RUSH: Here’s Sarah in Peoria. Great to have you on the program. Hi.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. How are you?
RUSH: Great. Thanks much.
CALLER: I need some help here. I’ve tuned out since the election, absolutely tuned out. I told all my friends it was gonna be a landslide. I stayed up with my husband watching with utter shock and disbelief as the results came in. I’ve tuned out. I own my own business. I’m just gonna push forward without paying attention. I need you to tell me why I should still pay attention.
RUSH: That’s a great question. Can I ask you some questions about this?
RUSH: I want to use you as a miniature marketing research survey for me. Okay?
RUSH: Because I know there are a lot of you out there. I’ve put myself in your shoes, and we go back through the passion of the campaign, and people like me telling you this is ball game. I mean, this election’s it. Obamacare, gotta repeal it and so forth, this is it. And as it wore on, we got closer and closer to thinking we were going to win this. We got closer and closer —
CALLER: It was a no-brainer.
RUSH: Well, no, it was never that certain, but as it got closer, you and I — well, I should ask you, it’s market research. Did you think Obama was gonna lose as we got closer to Election Day?
RUSH: Okay. And am I right so far? I mean, you’re really involved in it, this is all the marbles and so forth.
CALLER: I couldn’t wait to vote. I couldn’t wait.
RUSH: Then the bottom fell out, and everything that you were engaged for, every reason you were involved, seems now to have been defeated, and you —
RUSH: — said to yourself after the election, “What is the point? I don’t want to watch Fox anymore.”
CALLER: No, I can’t.
RUSH: “Why do I want to listen to Rush? What’s the point?” Is that right?
CALLER: That’s absolutely hitting the nail on the head. I listened to your parodies when I was on hold, and they’re not funny anymore.
RUSH: Okay, now, my question to you, why are you still here today?
CALLER: Why am I talking to you or —
RUSH: Yeah, if I’ve accurately described you, why are you still listening?
CALLER: Because I’m an eternal optimist.
RUSH: So it’s not over yet. I mean, you’re asking me to tell you if there is a reason to still care or should you just punt and go on about your life and try to make the most of it you can anyway? That’s your question?
CALLER: I’m gonna succeed in spite of this administration, not because of him.
CALLER: And I can’t stand listening to — and for me, it’s doom and gloom. It’s depressing. I don’t want to hear about my taxes going up. I don’t want to hear about Obamacare. I want to be able to hire people and continue to grow without more oppressive regulation. And I’m just gonna count on the fact that I’ll be able to do it without having to pay attention to it, because it’s depressing.
RUSH: I totally understand. Is it also frustrating when you hear people continue to talk about it as if there’s a chance to stop it? Does that bother you?
RUSH: Why? No wrong answer, just curious. Why does it bother you? You say you don’t want to hear the news, it’s all doom and gloom. You don’t want to hear about Boehner. You don’t want to hear about tax rates —
CALLER: No. I’m frustrated with Boehner.
RUSH: Well, but I’m asking a larger question. You say you don’t want to listen to the news. My question is specific.
RUSH: There’s no way now of rolling Obama back. There’s no way of stopping the disaster. Is that why you don’t want to listen to anybody continue to talk about it?
CALLER: No. I believe that we can push forward and roll — I do.
RUSH: But you just don’t want to listen to the news —
RUSH: — because the news is too depressing, filled with doom and gloom?
CALLER: The debate is nauseating. I don’t need the debate. I believe that eventually this is gonna turn around.
RUSH: No, I think you do think the debate, when you turn on the TV, you see two people arguing about Obama, you’re fed up with it. What’s the point anymore, you’re saying, right?
RUSH: So you’re asking me what should you do?
CALLER: I just don’t want to listen to it anymore.
RUSH: Well, then don’t.
CALLER: I’m not.
RUSH: I can’t tell you how much your life will improve by not —
CALLER: It has improved.
RUSH: Well, you’re making my point.
CALLER: It has improved. You have made your point. It’s just shocking to me still today.
RUSH: But never, never go away from here, whatever you do, never. That would be a horrible mistake.
RUSH: Let me go back to the caller before the break at the bottom of the hour. And, folks, I’ve been meaning to talk to you about this because since the election, I have known, I think, pretty much how you feel. I know what everybody thought going in, and I know how much everybody invested in it. You might have donated to various candidates, causes, institutions. You might have spent lots of time getting involved. You might have worked in a get-out-the-vote effort. You might have spent a lot of time watching television, thinking you could learn something there. You might have been watching television hoping that somebody would say something that would influence the country to agree with you.
