RUSH: Matt in Haddam Neck, Connecticut. Great to have you on the program, sir.
CALLER: Yes, sir. Hi. I’ve been yelling at you to “stick to the issues” full time for eight years now, and I’m calling now embarrassed to say that 13 months ago I only plugged my nose and voted for Donald Trump. He was not my candidate of choice. He was simply the best of two options. I’m calling to apologize through your show and as directly as I can to him and say, “I’m sorry, Mr. President, I could have been a better supporter last year and in the future I will be.” I am a huge supporter. Love the guy. Love everything he’s done.
RUSH: What were you holding your nose about 13 months ago? What’s changed?
CALLER: I don’t think anything has changed. I’d like to talk about the future and not where I stood in the past, really. He has exceeded my expectation in every way possible. If you take just this tax bill, for example, it’s not —
RUSH: Yeah, I understand. So what were you afraid of? You said you were holding your nose. What were you holding your nose about? Trump’s personality? His tweets? What was it?
CALLER: Well, I was afraid that he was a New York Democrat running as a Republican.
CALLER: I thought things might be different, but —
RUSH: Oh, I get —
CALLER: Mr. Limbaugh, you told me that I was wrong, and I’ve learned that you can only tell me exactly what’s gonna happen and the rest is on me. That was my fault. I’m sorry.
RUSH: Well, apology accepted. But I’m not aware of anything you need to apologize to us for. But we’ll happily accept it.
CALLER: I’m apologizing to Mr. Trump and saying that I could have been better in the past and I will be in the future. Let’s all get to the Trump Train ’cause it is rolling.
RUSH: Well, I’ll pass that on to him next to I see him.
CALLER: Very good!
RUSH: Let me ask you: Do you consider yourself a Republican, a conservative, a populist? What do you consider yourself to be?
CALLER: A conservative.
RUSH: Okay, and that’s why you were concerned.
RUSH: You thought Trump was a wolf in sheep’s clothing, New York Democrat, which would essentially make him a liberal?
CALLER: Yes. Yep.
RUSH: And you couple that with the New York social values that you thought he represented and it was kind of hard for you to sign on to it?
CALLER: Yes, that’s true, absolutely. But again, you know, I’d like to talk about where I am now, not where I was.
RUSH: Yeah, yeah.
CALLER: Because it’s a much better place here and I look forward to more.
RUSH: I fully agree with that, and I fully understand it. I’m not a dweller of the past except insofar as we can learn from it, and learning where you are now requires us to know where you were in the past. I by no means want to dwell on it. And the future of course is where it’s at. I’m glad you called and apology, though unnecessary here, is happily accepted. There’s one other thing that I think needs to be blown to smithereens. This idea that Trump has been a populist and that his supporters are nothing more than a bunch of populists.
By the way, that’s been said very derogatorily. Populism is supposedly very, very bad. Intellectual, dyed-in-the-wool conservatives despise populism and populists, and this is what everybody… Not everybody. This is what many of the conservative, intellectual Never Trumpers considered Trump to be, a populist. They’ve been writing derisively of Trump the populist and Trump’s populist voters and wondering what Trump’s populist agenda is gonna mean to Steve Bannon, and Trump is not a populist.
Trump may not even know it, but what Trump is… Simply look at his agenda and look at what’s been proposed, look at what has been passed and is about to be implemented. You’ve got people saying that this… Bill Bennett on Fox a couple days ago said this a more conservative first year than we had with Ronaldus Magnus. We have more conservative judicial nominees, a more conservative tax cut, a more conservative administration top to bottom than we even had in the first year of Ronald Reagan.
That’s the gold standard. So where do you get this populism? Now, here comes this tax cut. And in the tax cut is a pretty significant corporate tax rate reduction, 35 to 21%. Populists would not cut corporate taxes. Populists — if they’re true blue, dyed-in-the-wool populists — do not like corporations. Corporations and Big Business are part of the trade deal problem. Corporations gave us NAFTA! Corporations gave us the Transpacific “Parkway” or whatever it was.
Corporations are considered by populists almost as bad as liberals look at them. Early on, a bunch of conservative Never Trumpers started assigning populism, the label, to define Donald Trump. And he never was. I always said Trump is not ideological but his instincts are way more conservative than anybody could believe, and maybe he ideologically understands. Although I think he’s caught up.