RUSH: Toby, Idaho Falls. Great to have you, sir. Hello.
CALLER: How’s it going, Rush?
RUSH: Good. Good. Good. Great to have you here.
CALLER: The reason for my call was back in 1990 when I started listening — this might help out some of the younger, newer listeners — I was trying to figure out whether I was liberal or conservative, and I had it all lumped into one thing. Once I figured that, on your show you’re talking about government, when you’re talking about liberal versus conservative, that’s when I figured out that I was conservative. And I was wondering if you could give an example like a few things that I think you might be liberal on would be like cigars and the truth.
RUSH: Well, now, this is an interesting question but we’re gonna have to define “liberal” first.
CALLER: Meaning that you think it’s good.
RUSH: Wait. The definition of “liberal” is whether it’s good or bad?
CALLER: To you.
RUSH: Give me an example. I’m not sure I know exactly what you mean yet.
CALLER: Well, like the example that I gave Snerdley was I’m liberal on maple syrup, definitely. You give me a stack of pancakes, and, boy, you ought to see all the maple syrup I can put on there.
RUSH: Mean you want it with no limits, you love it no matter how dangerous people say it is or how bad it is for you, you still want it?
RUSH: And so how is that a liberal characteristic of yours?
CALLER: Well, it just seems like that that’s what we’re talking about when we’re talking about government is if you’re liberal on it, you want more of it. If you’re conservative, you want less.
RUSH: Yeah, but in your case are you buying the maple syrup?
CALLER: When I use it, yeah.
RUSH: Well, then there’s no liberalism there. There’s utter self-reliance and self-responsibility. You’re buying it, you’re using it as you wish.
CALLER: I’m just trying to differentiate. It seems like the newer listeners think that you have to be either liberal on everything or conservative on everything, but it depends on what you’re talking about.
RUSH: Okay, so what you’re gotta go at is, are there things that I, El Rushbo, and you, El Tobo, while we were we are conservatives, are there things that we do that people might say, “Hey, you have a little liberal in you.” Is that what you mean?
CALLER: Well, not if you’re talking in the government sense, I don’t want to be labeled liberal that way. I don’t think there’s much the government does right, but like I’m liberal on cigars myself.
RUSH: I love cigars and whenever I want you, I have one. I don’t care. I don’t think that’s liberal, though. Hang on, Toby. Don’t go away.
RUSH: I want to go back to Toby in Idaho Falls. Toby, are you still with us?
CALLER: I’m with you.
RUSH: Okay, now, folks, I look at everything as a teachable moment, and I may be totally misunderstanding this, but want to spend some time here, ’cause right now, Toby, I’m still very confused as to your meaning and your point, and I want to understand it so that I can intelligently reply to you. You are equating — I need to ask you, are you defining the word “liberal” as more of and in excess, because you’ve used this example of maple syrup on your pancakes. You want a lot of it, and that is a liberal use of maple syrup, is that what you mean?
CALLER: Yeah, ’cause, see, it took me awhile when I first started listening in 1990, to catch up on politics ’cause I was young and new to it.
CALLER: To whether I was liberal or conservative. And it’s a different thing whether you’re talking about government or something else.
RUSH: So how do you equate, because you think your love of and use of maple syrup, even though you’re conservative is something that is liberal about you, right?
CALLER: Well, see, even though I’m liberal on it, I’ve had zero use of it ’cause I’m diabetic, pretty much.
RUSH: Well, that’s a new wrinkle. So let’s stick with the hypothetical. You like it, let’s pretend you’re not diabetic and you can eat as much of it as you want. I’m still trying to understand the terms here so that I can answer it. Are you defining liberal as more of it, whether it be government or maple syrup?
CALLER: Well, yeah, that’s the thing you’d probably be better at than me at defining. I’m just trying to find some way to help the newer listeners and the low-information voters. You know, it seems like they’re all scared of being labeled conservative ’cause of the media.
RUSH: Okay. Another new wrinkle here. You now think that you have a way of helping low-information voters understand what conservatism is, and your example of using a lot of maple syrup is an example of how we all have a little liberalism, but when there’s too much government, that’s bad, that’s not good.
CALLER: Yeah, or like truth, I mean, who wouldn’t be liberal on truth, unless you’re like a convict or somebody that needs to lie.
RUSH: Well, okay, you are confusing or maybe conflating is a better word. The word “liberal,” it has an entirely different definition in politics than it does outside of. Like the liberal use of maple syrup, in your example, has no relationship to what a political liberal is.
CALLER: Yeah, and then to convolute it even more, I understand that it used to be different back in Europe government. They have the liberals switched around —
RUSH: Yeah, I know, even today you have people who think that conservatives are actually classic liberals. That’s the intellectual class that says that, and in a Burkean sense you’re right, but that’s gonna muddy these waters further. We don’t want to go there.