What you were really doing was desperately seeking leadership. And there wasn’t any. So it was everybody for themselves. You got totally invested in this. And then you had people like me, and I’m not gonna exclude myself from this equation. You had people like me telling you, and I was being honest, that this election was crucially important to the kind of country we are going to be. And I believe that even more now than I did before the election. Repealing Obamacare, stopping this kind of presidency politically in its tracks was crucial to this country remaining the kind of country it was as founded. We’re all invested in this.
Now, add to that, as we got closer to the Election Day, we all thought the polls were misreading turnout. We all thought that all these polls with a plus Democrat advantage of 9 or 11 were doctored or somehow incorrect, couldn’t be. There wasn’t any Obama enthusiasm that we saw. Obama wasn’t drawing any crowds, Romney was. There were no signs of what was to happen. There were no signs of what was to come. The world stopped for me when I saw the exit polls at five o’clock, when I saw two things. “Agrees or understands or is concerned about people like me,” Obama 81 to 19. I said, “Oh, jeez.”
Why does that even matter? That’s what I started asking myself. What the hell does that matter? Understands people like me. That’s not what a president’s for in my opinion. Nevertheless, we live in a world where it does matter, so you gotta accept it. And the second thing, “54% still blame Bush for the economy.” I said, “Oh, my God, if this is true, we’re finished.” And we were, we were finished.
So then it’s the days after the election. And I know exactly how you feel then, too. You’re asking yourself, “What’s the point?” You gave every bit of emotion that you had. You poured yourself into it. You believed people who said this election’s crucial. You believed me and others who said the kind of country we’re going to be is at stake. You believed that. So the election comes and goes. And you take stock. You got me and conservative talk radio, conservative blogs, you got Fox. It didn’t matter. You’re saying, “None of it mattered, none of it mattered.”
And then you say, “What’s the point? I don’t need to listen to crap anymore. I don’t need to listen to people on TV arguing with each other, especially now when the elections over and it sounds like it’s the same stuff before the election. Why do I want to listen to that? Why do I want to listen to people argue about what Obama means and what his economy’s gonna be? We already know what it’s gonna be.” I know exactly where you’re coming from. I know exactly what that woman was talking about.
As far as the debt deal is concerned, you’re watching this take place, and even though you’re told and you become fully informed, you know everything about it, in your head, you know, Obama won the election, Obama’s gonna get what he wants. You know that your taxes are going up. You know Obamacare is gonna be implemented, and you’re asking yourself, “How in the world can it be stopped?” And then once you start asking those questions, you answer them to yourselves, and you say, “What’s the point of caring anymore? You know, I’m gonna just refocus my life on me instead of all this stuff for the country and everything because I’m outnumbered,” or however you explain it.
And what I think is at the root of all of this is that you all feel alone, even though you know that you make up a large percentage of the country, but in terms of Washington, DC, there isn’t any leadership on what you believe anywhere in that town. Instead, what you see are a bunch of people that don’t have any real power trying to act like they do on television, in debates and arguments with others who are simply trying to look as though they’re the smartest person in the room or make it sound like they do have influence or what have you, when they really don’t.
But you don’t see any leadership, elected leadership in Washington that you think really understands what you’re going through or what you’re up against. So that’s another reason, “To hell with it. You know what?” Like the caller said, “I’m not participating.” And that was music to my ears, by the way. “To hell with it. If they’re gonna have an economic downturn, let me ’em go ahead; I’m not participating. I’m not going along with it. I’m not gonna get sucked in to the usual diatribe coming out of Washington. I’m not gonna care anymore. The debt deal doesn’t matter to me. The fiscal cliff doesn’t matter to me. I cared. I gave it everything I had, and it didn’t matter.”
But it does matter, and at some point, even if you tune out, and even if you do punt, the fact of the matter is — and this you also know about yourself — you’ll be back, whatever that means, you will be reengaged at some point because you care too much to just let it all go. You care too much to move to New Zealand. You care too much about what the future holds for your kids and your grandkids. You’re just too big a patriot. You’re not gonna chuck it. You want to right now. “To hell with it, it’s Christmas. What the hell do I want to get involved? I don’t care, John Boehner and Obama, I’m sick of hearing ’em. I’m sick of hearing about it. I’m sick of seeing ’em. I’m sick of hearing the same old thing every day out of everybody’s mouth no matter what I turn on.”
Believe me, I know where you are. I know how you feel. That’s why I read tech blogs. But at some point that’s going to vanish and you’re gonna get back to where you were because it matters too much to you. In the end, it will matter. You’ll get it back.