They’ve Destroyed the Conservative Brand. We’re Problem Solvers, Geno!
RUSH: Christiana in Mountain Brook, Alabama.
CALLER: Hey, Rush. How are you?
RUSH: I’m fine. How are you doing?
CALLER: I am fantastic. I got a Rush tumbler in the mail today. I ordered mine on Monday so I could enter your contest.
RUSH: Oh, you got it already is what you’re saying?
CALLER: Yes. That’s what I’m saying. You didn’t put a special note in there for me, but that’s okay.
RUSH: Well, I couldn’t fulfill every order. I mean, we got tens of thousands of orders coming in. I went up there and I signed a paltry number compared to the whole number of orders, but I wanted to get some in.
CALLER: That’s okay. I was excited to get that. The reason I called was about the caller, the last one you had yesterday afternoon, the woman who said, “What else can we do?” And you said, you know what, we really need to rebrand ourselves, which is something I’ve been thinking about for years. And I think you’re spot on with that, and I think that you could work on that and develop a campaign to help us disseminate that information. I think that that was a rather prescient comment you made yesterday.
We really do need to rebrand ourselves and stop saying conservatives, because we really are a lot more broad-minded than strictly saying conservatives. We believe in a lot of freedom. And that stuff’s not being conveyed. The left is anti-freedom. They are anti-choice. They are anti-free thinking. And it’s stifling and constrictive and restrictive on a number of levels. Until we can convey that effectively, we’re losing.
RUSH: Yeah. I’m looking for a story I’ve got here that makes the point that I was building off of yesterday. And I’ve got two or three different stacks here. What I’ve got is a story about what college students think when they hear the word “conservative.”
CALLER: Oh, I’ve got a college student so —
RUSH: Let me just paraphrase it. It is Nazi, inhuman, murderer. My point yesterday the word “conservative” or “conservatism” has, as a brand, been destroyed. I see evidence of it every day when I endeavor to read things in non-conservative media and elsewhere. And it’s shocking! It is literally shocking. And it’s beyond my ability to comprehend what people out there, particularly college students, literally think when they hear the word “conservative.”
I may not have printed it out. I may have thought I wasn’t gonna get to it today. So I have to find it during the break. But it makes the point, nobody needs to abandon conservatism. It’s just stop labeling everything we think or do as conservative and just do it! And instead, substitute the term “problem solver.” Because that’s the one thing the left doesn’t want to do is solve problems. They want the problems to continue. Let me expand on this when we get back.
RUSH: Okay. Here we go. I found it. It is a story from PJMedia.com, but it’s actually the result of a survey at the University of Washington-Seattle. “Many left-leaning students at the University of Washington-Seattle harbor feelings that Republicans and conservatives are ‘evil,’ ‘inhuman,’ or ‘not even a person,’ according to a new study led by a team of UW psychology professors. The study, ‘Improving Relations among Conservatives and Liberals on a College Campus,’ set out to do just that:
“‘bring students from opposing sides of the political divide together in an honest attempt to cultivate empathy and understanding.’” The results were published way back on November 10th in one of my all-time favorite magazines, the Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science. I make sure that my subscription is renewed annually. It says here, though, that the results “should raise worry for any parent with a conservative kid in college.
“‘Here at UW, we’re a predominantly liberal campus,’ said Jonathan Kantor, a professor at UW and the study’s lead researcher, on Tuesday. ‘But we have a decent number of students who come from small towns or rural places who are feeling politically marginalized and isolated. That’s problematic,’ Kantor told PJ Media…” So you see where the conservative and Republican kids come from: Small towns (i.e., hick, rural places, as in Deliverance-type farms), and it’s a problem for these hayseeds when they show up at our campus ’cause they’re such outliers.
“So, [Jonathan] Kantor designed and held a four-hour experimental workshop with 20 student volunteers. After two hours of putting students through team-building activities designed to foster empathy and compassion, the workshop turned political. This was intentional, of course. Students were then instructed to discuss their political views, but in a personal way. For example, one Second Amendment supporter told the story of how he hunted deer with his grandfather growing up, to explain the origins of his strong support for gun rights, said Kantor.”
Okay. Now, let me pause here for a second. I understand the legacy and heritage of hunting, but if you… I’m just asking you this. Each of you individually, personally, if you found yourself in a debate with a bunch of brain-dead, closed minded liberals about the Second Amendment, would you use as your reason for supporting it that you used to kill deer with your grandfather? I don’t know about you, but even if I did do something like that, that’s not how I would propose to support the Second Amendment.
