We're gonna take it straight to [the American people] and we're gonna win or we're gonna lose articulating exactly who we are and exactly what we believe and exactly what our vision for America is....Going back to a CPAC speech Paul Ryan gave in 2008, Rush gets very excited about converting voters to conservative ideology. He uses that word, "ideology," over and over again. Go to that second link and read the whole thing. I'm making a big deal out of this because, listening to the podcast, I got worried about ideologues.
"There are those who say that modern society is too complicated for the average man or woman to deal with." And that is being said. That's the whole premise of liberalism. You're incompetent. You can't manage your own life. You're not smart enough. You're not able enough. You're not competent enough to make the right decisions in your life. "There are those who say modern society is too complicated for the average man or woman to deal with. This is a long-standing argument, but we heard it more frequently after the mortgage credit collapse and financial meltdown in 2008. They say we need more experts and technocrats making more of our economic decisions for us. And they argue for less 'political interference' with the enlightened bureaucrats … by which they mean less objection by the people to the overregulation of society.
"If we choose to have a federal government that tries to solve every problem, then as long as society keeps growing more complex, government must keep on growing right along with it. The rule of law by the people must be reduced and the arbitrary discretion of experts expanded..." So you buy into this complexity argument, you are automatically buying into "only government can fix it."...
"If the average American can’t handle complexity in his or her own life, and only government experts can … then government must direct the average American about how to live his or her life. Freedom becomes a diminishing good. But there’s a major flaw in this 'progressive' argument, and it’s this. It assumes there must be someone or some few who do have all the knowledge and information. We just have to find, train, and hire them to run the government’s agencies. Friedrich Hayek called this collectivism’s 'fatal conceit.' The idea that a few bureaucrats know what’s best for all of society, or possess more information about human wants and needs than millions of free individuals interacting in a free market is both false and arrogant. It has guided collectivists for two centuries down the road to serfdom -- and the road is littered with their wrecked utopias. The plan always fails!" It always has failed.
And yet there are a lot of Americans (we talk about this a lot): Government comes up with a program and it's a debacle. It's a mess. So what's the fix? Government! Another program. We continue to go back to the architects of failure to fix what they broke in the first place. And Ryan simply argues that we are all capable of living our lives in freedom much more productively, much more capably, than being told how to live by a bunch of people who can't even manage their own lives.
Where are these magicians who know how to live their own lives? Who are they? And how do they magically end up in government? Well, they don't exist, and they aren't in government, and this is the ultimate argument. Small-government conservatism means turning your life back over to you. This then raises the question that we all are asking ourselves: How many Americans want that responsibility anymore?
How many takers are there who'll just as soon punt all the responsibility and accept whatever little things they get and they're happy, versus how many people really want the opportunity to be the best they can be with as few obstacles in their way as possible? Thomas Jefferson, in his first inaugural address, was actually one of the first people to articulate this whole point that Ryan made at CPAC. "Sometimes it is said that man cannot be trusted with the government of himself.
"Can he, then, be trusted with the government of others? Or have we found angels in the form of kings to govern him? Let history answer this question." And again, even Jefferson said there has never been a time in history where a government-run, top-to-down country has prospered. The greatest example of human prosperity is the United States of America, and it was not made up of the way Barack Obama sees it or wants it to be seen or wants it to exist....
But I like the fact that there's somebody who's gonna be on the news every day that can talk like I do.... We've got somebody who can articulate what we believe. It's in his heart. He doesn't need crib notes. He doesn't need briefings. He doesn't need a consultant to tell him what to think or how to answer a question. He knows it. He's lived it. It's his soul.In a way that sounds good, but it's asking for a leap of faith, and it's asking for you to embrace a faith and accept all the consequences. And in that articulate presentation of the reasons for the faith, there's a key matter that you've got to believe: That people really can provide for themselves. If you just cut them free, they'll take responsibility. They're smart enough and competent enough to figure things out for themselves and take all the precautions they should. But I can't believe that! And we're too compassionate to allow old people to live in the streets or a child to be denied medical treatment and so forth. So there's no way anymore to tell people they're all on their own.
Come on, everybody, let's be ideologues! That seems quite dangerous and absurd to me.
Now, on some moderate level, I can see saying that as we structure our various programs, we ought to try to maximize personal freedom and responsibility, but I want sensible, realistic politicians thinking carefully about these things. Rush kept saying he was "jazzed" about Ryan. Jazzed at the opportunity to make it all starkly ideological.