What Made America Great?
In honoring the spirit of Yogi Berra I offer up another American who often hits the ball out of the park.
I speak of Rush Limbaugh who keeps his eye focused on the balls thrown at him and at this nation whether they be political hardballs, cultural screwballs or whatever. His knack of picking up the incoming trajectory and clearly seeing the seams and placing his bat firmly at the right place and hitting home runs is amazing and consistent. Like any good hitter, he studies and knows the pitchers and reacts like the MVP that he is.
Limbaugh’s monolog about what has made America great is one of his best, and I would place it in any top 10 must read stories of America.
There are so many snippets I could choose from, but let me pick just a few in hopes of putting you in the seat right behind home plate:
” … It’s so special, everybody wants to go there. And there’s not a thought given to how it got special. It’s just assumed it was made that way, I guess. It’s just assumed that it’s just there. And it’s also assumed that it’s always going to be there. Call it the golden goose or whatever you want but everybody saying that we have no right to keep anybody out because nobody kept us out, we all had to get here. Nobody here now actually started here. Of course, that’s no longer true. … “
” … So it seems even from the pope, immigrants, anybody who doesn’t live here, has an automatic right to come here just because there’s no other place like it on earth. And what is never discussed is how it got so special. How did it happen? Why is it so prosperous? Why is it so free? … “
” … See, the correct thing to do would be to answer those questions and spread those answers all over the world. And that’s what, to me, if I had the ability to command the attention of the peoples of the world, that’s what I would tell them. I certainly wouldn’t stand for policies that are gonna end up destroying this special place, because once this special place is destroyed and is no longer special, then where is everybody gonna go? … “
So here it is — Limbaugh hitting one out of the park.
September 24, 2015
RUSH: Here is Pope Francis, sound bite number one, at his speech today before a joint session of Congress.
POPE FRANCIS: But there is another temptation which we must especially guard against: the simplistic reductionism which sees only good or evil; or, if you will, the righteous and sinners. The contemporary world, with its open wounds which affect so many of our brothers and sisters, demands that we confront every form of polarization which would divide it into these two camps.
RUSH: Okay. Were you able, Mr. Snerdley, to catch all that? Here’s what he said. “There is another temptation which we must especially guard against: the simplistic reductionism which sees only good or evil; or, if you will, the righteous and sinners. The contemporary world, with its open wounds which affect so many of our brothers and sisters, demands that we confront every form of polarization which would divide it into these two camps.”
Okay, I’m gathering here that we have a pope who sees a gray area there between good and evil. There is good and evil and there’s the marginal. There’s good and evil, and there’s the, what would you call it, the maybe not okay, the maybe okay. (interruption) That’s right. The relative! Yeah, we have the good and the bad, and then the relative, where we apply a relative morality or whatever in order to make an assessment on whether something’s good or bad.
“The contemporary world, with its open wounds which affect so many of our brothers and sisters,” any idea what that is? I mean, you watched the speech, do you know what he’s talking about here specifically? I don’t. (interruption) You didn’t watch this? Okay. Demands that we confront every form of polarization which would — look, there’s something you should know, folks, before I go on with this, and that is every Democrat that I have seen react to this is ecstatic and giddy with happiness.
They think the pope hit a grand-slam home run from their perspective on everything but abortion. And even there he equivocated a little bit, but they think that this could not have been better. The pope came and conquered and was them. They really do. The Drive-Bys, elected Democrats, I haven’t seen ’em all, obviously, but the ones I’ve seen on TV who’ve been asked about it are just giddy with their praise. So you have to put that into the hopper here as you try to analyze what all of these remarks mean. Here is immigration, and it sounds to me in this bite that he is granting America absolution for what we did to the Indians.
POPE FRANCIS: We, the people of this continent, are not fearful of foreigners, because most of us were once foreigners. I say this to you as the son of immigrants, knowing that so many of you are also descended from immigrants. Tragically, the rights of those who were here long before us were not always respected. … Those first contacts were often turbulent and violent, but it is difficult to judge the past by the criteria of the present.
