The annual Conservative Political Action Conference had its share of controversies this year, as it usually does. In the context of a maturing Trump era, however, they merit renewed scrutiny. What does this conference and say about the movement it seeks to represent? The COMMENTARY podcast’s hosts break it down. Also, new information about how the Broward County Sheriff’s Office failed its constituents. Does that mean the gun control debate is off track?
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Welcome to the commentary magazine. Podcast today is Monday, the 26th of February two thousand and eighteen, I'm John Podhoretz. The editor of commentary, the seventy three year old, monthly of political analysis, intellectual property and cultural criticism from a conservative perspective.
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bean there you go okay and see writers or Mari who've. Core vanity, of course, is a is a one of the seven deadly sins, so yeah and- and you are above- and it's lance- I'm supposed to especially alert. Ok there's actually mean that I'm not as vain as Ok well, sadly, sadly, I of course have no vanity, however, so I we will jump right in because we don't need to deal with the fact that I am without vanity with are reactions to horrified and otherwise the conservative political action conference in at just outside Washington that ended this weekend. Four days of hilarious, hijinks and fun, loving, booing and all sorts of stuff,
So I think it's fair to say that CPAC is a gathering. You know twenty twenty five years old older.
That always had as part of its charm, the fact that it functions as a kind of is that of the republican Party. Conservative movement coalition of the right in the United States skewing a lot younger than most political gatherings of most political events and up full of people who are invited to serve as provocateurs rather than as explicated wrists of conservative doctrine and and political, representing the political strains in the conservative movement. So there is, that is just some of it and it right with that. But it's it's much less important than the you know than the highlighted news. So the highlighted news this week, of course, are the president's speech bench Apar friend Ben Shapiro speech and my old friend Mona Charen appearance on the panel.
These were sort of like the three. I guess highlight events so Noah. You want to walk us through a little of this yeah. Ok, so bit of a controversy erupted over the weekend, which I helped fuel When a reporter Washington examiner reporter revealed a dispatch from a panel. Gushan in which Rick Unger NEWS a democratic radio host good guy. If you don't know him, but he in a sort of a a is a democrat that that sort of spend more time with Republicans, which is a strange habit for a Democrat, but he was a pain currently, according to this dispatch, boot sustained loud boom followed when he described in a man naturalization service in ceremony ceremony rather which which immigrants became citizens that wasn't a hundred percent correct and I
watch the video and now Republicans were running the table about fake news, it turn that it wasn't a hundred percent correct. What happened was that Rick Unger said that he had spent seven years living in Mexico in the Mexicans he encountered were had. More conservative values and were more amenable to conservatism than they were worked progressivism, which generated the blues. Also, he said that he, the naturalization ceremony, and outside that ceremony was a table of credit party courting these newly minted american citizens, and he said that Republicans should be doing that too. That also generated a lot of booze it wasn't. Naturalization comment alone, but I can't for the life of me how much redemption in what they did boo, none of that's much better. It's not much better at all. It's sort of a straight of the point that Rick was trying to make, and also
we had the luxury as conservatives of saying. Well, these are just a bunch of CPAC crazies, maybe two years ago and earlier you don't have that luxury anymore. Not when the the president gives the speech he gave in which he went and savaged immigrants, particularly those who are the beneficiaries of the quote: unquote: diversity lottery as her this they are horrendous, not the program, prince themselves, they are horrendous, and this is on top of a rendition of this poem that he does on the trail. The snake which imply is that immigrants seeking a new life in America are sleeper cell agents intent on doing harm to to the people take them in, and it's nature. They can only do that, and so you should be aware of their nature. These devious immigrants right. Ok, so the
doesn't smoke before the naturalization ceremony kerfuffle or the whether or not you should welcome whether or not your party should be sitting there, welcoming people into American trying And the mob think about the irrationality of this for a second, so we are talking about people who have gone through the lengthy laborious process of becoming citizens of the United States, which takes as Sohrab can tell us better than most. What? How long does that take it took you what we had a lot of five continuous? years of living before you can apply for you can apply. So I took seven years just because I didn't get around to it until I had lived. Okay, but other words. It's not like you apply for citizenship and then you're a citizen. If your could you go to Israel? You say I swear allegiance is really become a citizen that day it's a five to ten year process. I've been to and you went
This process I've been to you, know two different naturalization ceremonies for people that I am close to. It is one of the most glorious events in american life, because you were seeing. People who are join in a great tradition, it's not just living here. You have to be aware of the civic process American Africa tasks pretty easy test, but it's a certain easy test for, educated people. It is not, that easier test for uh for under educated people who actually do have to learn the rudiments of american history to pass the test, and that about you know, working class people who don't who often come here as adults and don't have the grounding. So knowing that there are three branches of government knowing who Steve President is knowing you know what what it means. You know what the differences between a state in the country and that these are minor's sit. Theoretically, though, I'm not
