RUSH: The Republican Party theme song here. I don’t know if they were the Jefferson Starship when they recorded this song or just The Starship. Whatever, the title of the tune is Miracles.
You know, I have spent this entire week delving deeply, working diligently to make the complex understandable, trying to analyze and explain to people things they seem not to understand. Meaning, I’ve been trying to explain to people why Trump is where he is, why Trump has the support that he has, and why those who are supporting Trump are doing so.
I have not announced a preference for any candidate during all this. And yet it’s amazing, despite my efforts at making complex things simple and understandable, it is clear that some people are so reactionary that they are unable — I mean, I haven’t even delved into nuance on this. I haven’t needed to get that detailed. It’s pretty cut-and-dried. And yet there are people who still claim not to understand what’s going on here.
Look at the headlines here on Drudge, for example. Oh, by the way, there’s video. Hillary Clinton went to Beaumont, Texas, and six people showed up to greet her, and she ignored them. Six people. She does not have a connection, folks, with any of her supporters. This Hillary Clinton support is so thin, it’s so weak, it’s based on the fact that her last name is Clinton and that there’s a capital D next to her name. But she doesn’t have nearly the connection with her supporters that Cruz has, for example, with his or that Trump has. It’s so thin. And then six people show up, and she ignores ’em to boot, acts all uppity and everything.
So here some of these headlines, and these are all panic-related headlines. “Trump: Strongest Primary Performance in Modern History.” “Media Struggles to Understand Support Among Evangelicals.” Davos — this is the World Economic Forum — “Global Elite Fear Trump.” “Norman Lear: Donald Trump is America’s Middle Finger,” or giving America the middle finger, what have you. And all of this opposition or fear is rooted in a lack of understanding of what’s happening here.
I’m not gonna go through everything that I went through yesterday, but to me this isn’t complicated. You may not like it, but it isn’t complicated. I think the reason a lot of people on the right are angry is because you have some hard bitten, thorough, through-and-through, rock-ribbed, totally principled conservatives, and they want the Republican conservative base to be based on a thorough, total, complete understanding and agreement with conservative principles and beliefs as these have been announced by the people that believe in them, the blogs, the think tanks, or what have you. And what they’re learning here is that, again, not to overdo the phrase, but the degree of conservatism in the Republican Party has been overestimated. It’s not just conservative principles that hold people who are conservative together. There are many different things, and the full-blown conservatives are a little bothered by this because it makes ’em think maybe they’re not that important. It could be bothersome.
But that’s not what they should be worried about. There’s nothing hard to understand here. The people supporting Ted Cruz, the people supporting Trump, the one thing they have in common, the one thing, and there is one thing they have in common: They don’t want any more of the Democrat Party, of Obama, of the left. They don’t want any more. They want it stopped. No more complicated than that.
RUSH: Michael, Lake City, Florida. Hello, sir. Great to have you on the program. Hi.
CALLER: Hi. How you doing?
RUSH: I’m good. I’m good. Thank you.
CALLER: I just wanted to ask you a question, if you think that Sarah Palin endorsing Trump actually hurts her credibility as a conservative.
RUSH: I don’t know that that’s the question. I mean, it’s an interesting question, but here’s the question. Are you a Trump supporter? No wrong answer; just curious.
CALLER: No, I am not.
RUSH: Okay. You’re not. Well, I can still ask you. Does Sarah Palin’s endorsement of Trump actually help him or hurt him?
CALLER: Well, for the between voters, independents, probably not because it’s split down the middle 50-50 with the whole country, so no. But also, on top of that, the reason why I think it hurts her credibility as a conservative is I don’t see Trump as being a conservative. He’s never said outright that he’s against universal health care —
RUSH: See, this —
CALLER: — Obamacare.
RUSH: I’m so glad you called out there, Michael, because look, it could well be. Only time will tell on this. There’s no way to know right now whether Sarah Palin is hurting herself. How would that manifest? How could this hurt Sarah Palin? Would it result her selling fewer books? Would it mean people less likely to see her if she shows up and does a public appearance? I don’t know if she ever wants to run for office again. If she does, does this hurt her there? I don’t know how that hurts her.
But if you put it in the framework of conservatism and you assume that she’s a lock steady, rock-solid conservative and you think Trump isn’t, and here she is joining forces with some guy who’s not and abandoning somebody who really is, does that hurt her with conservatives? And you might, on paper, yeah, it would have to, if conservatism is what’s happening here.
Now, this is where a lot of people apparently have understood me this week. I got a couple of notes this morning from friends who work at various publications who said they had editorial meetings about me yesterday because somebody told somebody that I had said that the days of conservatism are over and that the future is populism and nationalism. Well, I didn’t say that. I haven’t said anything. I’m analyzing what I think explains why people are doing what they’re doing. I take the complex and make it understandable. And there’s a bunch of stuff happening out here that has all kinds of people confused.
