RUSH: Here’s Maria in Davis, California. Davis, California. Boy, some of the most interesting days of my life have been spent in Davis, California. University of Davis, right down the road from Sacramento. How you doing, Maria?
CALLER: I’m fine. I have a question for you.
CALLER: Earlier you were saying about smoking, that people ought to be thankful that there are smokers, because the money gotten from smoking helps to fund all these child programs and everything? But that’s like saying I’m glad that there’s bumper accidents because then auto mechanics would still have jobs and it improves the economy. Or knives. It’s a good thing that people cut themselves because that’s good for the bandage industry. That’s just my opinion.
RUSH: Well, now, wait. Hold it, hold it just a second. I’m sure the hospital industry would agree with you that they support knives, there wouldn’t be scalpels without knives.
CALLER: No. They’re not doing it on purpose, now. Wait a minute. People in hospitals that are —
RUSH: Hey, you need bandages.
CALLER: You’re doing that to cure somebody. They’re not doing that to hurt anybody.
RUSH: Well, smokers aren’t killing anybody.
CALLER: Except themselves.
RUSH: Yeah, but how long does it take?
CALLER: If you’re in an environment where somebody smokes, you can get secondhand disease from —
CALLER: — secondhand smoke.
RUSH: No. You can’t. That is a myth. That has been disproven at the World Health Organization and the report was suppressed. There is no fatality whatsoever. There’s no even major sickness component associated with secondhand smoke. It may irritate you, and you may not like it, but it will not make you sick, and it will not kill you.
RUSH: Firsthand smoke takes 50 years to kill people, if it does. Not everybody that smokes gets cancer. Now, it’s true that everybody who smokes dies, but so does everyone who eats carrots.
CALLER: Yeah, but people in the hospital with scalpels are not doing it to hurt anybody. I mean, when you pick up a cigarette and you’re smoking, you’re kind of doing it because you have some kind of —
CALLER: — psychological need.
RUSH: You know, I was cutting a steak one day for lunch in Sacramento, in fact, and I missed and I hit my finger. I didn’t do it on purpose, but I’m damn glad there were bandages. Maria, here’s the point. Here’s the point. You are having a knee-jerk reaction, and I’m glad you called. I’m glad you called, because you’re giving me an opportunity to explain this thing further.
RUSH: In our country, for the longest time, we have created a hatred for people who smoke. Some people actively despise them and hate them. We have not banned the product. We continue to sell the product, and we profit from the product. We fund children’s health care programs with the tax revenue from the sale of tobacco products. If tobacco is so deadly, if it is so bad, why does our government permit it to be sold? And the answer is —
CALLER: We tax everything. We tax everything in the United States. Everything is taxed. You’re making money from everything here.
RUSH: I’m telling you, there ought to be some measure of appreciation for people who buy tobacco products, despite the forces arrayed against them, It’s getting harder and harder to use tobacco products, unless you want to call marijuana tobacco, and you can do that anywhere, for the most part. But the fact of the matter is they have to endure a lot, the public hates them, they’re despised, they can’t smoke in places of comfort anymore, can’t even smoke outside in a park! And yet their actions and their taxes and their purchases are funding children’s health care programs. I’m just saying there ought to be a little appreciation shown for them, instead of having them hated and reviled. I would like a medal for smoking cigars, is what I’m saying.
CALLER: You could say the same thing about all these people that are drinking soda like Coca-Cola and eating potato chips .
RUSH: What’s wrong with that?
CALLER: And chocolate bars, pretzel, popcorn, everything, all that, all those kinds of foods are kind of harmful. I mean, they say that it’s increasing the obesity in the United States, and everything, but, I mean, people have a right to eat what they want, drink what they want.
RUSH: No, they don’t. That’s the point. The kids in school in Virginia do not. They have to eat the crap that Michelle Obama puts in front of ’em. We don’t have the right. In New York City you can’t buy a Slurpee bigger than 16 ounces. In New York, you can’t eat what you want. This is the point, Maria, this is what’s happening. Every day we’re losing a little of the everyday freedom you just described. Every day, little by little, so much so we don’t even notice it until it reaches a tipping point.
What’s so bad about potato chips, for crying out loud. Look at all the things we demonize. Soda pop, potato chips, look what they’ve made you believe. They’ve got you believing all that stuff kills people. I’ve never seen a death certificate: Cause of death: Frito-Lay. I’ve never seen it. I’ve never seen Cause of death: Tobacco products. Not everybody who smokes gets cancer. The most shocking event in the world is when somebody gets lung cancer and they never smoked, and everybody says, “How the hell did that happen?” Because everybody’s been so persuaded to believe that it’s automatic.