RUSH: I have Paul Ryan with the second most famous CPAC speech ever. Well, I take it back. Paul Ryan with the third most famous CPAC speech ever. The first was Ronald Reagan’s, then mine, and then Ryan’s, third most famous CPAC speech ever. I want to read to you the opening of his CPAC speech. And, by the way, Cookie, you should get me this ’cause Snerdley, you got me ticked off here. “What about Ryan destroying Medicare?” Yesterday on Meet the Press, Rachel Maddow — you know who Rachel Maddow is? She’s the queen bee of MSNBC. She is said to be the most articulate, the most brilliant spokesman, commentator, analyst that the left has on cable TV. So she was on Meet the Press with Rich Lowry of National Review, who destroyed her on Medicare cuts. She had no answer for the fact that it’s Obama who cuts Medicare $710 billion in Obamacare. She had literally nothing. It was a demonstration of how this can go.
Anyway, back to Ryan’s CPAC speech. “There are those who say that modern society is too complicated for the average man or woman to deal with.” And that is being said. That’s the whole premise of liberalism. You’re incompetent. You can’t manage your own life. You’re not smart enough. You’re not able enough. You’re not competent enough to make the right decisions in your life. “There are those who say modern society is too complicated for the average man or woman to deal with. This is a long-standing argument, but we heard it more frequently after the mortgage credit collapse and financial meltdown in 2008. They say we need more experts and technocrats making more of our economic decisions for us. And they argue for less ‘political interference’ with the enlightened bureaucrats Â… by which they mean less objection by the people to the overregulation of society.
“If we choose to have a federal government that tries to solve every problem, then as long as society keeps growing more complex, government must keep on growing right along with it. The rule of law by the people must be reduced and the arbitrary discretion of experts expanded…” So you buy into this complexity argument, you are automatically buying into “only government can fix it.” And as the complexity increases and it gets tougher and tougher — do I eat trans fat or not? Now they’re saying buttered popcorn, microwave buttered popcorn causes cancer. Well, that’s complex, all of these threats that exist to staying alive. We need competent people to make these regulations and decisions, ’cause you can’t. And all that means is that government must continue growing right along with the complexity. So therefore the advocates of complexity, this argument, are advocates of bigger government. Now, here’s the payoff.
“If the average American canÂ’t handle complexity in his or her own life, and only government experts can Â… then government must direct the average American about how to live his or her life. Freedom becomes a diminishing good. But thereÂ’s a major flaw in this ‘progressive’ argument, and itÂ’s this. It assumes there must be someone or some few who do have all the knowledge and information. We just have to find, train, and hire them to run the governmentÂ’s agencies. Friedrich Hayek called this collectivismÂ’s ‘fatal conceit.’ The idea that a few bureaucrats know whatÂ’s best for all of society, or possess more information about human wants and needs than millions of free individuals interacting in a free market is both false and arrogant. It has guided collectivists for two centuries down the road to serfdom — and the road is littered with their wrecked utopias. The plan always fails!” It always has failed.
And yet there are a lot of Americans (we talk about this a lot): Government comes up with a program and it’s a debacle. It’s a mess. So what’s the fix? Government! Another program. We continue to go back to the architects of failure to fix what they broke in the first place. And Ryan simply argues that we are all capable of living our lives in freedom much more productively, much more capably, than being told how to live by a bunch of people who can’t even manage their own lives.
Where are these magicians who know how to live their own lives? Who are they? And how do they magically end up in government? Well, they don’t exist, and they aren’t in government, and this is the ultimate argument. Small-government conservatism means turning your life back over to you. This then raises the question that we all are asking ourselves: How many Americans want that responsibility anymore?
How many takers are there who’ll just as soon punt all the responsibility and accept whatever little things they get and they’re happy, versus how many people really want the opportunity to be the best they can be with as few obstacles in their way as possible? Thomas Jefferson, in his first inaugural address, was actually one of the first people to articulate this whole point that Ryan made at CPAC. “Sometimes it is said that man cannot be trusted with the government of himself.
“Can he, then, be trusted with the government of others? Or have we found angels in the form of kings to govern him? Let history answer this question.” And again, even Jefferson said there has never been a time in history where a government-run, top-to-down country has prospered. The greatest example of human prosperity is the United States of America, and it was not made up of the way Barack Obama sees it or wants it to be seen or wants it to exist.
This is the challenge that these guys face. It’s the challenge that they have. You know, let’s face it, folks. One of the reasons that so many conservatives, all during the Republican primary process, were so forlorn, was that there wasn’t anybody that could articulate what we believe. (chuckles) They were all on the radio. Where are they in the Republican Party? Admit it! Well, we now have somebody on the ticket who’s us. Somebody’s on the ticket who can explain all of this, who believes all of this in his heart and in his soul.
His name is Paul Ryan, and he can do it with optimism and a smile on his face and no bitterness and so forth. So I like it because they’re tackling this head on. You know, if he’d chosen, say, Rubio, the accusation would have been that Romney was pandering to a group. If he’d chosen Condi, same accusation: Pandering to a group. This pick told me that Romney is not just serious about winning, but governing. That’s what it told me. I could be proven wrong.
But I like the fact that there’s somebody who’s gonna be on the news every day that can talk like I do. And I don’t mean to make this about me. I don’t mean to make this about me. That’s not the point. We’ve got somebody who can articulate what we believe. It’s in his heart. He doesn’t need crib notes. He doesn’t need briefings. He doesn’t need a consultant to tell him what to think or how to answer a question. He knows it. He’s lived it. It’s his soul.
That’s why I’m jazzed.
RUSH: I said microwaved buttered popcorn causes cancer. It’s Alzheimer’s. That’s one of those times when my mouth couldn’t keep up with my brain. Doesn’t matter. Cancer, Alzheimer’s, now brought on by buttered popcorn. So the complexities of life, not just the DMV, but in food. What do you eat? What should you not eat? “My God, I don’t know! Government’s gonna have to tell me!” Personal responsibility. It’s Obama’s and the Democrats’ responsibility, not yours. Government’s role is your responsibility. Government will tell you what you’re responsible for. Government will tell you what you’re not responsible for and what they’ll take care of. What Obama and Biden and the Democrats represent are their own ideas, and they have to be met with the competing ideas, and we have the winning ideas. This is a battle of ideas, ideology. Our chances are that much better. Make no mistake.