Like Dr. Krauthammer. Last night — got the audio coming up — Dr. Krauthammer said he’s perplexed because Trump can say anything and get away with it, that he can contradict himself left and right and it doesn’t matter. Nobody cares, nobody holds him to it. He can’t figure it out. That’s just one example. How in the world can Trump say what he said about Megyn Kelly and grow his support? How can Trump say what he said about McCain and expand his lead? There are people scratching their heads, it doesn’t make any sense to them. It violates everything they’ve ever been taught, everything they ever believed about politics. It violates everything they have put into practice when in politics themselves.
I’m trying to answer all those questions for them, after engaging in deep analysis. And it is clear, his question, does Sarah Palin hurt herself with conservatives? I don’t think Sarah Palin signed up with Trump because he’s conservative. I don’t think Sarah Palin’s doing what she’s doing to advance conservatism here. I don’t want to put words in her mouth, and this is probably gonna be misunderstood. But what has — I don’t know. In trying to explain — and I’m not trying to justify anything. I’m just trying to explain to you people, and I touched on this yesterday, there are a lot of people that tried to do great damage to Sarah Palin, and some of them are Republicans, and some of them call themselves conservatives.
What does she really owe them? She has been mocked and made fun of. And even today she’s been laughed at, made fun of and mocked because of her speech two days ago when she endorsed Trump. I still haven’t seen it. I read the transcript. I told you what I thought of it yesterday. But she’s being laughed at, mocked, and made fun of in conservative blog after conservative blog over her speech and her jacket. But I don’t think when Sarah Palin decides to endorse Trump it has anything to do with conservatism. I mean, it’s a factor. But she’s not endorsing Trump because Trump’s carrying a conservative banner.
This is what I’ve tried to tell these people in the establishment for the last two weeks, what I’ve been trying to explain to everyone who’s trying to understand this themselves, and this is what I think has got the conservative intelligentsia so — well, not panicked, but so concerned. It isn’t about conservatism. They want to believe that the conservative movement exists because everybody understands the letter of the law on conservatism. Every policy, every philosophy, all the great conservative thinkers, and that’s clearly not why people are calling themselves conservative.
There’s all kinds of other reasons that have nothing to do with the smartest conservatives in the room. So conservatism is not specifically the only glue that’s putting this coalition of people together, and it’s not why Sarah Palin signed up with Trump.
RUSH: You know, this business of the glue. That’s what I refer to. The glue that is holding Trump coalition together. This actually predates the Trump campaign. This goes back to who the Tea Party is, if you want to know the truth about it, folks. Everybody made the mistake of thinking when the Tea Party erupted out of nowhere — and let’s not forget — by the way, by the way, welcome back. Rush Limbaugh. Great to have you here at the EIB Network at 800-282-2882.
Let’s not forget, the Tea Party was not the result of some strategic plan launched by somebody out of nowhere. It was a spontaneous eruption of mostly people that had never been professionally, formally involved in politics before. It dates to the Obama stimulus deal in 2009 but really began to coalesce with Obamacare. Those two things sent the big message to the Tea Party people, what would become known as the Tea Party people. That is, there was no longer any concern for what this government was spending. There was no longer any concern for the danger that that was going to cause. There was no longer any pretense of responsible budgeting, keeping public taxpayer money in check, used responsibly, none, it was all out the window.
And people erupted in a combination of fear and outrage and anger over it. It was a betrayal. It was irresponsible. It was unresponsive to what people had voted for, what they thought they were going to get, and it was destructive. It was going to take the financial futures away from millions of people’s children and grandchildren. And so the Tea Party was born. And the mistake was made right off the bat by the Drive-By Media and many inside the Beltway that the Tea Party was all conservatives.
They wanted it to be all conservatives because they already then had their built-in mechanisms to impugn it. The left, the Democrat Party, and many in the Republican Party had already developed ways to mock, make fun of, impugn conservatives and conservatism for years. So here comes this new group of people. “Well, we’ll just call ’em conservatives, made of angry white men, racists, sexists, a bunch of bigots,” and that’s who they became, that’s what they — well, that’s not who they were. That’s what the effort to define them became.
At the same time, the Democrats, “You know what, we need our own group. We can’t let this stand.” So they created Occupy Wall Street. That was a totally artificial, manufactured, bought and paid for rent-a-mob put together by the left and the Democrat Party made to look like it erupted spontaneously in response to the Tea Party, and it was made out to be much bigger and much more refined and organized and all that. And it was not. It was fake from beginning to end.
Occupy Wall Street, I mean, they did real things, but their existence was entirely fake. There was nothing spontaneous about it. There was nothing natural about it. So from the get-go, the Republican establishment as well, mystifying me from day one, started making fun of and ragging on the Tea Party, right along with the Democrats. The Democrats led the charge on it along with the media. A bunch of hayseeds, bunch of hicks, you know, the usual ad hominem attacks.
