RUSH: Philadelphia, Ruth, welcome to the EIB Network. Hi.
CALLER: Hi, Rush.
RUSH: Mega thankful to God for you dittos.
CALLER: Thank you Ruth.
RUSH: You keep me sane. I’m not kidding. I called because I thought, how is it in this nation people can be so savvy when it comes to stats, football, baseball, they can remember players way, way back, and their stats, and yet when it comes to politics it’s like they zone out. And in listening to the program while on the phone, you answered my question, because, you know what, the mainstream media talks us to death. They hammer away at the same thing over and over again trying to almost paint the picture to be the way they’re saying, as opposed to the way it really is. And they do that by omission of certain facts and things. And I’m thinking, I know what happens to people, they just zone out, just like —
RUSH: You know, it’s an interesting question, and I’d like to take a stab at answering it, and I would come at it this way — let me make sure I understand the question. You want to know why Americans are so skilled and so informed on the performance, via statistics and all of that of sports teams, the teams that they like, and even the teams they hate that are their team’s competitors, they’re up to speed on it, they understand it, they have great memories, they remember the great moments in every sport and so forth, and you’re wondering, why in politics do people seem to forget who liberals really are?
RUSH: What conservatives really do, that sort of thing. There’s a reason for it, and actually maybe two. The first thing is, and I understand this having worked in the marketing department at the Kansas City Royals. Those five years were extremely valuable to me, because I learned a lot about people and why they do things in terms of going to sports, why communities take their self-esteem from the performance of their teams. Now, New York, that’s a city too big for that to happen. You look at Pittsburgh. I guarantee you the people of Pittsburgh today, some of them are really, really depressed because Cowher is leaving. They’re really depressed, more so than anybody’s ever been depressed when a president got defeated. When Terry Bradshaw left, George Brett in Kansas City, when he retired it was a great celebration, but there was a giant, giant letdown.
Sports teams have the ability in most communities to define a city’s self-esteem. Why is that? Because sports is an escape from reality. Sports is what people do, the people who enjoy it, to escape the humdrum of their daily lives. It is fantasy city. You can pretend. One of the marketing meetings that went to in the off season every year we had a Harvard guy come out, ostensibly to tell us what kind of thinking we could employ to sell more tickets. One of his theories was don’t waste time trying to sell this game to people that don’t come already. Your trick is to get people coming once or twice to come three or four times. Then he said something I have never forgotten. He said, ?Sports is the one thing in life in which you can invest total passion without consequence.? He said, “Try that with a woman if you’re a man, try that with a man if you’re a woman. You can invest total passion without consequence.”
You can love your team and you can support and you can cheer and you can be as open about that love as you want. You can make an idiot of yourself. You can show up nude when it’s ten degrees. You can show up painted your team colors. You can make yourself look like the biggest idiot and your team will not kick you out, your team will not reject you. They may lose and disappoint you, they may mistreat you with high ticket prices and so forth, but because you express your love for your team, they’re not going to run away, close the gates on you and say you can’t come in here. In real life, that happens. People are much more guarded about their emotions in the areas of life that are not their fantasies and so forth, and it was an interesting thing for me.
The other thing I think is that the adoption of a sports team by a fan is an actual act of commission. A fan is making a commitment to the team. I’m wondering more and more why it is some people are conservative and why they’re liberal, and I haven’t rejected the idea that some of it’s genetic and some of it’s parents and some of it’s the way you’re raised. But there are people that change. I think more liberals have become conservatives over the years than vice-versa. In fact, there’s no question about it. But there’s not the same kind of relationship between a human being and his congressman or his president or his party. They just don’t look at a political party or ideology as meaning the same thing as a sports team does.
CALLER: Didn’t Reagan do that, though? Didn’t President Reagan stir up that same passion?
RUSH: Yeah, okay, now, great question, and it proves your point. What happened? If Reagan had bridged that gap, let’s say Reagan represented a great sports team that everybody loved, I guarantee you a Steelers fan will be a Steelers fan ’til the day he dies, regardless of what the team does. What happened? That’s the root of your question. After Reagan wins two landslides and has all this wonderful, conservative ideology leading a movement, how come a liberal ever won an election again?
CALLER: Exactly right. What happened?
RUSH: Well, what happens is the American people need leadership, and we haven’t had an actual conservative leading a movement from the White House since Reagan. We’ve had a number of them like Newt for a while in the House of Representatives. But we haven’t had anybody at the top in elected office leading a conservative movement. We’ve had Republicans and we had quasi-conservatives. It’s almost like our team hasn’t really been trying to win every year.
CALLER: Exactly right. It seems like they just want to get along.
RUSH: That’s because our team has people on it who don’t deserve to be on the team. There are some Republicans who call themselves Republicans but may as well be Democrats.
CALLER: Well, you know what, that’s what I started to say about that whole thing — when you were talking about women and how they talk so much, and, you know, I have five brothers, and they were the greatest guys. I mean, you know, they just are the greatest guys, and they taught me so much about life. Women can talk each other to death, but men go right to the headlines, they give you the facts and they take care of the problem. And I love that about them. I think that the mainstream media has so controlled things with all these words and this constantly drumbeat —
RUSH: It’s pictures, Ruth.
CALLER: People are zoning out, they’re not paying attention because it just wears you out.
RUSH: But, Ruth, it’s pictures. It’s pictures. Ruth, do you know, you listen to this program regularly, right? I can tell you because you say I keep you sane.
CALLER: You changed my life. I was an Irish Catholic growing up in a Democrat household in Massachusetts.
RUSH: Well, that’s like half of Pittsburgh, maybe more. Now, do you realize — you may think this is not true, given the evolution of media. Do you realize that there are people whose daily consumption of news consists solely of watching Oprah then whatever local news twaddle follows and then either Katie or ABC or CBS for 30 minutes a day, and that’s it? That’s all, they don’t read the paper, they don’t watch cable, they don’t listen to talk radio, that’s it. Most of them are of a demographic now that they’re middle-age and upwards. Those happen to be the people that vote the most. So until that segment of the population kicks the bucket, until it dies, because there’s — you know, people coming up —
CALLER: This is a depressing thought. How long is it going to take?
RUSH: Well, I mean life expectancy is growing and growing and growing. This evolution’s underway, it’s taking place. But there’s still a significant number of people, if it doesn’t happen on the NBC Nightly News or the CBS Evening News or World News Tonight, it didn’t happen at all.
CALLER: Well, you need to have more Rush Babies then, that’s all I can say.
RUSH: I have as many as possible. I’m not going to pay support. Not going to go there.