RUSH: Frontenac, Missouri, near St. Louis. This is Barbara. You’re next on the Rush Limbaugh program. Hi.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. You are absolutely right to say that our country is in serious trouble and that liberals are trying to destroy it. But the only reason why they are succeeding is that conservatives are allowing it — and there is no way America cannot figure out this problem and fix it. It only requires people who believe it can be done and will do it. You have stated on air before that you, for one, have the power to affect political change in this country, and not through elective office. I want to know when you are going to use that power you have and do something about our situation, other than what you are doing — which, although is valuable, is not going to stop the liberals. We know, for instance, that it didn’t stop the Democrats in our last election.
RUSH: You’re like the third caller we’ve had the last two weeks telling me that I’m not doing enough.
CALLER: You’re not. That’s why we’re saying it.
RUSH: Yeah? Well!
CALLER: And the only reason is, Rush, because of the power you have admitted you have.
RUSH: Mmm-hmm. What are you doing?
CALLER: I’m calling you and trying to encourage you to use the power you have that I don’t.
RUSH: Okay. I’ve gotta come up with a response to this. I’ve gotta take a time-out here because it?s time to make profit here on the EIB Network.
RUSH: All right, so the question is on the table from the last caller, Barbara in Frontenac, Missouri. Barbara is the third call in maybe three weeks, in the recent past, suggesting I should be doing more and demanding to know what I’m going to do using the power that I have. Of course, the implication is I’m not doing enough — and in some minds I might not be doing anything. Now, I sit here (just so you’ll know my perspective on this, so we can maybe have a starting point) and say, “What more do you people want?” In 1988, this country was a conservative wasteland. Our president was leaving. We had CNN. We had ABC, NBC, CBS. We had the New York Times, the Washington Post, the news magazines, and that was it. Here I came, storming onto the scene! Look what’s happened since. I gave you a Republican Congress in 1994 for the first time in 40 years. What were you doing before I came along? I gave you a Republican Senate. I gave you a Republican president in 2000 and again in 2004.
What more do you want? Obviously what I have given you is not enough. I have spawned an entire conservative cable news network. I have spawned an entire new media from blogs to talk shows. There are people who have failed in television and radio and stand-up comedy who are now going into radio. Everybody from Whoopi Goldberg to you name it, thinks they have to go into radio in order to have impact and make a difference — and why is that? It is because of me. There is an entire alternative media now that people are able to rally to and get alternative news from, spawned by me. Is it my fault the Republicans who won the House in ’94 didn’t know what to do to keep it? Is it my fault a number of you Republicans wanted to ‘teach Republicans a lesson’ last November and voted for a bunch of Democrats or didn’t go out and vote for Republicans?
It’s my fault?
I have said over and over again on this program that I am a radio host. I am a media figure. I am not an activist. There are many talk show hosts who have tried to be activists and they’ve gotten some publicity out of it so they get even more oriented towards it. Back when I started this program, there were people that were urging you to send in your ExxonMobil credit cards torn up and cut in half to show them a lesson. I have never done that. I have never given out phone numbers to members of Congress or anywhere else. I’ve always thought, ‘If that happens, it should happen genuinely because you have the passion to take the initiative to do it on your own.’ I have not treated you like a bunch of serfs, as if I’m the Pied Piper. I don’t want to turn this program over to activism. You will stop listening to it if I do because it won’t be interesting. Activists have their role, but it’s not in media. I’m talking about the kind of activism you want. Maybe I could write a couple more books, but do you realize how crowded that market is? I did that first, too, and everybody else followed along. I guess I could write a couple more books. Do you realize how crowded that market has been? Everybody and their uncle is writing conservative book after conservative book after conservative book.
Why should I become a follower when I was the leader? Maybe I should do more speeches. I reach five million people every 15 minutes here. (interruption) What, you think I should be doing more speeches? Snerdley thinks I could be going out to college campi and doing more speeches. It’s a possibility. I will grant that we could be doing that, even though I don’t like it. Sometimes you have to do things that you don’t like to do, although in life we all strive for various things and I’ve gotten do you great place in my life where I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to do now. Of course some people might hear that as, “Oh, no! That’s just horrible.”
