RUSH: Our next caller was on hold for two hours last Friday, we didn’t get to him, so we asked if we could call him back. It’s Steven from Murray, Utah. Steven, I have about 30 seconds here.
CALLER: Hi, Rush.
RUSH: I’m just kidding. We’re gonna get you started here, I’m gonna hold you during the break, and we’ll continue after the break. But you’re calling, you read a book by Steve Young, the 49er quarterback, right?
CALLER: That’s true, and I made a connection between his story and a quote of yours where you talk about most of the reasons people say they can’t do something are reasons they’ve made up. Would you like me to —
RUSH: Yeah, my belief is that most of the limitations people have or face are self-imposed. Did Steve Young write that? Did he write that in his book?
CALLER: No. It’s not in the book. But in the book he talks about becoming an NFL quarterback, he said, “It was a great opportunity in my life. It was also one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done.”
RUSH: Right. Okay. Hold your thought right there. We have to take another obscene profit time-out. We make a lot of money here. We’ll be right back.
RUSH: Here’s Steven in Murray, Utah. So you’re reading Steve Young’s book, and the challenges he faced coming up reminded him of the quote you heard me say about —
CALLER: Not quite, Rush. It reminded me of your quote. It reminded me of your quote where you said most of the reasons people think they can’t do something are reasons they’ve invented.
CALLER: “Everything you do in life is up to you. Part of life is realizing you have much more potential and ability than you’d ever know, but it’s up to you to face the fears and unleash that which really drives you.” Now, as I read this book by Steve Young, his path to the NFL wasn’t easy. At BYU he was number eight on this team depth chart. And he said, “Well, I could have thrown a pity party and just given up and gone home or I could have chosen to have a positive perspective on life and let my play prove people wrong.”
People told Steve Young he’d never make it as a left-handed quarterback, that his accuracy wasn’t there. Well, he worked on his accuracy, and, I mean, look at the way his career turned out in the Hall of Fame and his Super Bowl ring. So that just reminded me of that quote from you. And I’ve noticed that quote to be true in my own life. You see, I was born premature and I have some challenges, and I used this quote of yours in college essays, lectures in journalism classes. And my professors were pretty impressed. And I’ve noticed that quote of yours to be true in my own life, so I wanted to thank you for that.
RUSH: Well, I appreciate that. I really do. I love having things come back like this, because it’s always great to have affirmation like that. You know, speaking of Steve Young, I mean, he’s overcome a lot, there’s no question, and he’s achieved a lot, but I think one of the things — he probably would admit this if he were here — and I think people in the sports media, people that follow the NFL are pretty much aware of this. But he was second string to Joe Montana for a number of years. That’s like being second string to Babe Ruth. It doesn’t matter who’s next, there’s no way they can measure up.
I mean, Joe Montana was mythologically huge. In fact, Joe Montana, that was one name. I mean, Joe Montana was such a big deal in San Francisco. It wasn’t Joe Montana, it was “JoeMontana.” He just owned everything. And Young was on the bench. I can remember, I was at a game, the 49ers and the New Orleans Saints at the Superdome, and Montana was hurt, and Young was the starting quarterback, and it was not yet his job because Montana was going to come back and reclaim the job, but soon thereafter would be traded or released and go to the Kansas City Chiefs.
But during the pregame Joe Montana was granting interviews on the sideline to anybody that had a camera. Even though he wasn’t playing, he was a bigger deal than Steve Young who was gonna be starting that day. Now, I know Steve Young. I got to know Steve Young during my stint at the pre-politicized days of ESPN on the Sunday NFL pregame show. I’d only met Montana once. But, folks, the reason that I have all these things about such philosophies as the only limitations we have in life, most of them, are the ones we place on ourselves. When you get to the rarefied air that people like Montana and Steve Young and other NFL quarterbacks are breathing, you can’t believe the competitive, the cutthroat competitive nature of things.
And make no mistake — and this is not a cut. I don’t want anybody calling Montana and telling him that I was — ’cause it’s not. But Joe Montana, on the day that Steve Young’s gonna start because Montana’s hurt and Montana is still trying to soak up all oxygen with all the pregame interviews. I mean, he could turn them down, but that’s not gonna happen, the press wanting to talk to Montana was quite natural. He wasn’t seeking them out. But it was a way to keep the light shining on him. He wanted the job back. It’s just the way it is. It wasn’t mean; it wasn’t cruel; it’s just the nature of competition.
And my fear is we’re not teaching competition. We’re shielding people from it. For the longest time children, you know, nobody’s allowed to win anything, participation trophies. But when you get to real life and if you really want to amount to something, when you get whatever line of work you’re in, as you get to the top of that line of work, there are very few people there. That’s why the phrase “rarefied air.” And it is cutthroat. The competition is cutthroat, even among best friends. And you have to be able to, by virtue of experience, be able to deal with it.
