RUSH: It’s Kathryn in Austin. I’m glad you waited. Welcome to the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Hello, Rush. Thank you for taking my call. I’m a minority and a Trump supporter from day one, and nothing has changed my mind about him in the past. But today, I’m worried about his tweet on people who are burning the American flag. I don’t like people who burn our flag, but I think they have the right to do it. It’s their First Amendment right. So when Trump said that they should be put in jail or have their citizenship taken away, I think that’s getting a little too totalitarian for me.
CALLER: I don’t know what you think about that, what you think is going on in his mind when he’s tweeting that.
RUSH: I’ll tell you if you want to know.
CALLER: Yes, of course.
RUSH: I’ll be glad to tell you. But first let me restate what it is that you are calling about just so people are brought up to speed. If you’ve not heard this, there’s been some flag burning going on out there at various places, protests at pipelines and stuff. And Trump has seen it. And he tweeted the following: “Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag. If they do, there must be consequences, perhaps loss of citizenship or a year in jail!” exclamation point. And so, Kathryn, you say you’re a Trump supporter?
CALLER: Yes, of course. From day one.
RUSH: Oh, okay yes, of course. Are you wavering now? Is this making you nervous? Are you thinking you might have made a mistake?
CALLER: No. But I keep getting all kind of criticism from my Facebook friends about him —
RUSH: Ah, screw that. You gotta learn to ignore that! I knew that’s why I —
CALLER: This is something else I thought we would have to keep defending him on, like —
RUSH: Look, I have run into this my own self. You know, people say bad things about me, Kathryn, out there, too. And I’ve had people tell me, “You know, Rush, I’ve been telling people to listen to you and listen to you, and I finally get ’em to do it, and then you say something so offensive, and they look me, ‘You listen to this?’ And I’m tired of defending you, Rush. Why do you say stupid things?” I know what this is like. You have to ignore the Facebook stuff and you must trust what your instincts are of Mr. Trump. Let me ask you a question. Honest answer here.
RUSH: Do you really think Donald Trump wants to put somebody in jail for burning the flag?
CALLER: It’s in words. People can post, you know, take a snapshot, post it anywhere.
RUSH: No, no. No, no. I don’t care what other people. Do you think, do you, Kathryn in Austin —
CALLER: I don’t think so.
RUSH: Okay. Do you think that Donald Trump thinks that people that burn the flag should have their citizenship stripped from them?
CALLER: I don’t think so.
RUSH: Okay. Then don’t be worried about it. The only reason to worry is if you thought he meant it. Forget these nerds on Facebook. You’re never gonna persuade ’em. They’re never gonna like Trump. They’re always gonna razz you about it. They’re losers. Do not allow your happiness to be determined and defined by what these people on Facebook say. They are trying to make you waver. They’re trying to weaken your support for Trump. Let me read something to you from a former Supreme Court justice, the late Antonin Scalia. You want to hear this?
CALLER: Yes, please.
RUSH: Scalia on flag burning. In one of his last public events, Antonin Scalia of the United States Supreme Court explained why he cast the deciding vote in the Johnson case on the principle of a textual reading of the First Amendment. He said, “If it were up to me, I would put in jail every sandal-wearing, scruffy-bearded weirdo who burns the American flag. But I am not king.” He said this in November of 2015 in Philadelphia.
He said the same thing Trump said. He said: I think every sandal-wearing, scruffy-bearded weirdo who burns the flag should be in jail. But he knew he couldn’t do it. He wasn’t king. He knew it was never going to happen. And Scalia knows that freedom of speech has consequences. And the consequences of freedom of speech are speech you don’t like, that you don’t want to hear, that you don’t want to listen to.
But Scalia was saying, and Trump knows this as well, the answer to it is not to punish ’em, to shut ’em up, to put ’em in jail. The answer is more speech. If there’s some clown burning the flag, drape yourself in the flag and go run around right in the guy’s face and start telling him how much you love America. Donald Trump’s not gonna put anybody in jail. He’s not gonna strip their citizenship. This is how Donald Trump tells people what he thinks about it.
I know Trump. I’m not saying I know Trump personally, I’ve talked to him about this. What I’m telling you is I know Trump. I know what Scalia meant when he wrote what he wrote. He’s personally disgusted by it. Scalia and Trump both. They love the country. They do not understand people who don’t. They would love that everybody else loved the country. But it’s not gonna happen.
And since we don’t have a tyrant or a dictator, we can’t put ’em in jail. But Trump is telling you what he thinks of ’em. He’s not gonna do anything of the sort. This is where people go off the rails with Trump, with this literal business and so forth.