you be interesting question to tell I have about one in a while that happens to people are given these rudimentary civics test that our immigration natural they services see how american citizens- and they don't really fair- all have felt like you know so, like give it give the naturalization test every twelve greater in the country, and you think you think there would be a higher than fifty percent resp proper once rate for people who were born here. Okay, so all I'm saying is the ceremony is a beautiful thing. Forget that to be it's a horrible thing, these are people, it's a long drawn out process, interviews, tests This that the other thing you ever clean record right yeah? So it's over you become a citizen, there's a people outside someone wanting to sign up people to make them. Democrats into bacon voting members of the Democratic Party
It is the position of enough people at the server Vanguard of the Vanguard of the right at the at CPAC that no, we don't want them to vote. They've come here now: they're, voters, you get them early, they can vote for your party forever, but we don't want them which makes no you know why 'cause they're brown right well, it makes entirely no sense, except if you recourse to the racism, because it hasn't it always hasn't there been this cynical fear that One reason to oppose immigration on tactical, rounds is that immigrants are just going to come here and and vote democratic anyway. Look rush. Above the social will you wanna not swell the ranks of the of the of the Democrats rush Limbaugh, the other. We proposed a a an immigration system in which you would allow people live. There was something rather, but they couldn't vote for twenty five years that what
that was that was easy made so that they're, not they don't just all common, become Democrats I mean you have to ask yourself is: why would they all come and become Democrats? There was a period in this country in the 1980s when the what was then the largest, for example, vietnamese people, I think Vietnamese and Cubans constituted the largest number of immigrants into the United States from the late from like one thousand nine hundred and seventy nine to nineteen. Eighty three, just in vast aggregate numbers because of these refugee moments right, the Meryl Boat Lift and the vietnamese boat people they all became. Republicans why? Ok, so fine they came from communist country, so they became Republicans. 'cause Republicans were Anti communist Democrats, were you also have Korean, Chinese, who I know, is my wife
families, chinese American, and they have a kind of instinctive conservative, small c conservatism where there's a hostility to what they see as an merited welfare. There's a hostility to affirmative action which the sea is in your eyes, but as long as it's not right, if, if, if the party were to reach out to them, rather than stating spectacles like that right. So the point I was trying to make here is that there were these pop This is, they came. They were republican, they were not democratic and they join the Republican Party and they became particularly in like South Florida. They became the most reliable republican voters in the country practically. So what happened between then and now? What happened between them and now is that immigrants in the United States, beginning in the early nineteen, were going to the United States beginning in the early 90s have reason to believe One party is unnaturally hostile to them as immigrants, and it's not just Mexicans Indians again. Similarly, Indians, entrepreneurial, small business
right I mean they come here. They open motels in Mississippi and places like that. That is a natural republican base right, small businessmen who don't like regulation. All this Indians are one thousand six hundred and seventy percent Democrat. Why? Because the Republican Party is hot, has the has the impression that they are hostile to anybody who is coming into the country. Who was not? You know, Anybody is coming in this okay, so it is not. It may well be the case that you know the largest immigrant group, which is Mexicans, will naturally sort of gravitate toward the Democratic Party for various reasons
Rodger that others will, and it's not also not true, that this these things are not set in stone, but they are get they've gotten set in stone. So- and this was one moment in which the setting and stone became is being utterly apparent. I mean it's like one of those defining moments like at in twenty twelve. At the democratic convention in Philadelphia, when the word that the idea that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel was booed, remember and there was a vote and the vote was against the notion that Israel should be the capital and the God was there literally right Weber was the chair. I can't remember who was? It was a vehicle Rosa right there
the mayor of LOS Angeles, simply over road right said the eyes: don't have the eyes, have it or something when it was clear that the notes had it right right. That was one of those moments that crystallize the end of the Democratic Party was growing institutionally hostile to the to Israel, and now we have all this polling. That shows that Democrats, you know, republicans- are almost uniformly supportive of Israel and Democrats are incredibly divided, leaning toward being opposed. Were it not supportive of Israel, and I think this is a moment of the blue wing of the net of whatever it is. The is whatever form of naturalization got booed still and hardens the sense that we have that it's not just Donald Trump who doesn't like immigrants, but that Donald Trump's Party or Donald Trump's base. Is animated by a dislike of even legal immigrants. To become citizens of the United States, so let me
I I I did not to believe me not to provide an apologia for that. But I have a theory as to why this is the side of the right, this ugly and anti immigrant anti immigrant. Frankly, we should say intime right is, is so out there and now can claim with some justice to be at the heart of the Republican Party, in a way that it wasn't just a few years ago, it was seen rightly as a kind of cranky, french and eight I've increasingly come to the view that that the in it, the broadly speaking in the public square in the media in the institutions and so forth, which are in paraclete unquestionably dominate batted left. There was a movement toward making all immigration restriction ISM illegitimate.
