The Corner

Politics & Policy

The Problem with Trumpism—According to Rush Limbaugh

The inimitable Rush Limbaugh has not endorsed any candidate, but he’s voiced no lack of sympathy for Donald Trump this election cycle, applauding an “outsider” who is rocking the “establishment.” Here’s Limbaugh in January, defending Trump for backing out of Fox News’s debate in January, just before the Iowa caucus:

The political business, if you want to look at it that way, is like any other business. It has its people who are considered the elites in it — and like any business, they hate outsiders. They don’t want outsiders just storming in trying to take over, and much less succeeding at it. . . . But Trump is functioning totally outside this structure that has existed for decades. As such, the people who are only familiar with the structure and believe in it and cherish it and want to protect it, feel threatened in ways that you can’t even comprehend.

But here’s Rush in the early 1990s, reflecting on a different “outsider” campaign:

The experiences of all the candidates who labeled themselves as outsiders, primarily the experience of Ross Perot, illustrate just how tough the business of politics is, and how tough those who choose it must accordingly be. Politicians, especially candidates, are suspects. Their very desire to lead and hold office makes us suspicious of their true desires and intentions, so we look into every nook and cranny to find something that will disqualify them and show them for what we think they really are: power-seeking, insincere megalomaniacs who wish to insulate themselves from the rigors of everyday life as we must live it.

This, ultimately, is why the issue of character is so important. Liberals wig out when character becomes an issue, because many of their candidates are of dubious character. Yet, it matters greatly to voters. The Perot “candidacy” illustrates just how important character is in choosing leaders, and I find it almost laughably ironic that it was his principles (character) that the Perotistas cited most often as the reason they supported him. He made promise after promise, then broke them all. I shouted till I was without voice that his entire campaign was based on the profound deceit of manipulating people into thinking they had created his candidacy, when in fact it was he who had orchestrated the whole thing for months before anyone knew what was really happening.

Without question there is a rising clamor for change, not only in our political institutions and establishment, but in the policies and directions which emanate from them. The key to change, though, will be found inside – not outside – the system among politically experienced people who are ethical, honest, and moral — characteristics that do matter, despite how loudly they are pooh-poohed by the liberal elite.

Outsiders, and those who present themselves as such, will ultimately end up as carcasses strewn across the countryside, false prophets of a false premise.

That passage comes from Rush’s 1992 book The Way Things Ought to Be. A candidate who keeps his promises, who does not manipulate, who is “ethical, honest, and moral”? That is, indeed, the way things ought to be.

(h/t @TXHogPilot)


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