Well, you’re misunderstanding the point. How many of you get up every day because you have to and go to work, versus because you really want to and love to? How many of you have to do all kind of things that you really don’t want to do because you have to? I’ve had to do it, too. There are still those things. I get invited to places I don’t want to go and I show up. I get phone calls from people who want to come over and I wish they wouldn’t, but I say, “Come on,” because I don’t want to be mean. The other day I had to actually put some dishes in the dishwasher because the staff was off. So we all have to do things. (I’m just kidding on the last one. I actually did it.)
But I have some questions for you, who are out there wondering why I’m not ‘doing more.’ Are you going out and supporting your state and local party with money or time, or are you saying, “I’m not contributing another dime to those people until they start acting right.” Well, what are you doing to make ’em act right? If you’re not donating and if that’s a way, I understand that. Are you supporting people who are running? Are you talking to friends about these issues? Are you trying to spread the word in your own circle? Do you work at polls? Do you vote? I understand the perception that I have a lot of power, but I’m going to be very honest with you people about something, and I expect some of you not to believe this. When I come in here every day or when I’m sitting at home thinking about the program tomorrow (this is just me, and it’s always been this way) I have no conception of power here. Some people are oriented toward amassing it and acquiring it and using it, and I’m not. It doesn’t cross my mind. This is a fine line. I know I have the ability. I’m going to say one thing, in fact, along these lines.
One thing that concerns me — and I mentioned it earlier in the program — about my ‘power,’ quote, unquote, that has advanced itself here is influence over a large number of Americans. People who listen to this program had a number of their ideas validated and got active and got invigorated. They listened every day, and some lives changes. Some liberals’ minds have been converted and so forth. There’s no question that there’s a power. But that’s not why this takes place. That’s not the objective. The objective here is just to share my passions and tell people what I think. But I don’t go home every day and say, ‘Gee, did people believe me today?’ or, ‘Did I get so many converts?’ and consider myself a failure if the answer is no.’How well did I do what I’m supposed to do?’ every day, is how I judge myself. But the one thing I’ve always said is I consider myself to be in the arena of ideas. I’m in the arena and I’m competing and there are all kinds of other ideas out there: libs, moderates, communists, socialists. They’re all out there.
I wanted to be in the arena of ideas and compete because, I have always said, the American people get the government they want by virtue of the election. If the other side wants it more than we do, they’re going to win it because some of us aren’t going to vote for whatever reasons — and then we sit around and moan and whine and complain. We get what we want for the most part. There are exceptions. Democrats think they never do because when they lose they think they’ve been cheated. When they win they think the American people love them. They misinterpret both. But in the arena of ideas, my objective has been to create as many educated, passionate, and informed voters as possible and get them out there influencing other voters. How many College Republican organizations are there today that would not be there were it not for 1988? How many things have happened on college campuses? The Rush babies, for example. The Rush babes. All these things have happened, and there’s a growing movement of people here who are more active and passionate about conservatism than there ever were before. That’s been positive.
When I hear the question, “How are you going to use your power?” this is the real challenge. One of the things that concerns me is that the left is doing a pretty good job of insulating themselves from election results. They own universities. The faculty, the administration, the curriculum, they own it. They own who gets in through affirmative action, racial preferences, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. They pretty much control the judiciary, the legal system. The media is another. In terms of nationwide Big Media, the left has it, and they’re not subject to who wins elections. College campi, faculty and curricula are not subject to who wins elections. The legal system — other than the appointments of certain judges — and lawyers out there, public interest lawyers, ACLU type lawyers, are not subject to who wins elections.
So even when they lose elections, they still control the bureaucracies at state, the CIA, and the Pentagon. These are Clinton holdovers, career liberals who target those jobs for the express purpose of controlling government and amassing power. They’re there regardless who wins elections. If our side wins, they start undermining it. Take a look at the last five, six years of the Bush administration. All of that is outside the arena of elections. So even when we win, we still have these liberals that are untouchable, that elections don’t touch. When we get a president who is undermined by his, quote, unquote, ‘own administration,’ that leads people who supported the president who think he runs the whole government to say, ‘Well, there must be something wrong with this guy if his own people are trying to sabotage him,’ which is not the case.
