RUSH: Here’s Gary in Fairfax, Virginia. You’re next, sir, and welcome.
CALLER: Thank you very much. An honor. Please don’t think I’m being presumptuous by adding to your list of undeniable truths, but you’re right that liberals are freaking out, losing their monopoly because they don’t have the intellectual arguments to back their ideas, but I think there’s one more reason, and that’s because liberals become conservatives, but conservatives don’t become liberals. It’s a one-way street.
RUSH: That is a good point.
CALLER: Thank you!
RUSH: That is an excellent point: Liberals do not become conservatives.
CALLER: Once you’re converted, once you know the truth, you don’t go back.
RUSH: The only exception to that might be you’ve got some young skulls full of mush at home growing up with conservative parents, they go to college and they get inculcated, but a conservative pretty much is a conservative. It’s a series of core beliefs.
CALLER: I mean real conservatives.
RUSH: Yes, real. Liberalism is just a series of feelings.
RUSH: But, you know, one thing about all this that people continue to miss, I mean the elites miss as they analyze this, is “Why all this partisanship?” How come partisanship is so new? I think maybe, in addition to they’re losing, they’re starting to realize just how sizable and substantive the opposition is. They don’t know this before. When they owned the media, conservatives were impugned, laughed at, thought to be a small minority of people. Back in ’64, Goldwater losing in a landslide. I think they’re just shell-shocked. I think they have no comprehension of why what’s happened to them has happened, so they come up with these easy-to-feel-good-about explanations. “Oh, it’s some madman on the radio. Oh, it’s so right-winger in the White House that stole an election with the Supreme Court. Oh, it’s this.” They’re refusing to analyze themselves. They’re refusing to say, “What maybe have we done to precipitate our fall,” because they don’t have, folks, the humility to do that. They’re too arrogant and conceded to think that anything going wrong is their fault. Here’s Phillip in North Liberty, Iowa. Welcome, sir, to the Rush Limbaugh program.
CALLER: Mega dittos, Rush.
RUSH: Thank you, sir.
CALLER: In 1993 I was in my senior English class, and I was expounding upon conservative philosophy, setting the class straight, and the teacher looked to me, and she said, “Oh, you just heard that on Rush Limbaugh,” and I said, “Rush who?” and she said —
RUSH: Was this high school or college?
CALLER: High school.
RUSH: High school.
CALLER: She said, “You haven’t heard of Rush Limbaugh? Oh, you’d love him,” and I’ve kind of been listening to you ever since. But I’ve been dying to tell you this story for years because it just blows completely out of the water the idea that we’re mind-numbed robots. I believed what I believed before I even knew you existed.
RUSH: Most people do. You know, this is the thing. The silent majority that Nixon spoke of, this is who we are. It’s who we’ve always been, the silent majority. We were “silent” because nobody gave voice to what we believed, other than the occasional political campaign, presidential campaign — and then Reagan came along, and you saw the silent majority rear up and give him a 49-state landslide, folks. Make no mistake where this country’s ideological heart is, but it’s gotten to the point now where — and I’m proud of this. You know, people say, “I don’t want to make your day any worse by telling you what the liberals are saying about you.” Folks, you have to understand something. Whether it’s this University of Missouri journalism study or whether it’s Tom Daschle or whether it’s Dick Durbin or whatever, they blame me. They. Blame. Me. I am the reason that you exist. I am the reason they are in trouble. I am the reason people don’t believe them as much as they used to. I’m the reason that they’re losing. I am the reason, and that’s why I am always mentioned by them, and that’s why I’m always a target, and it makes me proud. But what Phillip here had to say is exactly right. When this program started in 1988, the liberals, it took ’em a couple years to realize what was actually happening, and it took awhile for them to really gin up this whole notion that you were just a bunch of mind-numbed robots and I’m the Pied Piper. The fact of the matter is, you’ve always been who you are — other than you converts, and we have made a lot of those but for the most part the vast majority of people in this audience have always been conservative.
They just finally had somebody come along in the national media that validated what they believed. I may add to your information quotient. You may learn some things, but in terms of your core beliefs you had ’em long before I came along. You’re just now having them reinforced. You know, how many times over these 16 years have people called and you heard it, and they call and they saw something on the news that they know is liberal bias. They think they’re the only ones that noticed it, and they’ve got to warn everybody else, and they’re angry about it, and I’ve always said, “If you noticed it millions of others did, too. You just have to trust you’re not alone,” and I don’t think conservatives feel alone anymore. I think quite the contrary. I think we conservatives are feeling predominant. We get frustrated because many people have a skewed definition of success and that is until the mainstream press agrees with us we’re failures. Don’t ever set yourself up that way. That’s never going to happen. You know, that’s just not realistic so sometimes people get pessimistic and disappointed because they don’t see all this conversion happening in what is considered the elite media or the mainstream press. That’s never going to happen. They’re just going to lose their influence. They’re just going to continue to lose their influence. They’re going to lose readers. Newspapers are going to lose circulation; networks are going to lose viewers. It’s happening. It is happening, and they are not on the technological forefront of anything to be able to recapture it. Here’s Mike in Cincinnati. You’re next on the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Rush, it’s an absolute pleasure. How are you?