That’s made to order. That’s a hanging curveball for “So you love killing animals, huh? And your grandfather did it, eh?” “Well, no, that’s not what I am not.” “Well, what did you mean?” “You said the Second Amendment, historical memories with your grandfather, your father killing deer.” “Well, yeah, it’s true, but…” You’re not gonna persuade anybody with that. Liberals don’t have any sentiment! They don’t care about your childhood experiences.
They don’t care about growing up, your parents, your grandparents, and all that. They think parents and grandparents are worthless anyway. They’re just like you. Bunch of rules, regulations, trying to deny you a good time. Your parents and grandparents, they have to hide who they are from them just like they have to hide who they are from you. “[O]ne Second Amendment supporter told the story of how he hunted deer with his grandfather growing up, to explain the origins of his strong support for gun rights, said Kantor.
“Liberal students, in turn, also told stories. Before and after the workshop, the UW students were asked to what extent they agreed with statements like: ‘”Most conservatives are unsophisticated rednecks.” “Most liberals are motivated in part by their hatred for America.” “This country would be a better place if most conservatives packed up and moved out.”‘ These questions were designed to gauge students’ feelings of political Manichaeism. ‘Political Manichaeism is when you demonize somebody who’s different than you….
“‘The idea is basically that, if you’re a conservative, and I’m a liberal, then you’re evil and inhuman, and vice versa,’ [the shrink] explained. Fortunately, in the hours after the workshop, students’ feelings of Manichaeism decreased. But when re-surveyed a month later, the students, especially liberals — who reported stronger feelings of manichaeism in the first place — basically went back to hating their political opponents. ‘Liberal beliefs that conservatives are evil only temporarily improved,’ the study concluded.”
So what is it that triggers these liberals into thinking that conservatives are inhuman or evil, not even people? I would submit to you that it’s the very word “conservative” that triggers them and to a second extent it is the word “Republican.” And if you assess this subjectively, it’s not hard to understand why. Just watch the news, watch a movie. Listen to a popular song. I’m telling you, conservatives, conservativism, conservatism are constantly demonized or laughed at or made fun of. And they are inexorably, those terms, inexorably tied to the isms:
Racism, homophobia-ism, bigotry-ism, and all the other isms. It’s whatever Coca-Cola means to you, it’s branding. Whatever bud means to you. Whatever Apple, whatever Samsung, every name, company name, every movement title is a brand. And because conservatives for so long have never fought back and political leaders that are conservative have never fought back, these various misrepresentations have been allowed to take hold to the point that a 15 or 16-year-old, even a 14-year-old when they hear the word “conservative” conjures up what it means.
And it’s just a product of the environment in which they live. So my thought here is that since this is true, it seems like a bunch of wasted time and effort to try to rebrand, might come up with a new name for conservatism. To give you an example of how it’s been bastardized, totalitarian regimes around the world from Saudi Arabia to the Taliban are referred to as conservative, in the popular media, the Drive-By Media, and everybody else is referred to as “progressive.” You want to have a branding comparison between progressive and conservative?
“Progressive,” without even being accurately defined sounds wonderful! Progress, moving forward, current, advanced. Only good things. Conservative means you don’t like anything new, you’re trying to hold on to the past, you’re trying to save things, and you’re not trying to expand, you’re not trying to learn, you’re not trying to grow, you just — you just closed-minded. And so my thought is to stop using the term, stop describing yourself as a conservative, proudly or otherwise. Don’t label yourself at all.
‘Cause the minute you do, a certain percentage of these left wingers just gonna stop listening to you, and they’re going to think whatever they have been told to think about you, before they ever get to know you. But if instead of being seen as a conservative because you never identify yourself as such, you instead focus on solving problems, the left is obsessed with problems. They genuinely don’t solve them. They’re never happy with any of the solutions they get.
But most people want problems solved, and conservatism is actually about that. It’s about solving poverty. It’s about solving racism. It’s about solving bigotry. But look at what the branding has said of conservatism, that conservatism is racism, that it is bigotry, that it is bias, that it is discrimination. Yet the truth is, we want to solve all those problems. We want to wipe ’em out! We want a colorblind society! We want everybody to be as content and happy as they can be. We want everybody, as many people as possible realizing their human potential.
We’re not in the business of old anybody back. The definition of us is so bastardized and so wrong that I don’t think it’s possible to save the brand. I mean, not any time soon. It would take a concerted effort. I mean, some commercial brands have been in deep trouble like Tylenol, and they were able to save it. It cost a lot of money, and it took a lot of time, and it took a lot of repackaging, and it took a lot of things that we’re not even unified to do on the ideologically conservative side of the aisle. But talking about solving problems…
I’ll give you an example. We got a problem. We have some people who don’t know whether they’re men or women. They want to be something that they’re not. And that leads to confusion over bathrooms. Okay, let’s solve that problem. But the minute those of us who may engage to solve that problem are labeled as conservatives, what are they gonna think? Anti-gay, anti-woman, who want to punish people who don’t realize what gender they are, it just deteriorates and falls apart from there. But if you actually engage people in terms of solving the, even if they’ve invented the problem, engage them in solving it, and don’t call your solution conservative or anything, just use common sense, which is what conservatism is, when you boil it all down.