RUSH: All right. So to me it sounds like a partial absolution. Yeah, yeah, we kind of violated the rights of those that were here long before us. We didn’t respect ’em, but kind of tough to apply modern day to back then, so been there, done that, gotta forget it. The message was immigration. Now, I’m sorry, I have a reaction to this, and I watched this, and my reaction, I knew this was coming. I mean, I didn’t know the exact words, but I knew he was gonna bring up the subject and I knew he was going to end up saying something the Democrat Party would love, and they would interpret or be able to interpret it as something that’s pro-amnesty, and that probably is what he said here.
But it struck me, this is not a new realization on my part, but it just struck me I think a little bit more profoundly because it was the pope saying it. It’s almost as if in his mind and in the minds of many other people, in fact, that you have the world, and it is what it is and then there’s this one place in the world where it’s much, much, much better than anywhere else in the world. It’s richer. It has more opportunity. It has more freedom and more liberty. It’s vastly more prosperous. The standard of living is way, way higher. It’s got all kinds of weapons to protect itself and so forth. It’s just better, it’s just demonstrably better.
And then the rest of the world is kind of eating the dust of this one really special place. And it’s as though nobody ever stops to ask how did this one special place become special? They just assume that it was made that way, or that fate, or maybe in this case God, ordained it. And because there’s only one special place in all the world, one place that’s so much better, so much more advanced, so much more prosperous, however you want to define and characterize it, this place is so special, but it just happened. It’s just the way it is.
And, as such, everybody else in the world is entitled to go there, simply because it exists. Everybody’s entitled to go there, and anybody who wants to go there should be permitted to go there. And there ought not be any complaining about it, because in this special place, this one place that is far and away better than anywhere else on earth, everybody that’s there was once from someplace else.
So everybody that’s there had to go there to get there. So why should people going there to get there today not be permitted when everybody in the past was? No, I’m talking about the United States of America, not the Vatican. One special place, United States of America. It’s far and away superior to every other place on earth, in terms of lifestyles, liberty, and freedom. In terms of the human condition, there’s no place like it.
It’s so special, everybody wants to go there. And there’s not a thought given to how it got special. It’s just assumed it was made that way, I guess. It’s just assumed that it’s just there. And it’s also assumed that it’s always going to be there. Call it the golden goose or whatever you want but everybody saying that we have no right to keep anybody out because nobody kept us out, we all had to get here. Nobody here now actually started here. Of course, that’s no longer true.
But the whole construct of this is that, yeah, this is a special place, but not because of anything the people here did to make it special. It just happens to be. And the people who were here are here simply by winning life’s lottery. It’s all fate; it’s all luck. And if anybody else in the world wants to come to this one special place, then nobody has the right to tell them they can’t because we are all immigrants.
And nobody ever stops to ask in this debate, nobody ever stops to consider how did it get special? Because it wasn’t made that way. We didn’t just wake up one day and here is the United States of America, and it is the gem, the shining city on the hill, however you want to describe it, it had to be built. It was not there. But from the moment it began to be built, isn’t it interesting that everybody in the world who heard about it wanted to go there?
Maybe I should change the tense. Everybody who heard about it wanted to come here. And now the people who lead this special place don’t seem to have any appreciation for how it became special. In fact, if they have anything, it’s guilt over how it became special. And so they either want to open the borders and let anybody in because it’s not fair that we are here and we’re able to get here and others who want to come here are not, it just isn’t fair.
So this special place in the world, the United States of America, it just happened. It just is. And it’s our responsibility, as those who are lucky and fortunate enough, to happen to have been born here. It is incumbent upon us to share that same luck and good fortune with everybody else. Otherwise we are mean, selfish, polarized, partisan, extremist, racist, sexist, bigot, homophobe, whatever.