You’re not gonna win every outing. I don’t mean game. You’re not gonna beat everybody out for the top job. Sometimes you’re gonna be the best, but you’re not gonna get the gig because there are other factors, people making the decision might like somebody more than they like you. It’s vicious. And you have to be totally, singularly focused on yourself. Not in a bad way. You have to believe in yourself. You have to believe there’s a reason you’re trying to pursue the highest levels you can go. That’s because you can do it and you can do it well and you can do it better than anybody else.
The minute you carve out that life for yourself, you are making enemies, because a lot of people are gonna be fighting for the same thing, and they’re gonna try to be beating you out and denying you what you want. You’re gonna be doing the same thing to them. There are gonna be others who just resent you for thinking you’re that good. They’re gonna resent you for even having the audacity to try to climb that high. I mean, folks, it is vicious out there. It’s also very healthy. All of these things are things that successful people have to go through in order, not just to reach the pinnacle, but then to stay there.
Because I’m gonna tell you, getting there while fraught with stress and competition and never ending assaults, getting there is not even half as hard as staying. Because once you get there or close to it, everybody wants what you have, and it’s much easier to go south than north when you’re at the top. And so that’s why I have this philosophy about limitations. It’s easy to be a victim. Look how easy the Democrat Party has made almost half this country think they’re victims of something.
And what happens to you when you’re a victim? Well, when you’re a victim, you automatically have a built-in excuse for failure. When you are a victim, it’s always somebody else’s fault. When you’re a victim, success is not possible. When you are a victim of something, you are acknowledging that you are as far as you’re gonna get, and you can’t get any further, because there are more powerful forces arrayed against you than the force of yourself against it.
And the Democrat Party does this on purpose. The Democrat Party makes as many people victims as possible because it freezes them right where they are. And that’s usually in lower middle class or abject poverty. It makes them resentful. If you’re a victim, you’re not happy. You can’t be happy. It’s impossible to be happy. It’s even difficult to be content. If you’re a victim, you’re always mad, but never at yourself. You’re mad at somebody else.
The Democrats have parlayed this into one of the biggest political movements in human history. And that would be of the victimized. Look at how many victim groups there are. And they all happen to be Democrat constituency groups. They all are on the protest march. They’re all angry; they’re all enraged.
Some of them are women, some of them are minorities, some of them are illegal immigrants — you name it — but they all have one thing in common: They have given up on the notion that they could be somebody and instead have descended into full-fledged victimhood and the comfort of being in a group of like-minded failures. Why isn’t everybody a victim? It’d be easy. Anybody could choose that if they wanted to. Being a victim is almost as easy as being a liberal. It’s one of the most gutless choices you could make.
It doesn’t take much. There are built-in excuses for failure. Built-in excuses for being miserable. Built-in excuses for being angry all the time. No reason to trying to be happy; it’s not possible. You’re a victim. Victim of what? Well, you’re a victim of derision. Well, you’re a victim of America. You’re a victim of America’s past, or you’re a victim of religion. You’re a victim of bigotry, of homophobia, whatever. You’re a victim of something. The Democrats got one for you. If you want to be a victim, call ’em up.
Call Schumer and say, “Hey, I want to join you. I want to be a victim. Do you have a group for me?” He’ll have one. He’ll ask you what color you are, ask you what your sexual orientation is, ask what your gender is. He’ll ask you questions, and he’ll give you your choice of victim groups that you can join, and then he’ll show you where you go to get a food stamp allocation here or this or that there, how you get emergency health care if you need it, all on the Democrats — and you can keep it flowing if you just do two things: Stay a victim and vote Democrat.
But the people that don’t choose that end up being the ones victims hate. The people that choose to face life, the people that choose to embrace it, the people that choose to just soak it up, the people that choose to dive right in and test their limits and find out what they’re capable of and how good they can be and if that’s really what they want to do, victims are gonna hate them because they are showing what anybody could do if they just had an attitude adjustment. So if you think, for example, that…
Well, let’s say you want to do a job, and you want to be really successful. You want to rise really high in that career. But where you live, that job doesn’t exist. Your town’s too small. Or maybe the business is your town, but even if you reach the pinnacle there, because it’s a small town, it’s not nearly as high as you could go. If you’re unwilling to move, well, that’s all on you. That’s a limitation you’re placing on yourself. Now, that’s fine if that’s what makes you happy.
I’m not criticizing things; I’m just pointing out that it’s not usually anybody else’s false when you don’t get what you want. Sometimes it is. There’s exceptions to everything. It’s usually the self-limitations that we attach to ourselves. I wanted to be a success in radio. There was no way it was ever gonna happen if I stayed where I was born. It was not possible. Nothing against where I was born. Nothing against the people there. It just wasn’t possible.
I knew when I was 15 that I was gonna have to leave if I was serious about what I was doing. And back then I knew that every climb, every rung up the ladder was gonna involve another move. And it did. And it’s… You know, I wanted it badly. I remained dedicated to my desires, and it’s what enabled me to come back after being fired seven or eight times, whatever it was. (Only twice for legitimate insubordination.)