RUSH: To the Bronx up next. Geno, great to have you on the EIB Network. Hi.
CALLER: Rush, I’m very disappointed in you and in fact, quite honestly, I’m angry with you because of what you told that lady two days ago and what you told the other call today earlier today in the program. You’re advising us, your loyal audience for 30 years, that have stood by you and that have made you the Moses of conservatism. You are now telling us that we should call ourselves “problem solvers” rather than conservatives so that we can try to get the political power that we need.
I’m here to tell you it’s time for you to go back to the way you were and take back what you said today! Because I’m gonna give it to you straight. I live in the Bronx. I’m on the front lines. I every day have to confront left-wing lizards and brain-dead Bolsheviks! And they give me a hard time every day, but I get right back in their face and I tell ’em, “You go to hell!” Because I don’t want my country, I don’t want what my parents and my family and everybody I’ve ever known in my life to surrender to these brain-dead idiots that are gonna destroy our country.
And now you gonna tell me that I should back down and that I should somehow say, well, I’m not a conservative, but I’m a problem solver because I should fear these fools that are out there. No, Rush. It’s time for you to get back to basics. You gotta be the same person you were 30 years ago that had my loyalty up until today. You have to be the Johnny Carson that you have been for the last 30 years and say “no!” You get in people’s faces! You tell them no!
You’re an imbecile, you’re an idiot, you’re a jackass and you’re gonna help destroy our country from within, if we listen to the crap that you’re trying to tell us. There is no such thing as being transgender, you’re either male or female. There’s no such thing as 37 different flavors of sexism. No. You’re a man or a woman and the same with the abortion issue. You gave that up a long time ago, and so did your other brethren on conservative talk radio, which I don’t even call conservative anymore.
Millions of Americans have died because of the schmucks that we have to pay attention to and the scum in the media that have turned everything that’s bad and unholy into what is righteous and it’s completely wrong. So I’m gonna give you an opportunity right here and now, Rush, on your own show to take back what you said to that lady yesterday and earlier today, otherwise what I’m gonna do is I’m gonna come and I’m gonna take that microphone away from you and gonna be the Jay Leno to your Johnny Carson!
And I’m gonna be the one that’s gonna be the leader of the new conservative movement. It’s either that or I go to the Trumpster and I tell him to stop giving you interviews and that’s it. It’s gonna be Mark Levin and a handful of others because now it seems to me that you have gone soft and you’ve gone weak-willed. The same way you criticize Republican slobs like Jeff Sessions and the other mutants who stab us in the back every time and you don’t bust their chops anymore, I noticed that recently. Now I’m gonna do that to you and I’m gonna go every other radio program until and unless you take back what you said that we should not say that we are conservatives anymore but that we’re problem solvers.
Admit you’re wrong and do it right here, right now.
RUSH: I never said back down, and I never said not to get in their face. I simply said do not use a term to describe yourself that makes it impossible to have any kind of solution with these people. That’s all. I’m not saying don’t be a conservative.
RUSH: Wait a minute, Geno. I didn’t tell you not to be a conservative. I didn’t tell you to back down. I didn’t tell you to tell these scum to go soft or any of that. None of that at all. Do you not…? Let me ask: Do you not agree that just the name conservative has a little bit of a PR problem right now?
CALLER: That PR is because left-wing maggots in the media have made it that way, but when we confront them, then they back down. That’s the thing that you should be reemphasizing like you did 30 years ago. You were my hero for the last 30 years, and now all of the sudden you have backed down because you have become weak-willed —
RUSH: I’m not backing down, Geno, and I haven’t —
CALLER: — thinks that you gonna (unintelligible) and escape from these problems. I want to save America, if you don’t step aside and I’ll do it for you.
RUSH: You have drawn a whole lot of conclusions here that are nowhere near true. I have not backed down from anything. I’ve never backed down from anything. I’m not advocating that you back down. I’m not telling you to stop talking about them the way you want to talk about them. I’m not telling you not to get in their face and if you think they’re a bunch of reprobate rats, tell ’em so. That’s all. I’m just talking about the label. I’m not telling you to not be conservative, Geno.
CALLER: But you said we shouldn’t admit to it. That’s an act of cowardice —
RUSH: No, I did not say you shouldn’t admit to it! I did not say —
RUSH: I did not —
RUSH: Don’t change anything. Don’t change your behavior, don’t change your technique in persuading. None of that.
