RUSH: Forbes magazine: “Society’s Lottery Winners.” Now, the story starts out with something that near and dear to my heart. I remember way back when this program first started. I forget why I made the point, but I uttered what has come to be acknowledged as a profundity: “Words mean things.” I made the point that this is a program that is substance over style, whereas most of politics — sadly, most of our culture these days — is style over substance. I called it something else, just different terminology.
But symbolism over substance, style over substance, same thing.
Words mean things.
I’m the mayor of Realville.
I believe in the substance of things, not the phoniness.
As an example, when I was establishing goals for this program, one of them was to be a real number one, meaning the actual most listened to program, not one that was said to be. You wouldn’t believe how many radio and TV shows have really a pittance of an audience but because of the guests they have and those guests constantly talk about that show or that host, the impression is created that show is much more popular and bigger than it is.
We don’t do any of that here. Don’t have a PR firm or PR agency. We sink or swim day to day on the substance and the quality of what happens here, the product. So, to me, words mean things. “Words matter.” In fact, it got to the point where that became such a profundity that the Democrat Party began to go out and hire wordsmiths. Remember this guy named…? (interruption) Yeah. Yeah, George Lakoff (rhymes with).
It was his job to give the Democrats different words and phrases, other than the real words and real phrases, in order to convey a false meaning. It was a way to lie and to build Democrats and their agenda items up, which could not stand on their own. And so the Forbes story starts with these words: “Words matter.” (It’s the same thing as saying “Words mean things.”) Forbes: “Words matter. Take the phrase ‘If we can’t ask from society’s winners to make [an] investment. … ‘
“It’s a familiar plea from preachers and fundraisers, a particularly American approach. The US, happily, is a country that mints many winners who then traditionally give lots of money to charities, churches, schools and nonprofits. Now change this plea by the addition of a single word: ‘If we can’t ask from society’s lottery winners to make [an] investment. …’ Hmm — it has an altogether different ring to it, no? That one word, ‘lottery,’ changes the entire meaning” of: We ask from society’s winners.
“A good-hearted plea to society’s successful to heed their better angels and give something back becomes, by inserting ‘lottery,’ sarcastic and cutting,” and demeaning. The first politician that I know of… I’m sure he wasn’t the first. But in our era, the first politician I’m aware of that monkeyed around with this was our old buddy Dick Gephardt, who was Democrat leader in the House for a while. He was gonna be speaker except Newt became speaker.
And they never got over that.
Gephardt, when he had to give Newt the gavel in 1995, he just practically had a cow. But it was Gephardt that kept running around talking about winners of life’s lottery, and what it conveyed was that success is random and accidental, and it’s not fair, because success has nothing to do with work. It’s the Lucky Sperm Club, or you stepped into an accidental discovery or some such thing. But Democrats attempted (and they still do) to stigmatize success by delegitimizing it, which is what Obama did.
Obama is the one who is throwing in the word “lottery” when talking about America’s winners. “President Obama’s use of the words ‘lottery winners’ instead of ‘winners’ was in really poor taste. Bill Gates and Paul Allen were surely lucky to be endowed with the 99.99th percentile IQs they didn’t choose. But they each devoted tens of thousands of hours in applying their smarts to learning about software. Gates forfeited great opportunities by dropping out of an elite college.”
He quit Harvard.
“Both risked potentially lucrative careers to start Microsoft. Larry Page was the grandson of a Michigan autoworker and the son of a professor of computer science,” his dad was an academic “and an instructor of computer programming. His business partner, Sergey Brin, was born into a Jewish family in the anti-Semitic Soviet Union. Both were ‘lucky’ to be endowed with native intelligence and to grow up in families that loved learning. But millions of children around the world are similarly endowed and don’t start Google-like companies,” or Microsoft or Apple or what have you.
