What Happened at the 1992 Republican Convention
RUSH: Fort Wayne, Indiana. This is Bruce. Welcome, sir. Great to have you with us on the EIB Network. Hi.
CALLER: Hi. Heartfelt dittos, sir.
RUSH: Thank you.
CALLER: I agree with you absolutely. The culture has changed, not politics. I remember ’92 vividly. Bush was a ninny, a nincompoop, a Neanderthal. He was a rich guy eating lobster up in Kennebunkport. If you want to go to a snapshot of what politics was in ’91, ’92, all you have to do is go to Anita Hill, Clarence Thomas, pubic hair and a high-tech lynching. That is your so-called politics of betterment back in the early nineties, in my opinion.
RUSH: What do you remember…? And, by the way, “right on” to all that. Your examples are exquisite. What do you remember about the Republican convention in Houston in 1992? Do you remember anything? In terms of the stated, acknowledged culture war — or however you want to phrase it, the breakdown of American culture or society — do you remember anything specific to that convention?
CALLER: Yeah, I was 12 at the time, and my mother was a social studies teacher, so I paid a lot of attention to it. But Mr. Rogers. It was all about family values, and you had Ma Richards over in the Democrat thing with silver spoon in your mouth, Mr. Bush, like you mentioned earlier. And it was all about family stuff and various speakers bringing that up. And I watched all those nights myself, my mother, and it was the first time I remember thinking of family values in that way was during that time.
RUSH: Well, let me tell you some of the things that happened at the 1992 Republican convention. We are coming off the final term — well, the third term — of Ronaldus Magnus, and in the second term of Reagan is when AIDS hit. And the argument that the militant leftist gay political movement was making at the time was that Reagan was responsible for AIDS because he didn’t care about it.
Because he didn’t talk about it meant that Reagan never raised any awareness about it, and that was because it was said that Reagan was a homophobe who didn’t care about gay people and the fact that they were getting sick and dying. This led to militant gay organizations like ACT UP terrorizing Catholic churches, particularly St. Patrick’s Cathedral and throwing condoms during Mass when Cardinal O’Connor was giving Mass.
It led to a speech. Remember Pat Buchanan in 1992 won the New Hampshire primary. Pat Buchanan ran in the 1992 New Hampshire primary because he feared that conservatism was being abandoned by the Republican Party, and he thought that conservatism needed to be in the George H. W. Bush nomination fight for 1992.
I endorsed Buchanan in the New Hampshire primary for the same reason. I thought we needed conservatism in the Republican Party. People have forgotten, but George H. W. Bush came along with his kinder, gentler America, which was a reaction to the media castigating Reagan as a mean-spirited extremist accompanied by militant gay political movements saying Reagan was responsible for AIDS because he didn’t care.
People have forgotten, but Reagan was treated much like Trump is in terms of media opposition to him. And the personal insults aimed at Reagan were deep. They may not have approached the way the media is in unison dealing with Trump, but they were just as prominent. And so Bush was inspired to this kinder, gentler America, which was translated to mean less conservatism! That’s how you make America kinder and gentler, said the media, less conservatism.
Buchanan’s primary had an overwhelming amount of success. But if it weren’t for the campaign of Ross Perot in 1992 also having tremendous success, then Buchanan, I don’t think, would have ever been given a speaking slot. But he was. He gave a speech, and it was one hour prior to prime time. No, maybe it was a prime time speech right at 8 o’clock, 7 o’clock Central time. And Buchanan launched into his theme of the culture war.
He launched into the militant homosexual political movement. He just launched into it. And there was another big thing happening in the Republican Party at the time, and that was abortion. The now ex-wife of Roger Stone, whose name was Ann Stone, she put together a movement of Republican women who were pro-choice, and they were prominently on display in Houston at the Republican convention.
Everything that the Republican Party under Reagan had been identified with was under assault at the Republican convention of George H. W. Bush in Houston in 1992. After Buchanan’s speech people could not believe that the Bush team had approved it! You know, nobody speaks at a convention without the nominee approving what the hell is said, because the nominee’s in charge of the platform, the message, and all that. And people were shocked that Buchanan was authorized to make this speech. And boy, he did. He launched.
There also happened to be — I gotta get through this fast because I’ve got a break. There happened to be the daughter of a prominent Republican donor and fundraiser who had come out as a lesbian. And she was given a speaking slot. And during her speech, she pointed fingers at the Republican Party for being a bunch of bigots, that they had to get with the times, that they had to understand homosexuality, they had to understand why we had to convert from pro-life to pro-choice.
