Why I Went Nonpolitical in Joplin
July 5, 2011
RUSH: Danville, Pennsylvania, hi, Kevin, welcome to the Rush Limbaugh program. Great to have you here.
CALLER: Rush, I believe all of the newsies fled Joplin and they dumped all the coverage on it because of the type of people that are in Joplin, Missouri. They are doing it themselves, of their own accord, and they're not demanding the taxpayer do this for them. They lost so many friends, family, and private and commercial property there. I don't know if the amount is larger than that of New Orleans, but they're not demanding anything of anyone, and that's why they left, because the news is an Idiocracy. And sadly, this culture, this Midwestern culture of taking care of yourself and making things better for your neighbor, they're never gonna understand it in Washington and a lot of other big cities, ever.
RUSH: Well, in parts of Washington they get it, but no, I know what you mean, the elites, you're talking about the ruling class elites, you're exactly right. I have to tell you, flying in we asked for permission to fly over the town at a lower than normal altitude and they granted it to us, and we've got some pictures outside the window of the airplane, which when I get the track pad fixed I'm gonna upload those pictures to the website. But they'll be up there by six o'clock tonight when we upgrade, I'll get all that done, and you're right, I talked to the mayor, and he told me specifics of the loss, people's homes, and what they're worried about is that the people who lost everything, their house, their business, they've had to go someplace else, they've had to relocate. They're worried about them coming back because they're gonna get settled.
CALLER: They will, it's part of their character.
RUSH: Right. Well, but they have to get settled elsewhere. They have to survive. They have to find things to do. They have to have jobs. They have to have places to live and this mayor was complementary of FEMA. He said FEMA's in there with a lot of temporary housing and so forth. It's just, you're right, the citizens of Joplin are not caterwauling every day on television making a story out of it, and that's your real point. But people can forget about Joplin because they know exactly what you said is true, the people of Joplin are gonna take care of themselves, they're gonna do this, they're gonna use their self-reliance which they're in the process of doing. Not that they don't need help, I don't want to confuse anybody here. But you won't find a news story of a Joplin citizen looting or making a general nuisance of him- or herself to attract a camera in order to attract attention there, and as such, you're right, nothing going on in Joplin; they're rebuilding, big whoop.
CALLER: I'll tell you what, it speaks highly of their character and I think there's a lot of places here in the country that can take a valuable lesson from this.
RUSH: Kevin, thanks for the call, I appreciate it. I think you're exactly right.
Rick in Fort Collins, Colorado. This is the site of Dan's Bake Sale back in 1993. Great to have you here, sir.
CALLER: Yes. Good day to you, Rush. Thanks for taking my call.
RUSH: You bet.
CALLER: You said something earlier in reference to your visit to Joplin that sort of struck a chord with me and set me thinking about something. When you mentioned not using any political jargon or talking about parties specifically, and it set me to thinking that maybe one of the things that we really are suffering from as a nation today is this lost capacity for an honest and rational conversation of ideas. And what I mean by that, and I'd love to hear your perspective on this, that's why I called, it seems as though it's very easy for people to align themselves with parties, which are divisive to begin with. As I understand it, Thomas Jefferson was very reluctant to form an organized opposition to the Federalists for exactly this reason, but it's very easy for people to align themselves with parties and discourse seems to shut down, we're right, they're wrong, no matter which side you happen to be on, almost categorically, and we all lose out because we fail to make those connections that allow honest, genuine conversation, which is productive in a way that no one person could possibly be. You can't benefit from the perspective that we all bring to bear on this, and that is one of our strengths as a nation, I believe, is the varied backgrounds and perspectives everyone is bringing into play, and we sort of lose out on that, but having said that, I kind of want to make a second point. This also seems to be kind of a symptom of something more at the root, in the last few pages of Walden, Thoreau writes, "There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root." And I've sort of largely turned away from a lot of mainstream media in the last few years because it seems as though so much of what passes for media news is anything but. And I wonder sometimes, I'm rambling now, but if we could somehow -- forgive me here, I'm not real good --
RUSH: Let me take over because I know what you're trying to say. And let's go back to this political parties business. I believe in political parties. I did not go nonpolitical yesterday because I don't believe things. The circumstance yesterday was what guided me. I was not there to push a political person. I was there to push a political idea, but not by identification. I think there were people in that audience yesterday -- let me exclude the audience. Let me put it this way. When people around the country hear about my speech and how unabashedly pro-America it was, I will become their enemy. There are people who do not want that version of America heralded. There are people who do not believe in the greatness of this country as founded. That's one of the primary problems we have and many of them are serving in power right now. We've elected a bunch of these kinds of people. Political parties stand for things. One political party is rooted in 100% reality. Another political party is rooted in deniability, total denial of reality.