It was a movement, and so if we look beyond the racial animus, which unquestionably is there has been there since Americans were anxious about the Irish coming in boats and then the the tally and then later the Lithuanians and so forth. In the polls, Every new generation face the degree of populist backlash and degree of animus- that's always been there, but I think it's a legitimate and okay for Americans to had to had to have to to want to things out of an immigration system. One did that it'd be orderly especially in in Europe. We saw this when you had a you know: a million people come over some of them genuine refugees. Many of an economic mark, migrants, all of them very difficult to assimilate and and by the socially fleeing Europe's gates, open the the but dangling Markel it for
other european countries to to to do so as well, and it created chaos. I think the same process is at play. Were people say, look who are these people who are coming, whether it's because it's through family preference program, where the migrants themselves get to set immigration policy? I say this as a beneficiary of the program, so I'm not saying we should do away with all, yeah, the. But again it's it's legitimate to raise questions about it. So that's element one, the lack of order, whether that's true in it, people over stain or error or chain migration. What have you and the second one is, I think, it's okay for Americans to say that there isn't enough assimilation pressure, as there used to be so when those irish or those italian or whoever else came, there was a minimal welfare net and therefore the the new in my great had to learn the language had to hustle. It had to some of the very quickly and that's missing today, and so we can. We can separate those, and then we can ask look this desire for ordered continuity and ordered immigration, which is,
at the heart of this new right. Can it be channeled in a more responsible way so that the liberal tradition can absorb it? And that's? I think they let the the c pack doesn't provide the answer, but the your Lee the test, his and the sort of naughty right reaction from not just liberals, but also some some conservatives is not I think that's extremely charitable- and I am it's inclined to stop Mitis king of What is overt anti into actual reflexive opposition to anything Democrats proposed I don't think there is any intellectual heft here. What you identify is an intellectual. Drain on the immigration skeptical right that, I don't believe, is represented in this crowd and in essentially in the president of the United States, which is what, invalidates now. This claim on part of many many people on the right who have a an actual argument to make on immigration that the press,
now who embodies this sort of legitimizes conduct that was stigmatized by rational and responsible people. In the the commentary sphere, and and it reflects sort of a frustration with anything that Democrats say so, if Democrats, now our are opposed to what we would traditionally defy his racial animus. They will exhibit racial animus, because it makes people mad it's improbably, for its own sake and when we get to part two of this conversation about what happened at CPAC, it exposes the stand to which this isn't an intellectual movement and it's not a bad intellectualism anymore. It's about, action that inspires on the part of people. They don't like. Okay, So, a couple of years ago, as Trump was rising, I wrote something for commentary in which I said that Trump was the apotheosis of a trend and intellectual trend that he didn't know of, couldn't understand and that his people were ignorant of as well, which is postmodernism, that is to say, post
There is some sort of takes reality and says that there is no reality, though it's all perception and that perception How you perceive reality is reality and is no objective truth, and there is no it so so Trump is the final version of the. There is no objective truth because he says you know immigrants are view of murdering and killing people every you know we immigrants are destroying this country and they're good, murdering people every day, and there was a but gigantic illegal immigration surgeon to this country that let eleven or twelve million illegals in after one thousand nine hundred and ninety three and in the same twenty five year period, violent crime in the United States decreased by seventy percent. When you think about it, there really is not much difference at all between what he said at CPAC. These people are horrendous. The people who are get these lottery we picked people out. He said we picked
people out, and then they send us these bad people that we don't like, who horrendous, there's no difference between what he said at CPAC as President and what he said during very beginning days of this campaign that propelled him to stardom, which is Mexico, is sending us rapists and drug dealers right. So now it's not just Mexico. Now it's every now, it's everybody anybody, the shithole countries are doing it. According to him, the reason I bring this up is to say that there are things that are governing what is going on on the right and with truck that they are John Maynard Keynes. Once said that you know everyone knew who thinks that they are making we economic choices. Is they're. Actually the slaves of defunct economist Similarly, people, are responding and reacting to things that they don't understand because of because of things that have happened: uh in western civilization western culture over the last forty years that they are simply being puppeted
which they are the unconscious puppets. So if I say to you that what is going on at CPAC is the fulfillment of you know, Michel Foucault those ideas. That's crazy. Michelle goes far leftist. You know post modernist or or Rouge Terry Darla kind. He here so. What I mean by this is that they are they animated by the idea that there this is their passions and their rendering of reality is simply is valid as anybody else's and their truth is the truth. Truth and all everything is as they wish it to be, and, in particular, there's continuity between them and trump in the idea that what you perceived as truth is not truth, because what it really was was a manipulation of things in order to exert a certain type of power from one group to
other, and I'm here to say that they don't have the power anymore. We now have my troops. Invaded levels are at the right. We will we will it. I will be
introduced pad a noob sort of power structure based on these, that alternative truths exactly so so they get less flowery. We could put it this way on immigration, as on a lot of things that got animating. Feeling here is that America is no longer the country that the people who support trump wish it would be, it has become, not their cut, not our country, but their country and Trump's promises that he is going to rest the country back from those other people and make it our country again. So it's a country where there was drivers, it's a country where there was this, that there was that in the bed that- and it was a country that was, of course, as was true, I think in the election of nineteen ninety two or nineteen eighty. It was a country that was eighty seven percent white