I can’t remember the name of this big time Republican donor nor his daughter’s first name. But I was sitting in the crowd. And as this woman was speaking, some guy — I had no idea who it was, and I had no idea where he was — kept shouting, “Listen to her, Rush. Listen to her, you and all the rest of them need to hear this. Listen. Listen, Rush. Hear that?” And throughout her entire speech this guy is editorializing, “You better hear what she’s saying, Rush, you better hear what she’s saying, that’s important.” And this woman was ripping the party to shreds.
And I was seated next to Gerald Ford and his wife, Betty. And they were applauding, and they were praising — I wish I could remember who the woman was. I’ll be able to find it in due course. But my point is that the 1992 Republican convention in Houston was all about the culture war, it was all about how the Republican Party was on the wrong side of it, the Republicans was racist, sexist, bigot homophobic and anti-woman. And Donald Trump had not a thing to do with it, folks. And the same people that were tarring and feathering the Republican Party all of that year and during that period are the same people now praising George H. W. I mean, it’s such a bit much.
RUSH: It was Mary Fisher, by the way. She was the daughter of Max Fisher. The Fisher family, very prominent in the Republican Party, and the Fisher family is known for many acts of charity. One of them is building Fisher Houses. Fisher Houses are like Ronald McDonald houses. They are for wounded military. For example, there’s a bunch of Fisher Houses at Walter Reed. They are near military hospitals. They are for families to stay in while their relatives were injured in battle are being treated. And the Fisher family has built gazillions of them.
But Mary Fisher, I think was the daughter of Max Fisher, who was a close confidant and friend of Robert Mosbacher, who is also a close friend of George H. W. Bush in the same vein as James A. Baker was. Mosbacher was Bush’s commerce secretary. And Mary Fisher spoke in the ’92 convention. She’s not a lesbian, not an open lesbian. Her husband contracted AIDS or she contracted AIDS from some other means, and her speech turned into tolerance for homosexuality and AIDS, as though the Republican Party wasn’t.
And it was during her speech that some guy around me was saying, “You better listen to this, Rush, you better listen to every word. Listen carefully, Rush.” And I’m saying, “Who is this, and why, and where?” Amazing the things that you remember. Yeah. And I bet you didn’t remember about Ann Stone, did you? I bet you didn’t remember that. (interruption) Oh, yeah, you go back and research that.
RUSH: We have gone back to the archives for an audio sound bite from the 1992 Republican convention. And, folks, it really…
I know a lot of you were around and paying attention then. I mean, that was 26 years ago. But a lot of people weren’t, and I have a belief system that everybody’s historical perspective begins with the day they were born. What I mean by that is that people’s concerned with the past does not go beyond when they were alive. So if you weren’t alive in 1992? Big whoop! It doesn’t matter, because you weren’t here.
And most people other than those interested in history for whatever reasons have that kind of attitude. Whatever happened in their lifetime — and, by the way, it’s human nature; it’s understandable. The things happen in your lifetime? “Well, they happened when I was alive!” It makes ’em important and relevant. Also if in 1992 you were under 12 and not particularly paying attention to politics, then none of this is gonna ring any bells with you.
But I’m telling you, you could go back to that convention and that year. You can really peg it as the intense beginning of the culture war. There were books written. Judge Bork wrote a book on the culture wars coming out of this convention. The Democrats had their own convention in 1984 San Francisco that was just as outrageous if not more so. But the point about the Republican convention in ’92 is when the anti-Republican Party forces actually gained control.
All of the anti-Reagan, anti-conservative, cultural and ideological forces basically took the occasion of that convention to take the party away from Reaganites. Now, you can get mad at me saying this all you want, but that’s exactly what happened, and part and parcel of that was stripping conservatism out of the Republican Party, at least as much as could be done. The so-called culture wars really did begin there, with the all-out media assault on conservatives and Republicans as enemies of people simply because of their politics.
And my point here is that all of this talk about a return to grander times and more civil, there was no civil about the Republican convention in ’92, not the way people are being told to remember it. And all of this is being done to provide a contrast to Donald Trump. They are making it up about the past and they’re recreating a past that never really existed. I meant George Bush the guy existed as he was.
