barack Obama so popular? It’s not because he’s a good manager, good businessperson, good leader or good president. It’s because he’s a great communicator. He’s not a great manager or great leader. And Ronald Reagan was a great leader and a great communicator. And I think the reason why people didn’t like Bush wasn’t because of his decisions. It was because he didn’t communicate real well.

RUSH: There’s a lot of assumptions that you’re making. For one thing, I don’t think Obama’s that popular. The problem that you have, and I understand it, I’ve said the same thing about using the word “communism.” It turns people off. They don’t want to think that we’ve elected a communist or a socialist. They don’t want to think that. It doesn’t work. But you’re basically assuming that the media is the only place that people are influenced or have their opinions formed and changed and that therefore the media has sullied the terms “capitalism” and “free market.” So we have to admit the media has screwed us, we’ve lost the language, we gotta go to something else. And I understand people who think this.

I have a different take on it. I believe not in dumbing myself down, but in trying to elevate everybody else. So I’m perfectly comfortable if somebody doesn’t understand what a free market is or has a misconception of capitalism, I know a lot of people do, I’ll be happy to try to straighten ’em out, which is what we do here on a daily basis, or at least try to. But you’re upset that people hate ExxonMobil. You can’t understand why people have been made to hate ExxonMobil so we’ve gotta come up with a way to make sure they like ExxonMobil. The people who hate ExxonMobil, we’re not gonna change their minds anyway. They’re not thinkers.

CALLER: Right. When I went to college, I thought business was about (unintelligible) and pollution and bad corporations. When I got in there and studied business, it’s like, wow, business is amazing. It’s developing a product or a service that benefits a problem. There’s nothing wrong with business.

RUSH: Yeah, I know. Again, so every time I talk about business, I have to stop and say, by the way, all this is is people solving a problem for somebody. I mean, it’s defensive. I don’t like assuming people are stupid. I’d rather the opposite. That’s just my preference. I don’t want to think I’m talking to blithering idiots. If I thought that, I’m out. I don’t have time for that. If I have to stop and say, “Oh, by the way, what I mean by “capitalism,” it’s just a guy building a house so that somebody will have shelter. It’s really a nice thing to build a house, you understand.” I’m gone. If everybody in the audience is in the first grade, then, you know, it’s hello Singapore. Again, there’s too much conventional wisdom here. The assumption is that Obama’s popular, don’t believe it. The independents, we’re losing ’em. We’re not.

The assumption that capitalism is hated and despised. By definition, it’s not. By every election that we’ve had since Obama, it’s not despised. If we were losing the midterms 2010, if we lost the recall in Wisconsin, I’d have a little bit more sympathy for this. But I’m not gonna sit here and… I think that in the midst of Obama and his people talking about what a rotten week they’ve had and whether the polls that they’re conducting are lies or accurate or not, I just don’t want to assume that we’re losing, when we’re not. (interruption) Do I dumb it down when I’m talking with liberals? No. This stuff never comes up with liberals. They taunt me and I ignore it. I’m not gonna change their minds. That’s not why I talk to them, is to change their mind. It’s pointless.

Plus, incumbent in this that bothers me is this assumption that these people can’t learn, that we have to subordinate ourselves, have to lower ourselves to a level of ignorance because they just can’t learn. Sorry, I’m here, if somebody’s got a bad opinion of capitalism or free markets, that’s why I’m here. Change it. Not acknowledge it. I know where the guy’s coming from, but if we start down that road… because what we’re doing is eventually ultimately admitting that we can’t win with standard ordinary everyday language. It’s no different than saying, “Rush, if they think two plus two is five, let ’em think it.” No. Two plus two is four. This is Realville.

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