RUSH: Springfield, Vermont. This is Jeff, and it’s great to have you, Jeff. Welcome to the program.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. It’s a pleasure to be here.
RUSH: Thank you.
CALLER: I’ve been wanting to thank you for quite a while. I’m a retired human service worker, and I now have the time to call. I always viewed you as a coach, and I’ll tell you why. Because many of the people I worked with, I tried to help get employment, and you would be surprised —
RUSH: Wait, what…? Wait. Jeff, what kind of people? You say you’re a human service worker. What kind of people.
CALLER: I’m in human services. I work for vocational rehabilitation, and our job was to get people employed.
RUSH: All right.
CALLER: It became harder and harder over the years, and one thing I found is that the more programs that people are in… Up here in the North, we have what’s freezing rain, and it’s silent, but it works until a limb breaks. When it gets so much weight on it, it can’t withstand that anymore. The thing with programs and the human spirit — human service programs, whatever, the bureaucracy — is people are exposed to more and more of those programs, and eventually their spirit breaks.
It’s a real tough job to get people back to work under these kind of conditions. I used to listen to you as a motivational speaker, because you always expected more out of people than they thought they had themselves. For that reason, I always called you a coach and I had to listen to you. One of the things that people don’t realize is these programs, when I first started working for them, they worked for the people and eventually they transitioned to living off the people. Rhat’s a big difference, and I always found that you were inspirational to listen to. I just had to clear the deck and get to you and tell you that.
Thanks a lot, Coach.
RUSH: I appreciate that. You know what? You’re right. I do have high expectations of people, and it’s one of the reasons I so often am disappointed. Not with people in this audience, but I do have high expectations of people and their ability to learn. I have high expectations of people to see the truth. I have high expectations of people being open to the truth and being able to be persuaded to it. I have high expectations of people being able to accomplish more than they think they can.
It has been… You’re absolutely right. It is one of the unstated attitudinal characteristics of me hosting the program. Incumbent with the way I do it and the way I talk about things and the things I talk about, is the expectation that everybody’s gonna understand what I say and with the high hope that everybody’s gonna believe it and act on it. It’s because I have those high expectations of people. I grew up with high expectations, I had all kinds of pressure that way, and I found out it’s great motivation.
“The soft bigotry of low expectations” will kill you. I mean, it will destroy people and the opportunity that they have to maximize their potential, either as human beings or as employees or career workers or whatever it is. If people don’t expect much of you, you’ll give them what they expect. Low expectations do not inspire, do not motivate. So you’ve actually identified something that is a constant ingredient, if you will, of the attitude I arrive to the Golden EIB Microphone with every day.
Now, I know what you say, too. We start out with these compassionate programs. There are people out of work, in many cases not their fault, and we don’t want them to starve, and we don’t want people to suffer. We have the most prosperous country on earth and we just have this aversion to people suffering. So we immediately embark on programs and plans designed to limit the suffering, ideally while they at the same time continue to get themselves out of the circumstances in which they find themselves.
But at some point — and we’ve reached it in many cases — the programs designed to help become more valuable in people’s minds than work itself, and now that’s especially true with Obamacare and what’s happening to full-time versus part-time work. But I really appreciate your observation, Jeff, very much, because you’re right on the money with it.