that is now seventy four percent white. So you know that's the that's the the ointment that a lot of us you know loathed the idea that we were part of You've been to that was reflecting a sense of white european resentment, but it is true- and I will also then say that is true, because at you know, when you tribal lies, and you start the at universities ever wells, dividing everybody up into constituent groups of is black studies, hispanic studies, this study's Africans, the asian studies, indian style, but the the the if you, if you make it so that ethnicity- and you know and an origin are the foundational truths of everybody's existence. Then, at some point, white people are going to start develop
a white identity and the problem for. Everybody else is that there are more whites than there are other people, so the the notion that it was going to helpful in the long run two, racialized and ask everything in this way, has backfired for the people who have done that okay again. I hate to do this to everybody, but I do think that we are applying a lot more intellectual half to what is essentially a just a reflex, a tick I don't, but it's and it is, it has historical it's well. It is then, then, when it within the context of C pack is the the id of the American right, then we have to get to what happened. I'm on a chair yeah, which I do, which I think exemplifies the to which this is not an intellectual process. That's going on and we are allied process at all I think some would be by because we had this debate over immigration for three years. Look at one understood
you can have it once I tell account of an emotional movement very much so in fact it's the only way or his state intellectual, historical. Anyway, so Mona Charen, who's, a been a contributor commentaries, an old friend of mine and has been part of the you know Anti Trump movement on the right since it started. I was on a panel right and She, in the middle of this panel decided well. She was asked about feminist hypocrisy on the left, which she's very vocal about in the past, the extent to which the left has to has bent over or some excuses for people on their side who are apparently being defenestrated left and right by the me too moment, but were protect for many, many years, the face of which being Bill Clinton and she could not countenance talking about List Parker see before an audience of CPAC members. Without talking about CPAC Pack,
public hypocrisy and boy did she launched into it? She talked about the extent to which is a movement that embraced the credibly, accused child, Esther in the form of Alabama candidate Roy Moore. She talked about how the president himself has been accused of various indiscretions, infidelities and even abusive behaviors towards women and we talked about, I'm forgetting what the other thing that she talked about was. She talked about Lapen right. The fact that CPAC had invited a number of a far right national. This movement that was described by the conservative Union representative, MASH lap of being a classical Liberals. She is a lot closer to something that would resemble what we and to fascism in Europe. Then
bicycle liberal what Mona said about her was she wasn't chosen to speak before the conference because she represented classical liberalism right. She was chosen because her last name is look pen and that this is a trend. That is that this is not what she really reflected on, but that c pack has for years now sought to expand the horizons of C pack by booking the most outre controversial speakers. Provoca tour is, which is my point in which I think is sharing points was going to keynote last year. I think it was yeah it was last year feels like hell until Miley it was discovered that million opolis was a defender Anna supporter, Filia, in which case at which point suddenly they discovered that he was not acceptable and this so all of this is supportive of my thesis, which is that this is this process. The conservative right is going through, is
not an intellectual one, it is purely reactive. It is reactionary. It axe to whatever the provocation of the moment is the greatest reaction response I can generate from the left, Roy Moore was defended by conservatives. After Donald Trump endorsed him. It's not as though they were ready to jump on board with Roy Moore. It was a big debate over the extent to The republican Party should get behind Roy Moore before the child Mental Bless station. Accusations came out just by virtue of his record, and then it was Donald Trump who supported him in the whole architecture of the party came, went in and got behind him. All this is has been a justified. The extent to which people are supportive of Donald Trump, but all these accusations against in the access Hollywood thing and what have you and the love Penn thing? really cements, the extent to which this is not an intellectual process on the part of these people who are embracing the people at Marine LE pen. In my looking up les and whoever else will come down the pike later on. That just makes liberals matter. That's the goal, that's,
that's the reward, making liberals mad there's not an intellectual process behind it again, I think there's more to it, reprehensible, as everything you outlined is. I think the question for the right is that this desire, which I frame, is desire for order Nobody is a sense that things are moving and changing too fast that voters feel they may not be able to intellectually articulated, but they sense that from the left, you have a sort of the regulatory pressure on things like family life and family order on the right. You have to do regulatory pressure for for freer markets which often are produce economic growth, but which leave people feeling disoriented. That desire is not going away, and so the question for the right did and there's no going back to a row,
I think that's just the sort of Reagan program or that Sir George, W Bush NEO conservative era, though I did look, it's gonna look like something else and a has to take into account the energies that have been unleashed. Unless we want more look it already it it it already that change has already been affected. I mean that's, we can sit here and argue over what the what the future will hold the present republican Party and I'm not gonna, say conservative movement, because the can a at less retirement grass roots, because I this is not an intellectual matter but the the cold
Mission of the right in the United States is Trump's coalition. That was got eighty to ninety percent support they like him. They like what he's doing they're, not complain that much about him remember at this is a change, because the republican Party that made him its nominee only forty five percent of the voters in the Republican Party in the primaries good for trump. Sixty percent didn't seventy percent in eighty percent. In but whatever has happened is because of this dialectic between left and right. You know the fact that you only have you can either be a republican or a Democrat. You can either support trump or not support trump, something like that. So they made their peace amber they've decided they like and where they support him. That is where we are now. So. The question is: what happens if he fails or what happens if he succeeds, which is to say, can succeed by having a successful presidency in the sense that the economy grows and we don't get into wars and stuff.
