Rush’s Epic Answer to a 13-Year-Old: Why Becoming an American Shouldn’t Be Easy
RUSH: We have from Ohio, I guess it’s Delia, and she is 13 years old. Hi, Delia. Welcome to our program.
CALLER: Hi, Mr. Limbaugh. Thank you for having me.
RUSH: You bet.
CALLER: So I attend a Catholic school in Strongsville, Ohio, and every Friday we have a current event topic, and we pick a side, and we debate about it. It usually ends up being political. So this week our topic is whether or not it should be easier for immigrants to become U.S. citizens. And I was looking through any website I could to find credible information. But it seemed helpless because the only things I could find were opinionated essays from CNN from 2010. So I was wondering if you could help me with this problem?
RUSH: Well, I could tell you what I think about your question. Could I ask you a question first?
RUSH: How is it you’re not in school today? I mean, it’s 1:30 in the afternoon.
CALLER: I knew that was gonna come up. I’m sick today.
RUSH: Ah, I didn’t get away with that very much. I tried. Well, I hope you’re not too sick. You sound good.
CALLER: Yeah. I’ve been sick for about a month. I’ve still been going to school, but today was just really bad.
RUSH: But you are gonna go tomorrow and you’re gonna participate in the question?
CALLER: Oh, yes.
RUSH: Have you been given a side to take in this, or can you take any side you want based on what you really think? Or are you supposed to research this and find out somebody else’s opinion? What is your assignment here, if there is one?
CALLER: So we’re supposed to pick a side and we’re supposed to get statistics about it, but I don’t understand how I’m supposed to get statistics for this topic, because there’s nothing really to get, except what the American people think about it.
RUSH: Well, in researching — this is a problem, I think, with the internet in general, is finding untainted, you know, just straight objective news. Now, one of the places I would suggest — and I don’t have the web address, but you might try U.S. government websites looking for data on immigration and citizenship just to find out what the numbers are — and we’re talking legal here — how many people are admitted into the country in an average annual basis and what do they have to do to become citizens. Are there visas involved, can they come here for a few years in advance of citizenship, and, if so, on what kind of visas?
It can get pretty complicated. I can give you the overall theory of immigration that has always governed the subject in the United States. And, in a nutshell, when you attach the question, “Should it be difficult to become a citizen,” yeah, it should be. And it’s not overly hard as it is now, but it should require some commitment, because the United States — and this is probably what you’re gonna have trouble finding on the web. I’m giving you opinion, but it really isn’t. It’s opinion based on my knowledge of the founding of the country and how the country was intended to be and what it became. And there’s no other country like this in the world.
There is no country in the world like the United States, not even free Western democracies. We are the only country in the world with a Constitution that limits the government, that provides for the primacy of the citizen over government. We do not have a Constitution that limits what people can do. We have a Constitution that limits the government. That had never been done before in the history of the world.
Most people, Delia, even today, most people alive today live under some form of dictatorship or tyranny and have nowhere near the freedoms that we in the United States have. They don’t have anywhere near economic freedom and liberty or prosperity that we have, which is why we’re such a targeted destination for people. We stand out.
And it’s precisely because this country was founded on the basis that human freedom and human liberty and the human mind unfettered lead to exceptionalism and greatness. Not that we’re better than any other people on the earth, but because we have fewer restraints and restrictions on us, that we are freer to reach our potential as individuals and as a population.
Well, this led to the establishment of a distinct American culture. And by culture, I mean, rules and regulations and morality by which the citizens of America live by. And this culture was itself rooted in the premise of individual liberty where you could pursue happiness while living your life unafraid of what you think, unafraid of what you say, unafraid of where you go because your government does not have the power to penalize you for it.
So this kind of unshackling of the human being led to untold innovation and progress, economic prosperity. And our population growth — we purchased Louisiana Purchase and won some territories — the population growth of this country coupled with that unique, never before seen in the world freedom and liberty unleashed a population like the world had never seen.
Nations had been around for thousands of years, say in Europe or the Middle East. We, in less than 200 years, had eclipsed them by a factor of 10 in just basic standard of living circumstances. Simple things as like plumbing, sanitation, water, inventions such as air-conditioning and flight and electricity and so forth, leading the world in all kinds of innovation, led to untold millions of people wanting to come here.
In order to preserve this country, it ought to be a very specific task for somebody, not a citizen, to become one. If they come here via legal immigration, they do have to take a test. And those who endeavor to become citizens and pass the test, it’s one of the most proud days of their lives. If you’ve ever been to a naturalization ceremony or ever seen one televised, it’s one of the proudest days of their lives, to become, quote, unquote, an American.
