RUSH: I got a note from a friend of mine last night. I’m going to spend time on this, not right now, but I don’t want you to miss this. I got a note from a friend last night who was really happy, really ecstatic, because he believes, or he did until he talked to me, he believes that we are on the threshold here of a major American reawakening. He thinks that we’re on the cusp. He can’t put his finger on it. He’s a well-known writer and he thinks that all of these things happening here are going to open the American people’s eyes to just how devastatingly damaging, destructive and corrupt liberalism is.
I’ve been thinking about this for 25 years. I’ve been thinking how is it that we go through eight years of prosperity. Eight years of great individual liberty and freedom and entrepreneurism and economic growth and lower taxes and higher productivity and wages going up and raises being handed out. How do we go through eight years of that and people end up believing it never happened? How do we go through eight years of that and liberals ever win again? I’ve been thinking about this my whole life, and I have stumbled onto the answer thanks to the note that I got from my friend last night.
But I’m not going to lead with that here. I’m going to be very careful about that, too, because if you hear it the wrong way, you’re going to think it’s shrouded in pessimism and it’s not. It’s actually a teachable moment. The same thing happened in 1994 when the Republicans, for the first time, won the House of Representatives. And remember what it felt like back then. Everybody made the mistake of thinking, “Hey, the country’s gone conservative. Hey, 40 years of Democrats thrown out. Hey, Contract with America, people bought into it. Hey.”
Then two years later the country loves Clinton again. So what happened? Well, I El Rushbo, have the answer.
RUSH: Let’s get into what I mentioned at the top of the program, which I assured you then (and I repeat now) was not a tease. I just decided Ebola was the most or the more pressing matter of the two. I have been trying to understand the American people and the electorate for most of my aware adult life. Best explained by — and I’ve asked this of many people, by the way.
I’ve never gotten an answer to it, not one that satisfied me. And I’ve never, until last night, been able to answer it myself. I keep asking myself, “Why, after years and years of demonstrable conservative triumph and success…?” Such as the eight years of Reagan, when we reduced deficits, we reduced unemployment, we grew this economy like it hasn’t grown since. We were producing jobs. We were producing careers.
We took down the Soviet Union. We were advancing technologically. We were just rolling. Reagan won in two landslides, and I’ve asked myself: How does it happen that after eight years — and Reagan was demonstrably conservative, and Reagan made no bones about being conservative. And Reagan, better than anybody else, articulated conservatism as he was executing it.
So why, after eight years, are people able to so easily forget it and return to voting for liberal Democrats? It’s something that’s amazed me and made me curious for years, many years. It happened again. It’s happened a lot of times. It happened again in 1994. The Republicans win the House of Representatives for the first time in 40 years. They did it with a substantive agenda, the Contract with America.
It was made up of ten agenda points that they intended to do, and they were substantive – balance the budget, reduce the deficit, reduce spending, all those things — and they set out to do them. But it wasn’t many years later that voters went right back to voting Democrat. They embraced Bill Clinton all over again and I was left scratching my head. I was asking how is it that these voters forget?
Now, don’t think I’m ignoring something here. I know what the media’s role in this is. I’m not downplaying that. The media, even during those eight years, was telling people it wasn’t real. And during the first term of George W. Bush they were telling people it wasn’t real. The media is out there trying to create as much negativism as they can and they’re beating up these conservative Republicans. I know all that.
But nevertheless, people lived it, and yet it didn’t seem to have much impact, not lasting. The words of the media — the smears, the lies, the distortions — carried more weight than actual real life. At least when it came to voting, results at the ballot box. Here’s some headlines today. Politico.com: “Poll: Obama Hits Lowest Approval Ever.” ABC News/Washington Post poll: “Obama Hits Lowest Approval.”
He’s down around 40 in this poll and that’s lower than he has ever been. From TheHill.com, as well: “Where Did It Go Wrong for Obama?” They just can’t figure out where Obama went wrong. He’s such a great guy; he’s so smart; he’s so articulate. He’s the first black president! How did it go so wrong? What happened? Of course, it can’t be the state of the country.
It can’t be the economy. It can’t be Obama. It can’t be anything substantive. What is it? “Where Did Obama Go Wrong?” They can’t figure it out! Next, we have this from the Washington Post: “The Democrat Party Hits a 30-Year Low.” Now, the Republicans are even lower in this poll but that doesn’t obviate my point. Democrat Party, 30-year low. Obama, lowest approval ever. “Where Did Obama Go Wrong?”
Democrats are pulling out of the Kentucky Senate race. The Democrat Senatorial Campaign Committee is no longer going to be spending any money to help Alison Lundergan Grimes. They’re acceding to McConnell. The Democrat Senatorial Campaign Committee have said they have only enough resources to fund incumbents; they’re not going to help challengers.