That would say that happened. So what happened to everybody who hates these expressions of feeling and immigration or you know where or opposes, is method of dividing the country as harshly as he does and and then splitting us into the tribal camps or whatever? Is there any room for word? Because it's not as though we? and my grades is into the left because they're they share almost. They are mirror images of him and their love of this kind of division or what happens when he fails? If he fails, the presidency is not a success and he is voted out in twenty twenty or so with that, what happens to the Republican Party does the probably part of the concert will decide that he failed and it needs to revert, back to its roots, or rather like Jimmy Carter, failed.
Twelve year. The Democrats were in the wilderness for twelve years in some ways after Jimmy Carville, because they would not reckon with the mistakes that they had made in the the the the trend in which they have gone. Well. I think, because it is it emotional from On the in the way that no describes there's no reckoning, there's no deciding in the in the wake of a failure that I I I I I look at this through the rope through the through the wrong lens. I think there's an emotional response to the failure, as there was an emotional response to the rise, and I think it will be something like, Frustration increased frustration that there that there may needs weren't met and they will continue to be either. Sort of more trumpian more bumpier than Val kind of movement or a sort of like innovation, you know we we we I'm I'm done with this, I buy,
I gave it my all ice cry scream my my my my head off and and now there's it's it's not to be, but the, but the non trappers who have sort of come around to to supporting trump, I think, would would still be very happy to go back to a or a Bush years. I don't think that's really hard and envision. It seems the strikes me that the fact that we so much cohesion on the right is is a function of just tribalism. You're. The president is the head of the party and you're sinking costs into that, and therefore is success is something that you are invested in and you'll make excuses for him, but he is surrounded himself for the most part. With reason, responsible adults who are part of the conservative firmament came up in that in there in the Reagan era who are of the governing class, Republican Party and they have governed as conservative. Publicans would traditionally governed that has made people like us happy for the most part where you had problems with Donald Trump is when
becomes Donald Trump is when he does snake on the trail when he makes excuses that at Charlottesville for White Nationalists, when he calls them shithole countries. That's when you see Republicans condemn the president elected Repub. Ins in no small measure, either the to which this is about a personal, posture on the part of the and that personal posture makes the people in the base comfortable and happy because it again is a provocation and they appreciate the provocation and it really straits. The professional governing class of the Republican Party suggests to me that a Snapback is
easy to envision. Well, I don't think anything ever snaps back is the truth on the question is what will be what will be taken away and what will be discarded, because you can't you can't simply referred to you know: there's no we're version to the Party of FDR or the Party of JFK. In fact, the Democrats would never want to revert to the Party of JFK who was an interventionist tax cutter, despite the fact that they all claim to love him. So much that's what he was was an interventionist Accc other who started a war in Vietnam and invented supply side tax cutting. So you can evoke Reagan, but you know Reagan was a response to very specific circumstances in which the the top tax rate, the United States, was seventy percent right. That's the joke of how I want to be a Reagan wrote when the top tax rate is thirty. Nine percent about seventy percent. The notion that the argument that maybe we should lower
tax rate from seventy percent down is a lot easier to make than the argument that we really, the only way to save the country is to lower the tax rate from thirty nine to thirty five percent like it that that that doesn't quite have the OOMF in the middle of a gigantic recession. An inflationary spiral you know so so the other was a crisis the country was in crisis and their their came, just like with Obama, like Obama, did, with the did very large, broad scale things because he came was elected, the middle of a crisis, and there was very little argument against him because the other side seem to have been invalid. By the results that they had generated, so we don't know, what's going to happen, it's not going to be a snap back. That will be some new. You know, fusion of something or the question is, is will be a fusion of the bad stuff or the good stuff for other, which will be. It will be a tweeting. You know a tweeting present
and who you know hates immigrants, or will it be a you know? You know someone who appoints gorsuch and does a lot of deregulation, which is obviously what we would like right and is good on Israel. I guess, is that whatever it is that we would like, isn't it's not going to make us all that not necessarily going to fight for the right thing about all this is that the base at CPAC will applaud no matter what they will apply to the whoever that comes up and does whatever they did. This guy going to do this, guy or girl is going to do because they applaud Donald Trump whatever he does, they don't care. If Donald Trump embraces Daca and says, Republicans should make this, and they don't care. If he says we need gun restrictions, we need to raise the age, we need stronger background checks, etc. They don't care about the policy particulars they care about, making people mad. Because in some sense he he vented a certain rage that was bubbling and needed to be was not
