During his June 9 radio program, Rush Limbaugh talked at length about the rapidly approaching 2016 presidential race, and the need for Republicans to unite around a conservative of real substance, which Rush sees as the key to defeating the powerful spin machine operated by the Democrats and their multitudinous media allies.
As Rush explained, it was Ronald Reagan’s focus on real substance that enabled him to defeat similar forces, and win and govern so successfully, during the 1980s.
Rush has frequently commented favorably on Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin. Now, he has explicitly singled out Walker as Reagan’s true heir: a conservative leader who, by focusing on substance and reality (not spin and buzz), and by pursuing bold reforms to achieve actual results benefiting the average citizen, has beaten back every attempt by liberals to destroy him — supplying the blueprint for success for the Republican Party.
RUSH: I don’t think that the public is being given good choices. The Democrats are gonna nominate whoever they’re gonna nominate. And they’re gonna be hopelessly leftist. They’re gonna be right out of the Saul Alinsky playbook. * * *
And if the Republican Party establishment has no interest in finding or nurturing another conservative leader — which is the only way they’re going to really win and have a mandate and revive the country — if they’re not going to do that, then we’re going to continue to have talks and discussions like this for the rest of our lives! And the subhead of a conversation that we’re having now could be called: “What If?” And the Republicans are going to continue to be the “What If?” party if they continue to try to destroy every conservative that has a chance of winning in the primaries, which is what they’re setting up to do again!
The answer to what’s wrong in this country is conservativism! And even now — I’ve got a story in the stack about reform conservatives who believe we’ve got to stop talking about tax cuts, and we’ve got to stop talking about a smaller government. I’m sorry: there is no other subject but smaller government right now! The problems that we have are directly related to an out-of-control government and people who wanna be in charge of one!
There is no solution that includes people from a different party who think they can run a bigger government smarter, which is what seems to be the Republican position. Blue in the face, I am, reminding everybody that the blueprint for the solutions to what ails us is right in front of everybody’s face. And it involves and it includes winning — and why people don’t wanna win, being conservative, is a very — well, maddening, frustrating, and all that. It’s also factual, apparently.
We have an out-of-control government, we have an out-of-control amount of spending, we have no accountability to anything going on. And the solution is smarter people running it?
Let me tackle another question, ’cause I get this all the time. “Well, Rush, you keep talking about Reagan and all of that, but you know, the era of Reagan’s over. It was so long ago,” or whatever. You know, the question is: How did Reagan overcome the media? The media hated Reagan as much as they hate Bush. The media hated Reagan as much as they’ve hated Nixon. . . .
And yet you’ve heard that, “Yeah, well, but Reagan, he had this charisma. “He was able to speak directly to the American people. He was able to go over the heads of the media and speak to the people unfiltered.”
True. But that’s not why Reagan succeeded. It all comes down to the same thing: Substance and reality versus spin, PR, buzz, and myth. The end result? Look at what happened when Reagan was president. The economy grew like gangbusters.
I don’t care what the media was saying. The reality was that the economy was great. We were vanquishing communist foes with our foreign policy. The point here is, the way you overcome the media is with success on the ground. But you don’t vie for buzz success or a PR success and you don’t try to have success that’s defined by persuading as many people as possible you’re successful.
You define success by being successful, implementing policies that work and that really benefited people because they help themselves. The reason Reagan was able to overcome the media is because his policies revived a country which was in as bad a shape in the latter seventies as it is now, which is precisely what we need again. We don’t need PR tactics to try to convince the media we’re not mean or bad.
We don’t need tactics to get the media fooled. We just need somebody who is unabashedly and unafraid-ly conservative who will implement policies that will work and will bring actual positive results to people’s lives, and then it doesn’t matter what the media says. They’ll look like buffoons, like they did in the eighties. It’s just substance over symbolism, reality over buzz. That’s all it is.
I want to expand on — to something I was just making — a point I was just making . . . . Substance over spin. Substance over reality.
Now, I must say, I’m gonna acknowledge I realize how seductive spin is to people. I know how seductive buzz is. I know plenty of people who would be totally satisfied if the buzz was that they were really profoundly successful, when they weren’t. Because they would think people thought they were, and that’s all that would matter.
One of the Republicans’ big problems right now is that the Democrats define us. The Democrats tell us what they’re about, and the Democrats tell everybody what we’re about. Buzz. We don’t have any reality to counter it. We don’t have any substance to counter it. So what they say about us sticks.
Well, not us, but, I mean, the Republicans in Washington. What they say about ’em sticks. There is no substance. All there is is an ongoing battle to win the PR battle, the buzz battle, the spin battle, if you will. It seems like that’s all anything is anymore, that substance and reality never matter. And some people think they never have.
But I want to reiterate. Ronald Reagan was a hugely successful president, by anybody’s definition, so much so that the history revisionists began even before he had concluded his first term. But despite what they said, he was hugely successful. He was successful on economic matters, foreign policy. Despite what the media tried and did, the people could see it. People lived it themselves. And as quaint and as old-fashioned and maybe out of touch as it sounds, I believe that’s how you neutralize the media.