RUSH: The rally that Bernie Sanders had in Iowa’s got everybody nonplussed. Nobody can figure it out. I have.
I know exactly why the left is going nuts over Bernie Sanders. For one thing, sex scandals are resume enhancements for the Democrat Party. They always have been and Bernie’s got a little bit of a sex scandal going with that memo, his Fifty Shades of Grey impersonation that he did, his ruminations about what men are doing when they’re doing other things and what women secretly want when men are doing it to them. That kind of stuff enhances Democrats. Look at Bill Clinton, didn’t get him in trouble.
But there’s a more salient reason why. I mean, Bernie Sanders is a full-fledged acknowledged, admitted socialist. There’s a reason why he’s drawing flocks and flocks of people when he goes out. The Martin O’Malley announcement, right here at The Daily Beast, which is a left-wing website: “Martin OÂ’MalleyÂ’s Embarrassing Announcement — The former governor of Maryland announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination today amid protesters and a smattering of supporters.”
They go on to talk about how embarrassing it was. But there was still some interest in O’Malley and what it means is that there’s interest in people on the Democrat side other than Hillary. And I can tell why it is, and it’s not just Bernie Sanders’ sex scandal if you can even say he’s got one.
RUSH: The Washington Post has a story today wondering why in the world people are so down on the economy. They can’t figure it out at the Washington Post, why people are so down on the economy. The economy? Yeah, it’s roaring! It’s like they’re not aware of the revised first-quarter growth rate of minus 0.7%. They talk about wages kicking up and jobs kicking up and productivity kicking up. They’re seeing things nobody else sees, and then they’re wondering why nobody sees it.
Then they conclude, “Well, it must be psychological.” I have a question. When the news came out last week that the first quarter GDP growth rate was minus 0.7%, why didn’t the president suggest a new stimulus package? I mean, if the first stimulus led to burgeoning economic growth, and if the first stimulus was exactly what was called for six years ago, why doesn’t he do it again? (interruption) No, no, no. I’m not trying to make a point. I’m being serious. Why doesn’t he do it again?
Everybody thinks the economy is stagnant.
Perception is reality in politics, and if the American people think the economy’s in the tank — and it is. But even if they think it is and it isn’t, they still think it is. That’s gonna win the day’s attitudes. Why not do another stimulus? (interruption) Well, he knows it didn’t work because the first stimulus was not a stimulus. The first stimulus was not about boosting the economy, and the truth of that is proof here. If the stimulus/Porkulus bill 2009 was the answer, we wouldn’t be where we are today.
But the first Porkulus bill was just that.
It was not an economic stimulus plan. It was far more than that. It had nothing to do with economic growth.
What else do we have here? Let’s see.
The NSA business? I tell you, on this, “Why Don’t Americans Feel Better About the Economy?” and why Bernie Sanders is drawing a lot of people — and, look, that’s a relative number. I mean, they’re not overflow crowds, but the Drive-Bys are surprised because in their minds… See, the Drive-Bys, in their minds, think everybody thinks like they do. That would mean every Democrat is all-in for Hillary. So when they see Bernie Sanders — literally from Jurassic Park — drawing droves of people, they can’t understand. They don’t believe it. And then they see O’Malley out there. They expected O’Malley to do better than he did, you know, ’cause O’Malley has abs. O’Malley goes out and flexes like Putin. They figure that’s all it would take to get a lot of votes, particularly women. It’s looking like it’s gonna be tougher row to hoe for O’Malley than people thought, but they think everybody’s all-in for Hillary. But the reasons why people are showing up has everything to do — and this is sad, as I said.
It has everything to do with people’s perception of where they are in this country. It could be traced back. There was some old German economist at the turn of the twentieth century, the early 1900s, who was famous for asking, “Why hasn’t America gone socialist?” Because it was thought to be the natural thing for countries, populations, governments, to do, just like everybody by then in Europe had gone socialist.
Socialism, communism has been the way most people have been forced to live in the human condition. Now, communism existed long before it was called that, but I mean people living in tyranny, people who were not allowed freedom. So this famous German economist (I can’t remember his name) asked, “Why hasn’t America gone socialist yet?” There was a substantive answer to that. It was called “we, the people” in the preamble of the Declaration.
We, the people. The First Amendment. Freedom, liberty, and so forth. The government was not of primary import in our founding documents, the Constitution and so forth. But, in addition to that, there was no economic need for it. For socialism to be attractive, what do you need? Just a little pop quiz here. For socialism to be attractive to people, what needs to exist? (interruption) Well, yeah, “unrest and chaos.”
Speaking of which, we’ve got some statistics on crime in Baltimore that will blow your mind. Do you know that 300,000 people have moved out of Baltimore since 1972? Three hundred thousand people. It’s not all because Nancy Pelosi was there. Three hundred thousand! It’s the crime rate. No, one of the many things that needs to exist for socialism to be acceptable… I mean by people. Every government in the world would love to be socialist, including ours. It’s power.