You want to look at what everyone say: whether it was irrational. Not it was not finding resonance in the public square as in so far as the institutional public square of the media, of the act of of academe yeah. But I don't yeah. I agree with that, but that again You know he he didn't hello, Sir Sir one more than one was okay and that's that he has the Fang to political correctness. I think he's the Fang political correctness and will continue to do so. Where there's a sense where people can be like, I can breathe, I mean the left is, I I think no was written really perceptibly that that it, the the left, is becoming EE politically correct and in ST, but I would venture that that
elect horribly, if that's, not gonna, we'll we'll we'll we'll see right right and that's gonna be identified them. That's speculative in my eye. My fear is that this behavior ratifies political correctness as a check on what would otherwise be what if we think is appropriate dialogue and and yet not at all, a responsible leader we expanded out the definition of what is politically incorrect will be expanded. I mean I can approach, would look at these things and you look at sort of the more extreme things that the left says about the right. Then people go my God Trump's going to be. You know we elected forever because look at the direction of they're going and they're just you know, playing right into his hands. Well, you
Well, maybe that's true. We do know that the first two polls that were taken after park land show a meltdown in his support is gone down. Cnn and USA today have both shown there at. He is at its lowest point in both polls ever to week after park land. So we don't know that this whole thing where you know they go extreme and they tend to the kids and all that is actually going to help him. We think it's going to help him, because we think that people hate, liberal pc, arch lead All of that, but you know they may hate him more, that's stuff It's not like that's one of the things is: if he's going, be a polarizing figure polarization can only help him if his poll is stronger than their poll and up- and I don't mean poland- I mean you know if, if he has his literal, you know was
and so we don't know that. That's true, in fact, all the political evidence that we have of the last year shows that it's not true. They're probably stronger, crosstabs either. But I mean we what we know about it's. His support. Is that he's at the bottom of the barrel, with leftists and Democrats, and maybe two slash three of independence, don't like I'm in the other? Third, make some and the variation is on the right right, how all right like him and how many people don't and if he comes out against for gun control, may be losing some repulsive that the data on intensity of of political positions among Democrats now is that, like an all time high, which is close to that your point- I mean they, they hate him, so, my
the the the they're they're showing numbers that you don't normally see for dark? I don't remember so he had a good January, and you know the the generic poll tightened. So that it was somewhere where we know why around five or six percent, instead of in the double digits and his polling surge creeping up close to forty or a little over forty and all of that, and then something happened and the real world intruded, and he it's not helping him. So that's all I'm saying like an aggregate, you know he is sort. You sort may think. You may think that at you know. His representation of the American is is helpful to him, but you know there's a lot of middle and upper middle class people who still want to observe some form of social, my city, that he has completely banished from the public square, but you know who hasn't banished ability from the public Square Abe. The tech will fund our friends at the
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forces, dog, tick for fun, dot, Org, Slash commentary, coupon code commentary to learn more and enroll forty years old. It's just not fair. It's not fair and his kids are nice and it's there. They're so well behaved and weeds, and it's just she wants it's hi anyway, so to- move on from CPAC to the gun issue. So the narrative that has emerged right is that the under the new kids, the survive, the kids who survived the parkland shooting spree bunch of them have become national spokesman for change in Florida nationally against guns and for gun restrictions, and all that right mean file as that is going on and as as as these kids have become sort public figures. Figures
We are. We learn like almost hourly of this unbelievable failure, institutional failure of the schools of the local police, and the FBI in dealing with a potential threat, that every seemingly everybody around the shooter, whose name I'm not going to use new was emerging right. So there were anywhere between twenty three and forty two visits by the sheriff's office to the shooters home over the past eight years. There were three calls by we- have now heard and seen and read the transcript of one of the calls- say he is going to go shoot up our school. He is he kills animals. He is a bomb waiting to explode.
