RUSH: Going back to this John Podhoretz commentary and his attempt… This was actually from yesterday. It’s a piece in Commentary magazine, and it’s a very lengthy piece, and I’m just synthesizing it down to its bare essence as he attempts to explain the Trump phenomenon. I mean, many people that are not for Trump are puzzled beyond their ability to express it, why people support Trump. Some people are getting mad. Some people are taking the rejection of themselves and their ideas personally.
Some people say it just doesn’t make any sense no matter how they look at it. So they’re doing everything they can to try to explain it themselves in a way that makes sense, and when we talk about some of the analysis… I’m not accusing Podhoretz of this, but some of the people on the establishment side engaging in this exercise start out from a position of some contempt toward the average Trump voter for being so blind, for being so stupid. “What do they…? Why don’t they see these flaws in Trump? Why don’t they see that he’s donated to Democrats!
“Why doesn’t they see that his hair is a mess? Why doesn’t they see that the guy is a bully? Why doesn’t they see?” And, of course, they all do. They see everything everybody else sees. So the real question is: “Why does it not matter to ’em, or what does it mean to them?” And I think at the root of this, the more this goes on… At the root of this is a much deeper disconnect than even I suspected, between the professional political class in Washington and the people of the country. And I’ll define the terms.
The professional political class includes elected officials, includes anybody that deals with them in Washington, such as lobbyists, certain think tanks, certain media. They’re all part of the mix. I really believe that the lack of understanding of what daily life is like for millions of Americans has eluded them. While they think they get it, while they think they understand your plight, while they think they understand your anger and your frustrations, I don’t think they do. I don’t think they quite yet understand it. And you can look at the mockery of the Tea Party by many of these people as an example.
That’s just one example.
I could cite countless others.
But I really think this divide, this disconnect is huge and it’s made bigger by the lack of awareness on the part of the powerful, if you will. They think they get it, they think they understand it. And they’re close in some cases, but they really don’t. You can boil it down to not too many different things. I mean, a lot of it has to do with money. It’s always about money. It’s always been about the trust and faith in American capitalism, in America itself. The old play by the rules, hard work, industriousness, preparedness, trying to live as law abiding a life as you possibly can, there’s supposed to be a payoff for that.
There are supposed to be rewards. The system is supposed to contain them. Among them you’re supposed to have been get a better job. As you do a great job someplace else, you’re to get noticed, your opportunities are to expand. And if you have the desire to explore them and to exploit them, you’re able to. The primary mechanism of climbing the ladder in the middle class is the college education. And that has become so expensive that it’s first an albatross before it even becomes something helpful.
And I just think that there are millions of people who haven’t had significant increases in their income, and yet these are the people who are told that all these problems in America are their fault. We have a nation which — for the past seven years specifically but even longer than that, as you know — has been focused on adjudicating the discrimination against all of these minorities that has gone on since the days of our founding. And it’s a specific group of people, middle class Americans, who are being told they were the culprits.
They were the discriminators, they were the bigots, they were the racists. And therefore things in their view are being taken from them. Government is being used to pick winners, and it isn’t based on anything other than things people have no control over: Their ethnicity, their sexual orientation, their race. So they’ve abandoned the entire belief in the level-playing field fairness aspect of things. And do feel the deck is stacked against them, and they think a specific group of people has been in charge of and responsible for stacking that deck.
Now, argue whether they’re right or wrong, but the fact is they are acting on that belief. And it’s not just things that have happened in the last two or three, five, even seven years. It’s been going on for much, much longer than that. These are not liberal people who begrudge the wealthy, either. It’s not made up of liberals that are ticked. This is not the kind of anger that you see at Occupy Wall Street or an Al Sharpton rally or any of that. These are people who have believed in capitalism. These are people who have believed in the promises that have been made.
These are the people that voted for it, voted for people who said they understood and would go to Washington and facilitate making this process through life in America with fewer and fewer obstacles for people, and it hasn’t happened. So Mr. Podhoretz… Let me just read his second-to-last paragraph, known as “the penultimate” paragraph. “”And this is why, I think, the meaning of Trump is being misused and misunderstood. He says he wants to ‘make America great again,’ but I don’t think that’s what his acolytes hear.
