RUSH: This is Jenna in Pittsburgh. Is she still there? (interruption) You had her. Jenna in Pittsburgh, I’m glad you waited, and you’re up. Its’ so great to have you on the program. Hi.
CALLER: Hi. Great to be speaking with you, Mr. Limbaugh. I just wanted to point out something you mentioned about everybody now is talking about the Tea Partiers and how they got started because of the president and the actions he was taking. And I don’t think everyone knows because there are so many low-information voters out there that just think they’re a bunch of stupid racists that just hate the president, and that’s why they’re doing everything.
RUSH: Well, that’s true. I don’t deny that. Let me be clear. This all started with Obama in the New Yorker magazine blaming me and Fox News because Tea Party people don’t like him, and they don’t like him because they listen to me. And I was trying to say that the Tea Party people — I don’t care what other people think of ’em — I was saying the Tea Party people are independent thinkers. They came into existence because they were shocked and outraged at what they had seen. There’s no leader. There’s no headquarters. They haven’t been talked into this by anybody, and Obama’s not gonna be able to persuade them to change their minds on policy. Now, I don’t deny, just like they’ve ginned up hatred of every Republican, they have ginned up hatred for the Tea Party among low-information voters. No question about that.
CALLER: Rush, if I could add one more thing. I would love to see in this year and the coming year, with the Tea Party, a call to action. Not just the Tea Party, but any patriot out there who’s independent-minded. The next time you’re doing something that is positive and about someone’s freedoms, just let someone know that, yes, and on the top of it all, you are a fellow patriot. And sort of like the old Spider-Man, he would leave the notes about your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, and he always was on the bad end of the PR. I just think it’s important for people to understand, you might not know, but your kind neighbor that takes care of you, they’re also maybe not a Tea Party member, but in that same mind frame. And regardless of the media, maybe we can turn the tides of perspective on people out there.
RUSH: You know, it’s the same old thing. Let me see if I understand what you said.
RUSH: Correct me if I’m wrong. Remember that I am deaf, just like the player for the Seattle Seahawks who wears a cochlear implant himself. His name is Coleman, he’s a linebacker. At any rate, you want —
CALLER: It makes you a better listener.
RUSH: Any time a Tea Party person does something you want them to tell everybody they did a good thing so that people see the good in the Tea Party?
CALLER: I mean, not exactly, but to some respect. Just don’t be so in the closet. Let people know —
RUSH: They’re not. Tea Party people are not in the closet.
CALLER: Okay, but I think there are people that are maybe not Tea Party, but like-minded that are. I know I can be.
RUSH: What do you want them to do?
CALLER: Just maybe speak up a little bit more on the common ground that I think Democrats, Republicans, independents all understand, which is the opportunities that we had growing up, we want to maintain them. We don’t want to burden our children with debt and we don’t appreciate being lied to by our government.
RUSH: You know, no matter what we do, it always comes down to image and PR and the media. What she’s basically saying, “Won’t you people in the Tea Party to do something that makes people like you and let ’em know how good you are instead of being hated.’ And Jenna, that’s the wrong attitude. That isn’t going to change by virtue of policy. That’s the kind of thing that is an evolutionary change. In the meantime, the attitude to have is not to change the minds of those people who are thinking incorrectly, it’s to defeat them. It is to beat them. Every election is to beat them, not make them like us. That’s how you become a RINO. That’s how you join the Republican Party establishment.
You can’t make them like you. They don’t want to. Their dislike of you is not based in reason. The fact that they don’t like you is not rational. They don’t like you because they’ve been told lies about you that they want to believe. They want to believe the lies they believe. You can’t change people’s minds who are like that. They want to hate the Tea Party. They want to believe the Tea Party’s racist, sexist, bigot, just like they want to believe that about Republicans. I mean, look at me. I am on the air 15 hours a week disproving every hour what is said about me. And it doesn’t change any of their minds, because they don’t want to stop hating. They don’t want to really know the truth. And it’s a mistake to waste time trying to persuade them. The only thing to do is outnumber them and beat them.