So it seems even from the pope, immigrants, anybody who doesn’t live here, has an automatic right to come here just because there’s no other place like it on earth. And what is never discussed is how it got so special. How did it happen? Why is it so prosperous? Why is it so free?
See, the correct thing to do would be to answer those questions and spread those answers all over the world. And that’s what, to me, if I had the ability to command the attention of the peoples of the world, that’s what I would tell them. I certainly wouldn’t stand for policies that are gonna end up destroying this special place, because once this special place is destroyed and is no longer special, then where is everybody gonna go?
RUSH: I dare say, ladies and gentlemen, it’s even worse in some people, it’s worse than the mistake they make in just assuming that there is the world and everything in it, and then there’s this one special place. And this one special place just happened. No thought’s given to how. No thought’s given to replicating it, even. No, that’s where it gets even worse. Where it gets even worse is that some of those who look at the United States for what it is, special, no place like it on earth. Want to tear it down for that specific reason just because it’s unfair.
The one thing that I can honestly say that has perplexed me all of my life — and you know me, I’m the mayor of Realville, and I live and breathe nothing more complicated than common sense. It’s the other stuff that confuses me. Common sense, to me, is simple. And I’ve never understood why there aren’t a lot of people trying to figure out how the United States became this special place and then try to replicate it around the world, because that’s the solution to the human condition. The solution to poverty, the solution to misery, the solution to backwards living is the United States of America. Why not learn how that happened, learn why and how we happened. What is it that made it special? Don’t just assume that it just happened, quirk of fate, a meeting of various forces coming together in a giant coincidence.
That’s not what it was. It was miraculous in a way. Why not try to replicate it. If you really love people, you say you really love people, really care about people, want the best for people, well, this is the best place. Instead of coming here and destroying it, why not copy it, replicate it? I never understood that, folks. I mean, on a certain level I do of course.
RUSH: You know, you talk about what made America great. There’s a definitive answer to it. It’s found in American history. Trying to write about it in these children’s books that Kathryn and I are doing, the Time-Travel Adventures With Exceptional Americans series, starring Rush Revere and the talking horse, Liberty. What we’re trying to do is open people’s minds to the greatness of this country and how it happened. It’s not an accident. It’s not the result of coincidences happening at a miraculous or magical period in time. There are substantive reasons for it.
The trouble is that Millennials and many recent products of the public schools believe that America was made great, if they’re even taught that it’s great, if they’re taught that it’s great, you know what they’re told is the reason? Diversity. There’s diversity all over the world. You can go to places where there is diversity out the wazoo, folks. You can go to places all over the place world and you can find the most diversity, you can find perfect diversity, however you find it. You will not find a United States. By the way, we’ve got no excuses on diversity anyway. We’ve got nothing to apologize for, and no excuses to make.
But it doesn’t matter. Diversity hasn’t a thing to do with why this country is great. Diversity is not a factor in any way when defining or explaining America’s greatness. Never mind that from the 1600s until the late twentieth century the population the United States was 85% white, 12% black, and there have been changes demographically in the United States since the days of its founding. So they’re trying to tell you that the United States’ greatness happened because of diversity. Well, go back and look at the days the country was founded, and they do. When they do that, they see how racist and bigoted this country was. they see the seeds for bigotry and racism and discrimination were sown at the founding, is how it’s now taught. You got young people growing up ashamed of their own country. And they probably don’t understand, when somebody like the pope comes here — and he did in his own way — recognize America’s greatness today, and its specialness.
And I don’t doubt you have some people who’ve grown up not learning that, “What is he talking about? He’s just being nice. He’s just giving us compliments. He knows what an unfair, unjust place this is.” I mean, when you get right down to it, isn’t it a shame, beyond being an outrage, isn’t it a shame the drivel, the bilge, the lies that young people have been taught about this country and its past? What really has been great about this country, aside from all the economic magic — and again, that’s not magic. That’s easily explainable, too.