“I think they hear that he is going to turn his vicious temper and unbalanced rage on the large-scale forces they feel are hindering them. They want someone punished. Could be China. Could be Muslims. Could be Mexicans. Could be bankers. Could be the GOP ‘establishment.’ Whatever. He’s their Punisher. Only he won’t be. The qualities that have given him appeal to part of the GOP primary electorate would be destructive with a national electorate seven times the size. If he is the GOP nominee, the gender gap — 12% for Romney in 2012 — will open into a Gender Grand Canyon,” for Trump.
Now, listen to this. “I think” his acolytes hear, Trump supporters, “that he is going to turn his vicious temper and unbalanced rage on the large-scale forces they feel are hindering them. They want someone punished.” Speaking for myself, I have supported that theory in describing Democrats. I have always sought to explain to people: “Why do lower class/middle class voters want the rich to get a tax increase? How the hell does it help them? At the end of the day, a rich guy pays more taxes, how does your life change?”
The answer’s then is, “It hasn’t. They just want the rich guy punished.” This has always been argument made about angry liberal voters, and I believe it was true. I believe that angry liberal voters are constantly running around angry and feeling left out and ignored, and the reason they vote for the Democrat Party is the Democrat Party’s gonna get even with people. It’s certainly one of the motivations for all of the minority support the Democrat Party gets. How has life improved for any constituency group in the Democrat Party? It hasn’t.
That’s why voters that vote Democrat are constantly enraged, angry all the time, miserable, unhappy. Even when their party is winning things, they’re not happy. All the people who thought Obama’s presidency was gonna result in additional economic benefit to them? There’s zero. There’s rampant unemployment. There’s rampant part-time work. They bought it hook, line, and sinker. The difference is when it happens, they found a way to blame Bush, or the Republicans, because that’s what Obama does.
But my point is the way Mr. Podhoretz here is describing Trump supporters is the way most of us have always looked at traditional angry Democrats. So you Trump supporters the only ones that can answer this. You really know Trump’s not gonna change anything? Do you really know he can’t? Do you really know he can’t make America great again? And do you really not care that he can’t? You just want Trump to get even with somebody for you because you can’t? How does that manifest itself? I have an entirely different theory. Well, not entirely.
But I have a different theory about this, as I have expressed over and over and over again. I think the grievances that people have, particularly on the Republican side, are real. And they are numerous. And they are rooted in false promises, failed promises, phony agendas. Being misled time and time again. And I think there’s a sizable group of Americans who do believe that they are being blamed and therefore made to pay for… Look at the illegal immigrant argument, for example. There’s no justification for this under the sun.
We have people breaking the law, coming into this country by the millions, and now unaccompanied children as well. There’s nothing good that can come of this for them. And yet they’re told that if they oppose it, what are they? They’re racists and they’re bigots. And they’re not. They’re also told that they’d better get behind this because the party that they choose — the party they support, the Republican Party — doesn’t have a future unless they get behind this particular policy, illegal immigration, amnesty, whatever you want to call it.
But it doesn’t make sense to them. It doesn’t make any common sense whatsoever. How in the world is bringing in seven million poor people, 12 million poor people who cannot speak English — and they’re not pushing to learn and are not pushing to acculturate and become Americans — how in the world does that benefit us? And then you turn back and you see that they end up being blamed for opposing this! And what are they called? They’re called racist. They’re called bigots. They’re called all kinds of names, and they end up being blamed for this. But the real key is how they see it.
They see the government that they elected picking somebody other than them to benefit from government. They pay their taxes; these people don’t. They play by the rules, these illegal aliens don’t. This is one example. There are others, countless other examples besides illegal immigration. But it’s one that’s easy to understand. So the government says, “You know, we have been racist in our past.” The Democrats say this. “We have been racist. We’ve been unfair. We have been mean to various minority groups, and it’s time that we paid them back. It’s time that we paid for our discrimination.”
