RUSH: I played golf yesterday and somebody suggested to me that, if I ever do write another book, the title should be On the Golf Course, because of what I hear so often and the things that happen, the conversations that ensue with people on the golf course. One of the guys I played with yesterday is an admitted French socialist. We’re having lunch after playing golf and he’s asking me — and I’ve developed a technique when dealing with people that I’m either meeting for the first time or don’t know them very well. Rather than just ask them what they think about something, ’cause I realize, folks, I’m an intimidating figure. Even when I don’t try to be, my image, whatever it is with people, precedes me before we even get to the table or the tee box or the golf course at large.
I’m an intimidating figure and if I just point-blank ask somebody what they think I’ve learned I may not get a truthful answer. I may get an answer that’s more along the lines of what they think I want to hear. So I have developed a new technique for drawing people out. And that is to offer an opinion, sometimes true, sometimes false, and then guage their response. The theory that I have developed is that that produces a more honest admission or opinion of whatever it is on the part of the person with whom I am conversing.
So naturally we sat down at the table after playing golf, and since I was there, naturally world events and domestic politics became the subject. What started was one of the guys in the foursome, usually predictable, started asking me what I think of the Republican field and who should be the nominee? Who’s gonna do this? What’s this? What’s that?
The next discussion was what kind of economic policies the Republican Party needs to offer in order to win. And then domestic policy, what the Republican Party needs to do in order to win and succeed. The usual, predictable things: We gotta drop the social issues. We gotta get rid of those. We gotta come up with real responsible tax policy. I’m listening to all this and I threw up my hands, and this is the beginning of the new technique, I said to the avowed socialist — he’s a nice guy, don’t misunderstand.
I wasn’t looking at him. I was looking at the guy who had offered the theories on what the Republicans need to do. I looked at him and said — folks, now, I don’t want anybody to misunderstand me here. This is a technique that I have evolved to draw people out that I have found to be far more successful than just asking them for their opinion point-blank. And that is to say something that I may believe or may not believe, call it being a provocateur, but not with the intention of starting an argument, just to actually learn what somebody thinks.
So I said — and I made this up, I want you to understand this. I don’t want there to be any confusion when the Democrat websites get ahold of this later today. After listening to the suggestions from another guest what the Republican Party needs to do to win and so forth, I looked at the guy who made the suggestions and I looked at the avowed socialist, and I said, “I think it’s all academic. I think it’s over. I think the things you’re talking about are not gonna make a hill of beans. We’ve lost the culture. Facts don’t matter.
“You’re sitting here and you’re talking tax policy and this and that and the vast majority of people voting are not gonna have the slightest idea what you’re talking about, tax policy? We have 92 and a half million Americans who are not working. They don’t care about self-reliance tax policy. All they care about is the gravy train continuing. We’ve lost the culture here. I don’t know that we can ever get it back. It doesn’t matter who we nominate.”
I wanted to find out what the socialist thought. Now, if I’d have just asked him point-blank, because I am such an intimidating figure, I don’t know that I would have gotten the answer. But I knew saying something like that would, obviously, distress my Republican buddy at the table who immediately, by the way, started trying to talk me off the ledge. That’s how successful I was in making them think I believed this. The socialist disagreed with me and started talking about what the Republicans have to do and how they can pull it off and it’s all about getting the votes and so forth.
I found it really, really fascinating, because one of the things the socialist said about Iran, the Middle East, when that came up, he said, “Rush, don’t you think it’s better finally now, let those people fight it out over there? The days of America being the world’s policeman, screw that. I mean, if the Iranians want to fight the Iraqis and they want to fight the Saudis and they want to fight the Syrians and they want to fight the Palestinians, let ’em have at it.” This is the avowed socialist saying this. “Don’t you think this is a brilliant Obama foreign policy, to finally just pick a side other than Israel and stir the region up and just have them all fight amongst themselves and let it shake out from whatever happens.”
And I said, “You know I heard that opinion the other day.” I started saying, “Where’d I hear this? Where’d I — oh, yeah. That’s exactly what Bill Maher thinks. That’s exactly what a bunch of Hollywood leftists think.”
And he said, “Well, I’ll be right at home, I’m an avowed socialist.”
I said, “Well, yeah, that’s true.” And then I said, “But this ignores a key ingredient in all that, and that is the concept of the United States.”
He said, “Why does the United States have to be everywhere?”
I said, “You sound like Obama, exactly like Obama. There’s nothing special about us, why should we be there? There’s one nation in the history of earth that has stood for freedom and liberty, and it’s us. And, if we are not that beacon and outpost to every nation, we’re going to cease being that for ourselves, at some point.” I said, “Also absent in this idea of just letting them fight it out over there is the concept of good guys and bad guys. And what really bothers me –” you’ve heard this before, but I’m just setting the table here, you understand the conversation. “The whole idea that the United States is no different, that the United States is not the solution to world problems, that we are actually ‘the’ problem and the only way to solve the problem is for us to get out of it,” I said I found that profoundly upsetting and distressing.
There are good guys and bad guys in this conflict, just like there are in every conflict, and our history is that we have always sided with the good guys with the confident knowledge that we are the good guys, and it really worries me that we are losing that, particularly when it comes to the importance of foreign policy in the Middle East.
And that’s where we are.
RUSH: I get an e-mail: “How is that even possible, an avowed socialist ends up at a golf club with you on a sunny Sunday afternoon in Florida?” He’s a friend of the Republicans that were in the group, and he’s French. How can he not be an avowed social? In fact, he had all kinds of fascinating theories about how the immigration in France is actually causing there to be — it hasn’t happened yet, but his theory is that there’s going to be an accord of sorts in France between the French conservatives, as identified by Le Pen, and communists, and the common denominator is militant Islam, that so many people are worried. It’s an immigration problem, essentially.
And he said, don’t be surprised if you see this kind of political arrangement at some point. I was incredulous. I wanted to make sure that I was hearing him. “Are you telling me there might be an alignment, a voting alignment between French communists and Le Pen?”
“It could happen, it could happen,” and he started explaining to me why and how. The point is, when I threw out my theory that the United States, as we know it, is over and finished, the guy is an avowed socialist. You know, rather than just asking point-blank, I threw it out, I figured a reaction to that is gonna get me a much more honest opinion of what he thinks or anybody, than just asking him point-blank. And he said, “No way, this is the greatest place on earth. There’s no way, not even Obama can destroy it. We’re not happy with Obama,” blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. “You need to have more faith in your fellow citizens. There are more of them than you know.”
This guy actually was speaking with more knowledge, or at least sounded like he had a better understanding of American domestic politics, than many Americans. And for all of his talk about being an avowed socialist, he said plenty of things that contradicted that. The point of it all, when it got really serious, was the discussion of what’s going on in the Middle East and what that really means for the United States and the world and America’s role, and that’s where his avowed socialist leanings surfaced. “US, get out of there. Let those people have it out amongst themselves and let’s deal with what ends up after they all finish each other off.”