CALLER: That’s why I’m trying to convey the idea to you and you can ponder on it, ’cause it is, you know, to decide if you’re conservative or liberal nowadays, I could see where it could be tough for some people ’cause if you think you’re a conservative then you can’t go out partying, you know, and be all Hollywood.
RUSH: Why can’t a conservative go to a party and be all Hollywood?
CALLER: Well, just cause of the media and the cliques, basically.
RUSH: Well, what will the media say if a conservative goes to a party?
CALLER: Well, if they’re a popular one, they might blacklist ’em, huh?
RUSH: Okay. All right. We’re digging a deeper hole here. I think now where we have arrived, if I understand this, we’re really talking about branding. We’re talking about branding, and no longer, folks, forget maple syrup and cigars, ’cause we’re not talking about that. We’re talking branding. He’s convinced that the low-information voters are no way ever gonna wanna be conservatives because they never party; they never go Hollywood; they never have fun; they’re sticks in the mud; they tell you don’t have too much maple syrup, don’t do this, don’t do that. Don’t have sex. Don’t have fun. Don’t make out. Don’t do it in the back of the car, and he says he does all that stuff and he’s still a conservative.
Am I right, Toby? I’m right.
So we gotta get young people by saying you can be fun and you can have fun and you can go Hollywood and you can love Miley Cyrus and still be a conservative, in your politics. So it’s a branding problem and, look, Toby, you’ve identified a problem that is a real one, and a solution to it has to be found. And that is the fact that the left owns the pop culture. They literally own it.
They own movies. They own television shows. They define it. And in the process they are the ones who are responsible for the opinion of Republicans and conservatives being basically uncool, unhip squares, or nerds or what have you. And what young person wants to be any of that? They all want to be hip, and conservative isn’t.
So your solution, pour on the maple syrup, and people will see that you can be a little liberal as a conservative, but not be for big government and that kind of thing. Now it makes total sense. (interruption) Well, Snerdley, no, you’re wrong about that. Snerdley just said to me, “See, they’re not right, Rush, because when you go to Hollywood, look, TMZ covers you.” TMZ was trying to make me look bad. TMZ was not covering me the way they cover everybody else they cover. We were taxiing out, one of the local TV stations, news choppers, was following us. Yes, this is true. They were hovering. I’m sure they were shooting video.
But Snerdley, when TMZ covers me coming out of that restaurant, they’re asking me questions they hope I trip up on. They’re not fawning over me like they do the left. That’s this guy’s point. Conservative Hollywood type, they don’t get fawned over. They’re not portrayed as cool. They try to trip ’em up. They try to Mel Gibson ’em. They try to do anything they can. That’s his point, when you get right down to it. And he says how are young people ever gonna come to our side if they’re never gonna be cool in the places they want to be seen?
It’s actually a good question. That’s why I stuck with this, folks, because if you dig deep, you eventually get to what people are really talking about, thinking, or feeling. And he’s a young guy and he wants people to understand that he’s cool and he’s hip and he’s not what people portray conservatives to be, and he thinks that that’s gonna have to happen all over the place for the Republicans to triumph. I understand that to a point. I think it’d be a mistake to think that we’ve gotta go all-in and make sure we appeal to the pop culture, low-information crowd in order to succeed. I totally reject that. That is popularity. That’s not success.
Ideally you would want to exist in such a way as to inspire the low-information to become high-information. We don’t want to become them. We want them to become us. The challenge is they don’t think we’re cool and it isn’t gonna be any fun to be us. But becoming them is not the solution. Trying to make them think that we are them, like the Democrats, that’s not the solution. Just like trying to get the Hispanic vote by agreeing to amnesty. It’s not the solution. It’s not the way you get the Hispanic vote, but the Republican Party doesn’t get that. The Republican Party is actually trying to do what this guy wants, in their own perhaps well-intentioned but convoluted way. Anyway, Toby, I appreciate the call.
RUSH: One of the biggest challenges we have, folks, is making liberty and freedom cool. Ron Paul, in his so-called farewell address to Congress when he retired, said he never, ever would have believed what a tough sell freedom is. That it is because it requires self-responsibility. It requires making your own way. And liberty and freedom right now, with the low-information crowd, they laugh at it, because they don’t think it’s a problem, they don’t think it’s under pressure.
I’m convinced low-information voters, by virtue of being low-information, haven’t the slightest idea how their freedoms are being eroded, so when they hear that we are concerned about that, they think we’re just old fuddy-duddies worried about stuff and all we want to do is control them. And of course they couldn’t be more wrong. We want them to be independent. We want them to be critical, independent thinkers, not mind-numbed Roberts. We want ’em to expand their universe and get beyond whatever Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are doing today and whatever is on TMZ and all of that stuff. It’s a question of certain things right now are not viewed as cool and hip.