RUSH: Brandon in Birmingham, Alabama, welcome, sir. Glad you waited. You’re next. Hello.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. Thanks for taking my call.
RUSH: You bet, sir.
CALLER: I had a quick question. I’m 25, a white male in Alabama, and we were talking about Millennials on the show and their interpretations of reality. One of the perceptions of reality they have is that they do not have a bright future in America. America doesn’t have a bright future, and the people in it don’t. I was curious as to whether you see anything in the economy or culture that contradicts that perception of reality.
RUSH: Well, what a great, great question. Your question is actually a great opportunity for me.
RUSH: No, it is. It is. Because I am well aware that not just Millennials but practically everybody that’s conscious and pays even scant attention to what we call news today, would be excused if all they did was have negative perceptions. I mean, if you watch the news today — if you’re a consumer of it to any degree whatsoever — you can’t help but be overwhelmed by the pessimism and the doom and gloom. And of course there are alternatives to that. This still is the United States of America, and we’re gonna have a different administration at some point down the road. Brandon, if you can, hang on through the break here, and I will get more detailed when we get back.
RUSH: Now back to Brandon in Birmingham. Brandon, let me tell you what I have noticed when I look at polling data — particularly of Millennials, people your age.
RUSH: It distresses me. They recognize that things are not right. They recognize things are not good. They recognize that this isn’t the America they thought they were gonna grow up in. The problem is why. When I read the polling data, Millennials say that they have simply lost faith in the country, and when pressed further, they actually — in majority numbers — say that they believe the country’s best days are behind us. We have finally caught up to that moment in time — it just happens to be when they are alive — that the country’s economy can no longer provide better for the next generation than the previous one.
It just a quirk of fate, luck of draw that they happen to be alive when the country’s in decline, and they just conclude that that’s what’s happening. And it’s frustrating that while they’re right about some of their assessments, they’re entirely wrong about why. It’s a total mistake and a big error to lose faith in the country. The country, as it exists right now, is a product and a result of policies that have been implemented in Washington and in some states that have had a deleterious effect on individual liberty and economies and any number of things that would constitute making a better life.
The government’s grown bigger. For the government to get bigger, the place that you live and work has to get smaller. The government doesn’t produce anything. It only takes. The government doesn’t create wealth. It only redistributes it. So while there are plenty of things to be negative about, the country isn’t one of them. It’s the current bunch of people running the country. Now, I know if I say it that way to the wrong group of Millennials, they’ll automatically discount me.
They’ll think I’m just a partisan guy trying to criticize Democrats and I’m not taking the situation seriously, but I am. I’m taking it terribly seriously. I would love to tell you that better days are ahead. And, frankly, I think they are, or I wouldn’t be wasting my time anymore. I remain optimistic about the future because that’s always been the smart bet in this country. We’ve been here before. We’ve been here in 1929. We’ve been here in a number of other intervals where we’ve had real downturns in the economy.
The late seventies was arguably as bad as it is now, and we have always rebounded, and I think we will rebound again. But this is a deep hole, and it’s a deep hole because the policies that have been implemented are gonna have to be undone in whole or in part. But more than that, I believe the country is a result of the people who live in it, and even though… We’ve lived in the past where there have been punitive tax policies and punitive economic regulations that have made success harder, and people have overcome them.
Entrepreneurs have found their ways around them, and then we’ve had new politicians elected that have different philosophies and reduced some of the regulations and opened up the pathways of freedom even more. I think it’s gonna happen again. But I’m not gonna be Pollyannaish about it. It’s not gonna happen if everybody just sits around and waits for it to happen, but whatever you do… Before I go any further, I’d probably be wise to get your reaction to all that. Do you think I’m full of it?
CALLER: I don’t think you’re full of it. I mean, the only point I would make about all this — and I actually line up somewhat with Millennials. Even though I don’t agree with them on how we’re getting where we are, even though I’m part of their group, we need to acquire some self-awareness and realize that. Like you said, we are part of America and we influence what happens to it. But when I look at, like, politics and what goes on in our capital, conservatism can’t even win the argument of what a budget cut is, okay? So a “cut” in Washington, DC, is something that reduces the rate of growth.
RUSH: I can’t argue with you.
CALLER: Now, if the conservatives can’t even win the argument and define accurately what the word “cut” means and implies mathematically, how can we change any of this?