The thing that you need, the thing that needs to be in place, the thing that needs to happen for socialism to be attractive is for people to think they have no more chance at upward mobility. It’s when people think their chance at moving from the middle class to the upper middle class is over or really, really hard — and, more than anything else, just a crapshoot. Not guaranteed by hard work. Not the usual formulas to get there.
When they’re burned out, when people think that where they are economically is as good as it’s gonna get for their whole life, socialism looks really, really good. And that’s the answer. That’s why Bernie Sanders has drawn a lot of people, because to Democrats who are depressed and angry and dispirited every day, who have no hope of life getting better… Why would they? I mean, everything they believe in doesn’t work and they’re living in the midst of it.
Speaking of which, Elon Musk. I don’t know if you know who Elon Musk is, but for those of you who don’t he’s a hero to Millennials. He’s a hero to the high-tech crowd. He’s the guy who started Tesla (the electric car company) and SpaceX, and he’s a billionaire. But he’s a hero, because he’s considered to be the next Steve Jobs-plus some. He’s considered to be a genius, brilliant, risk-taking, fearless. It turns out that if it weren’t for almost 85% government underwriting, Elon Musk wouldn’t have what he has.
In other words, Elon Musk is the product and his companies are the product of $4.9 billion in government subsidies. Take that away from Elon Musk, and he’s no different than anybody else struggling to achieve. Now, this is not to criticize Elon Musk. I don’t know him. It’s not to criticize him personally. It’s to stay on topic about why socialism and Big Government ends up being attractive to people. With Big Government…
When your position in life says your hard work is not gonna matter to you, then where are you gonna turn for sustenance? You are gonna turn to a place where all the money is. That’s government, and that’s what’s happening today. In fact, that’s what the transformation of America is all about, is transforming us to socialism, because that’s what the American people want, theoretically, and are willing to vote for.
So that’s somewhat of a table setter.
RUSH: Let’s see, basically two stories here. And the first one is, “Society’s Lottery Winners.” It’s a Forbes story, and the second one is, “American Socialism’s Day in the Sun.” And this is about what I referenced at the show open about why so many people are seemingly so excited and showing up at Bernie Sanders’ campaign events in Iowa.
The story here at the FinancialTimes.com: “American Socialism’s Day in the Sun — Popularity of the more radical Democrat Sanders is dragging Clinton to left in presidential race.” I think it’s a little premature to say that Bernie Sanders is dragging Hillary anywhere. And, by the way, the idea that Hillary’s gonna get dragged to the left, that’s misinformation anyway. Hillary doesn’t have to be dragged anywhere to the left. Hillary is the left. Hillary is Obama in a pantsuit. In fact, it’s Obama that wears the mom jeans and Hillary that wears the pantsuits.
But Hillary is not a moderate, she’s not a centrist, and anything that she says other does to make it look like she is fraudulent. Have you seen this Vanity Fair cover? My name is Caitlyn, is that what it says? It’s Bruce Jenner following the — (interruption) Call Me Caitlyn, yeah, Call Me Caitlyn. Let me put that off to the side. I don’t want to distract myself with that.
Now, “American Socialism’s Day in the Sun,” this is the story dealing with way back turn of the twentieth century, this guy, some German economist perplexed why America, back in the early 1900s, has not gone socialist yet. And the answer to that is all rooted in the fact that everybody in America considered themselves in the middle class. You see, in socialist countries, people are so poor that what they aspire to is not the 1%, not the 10%. What people in socialist or communist countries aspire to is what we call lower middle class, in some cases middle class.
America was already compared to the rest of the world, and in world history, America was so far advanced economically, our people, our population, we already had a vibrant middle class that was just beginning in the turn of the twentieth century to dominate the world. So there was no need for socialism. Socialism is viewed as a step up by people who want it and support it. But now we step forward, we jump forward to 2015, and we find that many Democrats and people on the left are eagerly anticipating a socialist America full-fledged admitted, no bones about it socialist America, and you know why? It’s because of downward mobility now in the American economy, not upward.
Even the Washington Post addresses this today in a story that’s not really related to this. Their story is, “Man, we got a great economy going on here. Why do people not think so?” I’m not kidding. That is a lead story in the Washington Post. So I want to look at here society’s lottery winners and this idea that America somehow has a majority of people now seeking socialism.
And here are the numbers to chew on ’til we get back and get into detail. As recently as 2008, 63% of Americans identified as upper middle or middle class. Seven years later, now, 2015, that number has fallen to 51%, 51% now identify as upper middle or middle class. Meanwhile, the share of Americans who self-identify as working and lower class has jumped from 35 to 48%, and that is why people like Bernie Sanders, avowed socialists, are drawing big crowds of leftists and Democrats, ’cause to them it’s a step up. It’s sad commentary on what has been done to this country.