We have a shared culture here. Stop and think of what happened in this country. The melting pot, yeah, it happened. Stop and think of what happened, from the first days of the founding. You have to go back to the Pilgrims. You have to include the Pilgrims in the founding. Why they came. What they learned on the way. What they learned after they got here. The Pilgrims, like everybody else, tried to establish a socialist collective. Bombed out. Didn’t work. We know this, the governor wrote about it himself, William Bradford.
They went capitalist. Didn’t know that that’s what it was, but that was the solution and that’s when prosperity happened. You go back and you examine the reasons the country was founded, why it worked, what was magic about it, and you find out that people wanted to come here for cultural reasons, in addition to economic. It was rooted in liberty. It was rooted in freedom. It was rooted in the recognition of the primacy of the individual, the power of the individual over government in this country. So people from all over the world came here and assimilated into a single culture rooted in the founding, which is rooted in individual liberty and primacy of citizen over government. Everybody who came here, that’s what drew them.
Yeah, they were fleeing oppression, poverty, but that’s the case for most of the people who ever lived. Before the United States, there wasn’t really anyplace anybody could go. They had to seek refuge in other ways. After the United States was founded, it became the place you go, and the people who came assimilated into a single culture that was shared in a way. Everything the left claims to want is exactly what this country started out doing. It was multicultural, we had the Italians, we had the Irish, we had everybody.
They came and they did not abandon their own cultures, but they assumed new ones, a new one, an American culture rooted in liberty and freedom that they had never enjoyed in their lives prior. They didn’t have to sacrifice who they were. They didn’t have to change or give it up, but they were eager to become Americans. And so the original United States, the founding of America was indeed a shared culture. And you could argue that there was a diversity from the founding days, but not the way the left defines diversity today. Diversity, to the left, means minorities get even with, minorities triumph, minorities get payback. That’s what diversity means.
Diversity means, when the left teaches it, when they talk about it, diversity means the people responsible for building this country and maintaining it get the short end of the stick from now on. With this singular American culture that people came and wanted to be part of, they were proud, couldn’t wait to become Americans, tears in their eyes when it happened. It was a special place. Defending it now, defending that America, defending our cultural, defending our founding, defending all of the things that made this country great is now called racism or xenophobia or hate.
The desire to preserve these things is called — in fact, I have a story in the Stack today about that that’s who the modern-day Republicans are, that they just can’t get with it. They can’t accept and tolerate the demographic shift. They know they’re becoming minorities and they want to go back to the Ozzie and Harriet days, which will never happen. They hate minorities, they hate change, they hate blah, blah. All of this is what is assumed. All because there are people who want to preserve the things that made America special. And again, why in the world, living as I do, smack-dab in the middle of common sense, why in the world would people want to tear it down rather than emulate it all over the world? I mean, I’m talking about people who claim to love people. I’m talking about people who claim to love and represent the little guy. They’re the people that tell us that if not for them, the little guy would be trampled on daily.
Well, if they really cared about the little guy, if they really cared about the little guy, and want the little guy to have an improved life, more contentment, more happiness, then the United States is what you would emulate. You certainly wouldn’t tear it down. So it must not be true when they tell us what they really want is to help and assist and elevate the little guy, ’cause they don’t elevate anybody. The people I’m talking about try to make things fair by punishing and penalizing people at the top. They seek equality and fairness by reaching for the lowest common denominator they can find. Equally shared misery seems to be what their utopia is.
So if I had the good fortune of having the ability to influence people all over the world every time I spoke, I would do my best to make sure people understood why the United States of America is special, and then I would suggest that everybody who wants to come here, “I don’t blame you, fine and dandy, there’s a legal mechanism for this. We’re not denying people the right to come to our country. There’s a legal way to do it.” That’s another thing people forget, including the pope today.
