RUSH: By the way, folks, I stumbled across today in show prep exactly… It’s amazing how these things work. Ever since the Trump rally on Saturday night, I have been really thinking, pondering, struggling how to come up with what to come up with in terms of an agenda going forward, a campaign theme or series of themes.
‘Cause you can’t rerun the 2016 playbook. As tempting as it is — as tempting as Make America Great Again is — you simply can’t recapture what was brand-new and unheard of four years ago, and that was a big part of the Trump mystique. Outsider. Never run for office before. Captivating the country. Never knew what was gonna happen next. Never knew what he was gonna say next.
It had its themes: Make America Great Again, immigration, bring America’s jobs back home. It had the Ronald Reagan three-legged stool. In Trump’s case, it might have been four, but there were four tent pole issues around which that campaign was organized, and it led to a record — a very, very good record. So how move forward? How do you campaign for reelection? You can’t rerun the 2016 playbook.
You can’t. I don’t think that you can run for reelection solely on a list of Supreme Court nominees. You can’t repromise and redo the immigration stuff. You can’t ignore what’s happened in these four years, and you can’t focus on issues… Remember how we always say… You know, here’s Biden complaining and moaning about health care, complaining and moaning about racism or whatever.
We always say, “You had eight years! What did you do about it?” We have to avoid that trap. So Trump has had four years. So whatever he does with immigration, it can’t lead to questions like, “Well, what the hell have you been doing? You’ve been there four years. What are you complaining about?” I’m not saying he has. I’m using this as an illustration.
So today I stumbled into something reading a Michael Goodwin column in the New York Post, and I can’t wait… The thing prints out to 14 pages. I can’t read the whole thing, obviously. It’s a gigantic editing job here of synthesizing, make the complex understandable.
RUSH: So I’m watching the Trump rally on Saturday night. And, like everybody, I’m noticing the crowd size and analyzing what does it mean, why is it what it is, and the TV ratings on Monday are a record, and so it became abundantly clear to me what happened with the on-site attendance. You simply can’t erase the fact that there is a virus out there that people don’t want to get. And you can’t erase the fact that there are a bunch of anti-Americans out there who are more than willing to inflict pain and suffering on people they don’t like. They’re willing to torch automobiles and people and buildings and loot.
And so it’s common sense. A million people supposedly signed up, made reservations. You’ve got a bunch of leftists claiming credit for it. “Yeah, yeah, yeah, that was phony. We just got in there. We reserved all those seats using the ChiCom social media app TikTok before these idiot Trump supporters could sign up.” I actually think that there were a lot of people that were never gonna go, Trump supporters, but they wanted to show their support. And so they registered in record numbers.
Still, the overflow area was built and a stage on it was built and ended up not being used. So you watch the rally, not having formulated any of that analysis. I’m watching it, don’t know what the crowd size is, but it’s reputed to be 6,200, which is more than Joe Biden could ever hope to draw on his best day. The fact remains it’s way below Trump’s standards. It’s way below the expectations. So I watch the rally and I ebb and flow on some of it. Some of it I said, “That’s a 2016 playbook. We gotta move beyond that.” Others of it I’m standing up and cheering.
And I’m cognizant that I’m not a political professional in terms of running campaigns. I’m not an operative. I’m not a fundraiser. In fact, I want nothing to do with fundraising. But I do think that I have an ability to reach people and influence and perhaps persuade. So I have been struggling with what I think — and I’m sure everybody has — I don’t mean struggling, but everybody’s trying to come up, what should be the primary message of the campaign?
And, for example, there’s a record now. You can’t talk about immigration as though nothing’s happened on it. That won’t fly. I’m not saying the president is, don’t misunderstand. But there’s a record. There’s a great record, particularly on the economy before the virus hit. There’s a fabulous record. But the thing that hit me, this is not just Trump versus Biden, although that contrast is completely necessary because it is a campaign, and Biden is the other guy on the ballot.
But it’s about so much more than that. This campaign is about things that it has never been about before. We may have thought — you know, every election is, “This is the most important election in our nation’s history.” And it’s a sales technique. But this one, this one really is, I think, unprecedented in a lot of ways.
This one literally is an election over the American way of life. And that’s what I stumbled into today as I have been, in my own mind, trying to formulate what should the Trump campaign message be, what should be the two to three, maybe four issues that are part of every rally. How can the Trump campaign recapture the magic that was the 2016 campaign? And that’s a toughie, folks. Because that’s the kind of magic that only happens once.
You know the old drill. You and your friends get together spontaneously on a Saturday afternoon, decide to throw a party. Get on the phone, you invite some people, they show up and it’s the best damn party you’ve ever had. It’s so good you try to do the same thing next Saturday. Except it never comes off the same. Because the spontaneity is gone. And the unpredictability is gone. Everything about it that made it is gone because it’s already been experienced.
Same thing here. You can’t rerun the 2016 campaign, but you can, I think, infuse the same kind of magic. And you can have the president portrayed and seen in the same exciting, “we’ve not seen this before” kind of light that he was seen as in 2016.