I'm really scared. Some was on the phone for the with ten minutes. Nothing happened. The guardian, his guardian after his mother, died in November. His guardian called the cops to her home because he was threatening to go, get his gun and put it at the head of her son, you know over and over and over again an then the sheriff of Broward County elected Sheriff, Barcoding Scott Israel went on Jake Tapper, show on CNN yesterday and Jaw Dropping Lee describe I'm self as being an amazing leader who is not responsible for the fact that the deputy arm deputy did not engage with the shooter at the school because he gave him a gun he gave in the training. He's not responsible, meanwhile turns out that and a lot of, but
neighboring police department showed up with four guys. There were three other guys from the Broward Sheriff's office. The four guys wanted to go in the three guys prevented them and this then raises quite so that the head of so not only we have accountability. Not only is no one in the FBI, click accountability, but the head of the police, department, the sheriff's office is saying, he's, an amazing leader, because apparently wasn't scary enough. As a leader or or powerful enough as a leader to make it clear to the people who work for him, that you know they had reason to fear his anger and wrath if they stood on the sidelines, while somebody was shooting up a school uh, so these are the two narratives and the question, and there, the weird part- and then I want to ask able to reflect on this- is that there is a hesitancy on the
of some of the survivors and on the media of really good. Apple with the institute. The question of whether or not this institutional failure is the deepest possible problem, which is a terrifying thing right. We literally now cannot. America cannot now depend on its public safety officers and it's FBI B. I absolutely had to like believe that their job is to make sure that kids aren't massacred in the school because It seems to weirdly. It seems to interfere with the narrative that the problem is the ability of somebody to buy a gun. Not not only that, but if what you want is stricter gun laws and their enforcement, calling out all the failures of the state and of lawn
Horsemen only highlights the problem with making and enforcing stricter laws. Your only as good as as as the system is willing to enforce what what what you propose. And this goes straight back to actually the first thing I said on the last show in the in the in the wake of of the shooting, which is something that you brought up for John, which is this endemic crisis of confidence and authority. This is a very real thing, and by the way it isn't. It is a large argument for his in general is sort of your not What why you why you have a hard time, relying on institutions structures and state to do things that that an individual motivated by by his own survival or or needs would would would would do well. I I also
that there is this larger question of what we'll find out about the next couple of days of, whether or not this whole system of school safety right. So you have these place, they place guards. They have this. They have that and that it's all a sham. It's all security theater, because in the end, what you have is a guy sitting there who does not feel as though it is his responsibility to keep these kids safe, and it's very possible, despite the amazing leadership of Sheriff Scott Israel and how he trend the training, the training the opposite of what we think it is. That is a lot of I mean must be, you know, don't engage, don't engage like this is a school. You will, you know yeah, you don't want to make them feel like they're, an armed camp. Don't engage, don't be around they'll, be there still be that'll, be the other thing, and so, when something happens, far from being trained as a hair trigger to get you know to to
to go in and do something the every piece of the guys training says the opposite, especially what I'm guessing is really the case. That's probably true, and especially Becaus even though there's there's been a disgusting rise in mass shootings the overwhelming majority of guards at schools across this country. Can be on that job for literally decades, and never ever ever have to encounter something like this right, so so wet when it happens. You know what you know, yeah you're, training that that you have is the training for sort of you know peacetime, training, it's for it's for for the everyday it's for kids coming in and out of school I mean I'm, I I'm also to it. But again we goes back to this whole thing where, if from twenty ten to twenty eighteen
in there were literally dozens and dozens and dozens of events at which there was a market sign that the shooter was a bomb about to go off and nobody did anything except his mother, I mean. Maybe the whole point is that his mother was was was the person who is keeping the safety on you know I had the gun was the gun lock and then she died, and we heard this call where he said, I'm having a lot of trouble, because my mother, somehow he called the FBI and there's this recording him saying I'm having a lot of trouble since my mother died. So maybe there was his mother was the was the safety, but you know it is J.
Best sounding like this, isn't what you know. It's not like always a good kid. He kept himself. Nobody really knew everybody who everybody knew and, as I say I think what's troubling about this. Is it's okay both to advocate for the notion that you need to restrict gun ownership? If you believe that to be the case, and to say we have to do something with the institutional cysts systemic failures here, but for people to then suddenly say things like what you can expect an armed police officer to do anything when there's a gunman in a school. Is that an attitude that we want to promote that are that police?
answers. Sure now there is, there is a supreme. There is actually Supreme Court case that says that people do not have the obligation, like you can't fire a cop. If he doesn't, you know, run into the line of fire. People don't have an obligation to give up their lives if they are police officers. I think there is an obligation. There is a politician. Give your life, but, like the army, can discipline you if you freeze- and I think even you can, the discipline he's but was put on suspension or whatever, but yeah. There is the Supreme Court doctrine that says you you can't you can't. You can't make it that person's job to interpose himself between a bullet and a civilian. However, I don't think that's I think we want people to know. I think it's how I mean is that something we want so publicly? detailed so that everybody in the country, so that shooters and cops of the shooter could say
get out of the way you know you're not going to get fired. If I say you can always turn around yeah exactly, I think it also highlights. I mean the the insufficiency of all alone as norm, giver that you also need, in a rule of law society to develop the virtues among them manliness or bravery, whatever you want to call it, and clearly we saw that in the coach assistant football coach who didn't didn't even have weapons, but he guarded children and and paid for it with his life. But too often we have a society, that's because it's purely based on consent and norms that come from either legislation or court cases are leisure. What have you it neglects developing the virtues right? Well, I mean the way I was putting it last week was.