But as I have been attempting to explain all day, the values and things that we have seen on display at Bush ceremonies and funerals represent Bush values, Bush family virtues, which used to be those of the vast majority of the country. And it’s that that we’ve lost. These are not, as it’s being portrayed, the way politics used to be. Politics was never the way they’re trying to portray it with these eulogies and the funerals and so forth, and all this is being done to blame Trump. It’s all done to provide a comparison.
You make up how wonderful and peaceful and cooperative and bipartisan the past was so you can point to Trump and blame Trump for how things are no longer the way they used to be because of Trump — and it’s all made up, folks. So anyway, just for the sake of it, we have a bite here from Mary Fisher who made the famous speech at the Republican convention. Either she or her husband had contracted AIDS. Neither of them are gay. They had gotten AIDS from a transfusion or something.
I can’t emphasize enough how the militant homosexual political wing of the Democrat Party was just savaging Ronald Reagan. I mean, for four years and on into the Bush first term, “Republicans don’t care! Reagan didn’t talk about AIDS. People died.” That’s where this whole, “Bush lied, people died” stuff began, actually. So Mary Fisher, daughter of a prominent and wealthy Republican donor, was asked to speak, and to use her speech to open the eyes of Republicans to the AIDS community so that everybody understood it wasn’t just a homosexual disease.
You might remember that at the same time about four years earlier, a woman named Elizabeth Glaser and her husband Paul Michael Glaser of Starsky & Hutch… She came down with AIDS via a blood transfusion, and she and her husband went to meet with Reagan, and it made 60 Minutes. “Please, Mr. President, do something. Please.” So the onslaught of Republicans as not caring and therefore responsible for the spread of AIDS all got started and intensified at the Republican convention in 1992. She wasn’t gay, she had AIDS, and this is just a portion of the speech. Today, she’s 70 years old. She’s alive and kicking and she is a writer and an activist. Still out there cooking. Here we go.
FISHER: I have come tonight to bring our silence to an end. I bear a message of challenge, not self-congratulation. I want your attention, not your applause. In the context of an election year, I ask you here in this great hall or who are listening in the quiet of your home to recognize that AIDS virus is not a political creature. It does not care whether you are a Democrat or Republican. It does not ask whether you are black or white, male or female, gay or straight, young or old.
RUSH: She worked for Gerald Ford. She worked in the Ford White House. It was during that speech that there’s some guy shouting at me, “Listen to her, Rush! Listen to what she’s saying! It’s very important! Listen to this! Listen!” Every paragraph, this guy was… As I recall it, I was like five rows up from the floor. He was walking on the floor and just staring straight at me during this whole speech, like somehow I was responsible — which was the whole point of this convention.
Back then, the political effort here was to say that, well, AIDS has nothing to do with being gay. There were all these doctors and journalists and everybody saying, “You wait! In the next 10 years, it’s gonna spread to the heterosexual population en masse if we don’t do something about it,” and, of course, it never did. But they politicized the disease. It was the first disease to have civil rights, and it was a virus. There’s no cure for viruses. Never has been. Yet Reagan was ripped to shreds ’cause he didn’t care.
There wasn’t an attempt to find a cure. It was vicious, folks — vicious — and the culture war has continued since then, and it’s resulted in a whole lot of what was traditional American virtue and values base disappearing. They’ve disappeared. They have vamonosed.
RUSH: This is Joe in St. Louis. Joe, great to have you. Hi.
CALLER: Rush, I hope you can hear me okay. I’m on a cheap old flip phone. Listen, 1992, I’ll never forget Pat Buchanan. “Folks, make no mistake about it: We’re in a battle, we’re in a war for our culture,” and I cheered. I stood up and cheered, and I’ll never forget, the next day, that’s when we started hearing the term “mean-spirited” and “mean-spiritedness.” That’s what that started, and I’ll never forget that as long as I live.
RUSH: I’m glad that you got through because, folks, he’s exactly right. I don’t know if it’s on YouTube. Isn’t everything on YouTube? You ought to go find if you haven’t seen Buchanan’s 1992 Republican National Convention speech. It runs over half hour, 45 minutes. There were people thought it was the greatest thing and they were shocked that it got approved. They could not believe the Bush people allowed that speech to be made in prime time. I’m pretty sure it was in the first hour of prime time. Maybe it was not prime time, but it didn’t matter. It was heard, and it was the exact opposite of everything that the Bush team wanted this convention to be seen as.