So they’re making the calculation decision that Mitch McConnell is going to win re-election and they’re bowing out. So she is on her own. Then we’ve got a sound bite from John Harwood on CNBC in which he claims that Obamacare — despite how bad it is, despite the absolute mess, despite premiums rising, despite coverage being cancelled, despite policies being cancelled, despite co-pays going up, despite the mess that’s HealthCare.gov — has fizzled as a campaign issue for the Republicans.
Now, when Snerdley heard that today, he said, “No it hasn’t! No it hasn’t!” Yes, it has. It may end up being something people vote against Democrats for but they’re not voting for Republicans on it. Now, in the midst of all this I got a note last night from a famous, nationally known and acclaimed writer. It says, “Rush, just positing here. I’m at least a column or more away from verbalizing it.
“But listening to Dr. Tom Frieden on Megyn Kelly tonight, I’m wondering if we’re at some 21st Century version of Lexington/Concord, or Fort Sumter, or the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand or Hitler’s invasion of Poland, or Reagan defeating Carter. In other words, Rush, are we on the cusp of an event or events that abruptly tips the balance of something that’s, in fact, been long in the works?”
He was just thinking out loud, sending me his thoughts. What he was saying was: Are we on the verge of a tipping point where finally the American people wake up, once and for all, and understand what a demonstrable failure liberalism is and how bad it is for the country? That’s what he sees. That’s what he thinks is going on. He thinks that we’re on the verge of that tipping point.
This note from him kind of crystallized this for me because, like I just mentioned, I have been asking myself left and right: “How in the world can people live eight years and arguably 12 because the Bush…?” Well, I was going to say Bush 41. He campaigned as the third term of Ronald Reagan, and he got elected on that basis. He got elected on the basis that he was going to be the third term of Ronald Reagan. It didn’t last but two years.
So let’s say 10 years. And the Reagan revolution, the Reagan economy continued and boomed all the way through the Clinton administration. Clinton’s out there taking credit for it, but he didn’t do anything but slow down what was already roaring, slowing it down with his tax increases and everything. So again, how does this happen where people live through the horrors of liberalism like now, live through the demonstrable prosperity and successes of conservatism, and yet predictably return to voting liberal Democrat, how does it happen?
This is what I wrote my friend back. I said, “Here’s the problem: Liberalism has been rejected many, many times. The Democrat Party has been rejected many, many times. But the mistake that we all make is thinking that conservatism is being affirmed at the same time. Conservatism or the Republican Party is being accepted at the same time.”
Here’s my theory, folks. And you may have stumbled across this yourself years ago. If so, I apologize. It just hit me. This election that we’ve got coming up is a great illustration. Conservatism is a protest vote, not an affirmative vote. If the Republicans win big in this election, it’s for one reason. People are fed up with the Democrats. They’re fed up with Obamacare and foreign policy. They’re fed up with everything. They’re going to vote for the other guys. They’re not voting for conservatives. By necessity they’re voting Republican, but they’re not voting ideologically.
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about this. Eight years of Reagan and yet the voters are easily fooled to returning to liberalism. There was no protest when the liberals came along and started raising taxes, making everything worse, destroying jobs, what they always do, wrecking the culture. No protests. People voted for it. And my conclusion is that voters never, other than Reagan, the lone example, never affirmatively vote for conservatism because it’s never really presented to them. It’s presented to them by me and Fox News on some occasions and other so-called new media, but it’s not presented to voters by the Republican Party.
There are a few now and then, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio come to mind, but not the party. Voters never affirmatively vote for conservatism because it’s never really presented to them. What happens is liberals, Democrats are rejected for a time because people are fed up and they’re mad like they are now. But after a certain passage of time, they feel it’s safe to go back. They’re fed up now, they’ve had it, they’re up to their gills with it. Nobody likes what Obama’s done. Nobody likes the job situation. Nobody likes the economy, Obama, any of it.
The Democrats are going to be swept aside. Republicans are going to win elections, but not for anything they’ve done except be the other guys. Liberals will be rejected, but down the road people will feel, maybe in 2016 when Hillary is back up and running, people will think it’s safe to go back and try liberals again. Maybe it’s safe to go home to the Democrat Party.
Democrat defeats are not really rejections of liberalism. Not substantively anyway. Voters never actually reject liberalism in their minds. They just reject the liberals or the Democrats of the day because they’re mad or they get tired and they simply want a change. Now, I would love to be wrong about this. But I don’t see any genuine conservative alternative represented by a party.
I’ve got to take a break here, folks.
RUSH: You remember Peter Jennings, the late ABC news anchor, do you remember what he said in a radio commentary that he did after the 1994 House victory, Republican victory over the Democrats taking back the House? He said American voters had a temper tantrum. We mocked it. We ripped it. We criticized it. But I have to say, he was right. That’s what happens.