It's true. I don't know what it's like to be a police officer and there's there's gunfire and I'm all that, but I would hope if that was what I took as my profession, that I would fulfill that I would reach. I would I would strive for the excellence that would be being that person who did what the coach did with uh, but it should be done right. Yes, that's what I would hope for myself. I wouldn't expect that I would, if that were my job, that I would lay back and do it badly. Not only that does that generous reading of the police officers abilities, does it? Does it wash in the cases where a frightened cop it's too soon because he's scared, because we don't know what it's like to be there and and he kills someone unnecessarily- is everyone so quick to say? Oh well, you know he was scared, no right! Well, it does.
It does. However, in the in jurisprudence in courtrooms in the way these things are dealt with by the by the legal system, it it does, but it's not a public matter, as I say, I think it's disingenuous, because the idea is that people think this is a distraction from the real issue, which is the answer. More fixation of the gun. The evil here is the gun. It's not even the shooter. It's not it's not that if a institutions that failed it is this object, and if you can do something about the sale and distribution of this object, this evil object. You can somehow purify, and you know how glad the hearts of everybody in changing my in life and I think it's a very dangerous at and that's the sole of liberalism is that if you actually I'm not entirely sure that we want to encourage the debate that talking about so rad the the notion that we don't inculcate in people the virtues of mass Ellen every S manliness, which is another,
if you left the left or to engage in that debate- and I would be very happy to engage in that debate, then we will be having a much different debate about american culture about the extent to which the constitution and green greens and us these idea that these rights are inherently virtuous, and they have no downside to them and we should be not, and we don't talk about the extent to which we need to temper or reliance on the first, the second, the fourth amendments, and, if you ever sit down with a committed seven talk about masculinity and the extent to which american society manliness and the extent to which american society it makes a again virtue of that with Any qualifications are caveats, at the same price as a when there's it when there's a snow storm when there's a,
a storm in Houston. Those same progressives would be delighted and thankful to have the Ex Marine who will put them on their shoulder and walk through the water, because manliness easy. I mean it's been recognized for civilizations, on it as in part two to be cooked not that. I don't think there was a fascinating example of this debate. Last week when Michael Ian Black, the comedian had OP ed in the New York Times in which he said there is a manliness problem, there's a problem with boys and they're being raised with toxic masculinity. That means that they love weapons and we have to do something about that. And what's interesting is this is kind of the potential basis, read more serious conversation, because I think we agree that there is a crisis of masking
he is, locating it in the wrong thing: the problem with with the shooter, what might be that he watched his father, have a heart attack and die, and there was never another male in the household to provide a model for him to be a more respectable type of person. And one of the things that we know about a lot of these shooters vast majority the more fatherless or, if don't live. Now that is not you can't say it fatherless people are then go fatherless manner than going to go, shoot up. Schools, that's the wrong now and there's there's two sides to this debate: there's a statistical side which suggests that if we were to indulge hero fantasies that The reality is that you're much more likely to hurt yourself or others. Then you were to stop a crime in progress vast majority of gun violence has nothing to do with the exchanges of gunfire but
bad guys and good guys secondarily, or is it there is already at the war on masculinity in this country? Everybody is aware of it. We don't really talk about it that much if you can lead to a toy store, try to find the boys section you can't find it there's a lot of feminization of the process by which we met we, we mature young man right as a father of a young boy's. Anybody has. Has young boys will tell you we we don't we discourage the behaviors that young men gravitate towards right now. The question is yes, so good thing right or a bad thing, No, I don't think that's a good thing. So Michael Michael posits that there is talk. Toxic masculinity is the problem if, actually believe in the use of proper grammar an there or the notion is that there is a masculinity that is not toxic. I agree with him. I think there is a toxic masculinity involved, the notion that you were a man if you have a gun and that you were somehow fulfilling a manly bureau precept if you shoot up a school with your gun,
with your control. However, there is a form of masculinity that is not toxic. That is positive, that is, that is necessary. Is that coach and its apotheosis is the coach or the marine whose care or the marine, who as or anyone who comes and defend their country. You know that is real made our man who go and not that women can't do that anyway. My point is that this is the basis for a conversation, the conversation is something went wrong with this or something goes wrong with these mass shooters. If we can figure out what it- but you know it there are one hundred and forty five of them in eight year. That's tearable right. There are three hundred and thirty million people in this country so You know it's going to be very hard: it's a needle in haystack problem to solve it. The problem here isn't specific case every
simple signal was given that this was going to happen and the authorities in a position to do something about it did not. So with that we will bring this to a close for a Greenwald Norwalk Minotaur. John Podhoretz. Keep the candle burning.
Transcript generated on 2019-11-15.