RUSH: I know what Jenna was saying, folks. Jenna was saying that she just wants people to announce more often that they’re conservative, especially when they do a good deed. She wants people to be less afraid to say they’re conservative. The problem with that — and I understand it emotionally — if you have to tell somebody, it’s like a prostitute, “I’m not a prostitute.” “Oh, really? Why are you denying it? Nobody ever charged you with anything.” When you have to tell somebody what you are — and I know what she meant, but you’re also, in the same sense, denying the opposite. When you have to deny something by your good actions, you’re halfway to admitting it.
You know, Kathryn and I watch — and I don’t mind admitting this — we watch Nashville Wednesday nights, I think it’s ten o’clock, ’cause we watch it the next day on Apple TV. They have a fascinating plot line running right now about this very circumstance. It’s a country music show.
(interruption) What was your first clue? The title? Nashville? Yeah, it stars Hayden Panettiere as a young up-and-coming country tomato, whatever, and a seasoned veteran, established country female star played by Connie Britton. It’s a soap opera with a lot of unique written for-the-show music.
It’s amazing these actors can actually sing, I’m told. I can’t hear the music. It all sounds the same to me. I have to ask Kathryn, “Is that any good? Do these people have good voices?” She said they do. But, anyway, the Hayden Panettiere character’s name is Juliette Barnes, and she comes from the wrong side of the tracks. She’s an absolute… she’s trailer park. But she’s trailer park with glitter. Her mom was an addict and overdosed and died. She’s embarrassed by that and so forth. At any rate, let me cut to the chase ’cause I got time dwindling here.
At this point in the story she’s having problems maintaining her relationship with her audience and there are even younger rivals on the tour vying to unseat here like is the case in any business. And walking into an arena two or three episodes ago she was heckled by some religious zealot, and she walks up and says there is not a God who would blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, whatever. There isn’t a God who believes like you do. There is no God — I forget the exact line, but what happened was, a network like TMZ or something like it then took what she said and made a looping video for YouTube and Twitter of this woman up close in this protester’s face, saying, “There is no God, there is no God, there is no God, there is no God.” And, as such, she is losing her audience.
Her fans are burning her records. They are canceling her concert dates. Her career is literally disintegrating, it is falling apart, on a lie. She didn’t say what’s looped and what’s put out on Twitter. She said, “There is no God who would agree or defend with what you’re saying.” But that’s not what was reported. All that’s looped out there, the only thing the public sees is her saying repeatedly, “There is no God, there is no God.” And yet she’s supposedly a God-fearing, religious country artist.
So a lot of the plot line has been devoted to what can she do to save her career. And I don’t know whether the writers of this show know how good they’ve made this, I assume that they are intimately aware with things like this ’cause they’re writing it really well. I’ve gotta take a break here, but for those of you who want to know why in the hell the Republicans can’t just go out there and tell the truth and have people believe that — well, I’ll continue we get back.
RUSH: I don’t want to spend too much time on this, but basically this comes up — it’s predictable — at some point, usually on an Open Line Friday. If I could synthesize it, it’s, “What can the Republicans do to prove that they’re not what the Democrats say they are?” My answer to you is, by virtue of response, “Nothing,” and I’ve lived it. This is how I know. You can’t. I tell you, it’s a waste of time to try.
Now, this TV show Nashville is illustrating this, whether by accident or by design — and, yeah, the show is making Christians looks like kooks. I don’t care. That’s not my point. What they’re doing here is illustrating. They’ve got this singer, this performer, who has a lie created about her. They take words that she uttered, about 30% of a sentence, out of context.
What they have her saying is, “There is no God, there is no God,” looped, a video loop. They put it on TMZ, put it on Twitter, and her Christian audience feels betrayed and are abandoning her. She’s canceling concert dates. The tour managers, the arena managers are canceling. Radio stations are refusing to play her records. Her career is falling apart, and it’s all based on a lie. She didn’t say what it looks as though she said.
Now, here’s the interesting part.
One of her rivals — a young, up-and-coming female country singer — is approached by the Hayden Panettiere character, and she begs her,”Look, you were there. You know I didn’t say this. Would you call a press conference and just tell ’em I didn’t say this?” In other words, what so many of you want. “Look, just go out and tell them you didn’t say it, you didn’t do it, it didn’t happen; the Republicans aren’t racist, sexist, bigot, homophones.”