And all this is happening while Obama’s getting health care up and running. Not a single Republican vote. There was a built-in majority coalition for the Republican Party to link to and join up with. The Tea Party consisted of not just Republicans, and it wasn’t just conservatives. The Tea Party was made up of people who were apolitical. They had not been involved in politics one way or the other, other than voting, ever. They’d never been to town hall meetings, none of it. They were scared, they were fed up, and they wanted somebody to know about it. They didn’t feel like they were being listened to or heard or taken into account.
So they started getting involved. And then when the years went by, the public perception was the Tea Party disbanded. Where’s the Tea Party? Nobody talked about it anymore. The Tea Party had a bunch of groups that were organized back in the day, and they were out raising money and doing conventions and none of that seemed to be happening anymore, so the assumption was made that the Tea Party just kind of faded away, as it was going to ’cause it was never real in the first place, they said. It was never gonna have any staying power ’cause it’s just average citizens, they were just anger on a lark, but they’re over it now, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
Not a chance any of that was right. As Obama kept being Obama, the people in the Tea Party kept getting angrier. Remember, they tried to organize into tax-exempt foundations, fundraising. Hello IRS, not permitting it, shutting them down. That’s another thing that led to people thinking the Tea Party was fading away and disbanding.
Meanwhile, the Republican Party had this built-in majority coalition to join up, and they never did, because they thought it was a bunch of conservatives. And they didn’t want any part of ’em. They have continually overestimated who their base is. The Tea Party had a lot of Democrats in it. The Tea Party had a lot of minorities. The Tea Party had a bunch of people from a cross section, a demographic cross section. But you don’t know that because you were told it was nothing but a malcontent conservatives and disaffected Republicans and what have you, because it was easier to criticize ’em that way.
It was easier to make fun of ’em. It was easier to ridicule them and mock them. Because they’d had years of experience doing it. “We’ll just call ’em bunch of conservatives and nobody will take ’em seriously.” Well, guess where they are now? They’re with Donald Trump, is where they are now. And if you have any doubt about that, if you’re wondering why would Sarah Palin, just like our last call, Sarah Palin didn’t endorse Trump to advance conservatism. That’s not what this is about.
There’s so many missed opportunities for the Republican Party here. It’s actually frightening to make a list of ’em all. The Republican Party could be owning the show. The Republican Party could have won the White House in 2012. The Republican Party could be a governing majority party except they don’t want anything to do with conservatism. Not really. If they did, the political landscape would be an entirely different looking landscape today.
I know the Republican Party mocked the Tea Party. They worked with the Democrats and the media to smear them, just like is happening now with the Trump coalition. The key point here is who they are. As I have been trying to say, the majority of Trump’s support base are not Republican conservatives. There are a lot of them, but it’s not the majority.
Remember last week we learned 20% of Trump’s supporters are disaffected blue-collar Democrats? Twenty percent who are admitting it. There’s probably many more. Trump’s got his share of Hispanics, his share of African-Americans, females. That’s bad news for Hillary. Hillary, I mean, let’s call a spade a spade. The vast majority of American men don’t want any part of Hillary Clinton. That’s why she has to get as much support from women as she can. She can’t survive without it, because the men of America aren’t — don’t want — it isn’t gonna happen. No way, Jose.
RUSH: Here is Edward in New York, 28 years old, great to have you on the program, Edward. Hi.
CALLER: Hey, Rush. Longtime listener, first-time caller. I’m in my twenties, and I am a Trump supporter, and I guess I’m also a member of what people are calling the alt right. And I just wanted to, like, explain for maybe a lot of your listeners why Donald Trump is so popular, despite the consternation of many in the conservative movement and the Republican Party. And just really simply, the Democrat Party for the past half century has been openly the party of the fringes, right? The party of disaffected minority voters, black, Mexican immigrants, single women, feminists, all these things, homosexuals in the past, you know, ten years. And the Republican Party, whether it wants to admit this or not, has become the de facto party of white men. The only meaningful difference, though, is that the Republican Party is not allowed to appeal to its own constituency, while the Democrat Party obviously does nothing but appeal to its own constituents. So when you look at the political scene in America like this, Donald Trump not only becomes understandable, but he kind of becomes inevitable.
RUSH: So you think people your age view Trump as something much needed, brand-new, breaking from the constraint formula that both parties find themselves in?
CALLER: Yes. And when people, you mentioned Charles Krauthammer earlier, you know, being so puzzled as to why Trump seems impervious to dropping poll numbers when he does things like insult Megyn Kelly. It’s because, as weird as it sounds, it’s not really about Trump. Donald Trump can kind of do whatever he wants because in a lot of ways he’s the only person that seems serious. I know that sounds weird to the ears of someone like Jeb —
RUSH: I totally get it. No, no, no, no. My burden as a host is I totally understand you. And the fact that I understand you is making me an enemy in some of my own sectors, the fact that I understand where you’re coming from. When you say it’s not really about Trump, it’s the opportunity Trump presents, it’s the newness, it’s the what-have-you, it’s the breaking out of whatever it is that’s got us shackled, I totally get what you’re saying. I like the way you expressed it, too. But I gotta run. I’m really out of time. Edward, thanks very much.