It’s actually… It’s not all that great a story because it’s obvious. I mean, it’s important. I’m glad they did it. They’re going after Obama for trying to stigmatize success, and this is something the Democrat Party has done for as long as I’ve been alive. Stigmatize it, delegitimize it — in fact, in some places, criminalize it — in order to create class envy, resentment, hate, and disgust. It’s how we’ve evolved to this sick situation now where middle-class people are told to be happy when the rich have their taxes increased.
It doesn’t change the middle class person’s life at all, but they’re supposed to sit there and be happy that the rich are somehow getting’ screwed. In fact, when the rich get screwed, the middle class does, too, because where does the middle class go to get hired? Well, we now take this — and Forbes goes on with a whole segment here on luck or hard work. Obama’s using the words “lottery winner.” Winners in life’s lottery.
Now we go on to this story, and this is actually announcing Martin O’Malley’s entrance into the presidential sweepstakes. The Financial Times does a story here: “American Socialism’s Day in the Sun — Left-wing politicians are in electoral retreat across most of the Western world. The one exception is the United States.” Here. By the way, that happens to be true. Look at the massive conservative victory in the UK. Conservatives are rising and starting to win in France.
But in the US, we’re going the exact opposite direction.
“At 15% in the Democratic polls, Bernie Sanders, the [avowed socialist] senator from Vermont, is riding higher than any US socialist since Eugene Debs ran for the White House a century ago. The fact that Mr. Sanders has very little chance of unseating Hillary Clinton is beside the point. His popularity,” it says here, “is dragging her leftward.” We can debate that later. It’s not the point here. Now, Bernie… Well, it is a little bit of a point, but not the main one.
“If [Bernie Sanders] flames out, other left-wingers, such as Martin OÂ’Malley,” and keep moving the Democrat Party leftward. I don’t know how it can get better left that Obama, and I mean that. I don’t know how you can get further left than Obama without just openly admitting what’s going on. “Elizabeth Warren, the populist Massachusetts senator, will continue to prod Mrs. Clinton from outside the field.
“The more Mrs. Clinton adopts their language, the harder it will be for her to reclaim the centre ground next year. Yet she is only following the crowd. A surprisingly large chunk of Democrats are happy to break the US taboo against socialism.” That’s the real nub of this story. The real point of this story — even if the Financial Times doesn’t get it — is the Democrat Party, more and more of the rank-and-file (not just Democrat politicians, actual Democrat citizens, the great unwashed) are happy to move openly toward socialism.
There’s a reason for it, rooted in economics. Now, “To most students of US politics, the phrase American socialism is an oxymoron — like clean coal or the Bolivian navy. A century ago, Werner Sombart, a German scholar, asked ‘Why is there no socialism in America?’ It was a question that confounded Marxists. As the most advanced capitalistic society, the US was most ripe for a proletarian revolution, according to their teleology.” So why didn’t it happen?
You know, Marxism believes that every culture eventually is going to shed capitalism because of the so-called inherent unfairness and inequality and inequity and disparities, mean-spiritedness, extremism, racism, and go socialist, where everything is sweetness and light and utopia and fair and equal … and, uh, no pay. Yet the US was going the opposite direction. After over a hundred years in existence, they were shocked that it had not — the US had not — turned toward socialism. The US refused to move in that direction.
Okay, so here are a couple of pull quotes from the story that make my point. The first one is how the American dream was knocked down. A quote from the Financial Times article, this one on Bernie Sanders: “Socialism found no audience in the US because most Americans felt they were middle class.” Remember, socialism is attractive to people who are poor with no hope. Socialism looks good to people who think they’re stuck, who think all the rules of hard work and self-reliance aren’t gonna matter.
The deck is stacked against them for whatever reason. Whether they’re right or wrong, their attitudes are what count (perception, in politics, is reality), and they think they’re stuck. The old rules of hard work and self-reliance and steadfastness, all that, they lose faith in it and don’t believe it. So socialism becomes attractive. “High rates of social mobility gave most people the sense that their society was exceptional — and rightly so.” Here’s this term “American exceptionalism” again, which the left hates.