So the real question is: What do we do about entrenched liberalism that is out of the reach of elections? That is the next area of important focus. I’m not saying we should take elections lightly. They still matter. Don’t misunderstand. I don’t know what I can do, for example, about Republicans who win elections and then go to Washington and act like wimps and wusses and refuse to stand up for themselves and refuse to govern on the very concepts they campaigned on, other than vote ’em out, other than get rid of ’em when they won’t play the game according to the rules set by the aggressor — which in war you must. As somebody said earlier today on this program, he’s getting tired of the Bush administration turning the cheek, cheek, cheek.
Every time something comes up, they turn the other cheek. Turn the other cheek. ‘Hit me again! Hit me again! Hit me again! Hit me again!’ (interruption) H.R. is telling me in the IFB that there are more conservative voters ‘checking out,’ meaning staying home, frustrated and so forth — and that, of course is my fault, too. But they are. That’s what happened last November. They just got fed up for a whole bunch of reasons. Hey, it’s reality. People get the government that they want. Anyway, what am I not doing that I could do? The conflict here is that’s always a great question because I am the one saying, ‘There’s always something more you can do.’ No matter what you’re doing, there’s always a little more that you’ve got to give, and that’s why this question gives me pause — and at the same time, insults me.
RUSH: Mark in York County, Pennsylvania. You are on the EIB Network.
CALLER: Mr. Limbaugh, it’s an honor.
RUSH: Thank you, sir.
CALLER: You know, I’m really listening today and I’m sick and tired of people calling in and passing the buck. You do your job. You do your job every day. You inform us. You keep us informed. You tell us what’s going on — and, you know what? You get the left going. You dig ’em, and they hate it because you stand up to them and they don’t like it. We on the right and all these people calling in there and passing the buck on you, they need to do their job. They need to get out there. They need to vote, and they need to write letters to their representatives and say, “What’s the deal on this?” If the right side, conservatives, Republicans, if they were half dedicated as the libs are on the left, we wouldn’t have the majority of the houses Democrat.
RUSH: See, now, that also is very interesting because this is a great way of looking at it, and it allows me, permits me to give you a great definition or explanation of the difference between libs and conservatives. You made the point that the liberals are really committed, and if the conservatives would just be as committed and dedicated as the libs are, then we wouldn’t have this majority. Here’s the difference — one of the differences, at least, and a large one. What are the liberals committed to? They are committed to power over people. They are committed to running people’s lives. They are committed to the assumption that people are incompetent, and they are committed to controlling government to run people’s lives.
RUSH: Conservatives are not. Conservatives do not think government should run people. Government should get out of the way as much as possible.
RUSH: So for conservatives to battle libs for the government is already a bit a contradiction. When conservatives get hold of the government, the idea is to slow it down.
RUSH: The problem is that once you get there, as an elected official and find out the amount of money you get to play with, and all the people coming to you offering you all these things if you’ll spend it on things they care about, it is seductive, and it can soften even the most committed. None of that happens to the left, because that’s the game: to get your hands on that money, to spend it as much and as often as you can in controlling people’s lives with new laws and regulations and dealing with ‘social injustice.’ The liberal view of government is one that’s entirely opposite of the conservative view of government. So conservatives say, “Well, I gotta get hold of this government to restrain it,’ but the bureaucracy is not easily restrained, and it’s populated, as I just said, with leftists.
They are there regardless who wins the elections. Porter Goss is an example, but any number of them are out there. Look at what happened to Condoleezza Rice with those defamatory cartoons and other things when she goes over to secretary of state. They set out to try to destroy her over here. It takes rare people to put up with it. I’m just trying to spell out the scope of the problem here. I’m not suggesting it’s impossible by any stretch of the imagination. Those of you who have listened to me regularly know that ‘impossible’ is not in my vocabulary.
RUSH: All right. Well, I have to do the video podcast and the Morning Update after the show, and then I’m going to go home, and I’m going to ponder further uses of my power — and yours.