Rush to Heritage President’s Club: Teach Conservatism and Inspire Americans

As Rush Limbaugh walked onto the stage to address the Heritage Foundation’s President’s Club spring dinner this evening, he received an enthusiastic standing ovation from the 1,100 audience members. When the applause died down, someone shouted “Where’s your teleprompter?” causing laughs and more cheers. Mr. Limbaugh used no teleprompter or notes, but spoke with as much eloquence and passion that he displays on his radio show he spontaneously addressed many topics.

His speech began very positively as he stated: “Every year in America is better than the year before.” Rush then cautioned, “Never in my life have I seen so many achieved people scared to death of their government as they are today.” The premise that Democratic plans will succeed is automatic, and there is no debate anymore about whether something is effective.

Mr. Limbaugh stated that he didn’t want the federal government owning Chrysler, the U.A.W. (United Auto Workers), or the banks. He then gave a grade to President Obama’s first 100 days in office as “barely a D.” The grade of “F” was not given yet because, “You got to allow for future failure.” Regarding the press conference on President Obama’s 100th day in office, Rush said, “It was a joke, it was a mockery.” Although there were questions about his dog and what enchants him, “not one question about anything negative” was presented to Obama.

“The Republican party and the conservative movement are two different things,” Rush firmly declared. He further stated that “It offends me when someone calls me the leader of the Republican party because it is in a heap of trouble and so is the conservative movement.” Conservatives do have an opportunity right now, as, “We’ve never had a better chance to contrast who we are than with the current administration.”

When one looks that the internals, Obama does not have the approval of the vast majority, Mr. Limbaugh noted. People like Barack personally but don’t agree with his plans for a government takeover. There is therefore a “disconnect between what he says he wants to do and who he is.”

Rush gently mocked the “listening tour” that some Republicans, who he did not mention by name, embarked on this morning. He asked if this is what Eisenhower would do right before an invasion, to listen to the troops. After shaking his head, Rush declared, “People want to be lead, people want to be inspired.” He recommended a “teaching tour” instead to spread the message of conservatism.

“Conservatism is not tied to one man,” Mr. Limbaugh stated, referring to Ronald Reagan. “Conservatism will never go out of style because conservatism is based on freedom and freedom will never get old.” Enthusiastic applause demonstrated the agreement of the audience that traditional principles are timeless.

Rush outlined the differences between him and the politicians. The elected are obsessed with polling data, but as a broadcaster he doesn’t have to pander to anybody and say what people want to hear. He reminded the audience that, “Fifty-eight million people voted against this man [Obama], and they’re dying for somebody to stand up and say what they already agree with.”

He reiterated that now is the chance for conservatives to distinguish themselves from the current administration. After the 2000 and 2004 elections, the Democrat party didn’t move to the center, but moved to the left to contrast themselves from the Republicans. “The one thing the Democrats can’t put up with is to risk a debate in the arena of ideas.” Rush insisted that “We must start tying Obama to the economic disaster” as the stimulus bill passed last fall and there has been enough time to prove that the Democratic economic plan will not work. “Obama likes chaos, he like confusion, because it’s an opportunity for him to fix things.”

The advice Rush gave to conservatives to reach out to Americans was simple: “Teach them. Inspire them!” Democrats must be fought, but conservatives cannot surrender their principles. We don’t want our country to be turned over to those who only have emotion, Mr. Limbaugh said. Rather, Americans are “seeking leadership.”

The contributions of America and her people was Rush’s next focus. “This country’s greatness depends on you,” he declared as he looked at the audience. “It is the people of this country who made it great.” He continued, “For the country to remain as great as it has been the individual must pursue excellence.”

“We are the greatest country on the face of the earth in all of human existence,” Rush stated, noting that in only 300 years America has out-produced and out-created other nations who have existed for thousands of years. Our dominance in the world has produced much good such as spreading liberty and helping those who are oppressed. Our founding fathers had the courage to place “in our founding documents that the source of our freedom is God.”

When the applause died down, Mr. Limbaugh continued. “It is a natural yearning of the human spirit to pursue happiness.” He further stated that, “The more liberty and opportunity people have the less the federal government is able to control them.”

“This administration thinks the country is unjust, immoral, and unfair,” Rush said. However, nowhere in the Constitution is anyone given the power to remake America. The message of the opposition is negative. “The party of the Democrats and the left is the party of no: no to freedom, no to life, no to victory in Iraq.”

America is in need of leaders who will lead and inspire. “People love being inspired. People love being told they are better than they are,” Rush stated. “Conservatism takes thinking and understanding. Liberalism is easy; all you have to do is say ‘I care’ when someone is suffering.”

Rush quoted one of Jack Kemps statements during a tribute to him: that you cannot count compassion by how many people the government helps, but one counts compassion by how many people no longer need the government’s help. He insisted that, “Conservatism doesn’t need modernization. Conservatism needs application.” It is what is best for the American people, because “we want everyone to succeed.”

During the Q&A, in which questions from the audience were written on index cards and then selected to give to Mr. Limbaugh, the first inquiry asked for Rush’s advice for today’s college graduates. He quickly responded, “Forget everything you learned.” Rush continued, “Don’t listen to negativism. Don’t listen to pessimism. Find someone who succeeded and feed off of them.”

Rush’s final thought was, “We don’t need to remake the United States of America, we need to stand up for it.” As he slowly walked off the stage and waved to the audience, enthusiastic clapping and cheering followed him and continued even after Mr. Limbaugh was no longer visible to the attendees.

Kristia Cavere

Me and Ed Feulner, the President of Heritage.

You can read more from me at Gold Star Sisters.

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