They don’t like it whatsoever for a whole host of reasons that I’m not gonna go into here. But the point is, all of “[t]his is now in question. As recently as 2008…” These numbers actually make me sad, because it means that the efforts, the agenda, the ideas of the current Democrat Party are working. “As recently as 2008,” just seven years ago, “63% of Americans identified as upper middle or middle class.”
That’s 2008. That’s the campaign year, before Obama’s done anything. Americans are optimistic! They think they still can get where they want to get with a little hard work and a little self-reliance, the old formulas. They still believe in them. Now it’s seven years into the Obama Regime, and no longer do “63% of Americans identify[y] as upper middle or middle class. That has fallen to 51%,” and it’s falling.
In the greatest nation on earth, the greatest economic engine ever created and sustained by humanity — the greatest economic engine for the force of good ever in the history of mankind — the attitudes of people that live in this country are plummeting, attitudes related to their ability to advance up the economic ladder. In 2008, before Obama was inaugurated, again, 63% of Americans thought they were already upper middle class or middle class. Today it’s 51% and falling.
“Meanwhile, the share of Americans who self-identify as ‘working and lower class,'” meaning the people that admit it, “according to Gallup, has risen from 35% to 48% since 2008.” So 51% identify as upper middle class or middle; 48% working and lower class, again since 2008. “[T]he share of Americans who identify as upper class is 1%.” That happens to work out to be correct. “That number hasnÂ’t changed. But the belief that they are rigging the system is now mainstream.”
Folks, that is the single biggest problem that we really have. The Democrats have run around for I don’t know how many years before Obama, trying to tell the middle class and even the upper middle class that they were worse off than they were and it was getting worse. I remember in the height of the Bush economy, 4.7% unemployment. I mean, practically everybody wanted a job had one. We were coming out of two recessions and 9/11. We’re going gangbusters
Before the housing thing hit, the Democrats are out every day and the media trying to convince people we’re really in a recession and we’re losing ground fast. I remember getting calls from people on this program, “Yeah, I’m doing fine, but the news! I guess my neighbor’s not, ’cause I look at the news and they say everybody’s in dire straits. But I’m doing great and I feel bad.” Callers were calling and they felt guilty admitting they were doing okay, because they believed everybody else was not.
The Democrat Party and the media were working to convince people the economy was in the tank when it wasn’t, and furthermore there was another component. The Democrats actually — and they still do this — told people that the rich got rich by taking money from the middle class and the poor and then not giving it back. That’s how they distorted the whole definition of trickle-down, supply-side economics. They totally distorted it.
And they apparently have succeeded in making people believe that the 1% are the 1% because they have stolen money or found a way to get the money belonging to everybody else. They’ve rigged the game, and they’re hoarding it. They’re not giving it back or sharing it or trickling it down. Accordingly, people are becoming bleak about their future, at which point socialism is beginning to look good to them. That is wrong.
RUSH: Okay, now, folks, I want to add one more thing to this. “The rise of the Democrat left,” it says here, this is from the Financial Times article, “the rise of the Democrat left is every bit as real as the Tea Party’s surge among Republicans.” This is not Occupy. That was phony. Occupy Wall Street was totally manufactured and made up. But this bunch of Democrats, the American Democratic Party is the party of the poor. They need a permanent underclass, and they’ve succeeded in creating one, and it’s gotten so bad under Obama that they don’t even see themselves as upwardly mobile now. That’s the point.
You hear it expressed by the Millennials as they’ve lost faith in the country. It now seems to be rampant all across the Democrat Party. Upward mobility just seems out of their reach. Hence, socialism looks good. It’s terrible. And I want to add one more thing to this. You know this talk that we had last week about Millennials not caring to own anything? Now, you might think, “Come on, Rush, no big deal. This is a bunch of little kids and they’re gonna grow up and they’re gonna change their minds about that.” Well, maybe they won’t.