They learn the language. They become familiar with the customs. They do not sacrifice their nationality. If they arrive here as Italians, they’re still Italians, Italian Americans, but they become Americans. It’s a good thing to become an American, to be a participant in this unique, distinct culture.
Well, what’s happening is that that unique, distinct culture is being diluted and watered down by record numbers of illegal immigrants who want to become citizens but do not want to have to do anything required to become a citizen other than show up. And that’s why so many of us feel the country is at risk and threatened.
We are a nation with a culture and a society worth preserving as hard as it takes, as long as it takes, as much as it takes to preserve it. And we are under assault. There are people who think that our society is exclusionary, it’s unfair, it discriminates. And all of that is literally a bunch of caca. We have in the past had problems. No nation on earth has done more to address discrimination, injustice, and it’s an ongoing thing that the people of this country engage in each and every day while being confused of being racists, sexists, bigots, and homophobes.
But I’m drifting away here. The bottom line is that America is so valuable to the world, America is so important, preserving the culture that led to this exceptionalism is worth preserving, and it ought to be hard. It ought to take some effort to become an American. If you have grown up and you’ve not been educated, you want to come here, you want to become a citizen, you need to learn what it takes.
People born here grow into it and that birthright, if you’re born here you’re a citizen so you don’t have to take any tests, you just grow up and hopefully you become an American. But we’re in charge. Every nation should be in charge of who gets in and who doesn’t. Every nation should have the ultimate right to determine who gets in and becomes a citizen and who doesn’t. There’s nothing discriminatory about that. There’s nothing unfair about that. It’s necessary to preserve the country as is. That’s why we have borders and so forth.
So the short answer to the question is, yeah, it should not be easier to become a citizen. It’s not that hard now. But it takes some level of commitment. You want to see some degree of commitment. In anything. Nothing in life should be easy. Nothing worthwhile is easy, Delia. Everything worthwhile does take some effort, in some cases a lot of it.
Now, I don’t know where you can go, other than my website, to read what I just said, and you will be able to do that very shortly. We transcribe my brilliance and my monologues very quickly here. We get it up at RushLimbaugh.com, so you’re free, if you didn’t remember all that, you’ll be able to go to RushLimbaugh.com. Maybe in an hour it will all be there, if you want to.
But if you want to find the numbers and the statistics, you know, how many apply, how many get in, that’s gonna be some government website. You might try something like the Center for Immigration Studies, if you just do a Google search for them, they have statistics from Homeland Security and other government websites.
There’s the 2009 Yearbook of Immigration Statistics, again from the Center for Immigration Studies. It’s a think tank, but it is a think tank devoted to the accuracy of immigration numbers, applicants, process, and so forth. So just remember Center for Immigration Studies. Just Google that and I’m sure you’ll get the link and get right to it.
CALLER: Thank you. I just wanted to say, my parents have been listening to you for over 20 years, and our family is a huge fan of yours, and my dad was able to get on your show once, and now I was able to get on your show once. And our family is just really happy.
RUSH: Well, you’ve made my day. I appreciate it. You asked me a question that actually means a lot to me. It’s why I continued and maybe said more than you wanted to hear. But once I get going on this, it matters so much to me that I end up desiring and wanting to be persuasive. And I’ll admit that. So I appreciate your patience and tolerance, and I hope that — did it help or did it confuse you?
CALLER: It definitely helped. I mean, I’m in a school where there’s a lot of liberal teachers who aren’t afraid to give their political opinions, like, for example, yesterday, I had a teacher that was saying that President Trump is going to attempt to change the 14th Amendment. I mean, it’s hard to have conservative beliefs when you’re in such a liberal school.
RUSH: I know. I know they’re trying to intimidate you out of it. They’re trying to force you out of it. And your teachers are probably of the bent that the United States has been so unfair over the years to poor people and gays and lesbians and transgenders and other people of color, that we owe them. If they want to come here, then we should stand aside and let them in. We at least owe them that for all that we’ve done to harm them over the years.
They look at the United States as a negative impact on people of the world, which we don’t understand how thinking people can think that of their own country, but they do. I appreciate the call. You made the host look good, or at least you gave me a chance to. And I so appreciate the fact that your family’s been out there for all of these years listening. Best of luck with your assignment tomorrow. In fact, call us back and let us know how it goes.
RUSH: Mark in Chicago. Great to have you with us, sir. You’re next here on the EIB Network. Hi.
