NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. – Reality television personality Rick Harrison of the History Channel’s “Pawn Stars” lamented that too many high school and college students in America believe “capitalism is bad” and that the federal government can afford to “pay for everything.”
“Kids come out of high school today, they think corporations are bad. They think capitalism is bad. The No. 1 thing in the world that has brought people out of poverty is capitalism,” Harrison said at the Conservative Political Action Conference outside D.C. on Friday.
“We have a generation of young people who think the government can just pay for everything and they have no understanding of how government works and … who we are, why we are and why this country has become such a great country,” he added. “You have kids in college who really think this is a bad country – trust me, I’ve been to India, this is a great country.”
Harrison, co-owner of the World Famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas, told the audience that he would not have been able to overcome his battle with childhood epilepsy and succeed in any other country.
“I had to drop out of high school because I was so sick and I became very, very wealthy because I tried really hard. I failed a lot of times, but eventually I got it. There’s no other country in the world, I believe, I could have done that in. So this is a great country,” he said. “When they are argue that this country is terrible, ask them: What country do you think is so great then? Because you’re never going to be able to find a country like this. I don’t know how else to put it.”
Harrison was asked to suggest ways in which the values of the Founding Fathers can be instilled in today’s elected officials.
“Kill the liberals with logic. I mean, really, it’s just craziness. I can’t understand liberals. Their arguments are ridiculous,” he replied. “Just have a better argument – that’s all you need – truth against fiction usually works.”
Harrison argued that Founding Fathers did not intend for members of Congress to serve in office as a career.
“The one congressman from New York or wherever, 52 years he was a congressman. I’m just like, that’s not what the Founding Fathers planned on. It was you’re supposed to go to D.C., take care of a little business and go home and maybe one or two terms as a congressman,” he said. “It was basically do your civic duty for a little bit. It wasn’t a career.”
Harrison was asked if there is a historical figure who reminds him of President Trump.
“None. Generally, leaders are politicians and he’s not; I really don’t define him as a politician. He’s a very wealthy man who was a businessman who he could do better than what we have and, believe it or not, I think he’s doing a great job,” he replied. “If you watch CNN or MSLSD [MSNBC] they don’t think so but, no, I really do think he’s doing a good job and I mean, just look at what he has to fight against to get what he has gotten done, done.”
Harrison likened the 2016 presidential election to the movie Network: “‘I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore.’ That’s what I think really happened with this country,” he said. “We’re just sick and tired of politicians being politicians.”
PJM asked Harrison if he agrees with calls from around the country to take down statues of Confederate Army figures.
“I think we shouldn’t be rewriting history. If you want to put something next to them, fine,” he replied. “Remember, George Orwell wrote in 1984, tear down the monuments and rewrite history.”
Harrison said the U.S. is not a perfect country but it’s “constantly evolving.”
“When you talk about slavery and all of these other things 200 years ago, that’s the way the entire world was; it wasn’t just us. And, unfortunately, when you were raised that way back then you thought it was acceptable, but we were a country and we had a moral compass and we changed it all. I’m not saying this is a perfect country,” Harrison said.
“We’ve had a lot of flaws in the past but we’re constantly evolving. We’re always trying to make it better and we do have the highest living standard in the world. This is an incredible country and people who sit around and tell you that it’s terrible; like I said earlier, talk to everyone else in the world who wants to come here,” he added.
Harrison concluded, “Every country has tried to duplicate us and they haven’t done it – and we really need to be vigilant, to not let us fall off that cliff and become Europe because that would just suck.”