And how we doing it? We’re paying for discrimination by penalizing the American middle class. The American middle class is being told, “Look, the country is engaged in behavior in the past that was not our best. It did not represent our values.” How many times they have to hear that from Obama? He’s talking about them, and they know it. And their own party, the Republican Party, doesn’t seem to see what’s going on. The people they vote for join in this chorus of criticism and blame. It’s almost like Washington has decided that America has committed great evil in its past, and it’s time to pay for that. It’s time to correct that.
And who’s gonna pay for it?
The middle class.
“We’re gonna take what normally would be a standard, ordinary, everyday benefit of being an American and all that, and we’re gonna take it away from you. We’re gonna transfer it to these illegals because we have to show the world what our values are. We have to show the world that we’re open and accepting and not racist and all that.” It’s looked at as, in its bare essence, unfairness. While this happens the economy continues to head south. Opportunity continues to evaporate. Everything they thought would happen is happening. And there’s no acknowledgment of it or no recognition for it. All there is, is continued assertions by the elected political class that we need even more of this.
My bottom line: I don’t think people supporting Trump… I think they actually want this stuff stopped, folks. I don’t think it’s just about going out and punishing people.
RUSH: There’s one other fundamental aspect of this that I should mention, and it isn’t self-interest. It isn’t rooted in self-interest. I’m talking about the people I’ve just described. In addition to seeing their own economic future wiped out by any number of Obama policies — by expanding federal debt, by Obamacare. I mean, there’s no question, folks, that these people… There’s something else happening that the people in Washington don’t see. I don’t care, Republican, Democrat, consultant, K Street lobbyist, they don’t even see it. This doesn’t even register with them.
The people I’m talking about and the people that John Podhoretz tried to analyze here, see America as founded under assault and changing, transforming right before their very eyes to the point where the Constitution has become an impediment to people who are supposed to be defending it. They are scared to death that the greatest country in the history of humanity is about to fall, slowly but surely, and it’s gonna reach a point where capturing it — recapturing it and reconstituting it — is gonna be a major, major undertaking. And that is not self-interest, that’s not selfishness. It’s not about personal income or any of that.
That’s just as real.
RUSH: A friend of mine has a saying: “It’s time they held their noses for a change.” How many years have you had to hold your nose? They’ve told you, “Hold your nose. Look, you’ve gotta accept our nominee. You have to accept our position on the budget. You have to accept this, and we’ll deal with this later when we win the House and deal with this later when we win the Senate. You must hold your nose and accept the nominee! You must hold your noses and support this candidate.”
I’m telling you, it’s not just Trump people. Cruz people are the same way. They want their country back. Now, the left will take that phrase and try to run with it and say that you’re promoting riots or what have you.
But there clearly is a battle going on for the heart and soul of this country, for what kind of country it’s gonna be. The Democrat Party has gone all-in radical left, has gone all-in on the idea that America was founded immorally, unjustly, unfairly, that it was a rigged game from the beginning for a select few, and the select few have the descendants and the descendants over the course of the history of the country have made sure the game’s rigged for them.
And they are out there doing what… I mean, Podhoretz I think perfectly described your average radical Occupy Wall Street protester, your average radical leftist Obama voter, your average radical leftist feminist, Black Lives Matter. That’s exactly who he described. But he thought he was describing Trump supporters. This, I think, is also emblematic and representative of this great disconnect. But I’m telling you, the one thing that illustrates it more than anything… Like I said, you tell these people in Washington that the country’s in crisis, that we got $19 trillion in debt and the Democrat Party is trying to transform it?
They’ll laugh at you. “Crisis? Come on! You’re overdramatizing things. We’re not. We don’t have a crisis,” and they really don’t. They doing fine, folks. They do fine no matter who wins the White House. Don’t you see? Economically, professionally, they do fine no matter who wins. They might do marginally better when their party wins, but they’re doing fine. Have you checked the unemployment rate in DC? Have you seen what have become the five wealthiest counties in the country?
Three or four of them surround Washington, DC, and there’s nothing to recommend living there in the wintertime, I’ll guaran-damn-tee you. So why is it happening? They have 3% unemployment and per capita income that dwarfs whatever it is nationally. You tell those people there’s a crisis in the country and they don’t see it — and they think if you think there is, that you’re kooky. Fruitcakes, nut cakes, what have you.