Now, that election is a different thing I’m talking about, because they really had an agenda. The Republicans, conservatives, had a conservative agenda, Contract With America, people affirmatively voted for that. They were also tired of the Democrats throwing them out and so forth. But even with that conservative agenda and even implementing it, voters went back to the Democrats when they felt it was safe to do so.
Now, I know why this happens, by the way. I know what you’re thinking. “Okay, Rush, that makes sense, but so what?” Well, I think what I said is exactly right and I think I know the reason for it. Even conservatives who are good at making our case are afraid to declare victory when we show the monumental failings of liberalism. And this election is going to present us another opportunity. This campaign presents us an opportunity. And we’re not doing it. We are not utilizing the opportunity that’s been handed to us on a silver platter.
People are fed up. They are mad. They are angry, and it’s time we told them why. It’s time we told them why the country’s in the dumps. Why they can’t get a job. Why their healthcare is being screwed up royally. It’s time that we told them it’s because of liberalism, and we name names. And then when we win, we declare victory and we explain why the American people voted the way they did. We demonstrate and point out the monumental failings of liberalism.
This is what we do not do. Look at Bush 41. Look at how Bush 41 treated the fall of the Soviet Union. I know he was not very conservative, but he was still with a lot of Reaganites around him at the time. He went out of his way not to humiliate Gorbachev. He went out of his way to say this was an evolution of democracy, not a final defeat of an evil totalitarian system. We had to be nice. We had to accommodate. We had to be polite. We had to show that we weren’t mean. And we never hammer home the final nail.
RUSH: Folks, don’t misunderstand. There’s nothing wrong with a protest vote. But my point here is that the protest votes, they’re not part of anything affirmative. Voting for Republicans this time around means nothing about the Republicans. It just means that people are tired of the Democrats. They’re worn out of Obama. I’ll tell you what’s happening here folks. This is even more troubling to me.
With this Ebola business, we are witnessing the breaking of the illusions of government competence. I just looked at the stock market. It’s down 444 and it may be lower than that now. That was a minute ago. There’s a reason that’s happening. All of a sudden people are waking up and realizing that nobody in charge knows what they’re doing. People are losing trust, losing faith.
Now, the millennials have been losing faith ever since they got out of college with all the debt and no jobs. The problem was they were losing faith in the country and not with the right people, the people responsible for it. And that would be the people they’re voting for, the Democrat Party and the left. Those same people are now causing the breaking of the illusion of government competence. It isn’t. We don’t have anybody that knows what to do or how to deal with this Ebola. And that I can’t tell you how big a deal that is.
The one thing about this country that people have always felt is that the best and brightest, no matter what party, are in charge and running it and there’s implicit trust in these institutions. And the problem is these institutions and these traditions have been under assault for decades by the very people running them now, because they don’t have any respect for them, and they don’t have any belief in America as founded. It may well be, as hard as it is to believe and understand, it may well be — my friend last night may have been right about one thing — it may well be that people, after six years, are finally waking up and realizing what they elected.
Maybe Obamacare wasn’t enough to do it. Maybe the job situation, the economy, all that, but this, this rampant incompetence on how to deal with a killer disease, it’s just patently obvious that we don’t have competent people in charge here. ISIS, add that on top of it. We’ve got this big plan here to wipe out all the terrorists and all they’re doing is getting stronger, supposedly on the verge of taking Baghdad, for crying out loud. There probably is a lot of awakening going on, and the awakening is because people are breaking through the illusion of government competence.
Now back to my point here. Nothing wrong with a protest vote. But the protest vote is not like the protest vote that founded America. The protest vote this time around is people just fed up with the Democrats. They tried them for six years. They were fed up with Bush and tried the other guys. Fed up with Democrats and it’s not working. But they don’t know what they’re voting for. They’re just voting for the other guys here. They don’t know what they’re voting for because the Republican Party strategy is not to define themselves. They’re afraid of defining themselves for fear people won’t like them, and so don’t upset the apple cart, just take advantage of people voting against Democrats.
But I mean it. I know why this is happening. It’s happening for a reason. And I can name names. I’m not going to here, but even conservatives, as I said, who are good at making our case are afraid to declare victory. They’re afraid to hurt feelings. They’re afraid to appear partisan. They are afraid to gloat. They are afraid to behave in triumph. And a great example is Bush 41 when the Berlin Wall came down, the Soviet Union fell. He went out of his way not to humiliate Gorbachev. Not to humiliate communism. He said instead that it was an evolution of democracy.
He didn’t portray it as a resounding final defeat of an evil totalitarian dictatorship system.
He did not call for an accounting of the millions of lives ruined, the millions killed. He did not define why the Soviet Union imploded. He just called it the evolution of democracy. The good vibes of freedom finally overcame. Reagan said that the Soviet Union would eventually implode because of the weight of its own immorality. We won the House, 1992, the midterm elections there. Didn’t gloat.