CALLER: Bolsheviks will get in your face. You should get in their face and stand up to them. Otherwise they take over, we all lose, and America falls by the wayside like it did for my ancient ancestors 1,500 years ago.
RUSH: What do you think I do here every day?
CALLER: Well, you tell me. You tell me that why we shouldn’t be calling ourselves conservatives anymore. To me it’s an act of cowardice.
RUSH: I’m simply talking about the label. I’m putting it out there as an idea. I’m not talking about strategy. I am talking about strategy. I’m not talking about the actual ideologue belief system. I’m not saying you should abandon anything.
CALLER: Sorry, Rush, you’re not buying me on this one. I hate to say this, but after 30 years my loyalty now for you is gone and that chicken parmesan dinner that I was supposed to cook for you and your wife you identify, you can forget that deal, Mr. Snerdley will get it before you do. You’ll have to pay for that dinner.
RUSH: I wasn’t aware that you were gonna fix me a chicken parmesan.
CALLER: Well, that was three years ago when I last called in when you gave the speech about Hildebeast and why we should vote for the Trumpster. Remember?
RUSH: Well —
CALLER: Apparently you forgot because, again you know, you’re too fat and happy now —
RUSH: You think I was for the Hildebeast? You think I spent the last two years ago advocating for the Hildebeast?
CALLER: You have… You’re basically what you’re doing is telling us we should surrender our title as conservatives.
RUSH: I am not telling you anything of the sort.
CALLER: — beat the evil empire. That’s what you’re backing down on.
RUSH: No, I’m not backing down at all. I’m not backing down —
CALLER: If you lived here in the Bronx, trust me, you would feal —
RUSH: Geno, I am surrounded by a bunch of left-wing liberals here that are brain-dead, judgmental, mean-spirited, superiorist little butts. I’m surrounded by ’em. You can’t avoid ’em everywhere you go.
CALLER: But then you’re telling us that we shouldn’t even identify as conservatives. Why, because some schmuck on CNN is gonna give us a hard time?
CALLER: We give them a hard time! We take Jim Acosta, take him out and giving us a beating if we have to. We do everything that you used to tell us 30 years ago but apparently now you’ve gotten a little too soft Rush. It’s time for you to step aside. Let me take the microphone from you for a few days. And I’ll straighten out your audience.
RUSH: I’ll tell you what, Geno. Why don’t we do that. You can have this microphone starting tomorrow. I haven’t taken a vacation this year. You can come down here tomorrow, you can take the microphone and you can deal with it however you want.
CALLER: More than happy to do that, and then I’ll reinstate your chicken parmesan with you and your wife.
RUSH: Okay. Well, I don’t like chicken parm.
RUSH: That’s what happens when the Red Sox beat the Yankees. It’s tough out there. We’re all surrounded by these “commie bastards” out there, Geno.
RUSH: John in Vineland, New Jersey. Welcome, sir. Great to have us on the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: (garbled cell) Thank you, Mr. Rush Limbaugh. Short-time listener, first-time caller. I was telling the guy that answered the phone, I was always a Democrat, all my life been a Democrat. I grew up in the welfare system, regretfully. But I’ve been listening to your show, you opened up my eyes, and now this is the first time I voted — for Trump — Republican, and I have a whole set of grandkids and I want to explain to them. How can I explain to them the way you say it but that they can understand me why did I vote Republican?
RUSH: You want to explain why you voted Republican?
CALLER: Yes. Not… Not explain to them. I know why I voted, but how can I explain it to them in a way that they can understand me because they come from school and the first thing they say, “Trump hates Mexicans.” I’m like, “Wait a minute. Who’s telling you this?” And it’s in school! This is indoctrinated in school. So they’re learning it from somewhere. “Trump hates all Mexicans! Trump has to go!” “How do you…? Who keeps keep telling you this?” She doesn’t tell me who it is but it’s from school. So I want to explain to her and show her, but in a way that I can explain to her what is our democracy, what is our voting system — Republican, Democrats — why we have the right to vote and show her in a right way. I mean, and explain to her in her age range what I can explain to her.
RUSH: Uh, I have to… (reading transcription) Oh. Oh. Oh. Well, if you want to explain to your daughter how the school is indoctrinating her, do it! (interruption) Or is he asking how to do it? Oh. Okay. I’m sorry. I was unable to keep up with you there. It’s my hearing. It’s not your problem. I’ll make a note. Tomorrow’s Open Line Friday, and I will address this. But I’m gonna make Geno mad, probably. I gotta factor that into this, but we’ll answer this tomorrow.