Wednesday, March 04, 2009

With Talents on Loan from God

"We love people. [Applause] When we look out over the United States of America, when we are anywhere, when we see a group of people, such as this or anywhere, we see Americans. We see human beings. We don't see groups. We don't see victims. We don't see people we want to exploit. What we see -- what we see is potential. We do not look out across the country and see the average American, the person that makes this country work. We do not see that person with contempt. We don't think that person doesn't have what it takes. We believe that person can be the best he or she wants to be if certain things are just removed from their path like onerous taxes, regulations and too much government. [Applause]

We want every American to be the best he or she chooses to be. We recognize that we are all individuals. We love and revere our founding documents, the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. [Applause] We believe that the preamble to the Constitution contains an inarguable truth that we are all endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights, among them life. [Applause] Liberty, Freedom. [Applause] And the pursuit of happiness. [Applause] [...]

We don't want to tell anybody how to live. That's up to you. If you want to make the best of yourself, feel free. If you want to ruin your life, we'll try to stop it, but it's a waste. We look over the country as it is today, we see so much waste, human potential that's been destroyed by 50 years of a welfare state. By a failed war on poverty. [Applause]

We love the people of this country. And we want this to be the greatest country it can be, but we do understand, as people created and endowed by our creator, we're all individuals. We resist the effort to group us. We resist the effort to make us feel that we're all the same, that we're no different than anybody else. We're all different. There are no two things or people in this world who are created in a way that they end up with equal outcomes. That's up to them. They are created equal, given the chance - -[Applause]

[...] We want the country to succeed, and for the country to succeed, its people -- its individuals -- must succeed. Everyone among us must be pursuing his ambition or her desire, whatever, with excellence. Trying to be the best they can be. Not told, as they are told by the Democrat Party: You really can't do that, you don't have what it takes, besides you're a minority or you're a woman and there are too many people that want to discriminate against you. You can't get anywhere. You need to depend on us.

Well. Take a look [...] at all the constituency groups that for 50 years have been depending on the Democrat Party to improve their lives. And you tell me if you find any. They're still complaining, still griping about the same problems. Their problems don't get fixed by government. And those lives have been poisoned. Those lives have been cut short by false promises, from government representatives who said don't worry about it, we'll take care of you. Just vote for us. [Applause]"

~ excerpted from the keynote CPAC speech by Rush Limbaugh [emphasis added]
Growing up, I quickly learned to hate one person: Rush Limbaugh. My father used to work out of our house, and that meant that he would walk around with an annoying little hand-held radio, listening to Rush. I hated it. I would tell my father that this guy is pompous (his intro states the title of this post), he's loud, and his 3-hour show could be shortened to two if he'd talk a little faster. 15 years or so later, I still think all of those are true, and never listen to his radio show (if I listen to anyone, it's typically Michael Medved) - but he is also absolutely brilliant, speaking with a level of clarity most of us could only dream of.

The speech he gave recently to the Conservative Political Action Committee lays out beautifully just what conservatives believe, don't believe, and why - something which unfortunately has not been done in a long time. I had the radio on for a few minutes while I was driving yesterday, and Michael Medved noted that one of President Bush's greatest failings was his inability to communicate just what it was conservatism was and why people believe in it.

After a hilarious joke about his own arrogance at 2:45, at about 4:50 in this first part Limbaugh starts to lay out just what conservatism is. One of the most interesting things about this speech (and what adds to its impressiveness), mentioned at one point by Limbaugh himself, is that Limbaugh uses no teleprompters, and almost no notes (he seems to have a single piece of paper in front of him). He is simply stating his beliefs, and does so better than many politicians do with every word set out in front of them. I highly recommend watching this speech (whatever your political beliefs are or are not), and I'm posting the first two parts below. Enjoy!