So I’m reading Michael Goodwin’s column today in the New York Post, which is about what he thinks Trump has to do to come back from the current deficits in the polls against Biden and against the fundraising and so forth. And in it he mentions that he has come across a very lengthy piece that he recommends everybody read.
It’s a piece by the chairman of the Claremont Institute named Thomas Klingenstein. And he’s written a piece on what Trump and the Republicans must do to combat the crisis of confidence that has permeated millions of Americans and rendered them pessimistic about the future and pessimistic about Trump and pessimistic about the Republican Party.
Now, it prints out to 14 pages so it’s a very lengthy piece. Can’t possibly touch on the whole thing to you. So I’ve gone through and marked it up and highlighted it with certain things that I think really, really zero in. His proposal is that the Trump-Republican platform and all rhetoric, all of the language should revolve around a singular promise “to preserve the American way of life.” And that’s what struck me because, folks, that’s what’s at stake, the American way of life. That’s what is being fought over.
We epitomize it. We represent it. We are the American way of life, and we are under assault. And so is the founding, the principles, it’s all under attack. But what is the American way of life?
“What is the American way of life that Republicans should want to preserve?” Well, Mr. Klingenstein says, “It would not be difficult to reach a consensus on this question among Republicans. They want to preserve, and in some respects recover, what Americans thought was the right way of life until a generation or two ago.”
Back then we believed that we were, that America was, this unique place, a shining city on a hill, that it showed the rest of the world that people can govern themselves in freedom and liberty. “We saw ourselves as one people.” We were one country. Yeah, we had all the groups, but everybody that had come here as an immigrant came here wanting to become an American first. They didn’t want to come here to become Balkanized. The Italians didn’t come here to remake Italy, for example. The Germans didn’t come here to remake Germany. Ditto the Irish.
They all wanted, our ancestors, they all wanted to be Americans because there was a distinct American culture. And it was rooted in the founding principles of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. We were people with a single culture. And it was “directed by a creed (expressed most notably in the Declaration), supported by the Judeo-Christian ethos, all flavored by our particular history.”
We were one. Disagreements abounded. But we were all Americans at the end of the day and proud to be. “There were sub-cultures, but we understood them as all sharing the fundamental attributes of a single culture. There were no hyphenated Americans.”
Twenty-five, 50 years ago now, generation or two ago, there weren’t any hyphenated Americans. “We insisted that immigrants be assimilated. Colorblindness was our ideal.”
But the assimilation was key. That’s what the purpose of immigration was. We loved who we were. We believed in who we were. We knew that people who wanted to come here wanted to become Americans, so we assimilated, we showed them how, we took them at their word. You want to be an American, here’s the lesson. It wasn’t that hard. Then the citizenship test came, and it was some of the proudest days of their lives when these people actually became citizens.
We don’t assimilate anybody anymore. In fact, it’s the exact opposite. “We believed,” a generation or two ago, “that we had done great things in the past and were capable of doing more.” We had accomplished great things, we had done great things for ourselves, for the world. We believed in ourselves. We weren’t running around guilty over our prosperity. We were looking at ways to expand it and share it with anybody who was willing to do what it took to create it, i.e., guarantee liberty and freedom for their citizens around the world. We were capable of even more greatness.
“This success, despite numerous missteps,” ’cause nobody’s perfect, and we never told ourselves we were perfect, this success that we had experienced made us confident. We were confident in our way of life. We were confident in our government. We were confident in our communities. We were confident as individuals. “No wonder we thought ourselves exceptional in both senses of the term: distinct and better.”
We wore patriotism on our sleeve because we were proud. We revered and were in awe of the American military. We knew we were exceptional because we knew we were an exception to the way most human beings have been forced to live on this planet. We were exceptional in that we were the only country founded on the premise that it was government and government activity that is limited in the American way of life.
“We believed ourselves to be the least class-conscious, most individualist, most religious people in the world.” We were aware of class differences, but back then the aspiration was to move up. And there was nothing wrong with in it. There was nothing seen to be wrong in wanting to improve your life. And America was the place, one of the few places in the world where you could do that if you really tried.
So we weren’t class-conscious, and rugged individualism was a part of America’s founding. It certainly wasn’t anything that anybody was ashamed of. To be your own person was an offshoot of freedom and liberty. And we were the most religious people in the world. “We believed that success in life depends on one’s own talents and character.”
So a generation or two ago and further, we glorified self-made people. They were great. They were great examples. They were heroes. The more obstacles they overcame, the more respect we had for them. “We valued work, no matter how humble.” We honored self-reliance. Somebody we noted as self-reliant was somebody automatically respected.
Dependency was thought to be a weakness. Some people were even ashamed for anybody to know that they had been fired and were on unemployment compensation, even though they had paid for it, they were ashamed for people to know they were on “relief,” it was called, or welfare. “This was all part of the ‘American Dream.'” And people moved into it and out of it all the time.