No, no, had to be very polite.
Meanwhile, similar treatment does not come our way. The point is that there was never an accounting of the Soviet atrocities their system made inevitable. There was never an education for the American people of the rotgut that is communism. There was never a detailed explanation complete with body counts, deaths numbering in the millions, the imprisonment of free people for doing nothing more than thinking their own thoughts. None of that was explained. To this day communism is not considered to be that big of a deal. It’s just another way of organizing government.
So David Horowitz, former leftist, saw the light. He points out you have this new left now that pushes these same status policies as the Soviet Union. These same status dictatorial, government getting bigger and bigger, exercising more and more control over people, and it doesn’t even have to explain its own concrete failure in the Soviet Union. This drives me crazy. We have Democrats in this country doing their best to emulate a status government-centered control. They don’t like the Constitution. They want to rewrite it or ignore it if they can, and they’re not even forced to explain it.
Not one Republican stands up and says, “Why are you doing this? Do you not see what’s happening in Cuba? Why are you doing this? Why do you want to try what failed in the Soviet Union?” They’re not made to explain it. They just go on their merry way implementing this stuff, while we worry about demographics and diversity. We let them define what we ought to care about. It’s the same, my friends, with failing social welfare programs. Republicans, even lots of conservatives, are the same way. As these programs implode, one after another, after they fail one on top of another, what did we do? We seem more interested in conceding the good intentions of the people who tried than in demonstrating that these programs will inevitably fail.
There hasn’t been a one of them that has worked from Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society. The War on Poverty has seen a transfer of $22 trillion and the poor are still poor in the same percentages they were when the program began. We never hammer that home other than at our think tanks. All we do is we talk about the good intentions of the people who tried and we grant that they have compassion and love for their fellow man and so forth.
In the meantime, these programs are doing great damage to people. They require high taxes that are preventing the accumulation of wealth. They are slowly but surely eroding individual liberty and freedom and I haven’t even gotten to immigration yet. But it’s the same thing there. We’ve already done this in 1986. We know what’s going to happen. Instead, we have to talk about not offending various ethnic groups. We have to make sure that they know that we love them instead of standing up and preventing failure after failure after failure because we refused to document it, teach it and explain it, we then clear the decks for it to continue and fail and fail and fail again as the people who try it get more powerful and more powerful and more powerful even with their failures.
The people on our side want to show that we are right while not insisting that the country take note that the other side is dangerously wrong. If we are right, then somebody has to be wrong. But if we’re not going to point out their failures, if we’re not going to illustrate how what they have tried for 50, 75 years, never has worked, if we’re not going to point it out then it’s no wonder that they’re going to keep voting Democrat and keep giving them a chance because those are the guys that look like they’re trying. They just haven’t gotten it right yet.
But eventually a Messiah will come along, “Yep, we’re the one waiting for” or whatever and we’ll give it another go, despite people living through failure after failure after failure because they’re just not told. We want to show what nice guys we are by conceding that our opposition, like we, only want what’s best for the country, but they don’t, not as we define it. The way we define what’s best for the country has nothing in common with the Democrat Party or the left, very little. You’d have to hunt a long time to find the commonalities.
The point is, of all this, the ideas, the policies of the left, of the Democrat Party never really get discredited. That’s why they never go away. They never get discredited. So after getting tired of Obama and the Democrats for a while, “Okay, we’ll vote for the Republicans, and then after two or three years, we’ll feel safe again, go back to the Democrats.” Why? Because these six years of Obama are never going to be discredited by the opposition. We’re going to leave it to the American people to figure it out on their own, just like we left it to the American people to figure out how great things were in the 1980s. How did that work for us?
The mistake that the Newt Republicans made in 1995 was assuming that that election meant that the country had turned conservative and they needn’t teach it anymore. So while they were implementing the contract, they didn’t explain why they were doing what they were doing, and they didn’t juxtapose what they were doing against the failure of 40 years of the Democrats preceding them. So they allowed themselves to be defined as racist extremists, whatever, school lunch cutters, you know the drill.
By contrast, our opposition, Democrats, they always paint us as monsters. They want to wipe us out and they make no apologies for wanting to wipe us out. We are a bigger enemy to them than ISIS. We’re a bigger enemy to them than militant Islamists beating us. Eliminating us as an opposition animates them, energizes them more than taking care of a real threat to this country. And they make no apologies. And since some of the character assassination is bound to stick, the brand gets damaged, even when we prove to be right about things.
I have to take a break. Sit tight, my friends, we’ll be back.
This is just a long way around saying, if the Republican Party doesn’t start teaching, if it doesn’t start becoming demonstrably conservative and doesn’t start actively taking advantage of these dramatic incompetent failures of the Democrat Party, it’s just going to keep repeating.