RUSH: Well… (sigh) You may not be able to change budgeting. Let me go at this a different way. Let me talk to you about the way people live. I happen to think, based on what I’ve seen… This is not a guess. I think most people… Let’s just say a majority. It may be a small majority, but I think a majority of people who don’t even know it actually live their lives closer to conservatism than liberalism. You’re concerned about your kids, or you will be.
You’re not gonna get up and go around the neighborhood and give your money away.
You might vote for somebody to do it, but you’re not gonna do it yourself.
You’re gonna work hard. I think you care — I can tell by listening to you — about solid foundations on which you can build your life. You’re worried about people telling the truth and so forth. You know, Washington is Washington, and what happens in Washington is gobbledygook, and you’re exactly right: There’s never been a cut in anything. While they all talk about the Draconian cuts that have taken place, there aren’t any cuts, and conservatism doesn’t win arguments in the media. But conservatism does win every time it’s tried in the real world.
Conservatism is the best way to live your life. Conservatism is the best way to raise your kids. Conservatism is the best way to advance economically. Conservatism is the best way to be content and happy. You ever found a happy liberal? Have you ever found a content, laughing liberal, whose happy with how things are? They’re always miserable, they’re angry at something and they’re always wanting to change somebody else’s mind about something. And I think this is the power people have over government.
You know, we all have to live with the government we have, but we don’t have to be imprisoned by it. You talk about we can’t even win the argument what a budget cut is. Okay, fine, but you know what it is. You can’t treat your own personal budget that way. You have to live within it, you have to live within your means, and you do if you’re responsible. Take reasonable amount of debt, don’t overextend. I mean, you try to do the right things here. And I think that people engaging in the normal activity of living as responsibly as they can, as earnestly as they can, can overcome what happens in Washington.
Liberals are people that get up every day and are totally slavish to what government is doing. Conservatives are very much aware of it, but our focus is how to not be impacted by it, how to not be affected by it, how to survive despite it, and then tell other people how, and let that be an inspiration to other people. Living your life as an example for other people to see can have more power and impact than you will ever know. You might never know the number of people you’ve influenced simply by the way you live your life and the way you communicate with people about what you think. There’s real power in that.
And liberals sacrifice that power. They give it all the way to government to determine people’s lives, to determine people’s futures. And to the extent that Millennials have been raised to think that government has all the answers, if government’s got them depressed, they’re gonna be depressed. If everybody thinks government holds all the answers to your success in life, you’re never gonna be successful, ’cause government doesn’t care nearly about you as much as you care about yourself.
So while Washington’s screwed up and while there’s very little honesty there and there’s hardly any competence, it doesn’t mean that you can’t survive, thrive, and overcome within the universe that is your life. You do not have to be imprisoned by that. Some of it you do, tax rates and all that. I don’t want to be Pollyannaish here, but the country’s not finished yet is all I’m telling you. That’s my personal opinion, we’re not finished yet. And even if we do get to the point that it is finished, do you realize there are gonna be some people that prosper anyway? Why not be one of them?
CALLER: I agree.
RUSH: And I would love to be able to tell you that you’re dead wrong and that all of your Millennial friends are dead wrong about their pessimism. What I would really love to tell you is learn the founding of this country, really learn it, really study the people who built this country and founded it and made it happen. Find out what it took. Really dig into American history. Get outside yourself and your misery for a minute and go back and find out real hardship that people have had to overcome in establishing this country, in sustaining this country, in defending this country, in growing this country and realize it can happen all over again. It can happen repeatedly.
What you have to overcome is having lost faith in the country. There is no reason to lose faith in the country. There is a lot of reason to lose faith in Washington, but Washington isn’t the country and doesn’t have to be.
RUSH: And, by the way, let me clarify something. Conservatism will win the argument every time. The problem is in Washington we don’t have anybody arguing it. In Washington we don’t have anybody talking about it. In Washington we don’t have, you Millennials, you don’t know what it is to have a conservative on the ballot. You’ve never had the chance to vote for one. You’ve had a bunch of people telling you they’re conservative, but they’re not. You haven’t had it yet. You haven’t run into somebody that can cleverly, clearly articulate it. Some people running for president today can, and as the campaign goes on, you’ll hear them.
Conservatism will win every argument that actually occurs. Liberals most of the time won’t even show up, and if they do, it’s to try to trash and destroy the conservatives, not win the argument intellectually. Conservatism does not lose the argument. Side by side, conservatism will outdo liberalism on the ground every day of the week. And the United States, no matter how you slice it, is still the best chance for economic advancement in the world.