RUSH: Thank you, sir.
CALLER: You’re welcome. The poll that you were citing before that said that talk radio listeners were more extreme and more polarized, I would argue that they’re more informed, and this kind of fits into what you were talking about. I’ve been listening to you since 1989 when I lived in Kansas City, and the first time I heard you instinctively I knew you were right and locally and just through the thought process. But ever since then over the years my level of understanding of politics and the left in general has peeled off in layers of deepened understand. They’re kind of right that, the media is. They’re targeting you because before there was you, there wasn’t you. I mean there was William F. Buckley; there was Goldwater; there was a handful of others, but with the move of conservatism in this country growing, as you cite a lot, is just all these people over the years like myself who have listened to you and said, “You know, what? I think that’s exactly right,” and you’ve just reaffirmed it over the years over and over selecting. It hasn’t changed. This country, I think, has always been conservative, but I want to thank you for all that you’ve done over the years to help me understand it.
RUSH: Well, thank you. You said something very important. The same thing that you described happening to you as listening to this program happened to me. I grew up a conservative. My family was very conservative, father especially. I left home when I was 20 and my pursuits then had nothing to do with current events or the news of the day. I’m just a young kid trying to make it big in the field in which I’ve chosen which is radio, and I’d run into people that I disagreed with politically and I knew what I believed but I wasn’t able really to talk to them about it other than just tell them what I thought. I wasn’t able to tell them why I thought what I thought because it was instinct. I wasn’t able to tell them why they were wrong, other than instinct. So as I began to get more and more immersed in all this and interested I started reading the people I consider the godfathers of the movement, and I talk about it all the time. These are the people that labored working away in the basements of think tanks churning out position papers, writing magazines, William Buckley and Pat Buchanan and these people, and it was through my exposure to them that I finally found out why my instincts are what they were, and as I kept learning I was then able to explain to people why I believed what I believed, not just that I believed it, and that, “Well, I believe that you should, too, because I just know it’s right.” Well, that won’t work in an argument. You have to be able to explain it. You have to have historical evidence, examples, facts, and so I just immersed myself in as much of this data as I could, and I still do. Although I read much of what I think now to re- — I’m just kidding. The point is the same thing that happened to me with the godfathers of conservative wisdom I think are happening to people that listen to this radio show on a daily basis.
You don’t just hear conservatism. You hear why and you hear a foundation, and you learn to express it yourself, and you’re able to engage people you disagree with. They aren’t. The liberals aren’t able to do this because they haven’t had to for 50 years. They had a monopoly. The liberals never had to justify what they believed in a debate because there weren’t any debates, other than the occasional presidential campaign, and then they just used of their usual smear tactics like “Barry Goldwater is going to nuke the world.” They’ve never really had to debate anybody, and they can’t today. So that’s why they rely on lies and propaganda like Michael Moore and these kooks at MoveOn.org because their voice is a louder, enraged, angrier, emotional voice and they hope that will trump any reason that confronts them because they don’t have any way to do so in an intelligent way. They will lose in the arena of ideas every single time they try, and so that’s why they’re constantly trying to discredit conservative people as Hitlers or right-wing Christian evangelicals. Whatever the negative terms they come up with — Hitler, you name it — it is all meant to discredit because they can’t win the intellectual argument anymore, and it’s because when you were a liberal for all those 50 years and you had the mainstream media basically propagandizing what you never were challenged. The liberal never was challenged to explain it.
The Republicans had 135 members of the House led by a guy whose only goal was to play golf with Tip O’Neill, rather than engage them in any kind of intellectual fight, and Reagan coming along energized. Well, Goldwater, of course, but Reagan comes along and really energizes everybody and gives birth to a whole host of growth out there, myself included. And the left, who is their Reagan? FDR. Who is their Reagan? Don’t misunderstand. I’m not saying FDR is Reagan. They’ve got to go back 50 years. Their whole belief system is structured on America as soup lines. Well, maybe you gotta throw World War II out. They never cite FDR and World War II or Harry Truman. They always go back to Vietnam and Watergate. But in terms of, you know, who is their godfather, guru, who inspires them, actually today who would it be? Michael Moore? Howard Dean? You name it? (interruption) But Bill Clinton doesn’t inspire them to go out and debate conservatives and win. I guess there’s nobody. There’s nobody out there right now that’s saying to young people, “I want to be a liberal. That’s who I am.” There’s nobody saying that. Now, I’m talking about the people who aren’t. They’re not persuading anybody; they’re not inspiring anybody, because they can’t. They aren’t inspiring. You listen to them speak, they don’t have anything uplifting or inspiring or positive to say. The only people that they are attracting are the already down-in-the-dumps, fatalistic, pessimistic doom-and-gloomers who just want to have some company in their misery and so that’s what the American left has become.
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