RUSH: “Dear Mr. Limbaugh: I was thinking about what you said yesterday when you seemed to say that you have given up trying to persuade people.” I don’t recall saying specifically I had given up trying to persuade people. I remember I talked about it. Anyway, “I feel the same way, Mr. Limbaugh. It sometimes seems like it’s just a pointless exercise. But it struck me that just two years ago, Donald Trump won the presidency by doing just that, by persuading people. So maybe things aren’t as dire as they sometimes seem — and I’m not saying that you seem dire, Mr. Limbaugh. I’m just…”
I don’t remember specifically what I was talking about yesterday that this is reacting to, but there’s a good question in here. The point is that the evidence we can still persuade people is there because Trump won the presidency. Well, let me ask you a question to think about. Just how many people did Trump persuade versus how many people already thought everything Donald Trump was saying, it’s just he was the only one saying it? So rather than persuading people, he activated people. He brought people back from the electoral dead.
People who had stopped voting, people who had given up that things they believed in were ever gonna happen because there was no political representation of them. They’d been lied to by one candidate after another during campaigns. These candidates got elected — and, after that, they do nothing to implement their so-called promises. So here comes Trump, a totally different guy — he’s not a politician — and he identifies a bunch of things that a slew of Americans already thought and were already enraged about.
They were already worried about, scared about, angry about, whatever. So Trump brought ’em back to life. He activated ’em. He turned them out as voters. I don’t know how many people he persuaded. We can talk about it if you have a thought on that. By the way, don’t misunderstand. I’m not saying the persuasion is dead. It happens all the time here — one at a time, two at a time, three at a time. I remember what it was. My point was that the key to victory for us is not persuading.
Like there’s a story somebody sent me, “Rush, if we just change our language… If we just change our language to the Millennials, we might be able to get through to them, because it turns out that Millennials are actually capitalists but they don’t know it. (sputtering) They say they’re socialists!” Oh, okay. So if we just change our language, we can persuade them. Maybe a few. Pick off a few here or there. Somebody else sent me a poll “Rush! Rush! You gotta put this on your website. You gotta really get this out there: 85% of the American people do not think there should be a religious test for judicial nominees!”
I yawned. “What?” You think that’s gonna change any minds? Do you think that’s gonna stop the Democrats from opposing every Christian that’s nominated? Do you think that’s gonna stop the Democrats from opposing every Catholic that’s nominated? Do you think because you gotta a poll that shows 85% of the American people don’t think there should be a religious test, and then Trump nominates Amy Coney Barrett to be on the Supreme Court and the Democrats are gonna stand down because of public opinion?
The Democrats are doing what they’re doing in defiance of public opinion! The Democrats don’t care. The left doesn’t care about public opinion. That’s the whole point! You know, we… I guess what I’m trying to say here is that we have been waging these political battles with the same techniques, strategies, and so forth, for as long as I’ve been doing this show. And they are all focused on trying to persuade the left of something. The Republicans are trying to persuade the media that they’re not racists, that they’re not bigots.
A lot of conservatives are trying to persuade liberals in the media that we’re not what they say we are. The rest of us are trying to persuade others that conservatism is not hate filled and racist and all that, instead of just focusing on strategies to win! There are more ways to win than simply persuade a bunch of brain-dead people on the left who are not persuadable anyway. Now, you might think that’s a little contradictory.
“Wait a minute, Rush. How do you win without persuading?” One thing you do is what Trump did. You activate a whole lot of people out there who already think what you do, who are either afraid to say so or have gotten so frustrated, they no longer vote. I’m not saying dispatch with persuasion. But to me, persuasion — the way we have been trying it — is rooted in defensiveness. Our art of persuasion begins with accepting a premise that there’s something wrong with us and that the way to go is convince ’em that they’re wrong about that, and I hate that!
I hate the whole premise that we have to prove to a bunch of ignoramuses that we’re not what they think we are because the media’s lied about it, because we’ve been doing this. The Republicans have been doing it. How’s it working out for ’em? Elected Republicans have been doing it. All kinds of people have been doing it for I don’t know how long, and the fact that we’re still doing it is testament to me that it doesn’t work. Not in large enough numbers to win elections. It might help you in the neighborhood. It might help you in your local community. It might help you at work.
But in terms of amassing gazillions and gazillions of people to vote with you, it’s like picking peas. It just doesn’t happen in large enough numbers.