Now, my decision to go nonpolitical yesterday was instinctive, and it was because I asked to go there, I asked to speak. I wanted to honor America, and I wanted to honor the people of Joplin, and I wanted to speak to them as somebody who doesn't live there who is aware of their problem and respects what they've gone through and believes in them, believes in their ability to rebound and let them know that there are millions of other Americans who believe the same thing about them. I wanted it to be uplifting. I could have easily, at the end of every paragraph or sentence in that speech I made yesterday, I could have launched into a political diatribe that would have made brilliant sense about things. I could have taken the occasion yesterday to warn people of what I think are the forces in this country that are trying to retard this country's rebirth, economic growth, for whatever reasons. I just sensed this was not the occasion. That's not why they were there. In fact, they were there for a night in Joplin to try to forget all that happened since the tornado.
There weren't even any Salvation Army tents or other relief organization tents. There was no fundraising going on. There was no donating going on. Nobody there was asking for contributions from anybody. They wanted a day off. Today they got back to all that in Joplin. But I think this country, as I say here every day, we're faced with severe consequences in our future if serious changes are not made, and I think the changes that need to be made are rooted in what I said. Even though it was nonpolitical in the sense that I didn't mention the words conservative or liberal, I didn't mention any politicians by name, but what I did say in a lot of people's minds was highly controversial and political. And that's a hard, cold reality you've got to understand.
To a lot of people, that was a purely political speech yesterday. Pro-America. You know the kind of people that I'm talking about. But yesterday was really an event about the people of Joplin, their problems and the birth of our country, what it meant to me, and that's what I was telling them. Celebrating our revolution, why we're the greatest country on earth. I wanted them to know why I think we're the greatest country because in learning that, realizing that, believing that, lie our solutions, folks.
RUSH: Here's Nancy in Atlanta. Nancy great to have you on the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Thank you, Rush. It's a pleasure to talk with you, and I just had to call and tell you that you made me feel like I felt 50 years ago listening to your talk at the event in Joplin. I was so filled with pride and patriotism, and in this era of negativity that we're bombarded with, it was so wonderful to hear you talk, and I just wanted to say, thank you, thank you for sharing with the rest of us.
RUSH: Well, you're more than welcome. I appreciate your thoughts on it. I really do. More than you know.
CALLER: Well, I'm curious to ask, my grandfather graduated from Rush Medical in Chicago, and I've always wondered, are you related to that family or is that how you got your name?
RUSH: Anything with the name Rush on it has to be related to me somehow, I mean how many of us are there? How many of us have there really ever been?
CALLER: Well, that's what I always thought, and I was so proud of that. (laughing)
RUSH: (laughing) I encourage you. (laughing) I encourage you to continue to feel that pride.
CALLER: Thank you. Well, you know, that's what you do for the rest of us.
RUSH: Well, thank you. I appreciate that. I'm checking e-mails, too, and here's Nancy in Atlanta. The point I was making about how there are people who listen to that speech and be angered by it today and think that it was political. There are people who think that speech sounds like a blast from a long ago America, that you don't hear that about America anymore, certainly not from the elected political class, you really don't, and people are realizing that.
RUSH: Tom in Columbus, Ohio, glad you waited, sir. Welcome to the EIB Network.
CALLER: Rush. Hello, and happy belated Fourth of July.
RUSH: Thank you very much.
CALLER: Hey, I was sitting here in my little home listening to your speech there in Joplin, Missouri, yesterday, and brief as it was, I'll tell you, brother, I was so moved, I wanted to get up and take Old Glory and march down Main Street. It was a beautiful speech, and you are among the greatest orators of this age, Mr. Limbaugh.
RUSH: Aw, now, now, now, now. I must confess, though, those were not prepared remarks. I mean nothing was written down and I did not use a teleprompter.
CALLER: As demonstrated by your most recent segment there talking about Strauss-Kahn, that was beautifully eloquent. You continue to just amaze me.
RUSH: Well, thank you very much.
CALLER: I'll tell you, to evoke the great Ronaldus Magnus and his shining city on a hill, you are a glowing example of citizenship on that hill, sir.
RUSH: You don't say. I thank you so much, sir.
CALLER: I'll tell you what, could you do me a favor? Take a piece of paper in those formerly nicotine-stained fingers and pop it up against the golden microphone. You always used to do that, but I haven't heard you do it in a long time.
RUSH: (crumpling paper against mic)
CALLER: That's it!
RUSH: There you have it, formerly nicotine-stained fingers.
CALLER: Well, God bless you, Rush, and your family, and God bless America.
RUSH: Tom, thank you. Same to you very much, sir. I really appreciate it, more than you know.