But let me add a point to this. Not caring about owning private property is bad news because that feeds right into people like the modern Democrat Party’s effort to establish socialism. Because I’m gonna tell you something, whether you believe this or not, the right to own property is as important or close to it as the right to free speech or any of the others in the Bill of Rights. The right to own property and do with it what you want. The EPA’s now telling you that a puddle in your backyard is theirs and that they can regulate your house and your property. You might have a puddle after a rain, standing water, it’s obscene.
But when Millennials come along, “I don’t care, I don’t want to own a house, it’s too much trouble, I don’t want to own a car,” that is music to the ears of Obama and people like him. Socialism requires, it feeds off of, it advances off the notion that people don’t care about owning anything. Governments say, “Fine, wonderful, we’ll own it. We’ll control it. You don’t want it? Perfect.” Not good. Not good. If you’re focused on the greater good, which, of course, we all are here at the EIB Network.
RUSH: Washington Post: “Why Don’t Americans Feel Better About the Economy? — If there was any time for American consumers to feel good, it would be this moment.” How in the hell can you write that? We just were told last week that the first quarter growth was negative, that the American economy is contracting (shrinking, for those of you in Rio Linda). How in the world can you write this: “If there was any time for American…”?
What do they think this is, the eighties? This is incredible. This is Bob Schieffer news. “If there was any time for American consumers to feel good, it would be this moment. Job growth is brisk.” Bulls—! BS! “Paychecks are finally nudging up.” Where? “And a surprise drop in gas prices has given the average household an extra $700 a year.” Yeah, and why aren’t they spending it? You ever stop to think of that? How can you write this with 93 million Americans not working?
“Why Don’t Americans Feel Better About the Economy?”
You people in Washington need to get out of town. You need to get out there.You need to get a visa. You need to go to some states in the Midwest. Go to Detroit. Go to places the Democrat Party has ruled the roost for decades and see if you can find all this economic prosperity you see out there, and then scratch your heads and wonder why people don’t see it, when it’s invisible. “Why Don’t Americans Feel Better About the Economy? … “But six years after the end of the Great Recession…” It hasn’t ended. We’re still in it!
“Americans are startlingly anxious about their economic prospects. They are sitting on their money in a way that suggests that the consumer psychology may have fundamentally changed, with people less willing to spend than they were during other periods of economic prosperity.” What does that tell you? See, when you believe the people are idiots and when you believe the people are wrong, that’s how you write crap like this. I don’t… It doesn’t take much of an IQ to know.
You don’t have to be endowed with a great intelligence here to know that things are not normal economically. This is not… People are admitting they’re losing faith in the country. You know, there’s a theory. David Horowitz… I just found this out. I didn’t know this. See what you think of it. David Horowitz, FrontPage, has the theory that the end of the Soviet Union was actually bad in one sense: With the Soviet Union, we had an ongoing daily example of the debacle that is socialism, communism.
We had an ongoing, everyday example what we could point to: “This is what’s wrong with it. Socialism happens.” Now it’s gone. There’s nothing to point to. There’s nobody for the young generation, the Millennials that don’t remember the Soviet Union. There’s nowhere to point. Can’t point to Cuba. They think the health care is great! Can’t point the China. They make the iPhones. So you can’t point anywhere to educate people how rotten socialism is. So it becomes acceptable.
It’s a valid point. Not to say that we should still let the Soviet Union exist or we shouldn’t have taken ’em out. I’m not saying that at all. But it is valid, in a sense, when you’ve got young people that do not know about the Soviet Union. There’s nothing to point to to give them an example. “Oh, you want socialism? Look what it’s gonna be. Look at the Soviet Union.” You don’t have anywhere to point to now. All we’ve got is theory. All we can do is say, “Well, I’ll tell you what’s gonna happen.”
But if they don’t believe you to start with, you’re up a creek.