Rush Limbaugh

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RUSH: Go to Atlanta. Kate. Great to have you. How are you doing?

CALLER: I’m doing wonderful, Rush. It’s absolutely wonderful to speak to you.

RUSH: I appreciate that. Thank you. Same here.

CALLER: So my question to you, sir, is — you kind of talked about it all day today — why are Americans so gullible?

RUSH: You know, it’s an interesting question. There’s an adage. There’s something that people believe. As a practitioner of the spoken-word form of mass communications, one thing I have to deal with is that if people see it written… It could be in a rag tabloid, it can be in an obscure website, it could be the New York Times. If they see it written, they automatically think it’s true. It’s just… I don’t know if it’s… It’s a lifetime, generational conditioning. I don’t know if it’s psychological. But if you see it, it’s true! If you see it on TV, you tend to believe it. If there’s a picture accompanying the words, then you really believe it!

CALLER: Well, think for yourself. Why don’t you think for yourself? Go do your own research, or find out —

RUSH: How many people…? Now, wait a second, now. Wait a second, now. How many people…? What is your average…? Do you have time to do that? Every day, do you have time? You hear something, and you’re immediately skeptical. Do you then run down everything you hear and confirm it yourself?

CALLER: I can appreciate that. No, nobody has that kind of time.

RUSH: Right. Nobody has that kind of time. Most people’s lives are chaos to chaos and some days crisis to crisis.


RUSH: Many days, people don’t even care what’s on the news. They have things going on in their lives that take much more importance and to them have much more relevance. So a lot of people are casual observers, and they believe pretty much everything they see or hear. But I’m telling you, it’s a good question. It’s just… To me, it has been frustrating to no end — as a practitioner of the spoken word — how people believe it if they read it. No matter where it’s published, if it’s on paper, if it’s on a computer screen, they believe it.

CALLER: I wish they would say it more often and call it for what it is.

RUSH: You wish who would say it more often and call it for what it is?

CALLER: Anyone who… Any reporting in the news, like a conservative outlet or any — any… Even Colbert. Call it what it is. You say yourself, call it gullible —

RUSH: Look, there’s a lot of factors that go into this. Believe me, Kate, I have studied this. For example, let’s talk about branding. Have you ever wondered why — and I’m sure you’ve seen evidence of it — just the word “Republican” is mentioned by a comedian or by anybody, and the audience there starts laughing or booing or what have you? Well, it doesn’t matter what follows.

All that matters is the word “Republican” triggered a bunch of booing and laughter among certain people in an audience. Well, that’s branding. The Republicans have a branding problem in addition to other things. The Democrats have their own version of branding problems. Well, how do you overcome that? How do you overcome a bunch of people who’ve grown up and been taught that Republicans hate X, Y, and Z and oppose X, Y, and Z?

How do you deal with that? You’re dealing… You think people are being stupid or blindly obedient or what have you. They don’t. They think they’re very smart. They think they’re really up to speed. They know that Republicans are whatever. The Democrats have had a… This is one of the powers of the media, to brand Republicans as racist, sexist, bigots and so forth. They’ve been doing this for 50-some-odd years.


RUSH: And it’s asking a lot for consumers to distrust this. I’ve been doing it for 30 years to get people to distrust it. I’ve been asked for 30 years to get people to understand what liberalism is and why you should immediately distrust it wherever you hear it or see it. It’s a long, arduous process. But the question, you know, “Why are people gullible?” It’s easy.No. 1. Path of least resistance. Believe what somebody tells you. Except your spouse. Have you ever noticed your spouse is the person you distrust the most?

CALLER: Sometimes.

RUSH: See? No, my point is, there are certain things a spouse cannot tell the other spouse. A third party has to do it.

CALLER: I would like to think I’ll get good advice. But I do appreciate yours as well.

RUSH: Well, hang on just a second. (Apple Watch alert) I’m okay. I did not fall. I’m cool. My watch thinks I just fell. It does this. Thank you, Kate, very much. I appreciate it. It’s a good question. It’s a frustrating answer. You know, “Why are people gullible?” Do you realize how many American businesses rely on it, the gullibility of consumers? If you hear, if you hear somebody… If you watch on the news that caffeine promotes heart attacks in people over 50, why do you believe it?

Well, you believe for a lot of reasons. People over 50 are prone to heart attacks. Why would they lie about them? What would possibly be political about that? And they think science is infallible, science doesn’t lie, science is trying to save lives. So people end up thinking that caffeine, if you have it over 50, you’re gonna more likely have a heart attack than not. And this stuff gets started, and they’re old wives’ tales, and then eventually they’re disproved.

But people believe all this.

How many people believe…?

You know one of the biggest, one of the most successful myths ever propagated by the French wine industry, is that French wine every day with cheese will eliminate heart disease. How many of you heard that growing up? “Have a glass of red wine every day, maybe even two,” and if you expressed any distrust, “Well, have you seen a fat French person? They don’t exist, and, you know, they don’t die of heart attacks, either, and all they’re doing is drinking wine, eating cheese. White wine, red wine, and brie.”

“Oh, yeah, you’re right! You’re right!”

People end up believing that stuff. The gullibility of people. It’s… I think, rather than try to fix or change that, the objective is how to utilize it. That’s all I’ll say.

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