RUSH: It’s so wonderful to have you here. It’s a treat for me to have the opportunity to be behind this microphone every day. You notice how many callers lately are saying 25-year listener, 28-year listener, 20-year listener.
I was thinking about it the other day. We’re gonna be 30 years, 30 years on August 1st. And the audience has grown. It hasn’t diminished, it hasn’t shrunk. Demographically everybody who started with this program in 1988 has aged 30 years along with the program and me, the host, and they’re still there.
Now, some in that period of time have passed away, and yet the audience has maintained and grown. Now we’re up to 27 million. The audience is continuing to expand, which is unusual after a fevered election. Usually the emotion fades and people find other things to do. Website subscriptions are through the roof as well. We’re not even pitching those. I don’t do that enough, actually.
It’s one of the greatest websites that you can acquire, that you can access in terms of just voluminous, encyclopedic information, a daily record of what is discussed on this program preserved forever and ever. More and more people in droves are signing up there. When I hear somebody say 25-year listener, think of that, 28-year listener. And others say I’ve been with you since August of 19 — they’ve been there almost from the beginning.
It’s amazing that kind of, what, loyalty, whatever it is. And then people have come along, they have been listening five years, 10 years, and so forth, it’s such a great thing. And when I say it’s a delight to be here, I really mean it. I cannot tell you how much I enjoy this and how seriously I take it in terms of meeting and surpassing expectations. If you would have told me — a little brief insight here. If you would have told me that what has happened to me was gonna happen to me 30 years ago — I’m now 65 or 66 — you know what I would have told you?
“Well, I’ll be working three days a week, flitting around doing this or that. Nothing left to prove.” And it’s the exact opposite. I have to tell you, folks, attitudinally — and the staff will tell you — it’s the opposite of phoning it in. I am more intense about things here every day than ever. The competition is so much greater. There’s so much more of it. I call it the performance pressure, but it’s actually the whole embodiment of meeting the expectations of the audience.
But I probably work harder now — I’m not asking for any violins or anything, don’t misunderstand. I’m just saying it’s the exact opposite of what I thought would be the case after this many years. (interruption) They do. You know, I don’t even have a vacation scheduled this summer? (laughing) The staff’s all saying, “Yeah, we know.” ‘Cause they can’t schedule any either.
I’m taking Friday off for an annual midsummer member-guest golf tournament. But the annual Hawaii trip’s not gonna happen this year. A lot of annual things aren’t happening anymore for a whole host of reasons. It’s just so unlike what I imagined it would be if I would have lasted 30 years and what the program would be like.
But the last thing I thought — this might be the best way to express it — the last thing, 30 years ago when I’m contemplating what happens if I’m still doing this at 65, what happens — and I’m not thinking in terms of retirement or the magical age of 65, after 30 years, the last thing I would have thought was that my attitude would be every day that I have to go in and prove it every day. After 30 years, what is there left to prove? It’s just the exact opposite.
I feel more intensely focused and committed than ever. Which is great. I mean, because that’s been an ever increasing experience as well. There hasn’t been any lackadaisical phoning it in. I’m constitutionally incapable of that anyway.