RUSH: Grab audio sound bite No. 3. This is funny. There is a leftist author out there. His name is Thomas Frank. And he has written for a number of liberal publications and he’s written a couple of books. He’s got a new book out called Rendezvous with Oblivion. His first famous book was What’s the Matter with Kansas? The premise of What’s the Matter with Kansas? was, “Why is it,” he asked, “that all of these Americans are voting against their own self-interests?”
In his view, voting against Democrats, voting against Big Government, voting against Santa Claus is voting against your best interests, and he couldn’t figure out why. Kansas was literal and metaphorical at the same time. He didn’t just mean Kansas. He meant the Midwest, and he meant wherever there are pockets of voters who he thought would be voting Democrat, but don’t. It befuddled him. So he’s got a new book out now called Rendezvous with Oblivion, and he appeared on C-SPAN2 Book TV. This is part of the interview that I wanted you to hear. There’s no question here. This is just an excerpt on C-SPAN2 over the weekend.
FRANK: What you see in a place like Wichita, Kansas, or wherever…? You know, I keep using Wichita as my example. I’m going there next week to do this same talk. But in a place where someone would have been part of the Farmers Alliance or one would have been part of a labor union, and those organizations would have helped them understand the world around them. Those are gone today. Those have disappeared from everyday life in a place like that, and what has taken their place is Fox News and Rush Limbaugh, and you get into the car and Rush Limbaugh is on and he’s constantly… It’s like, you know, in North Korea how they have a loudspeaker? They don’t have radio; they have a loudspeaker. It only plays one channel. In vast parts of this country, that’s what it feels like to me when you’re there, that you have this voice that is constantly explaining your relationship with the world to you.
RUSH: It’s been 30 years! It’s coming up on 30 years, and they still do not understand why this program is a success. If after 30 years they can’t understand this program and the relationship between me, the host, and you, the audience, they’re never gonna figure out Trump and Trump voters. But, I mean, is this not great, comparing this program to North Korea? You’re driving around and the only voice you can hear is mine — except people are choosing my voice, Mr. Frank. By the way, it’s not just Wichita, Mr. Frank, and it’s not just Kansas.
You can go to any state and when this program is on you would find this very same thing happening. Our audience today — and I wasn’t gonna mention this. I’m just gonna mention it. Our audience today is higher, it’s larger than it’s ever been. Who would have figured that? You figure if you got a 30-year career that the peak is gonna be somewhere. I don’t know where, but it’s certainly gonna be somewhere between the start and the end.
But we’re continuing to peak. Same thing with membership at RushLimbaugh.com. We’re looking at record numbers there, record audience, ratings and so forth, and it’s evidenced by (chuckling) things like this. Although this is a first. I’ve never been compared to North Korea propaganda. So, I mean, that’s a new one. You know how you’re in North Korea? You’re driving around, they got loudspeakers, that’s all you can hear. And I think that’s true, by the way. It is true.
I think even in North Korea, whoever has television, at something like seven or 8 o’clock at night there is a mandatory, you-must-watch address from Kim Jong-un or somebody in his regime. But there, you have no choice. But people in Wichita, Mr. Frank, are choosing to — and, by the way, they must the windows down in order for Mr. Frank to be able to hear what’s on their car radios. Mr. Frank, it’s not just in cars. It’s in restaurants and it’s in people’s homes — and it’s, as I say, not just in Kansas. Still bugged.
You know what bugs ’em? What bugs ’em is they still have this view — and the same view they have of Trump people — that you’re basically mind-numbed and you tune to this program every day to find out what to think because on your own, you don’t know. It’s not that you’re stupid; it’s just that you don’t have any confidence. You know, you’re unsure of yourself, and so you tune to this program to find out what you should think, and you tune to this program to find out what is going on from your perspective, how it relates to you.
They haven’t slightest idea why people listen to this program, and in the process of trying to explain why you listen to this program, we get a little bit of an insight into the way they view their own audience. If anybody is preaching propaganda and if anybody is treating their audience as a bunch of dummkopfs, it’s the Drive-By Media. Honestly, folks, one of the hallmarks of this program over the years is my belief that you are vastly intelligent and that you are able to understand and curious and want to understand the intricacies and the ins and outs of any number of issues that come along.
They don’t treat — and they have the same view of Trump people — stupid, mind-numbed, cliched, bigots, racists, all of that — and that basically I and Trump are just pied pipers. We are Svengalis. You’re getting up every day to get your marching orders. You’re getting up every day to figure out what it is you think and so forth. It’s inconceivable that you could think what you think without somebody telling you to.
It is a product of the arrogance and the condescension. It’s not just these guys. It’s throughout the Democrat Party. It’s throughout the American left. It’s throughout their political consultants. In fact, there’s a companion story that works here. The headline, Fox News: “Top Tennessee Dem Party Official Snubs ‘Reaching Out’ to Trump Voters, Calls Them ‘Idiots’ — A top Tennessee Democratic Party’s communications official made disparaging comments about President Donald Trump and lashed out against a suggestion to reach out to his voters, describing them as ‘idiots,'” or, in Hillary Clinton parlance, “deplorable.”
RUSH: This is Chris in Toano, Virginia. Great to have you. Hi.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. I’m so glad to talk to you. I just wanted to let you know I’m 86 years old, and those people who say we turn our radios on to be told how to think? That isn’t the case. I don’t listen to you to agree with you. When —
RUSH: I know but you can’t help it most of the time.
CALLER: (chuckles) I know it, but, see? The thing about it is, is that you agree with me.
RUSH: Well, that’s the key.
CALLER: (chuckles) And as for Trump, we love him no matter what, are loyal to him because he loves this country.
RUSH: Well, you know, so much is wrapped up in here, and I thank you. She’s acknowledging that she believes what she’s always believed. I came along and validated what she believed. She was already thinking it. You know, I just buttressed it — and then with Trump, there’s nothing anybody can do to separate her from Trump. Nothing. And the more they try, the more solid her support. And she’s not alone. Everybody is gonna be just like that. I appreciate the call so much, Chris.