RUSH: Here is George in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Great to have you on the program, sir. Hello.
CALLER: Thanks, Rush. Hey, I’m calling to tell you what I think is the most inspiring thing you’ve said on your program in 19 years. And that would be six years ago, when you lamented how so many people do not use the gifts that God gave them. And I gotta tell you, Rush, that inspired me to use a gift that I hadn’t used for a long time, and I thank you so much, but it strikes me that that really encapsulates everything you’ve been saying. You want the country and society to encourage its people to use the gifts that God gave them, and that’s what I called to tell you, Rush.
RUSH: Well, I appreciate that. I remember it well. I’ve said it a number of times. You know, one of the ways of expressing it, I’ll try this again. There’s so many things that are misunderstood about people who engage in political discussions, because so much of politics is about arguing to win and to lose. And in politics, when you talk about people losing, there are negative consequences to that. But my fervent hope, and as a conservative — and I know I speak for every conservative when I say, we love everybody, and we want everybody to succeed. And that desire is really the foundation of every conservative economic and social belief.
We don’t want people to have to be dependent on people that really don’t care about them. We don’t want people to have to be dependent on people that are really not interested in them. We don’t want people to have to be dependent on people who are using them. We want people to experience the great things about achievement and accomplishment and success, because that’s how we have a great country. That is how we have a wonderful society.
Now, it’s obvious not everybody’s gonna be able to do it. Some people are never going to find what it is they’re good at. Some people simply are not gonna find what it is they want to do. And that’s always been somewhat disappointing because I was lucky. I found out really early in life. I was eight years old when I knew what I wanted to do, some form of it. I knew what I wanted to do when I was eight years old, and I have been nothing but dedicated to those desires.
And it’s true the old saw that if you’re doing what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life. It sounds kind of cliched, but it really is true. And if more people had the good fortune of actually discovering their passion, their true passion, and if they can figure out a way to get paid for it, then they would know life and success and all kinds of happiness in ways that eludes them otherwise, and that’s what I wish for people.
RUSH: I want to continue on this vein for just a second. Maybe I can make a point that — now, I assume it’s understood, and oftentimes that’s a mistake, to expect that a core belief is understood, therefore you don’t need to express the core belief. And as I watch things, I’m beginning to think that there’s a lot misunderstanding about particularly conservative core beliefs.
Now, let’s take the conservative opposition to big government. A lot of people — and make no mistake about this — a lot of people think that the conservative opposition to big government is rooted in the fact that we want people to suffer. As strange and as impossible as that sounds, there are people who believe it. And of course nothing could be further from the truth. The truth is that we, as conservatives, know that nobody is ever gonna come close to anywhere reaching their potential or enjoying life the best and most they can if they end up dependent on anything: parents, a political party, a government.
The core principle of conservatism is wanting the absolute best for the human race, and we understand that that is possible only with liberty and freedom. Liberty and freedom to be the best we can be. Liberty and freedom to be what we want to be, applied according to our ambitions and our desires. We realize that people’s lives are being stunted, their opportunity is being cut back and thwarted the more they are talked into depending on other people.
Now, in the process of trying to be the best you can be, in the process of using liberty and freedom to find out what it is you love and then to go attack it and do it, there’s going to be some pain. It’s not a smooth ride for anybody. There are ups and downs, and there are plenty of times where there are periods of no income, for example. What do you do then? All of these variables have to get factored in, but the core belief should never be thoroughly and totally shattered simply because there are interruptions in the journey.
We’re also realists, know that not everybody’s a self-starter and not everybody is gonna be the best at whatever it is they want to do. And we realize that not everybody’s gonna be figure out what they want to do, but it’s the effort and the desire to do so that is the key. And anything that thwarts that and replaces it with dependency, we think is destructive to people. And we love people. We don’t want things to be destructive to people. The thing about conservatism and pursuing your dreams, pursuing your desires, it’s hard. But oftentimes people don’t see the pain and the hard work; they only see the end result. They see a successful individual and not realize what it took to get there, what happened along the way, and want immediate gratification, want to live like that, be like that, whatever it is, as quickly as possible.
So there’s a constant battle. We’re always at war with people who tell us that our version of achieving a great society is thwarted because the people we’re up against don’t really believe people are capable of it. Your average leftist, socialist, communist Democrat views average people with contempt. We don’t. We view average people as untapped potential. Our desire is to get as many obstacles out of their way as possible. We want everybody to succeed, however they define it. But it’s not Pollyannish, and it’s not rose-colored glasses.
We don’t believe everybody can be Bill Gates or Warren Buffett. We don’t believe that at all. But we do believe in liberty and freedom and human potential and all of these things coming together equaling and resulting in an absolutely great country, however you define that, a thriving, growing economy with a fine underpinning of morality and decency. And all of this stuff that we look at, we see it crumbling every day, rips our heart out. I’ll just speak for myself. Rips my heart out to see this stuff happen every day.
This stuff in Ferguson, Missouri, and this stuff with Eric Garner, rips my heart out. And then to see people try to take advantage of it and use those examples, loudly use those examples to tell everybody, “See, America is a false promise. See, this whole business of liberty and freedom is a false promise because of all the racism and discrimination and bigotry and all that.” We’ve all got our obstacles to overcome. We all face people that discriminate against us. We all face people that are mean to us. We all face unfairness. We all face inequity of some kind. No two people are the same; no two results are the same; outcomes cannot possibly be made the same.
But it is the quest to be the best you can be. It’s the quest to learn, the quest to achieve things in life that gives you an identity. You talk about self-esteem, it’s where your self-esteem is rooted. You know, we look at liberalism as denying even the opportunity from people to find themselves, to find their spot in life, to find their happiness, to find fulfillment. And the reason there’s such misery on the left, the reason there’s such unhappiness on the left is because they don’t have a prayer of being fulfilled. A, they’re told they can’t. B, they’re told to wait on other people to make it happen for them, who can’t make it happen for them. All they can do is spread misery around equally.
When I say that the greatest thing that can happen to somebody is to find out what you want to do or find out what your passion is and go for it, it’s the single greatest result you can have in your life as an adult, aside from family and all of those things, but speaking strictly personally here. You have to love yourself before anybody else will. You have to be happy with yourself before anybody else will. You have to take care of yourself. That’s not selfishness.
Self-interest and selfishness are two totally different things. Self-interest, everybody pursuing self-interest is how everybody else grows, because the benefits spread, the results multiply. People generally do far better relying on themselves than sitting around waiting for false promises to be made. You can see it. That’s the thing about it. You can see the absolute — how many Americans do we have not working now, 92, almost 93 million not working? And I guarantee you they’re not happy. They’re all eating. They all have TVs, but they’re not happy. There’s a degree of unsettledness or disquiet, malaise in all those people.