CALLER: Hey, Rush. Thanks for taking my call. I really appreciate it. Hey, Rush, your articulation and explanation to that little schoolgirl was absolutely amazing. It was over the top. I was so impressed with it. Just briefly, my dad’s parents, they migrated here legally in 1923 from northern Italy, they settled in Illinois, had to learn English, had to have a job, they worked hard, ever asked for anything. And they had three sons, one was my dad, my two uncles, they’ve all passed.
But during family parties my uncles and my dad would always refer to him as Pa, and he said, “You know what? Pa always wanted us just to be good citizens.” And you articulating that is exactly what his vision was for them to become Americans, and I have instilled that in my kids. As I hold my grandkids today, Rush, what you talked about 40 minutes ago is exactly what I try to communicate to my grandkids. Keep that legacy going of hard work and really understand what becoming an American really is. I gotta tell you, Rush, I think that was just a reset for a lot of us. It was a reset for me. You gave chills up my back.
CALLER: It was a special moment that you gave me time, as I’m traveling on business. And I just want to thank Snerdley for allowing me —
RUSH: Wow. Here I thought I was being too verbose when I was talking.
CALLER: Rush, everything you talked about is why this country is so great, and there’s nobody that articulates it better than you. And again, it was emotional listening to it ’cause that’s exactly why my grandfather came here in 1923 from northern Italy. It’s just special to keep hearing somebody talk about that, because that’s something you will not hear in schools, and it’s up to us as parents and grandparents to continue to educate our kids so this country stays on the right path.
RUSH: You know, that is sadly way too true, that the story of America, the greatness, the uniqueness, the specialness, how can you expect teachers today to teach it when they weren’t taught it themselves. You know what they’ve been taught about America, if they’re recent college graduates in the last 25 years, you can imagine what they’ve been taught. I don’t think they probably even have — some do. I mean, there are exceptions. But the vast majority probably don’t even see America the way I’ve described it to her.
They see America guilty, they see America as oppressive, they see America as unforgiving or demanding or what have you. It frosts me, it frosts me. In terms of human beings who have lived on this planet since the inception of time, there has never been a better place at any time than the United States of America from its founding, for anybody on this planet to have lived, to experience the full potential that God created humanity can reach. It’s this country.
Now, there are exceptions. You know, there have been greatness from all kinds of countries where people are oppressed and it was the oppression itself which inspired the greatness. I’m thinking of great artistry that’s come out of Russia over the years and Soviet Union.
But there’s nothing to compare to the achievements, the innovation, the goodness and the decency of Americans simply because of our Constitution acknowledging, our founding documents acknowledging our natural existence — life, liberty, pursuit of happiness, getting rid of government shackles to unleash human potential.
Nowhere else on earth has a confluence of circumstances come together like in the United States. That’s why it pains me, I mean, it literally hurts me when I see young leftists, the products of indoctrination, propaganda, who have this harbored hatred for this county. I mean, it literally hurts, folks. It can literally depress me. Because it’s so wrong, and it’s so punitive. I mean, these people that have been propagandized and indoctrinated this way are never, ever gonna experience the contentment or the happiness that comes of the achievement and existence of the free and open human mind, coupled with the unlimited ambition anybody might bring to their life.
We’ve got obstacles here to, as our country has grown and our government’s grown, it’s become more restrictive. But in comparison to the rest of the world, we still are light years ahead in terms of human liberty and human freedom. But, look, what I said to that young girl is no different than the way I was raised. I mean, those exact words may not have been spoken to me by my dad, by my mom, but that certainly was the impression I had of America growing up.
I didn’t need to go to school to learn it. It was reinforced in school. You know, America was taught as a great place in school when I was in school. This is why, look, I’m gonna let something out of the bag here, ’cause this is now the second call commenting on my answer to the question from a 13-year-old caller about immigration.
I guess I’m surprised at how many parents don’t talk to their or kids, or vice-versa, about this or any number of other things, because it was the exact opposite for me and my brother growing up. This kind of stuff was discussed frequently. Not all the time, and it was certainly not something that was dominant. But when it came up, the subject of America and America’s enemies and what their attempts to defeat us were and why, I didn’t have to go to school learn this stuff. And consequentially there wasn’t anybody in school who could unravel this.
There wasn’t a teacher, even if I were going to school today and was subject to all of this madcap liberalism that’s in college campuses today and high school, they would not be able to unravel what I was raised believing. And I just assumed that I was not unique in that regard, that many people were raised. That’s where I guess I’m wrong about it. This is not a criticism by no means. And I’m not arrogantly assuming that every family was like mine. I know that’s not the case.