We’re not talking about being anti-immigrant. We’re talking about obeying the law. The law exists for lots of reasons. In this case, the law exists to maintain the integrity of this special place. We allow immigrants here, happily so. We don’t deny legal immigrants a path to citizenship in this country. But beyond that, since we can’t take in everybody, since everybody can’t come here, it’s physically not possible — well, it is. You know you could put the population of the world inside the state of Texas in 1,500-square-feet homes. I mean, you wouldn’t want to, but you could do it. That statistic is old and I found that from the days people say we’re overpopulated, we’re running out of resources and space for people to live, it’s hard — no. We got so much space left for people to live. We’re not threatened in that regard at all. But there have to be studied limits.
You have this special place, you want it to remain special, you better find out why it became special. And then after that, as I say, if I had the ability to influence people all over the world just by speaking or writing, one of my objectives would be find out how this special place became special and then tell everybody. “If you want what happens in the US, it can happen where you are, too. This is how.” And I’m not talking about replicating our history with wars and this kind of thing. I’m talking about economic systems, human rights systems, everything that is combined to make this place special.
This is no means the only place that can be special. Isn’t it odd that it’s the only place that is? And isn’t it even further intriguing, so many people want to blow it up. Why? Obviously it’s a threat. There hasn’t been a military force like the United States of America in the history of the world.
RUSH: I got this question during the break: “Rush, does the pope not know that the United States of America already takes in every year more legal immigrants than the rest of the nations of the world combined? Why is he lecturing us? Does he not know this?”
I will endeavor to answer the question. It’s very simple. It doesn’t matter. He doesn’t care. That’s not the point. This is what’s so frustrating. The United States deserves nothing but love and adoration and gold medals left and right and peace prizes left and right, things we never get. Even if the pope knows that, it will not change a word of what he said, because the facts are not the point here.
The point is, folks, for people on the left — and I don’t care what kind of clothes they wear, or where they live, people on the left, this nation is guilty. And there is not a set of facts in the world that’s gonna change it. There’s not a set of facts in the world that’s gonna change anybody’s mind, including the pope’s. You could tell him, you could say, “Pope Francis, the United States already takes in legally more immigrants every year than the rest of the world combined.” I don’t know what the answer would be, but it certainly wouldn’t be “Oh, really? Oh, gee, okay, well, forgive me.” It wouldn’t be that.
It would be, “Well, you could do more.” Or, “You could be happier about it,” or whatever. But all of this is political, folks. All of this is a political agenda. And facts that obliterate the agenda of the left are nothing but problems. They are not gonna be acknowledged. They’re not going to be accepted. They’re going to be distorted, blown up, or what have you. Here, speaking of, Francis in Dublin, Ohio, as we head to the phones for the first time today. Welcome to the program, Francis. How are you?
CALLER: I’m fine. Thank you very much, Mr. Limbaugh.
RUSH: You bet.
CALLER: First thing I have to say is, God bless you. I’m calling to give a different perspective on the pope’s address, and perhaps some of the perspectives that have been offered or proffered on his views and direction. My background is I’m a very traditional conservative Catholic, but if I look at his speech today, I would ask you to consider, among other teachings of the church and his explanation of them as he’s described them today, take a look at certain phrases which you will not see highlighted on MSNBC or —
RUSH: Well, I tell you, time is really — it goes by here. Could you tell me what he said that you’re talking about?
CALLER: It has to do with individual freedom, individual rights, Mr. Limbaugh. And in fact in the middle of his speech he prayed for the continued vitality and effort given to the technical, and he even used the word either “enterprise” or “entrepreneurialism” that has made so many things —
RUSH: Well, wait a minute, now. Wait a minute. I haven’t yet said the pope was critical of the United States.
CALLER: No, I know that. But in terms of understanding where he is coming from, everything that he’s asked us to do has always been a focus on the individual. One of the distinguishing factors of the faith — and I know you’re more learned on the faith, though you’re not Catholic, than I am — is that it is founded on free will, the individual will.
RUSH: Yes, it is. Which opens up all kinds of questions. If you believe in free will, why don’t you have confidence in people to use it? Why do you want a government, or whoever, regulating them, if you believe in it? That’s just me.
Don Johnson – September 2015