So, this young girl goes out and does a great performance, and she is entirely believable, and she said, “Juliette Barnes didn’t say that, and here’s entirely what she did say, and it was in response to a heckler and blah, blah, blah.” It didn’t change a thing, is the point, and that is real life. It didn’t change a thing. My point here, folks, is that even getting the truth out doesn’t change anything. Can I use…?
I hate doing this, but I’m gonna use myself as an example. You remember the ill-fated time where word leaked out that I was part of a group trying to buy the St. Louis Rams? Within 24 hours of that news hitting, there were quotes that started running in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that then ended up all over everywhere that I had never uttered about slavery. They were totally made up by a Media Matters writer, totally made up.
It took a week of correcting the record, and even after the record was corrected, the people who knowingly reported that I said something I didn’t say, said, “Well, we know he thinks it.” The truth didn’t matter, is the point. So I’m reacting to young Jenna from Pittsburgh who said, “Can’t the conservatives just say, “We’re conservative, and the Tea Party’s not what people think of ’em”? You’re not gonna change their minds.
The truth, sadly… You’ve heard the old phrase, and this phrase has many authors, “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth gets out of bed,” something like that. You just can’t do it. The Tea Party — a Tea Party member or whoever — is not going to be able to change the mind of a low-information voter who thinks whatever he or she thinks about the Tea Party.
That’s not the way to deal with it. It can’t happen; it won’t happen; it doesn’t happen. Now, you’ve also heard “the truth will out.” Yeah, it will eventually, at some point, but by virtue of its own process and evolution. The strategy for dealing with something like that has to be something other than trying to tell people they’re wrong, they’re wrong. It’s not true what they think. They don’t… They want to believe the lie, is the point.
These low-information people, they’re already liberals to begin with. These are not people who are apolitical and don’t have any opinions who are running around thinking all this evil stuff of Republicans or conservatives. They’re already trending liberal anyway — born that way, educated that way, what have you. They don’t want to believe anything other than what they already do believe.
“But, Rush! But, Rush!” I can hear you saying. “I’ve heard people call you and say you changed their minds.” Yeah, but I didn’t know it. They happened to change their mind after how many months, days, years, of listening to the program? But it wasn’t anything I specifically targeted. I mean, that’s like an overall objective here is to persuade people, yeah, but it’s not the same context.
My only real point here is, I get a little frustrated the question keeps coming, because there’s nothing to it. You’re always on defense, folks, and you’re just never gonna advance the ball when you’re constantly defending yourself. You just can’t do it — and by constantly shouting, “No, I’m not what they say! That’s not true! That’s a lie,” you’re on defense, and you just can’t change anything by doing that.
It just doesn’t happen, and you know it. You’ve seen it, and probably had it happen to you in your own life, in some venue, in some way, shape, manner, or form. I know it’s frustrating to have people that you love and admire ripped to shreds and lied about, like they did Romney. You wanted Romney to do something about it. You wanted Romney to fight. “Come on, Mitt! Get out there and tell people you don’t hate your dog.”
Okay, envision it. Romney calls press conference.
“I am terribly offended. They say I put my dog in a station wagon on vacation up there on the roof because I hate my dog. I don’t. I love my dog.” Hello, Richard Nixon. It just doesn’t work, folks. You just can’t deal with it that way. You have to stay on offense, and you have to start characterizing them. Plus, incumbent in this process of reacting to it and defending it, you are cementing in other people’s minds the idea that the accusers might be right.
The minute you go on defense, the minute you start whining about it. Even getting the truth out, when people are lying through their teeth about you. I’ve lived it. It doesn’t change things. Other things do change people’s minds, but not reacting immediately in the face of a lie and so forth. I mean, they did a movie about this, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. Jimmy Stewart and so forth.
The examples are all over the place. Now, you can take it to an extreme, too. Bush, Rove, these guys never responded at all. Now, in their case, nobody was suggesting that they get out there and, “Hey, what they’re saying about us isn’t true. That’s not true. I’m not…” But they never attacked their opponents and tried to characterize them. That’s how you do it. But defending yourself, or having somebody else do it, it’s just not gonna work.
It never does.