“Although we understood ourselves as individualistic, we believed that happiness (a worthy life) requires doing good in this world. And so volunteerism and sacrifice for the common good was highly valued and publicly honored. This meant more than voting and obeying the law: it meant serving in the military and participating in civic organizations, local government and political parties, and teaching one’s children what it meant to be a responsible citizen. For most people, happiness was found in family, church and community,” and at work.
And many Americans still look at it this way, still hold this understanding of the American way of life. And it is this, Mr. Klingenstein says, the Republicans need to focus on and promise to preserve and recapture. But there’s more.
RUSH: Okay, now, back to this piece very quickly where Mr. Klingenstein thinks that we went wrong — and by the way, I totally agree with this, which is why I’m spending so much time sharing the substance of this with you. The next subhead in this piece is, “Multiculturalism Versus the American Way of Life,” and I’m gonna tell you, I remember the day — I remember what I was doing and what I felt — when I first heard that term, and how I was it being manifested in America.
“Multiculturalism.” Now, Mr. Klingenstein writes, “If Republicans today conceived of their purpose as preserving this American way of life, then I think they would more easily see that that way of life is being attacked by proponents of another way of life… They would then be better equipped to repel it,” because this is exactly what’s going on.
The American way of life is under assault, and we have nothing in common with the people who oppose us. That’s what’s different. There isn’t a single thing uniting Americans who disagree with each other today. That’s unprecedented. There’s not a single thing around which we can organize ourselves on the premise that we at least have something in common.
There’s nothing. Multiculturalism.
Mr. Klingenstein says, “As I am using the term, multiculturalism sees society not as a community of rights-bearing individuals with a shared understanding of a national good, but as a collection of cultural identity groups, ranked in order of victimhood (though all oppressed by white males), and aggregated within highly permeable national boundaries.
“Multiculturalism replaces American citizens with so-called ‘global citizens.’ Identity politics is the politics of multiculturalism. Political correctness is its enforcement arm. Multiculturalism involves a way of life that cannot exist peacefully with the American way of life any more than could Communism or the antebellum South,” and there’s still a little more. Hang on.
RUSH: So, yeah, I think an adequate or really good Trump campaign slogan is Preserving the American Way of Life. That’s the new version of Make America Great Again. That’s what Make America Great Again meant in 2016 — preserving the American way of life — and that’s why it so irritated the left. Remember how controversial that was? That’s what really opened my eyes, when Make America Great Again became fighting words, when that became controversial.
What in the world could possibly be controversial about America being great again? But then had to realize, to a lot of Americans, it’s fighting words. “America doesn’t deserve to be great! America ever been was great. America is a gigantic myth. America’s nothing but a racial pot of discrimination and bigotry and homophobia. What in the world is great about that?”
We’ve had two generations of people being taught that drivel under the guise of multiculturalism. You watch. If preserving the American way of life… Maybe it’s not going to be a slogan, but if it became a theme that the president articulated and defined, it would be just as controversial as Make America Great Again, and it would open a lot of people’s eyes.
But today, there are people saying, “You don’t have a right to the American way of life. What do you mean, ‘American way of life’? Who gets to say what that is? Who gets to define it?” We don’t have to define it! There already was one. You’re in the process of trying to tear it apart and we’re trying to save it — and you are not going to succeed.
You are not going to destroy the American way of life, and you’re not gonna destroy Western civilization, just as you were not gonna destroy the concept of American greatness. This is the battle that we are in. Now, “multiculturalism teaches its beliefs and values to its future citizens.” That’s why the multiculturalists have taken hold of the school curriculum — middle school, high school, and of course academe.
“One way it does so is through the teaching of American history. American history is not simply a description of what happened in America in the past: it is an account of who we are as a people. As such, our history is a general guide to the future. Until a generation or two ago, American history was an account of a good people striving, however imperfectly and haltingly, toward its noble ideals.
“And our history — which is particular to us, shared only by Americans — bound us together and helped to make us one people. Aspects of our history changed over time as new facts came to light and new interpretations were made of old facts, but the basic storyline did not change.” But multiculturalists have seen to it. “Multiculturalism seeks to overthrow that history.
“Multiculturalists, like totalitarians everywhere, understand that changing a culture requires rewriting its history so as to bring the past into line with the desired future. This is the purpose of the 1619 Project, a major initiative of the New York Times led by Pulitzer Prize-winning” author to basically obliterate American history and is that it began in 1619 with the arrival of slave ships.
It isn’t true.
It’s a pack of lies.
The nation was not built on slavery. Slavery was not one of the ideals that led to the American away life. We had a civil war to get rid of it. The times version of American history makes slavery the cause of virtually everything. But look, they’ve taught it; they’ve had unfettered access to your kids for two generations. That is why Millennial-aged, affluent, suburban, college educated, white women essentially run and promote Black Lives Matter.
They have had the guilt ladled all over them. They have had “the truth of this country,” quote-unquote, spoon-fed them to the point that they hate America, that they’re embarrassed about it, that they believe in this silly ass notion of white supremacy and white privilege as defining aspects of the United States of America. So they’re running around feeling guilty all day, every day with a need to prove that they’re not evil.
They are useful idiots.