« Commentary Magazine Podcast

The Torment of Lockdowns

2020-12-07 | 🔗
Andrew Ferguson joins the podcast today to discuss lockdown culture and what it's doing to small businesses, what's behind the idea that the election was "stolen" from Donald Trump, and why the story about American diplomats being attacked by foreign intelligence agencies using microwaves isn't a bigger deal. Give a listen.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Welcome to the club Terry Magazine Daily Podcast today is Monday December. Seventh, twenty twenty, I'm John Paul towards the editor of Commentary magazine with me, as always: executive editor, a green waldheim agenda, senior radically rose and high Christine, did editor nor Rossman high. Now I John and joining us today, our old friend, I think, maybe the first guest on the pod cast, if not the second. In the time that we ve had guests
Walmart commentary columnist and all around Bobby Vomit man about town Andrew Ferguson And how are you, John, I'm great them grid I'd prefer the term boulevardier are. You are de thank you. Boulevardier Andy tell us what you tell us about Europe, general mood, seven or eight months into cobia into the land of cobia? Well, turn. It changes by the hour, which I guess it's probably evidence of some kind of mental disorder. has a lot to do with the weather. If this sends out, I feel much better, if We have little snow flurries. The way we did this morning when I got up that's kind of I spent then, if it's a grace I've been I'm Second, the slower respond again, oh dear what you
Then now you live just outside the sea, so I'm so Christine. But you didn't see the snuff worries. Did you Christine refuge, futile flurries? You guys are only like your two miles from each other as the crow flies they have. The true right so are we have now before, but I will say this- I went out for them on Saturday night in Manhattan, outside on Colombia, circle at a very fancy, restaurant, and yet or heat lamps and their works or of wind baffles and was forty degrees I had on a winter jacket. I had on a sweater I had on corduroy pants and it was fine for about forty five minutes and then the cold began to penetrate. the ankles and serve like around the bottoms of my legs and by about
Little after an hour, I was like we gotta go, like I can't sit here, any more than the cold had somehow penetrated my entire by an I couldn't, like think, and all this and so I mean I find this a very despairing fact for this whole. Now fine, well I've outdoor dining, you know, do you have to go into restaurants will have outdoor dining even through the winter I mean it wasn't twenty degrees. It was forty degrees granted. Forty raises pretty called, but you know if there's like the weeks like that that that's it from that that, like there's, no one's gonna, sit outside, etc. This is just your way of saying you wanna get socks for Christmas. Yeah. Well, if you want Give me a Christmas present. I will accept every Christmas present from from you. Of course, I dont Christmas is not mine.
My holiday and I was what was watching with my kids, the the fantastic smell, skip the night Hanukkah Harry saved Christmas. Which you may remember that parity of hallmark children shows where Santa has the stomach flew and like a hairy delivers. The Christmas presents any brings Christmas presents to these took hence having terrible in the box and goes it. Socks Hi Gary says eight pair. Can you believe it? So? Yes, if you want to send me socks, let them know that would be great but a job, but the restaurants. So in New York at least said, there's a lot of this sort of temporary construction going up on the streets outside restaurants. They put up these ten kind of structures, fear now those dead not exactly outdoors to me. That's like their building more indoor space right, so
where I was was outdoors like there were umbrellas, so was like the it was open air, and then there were these plastic sheets right, but it wasn't like now a sucker to use another, a jewish, how they were in our soldiers. Are these kind of temper, literally temporary structures put up according to certain very specific dictates that are supposed to be temperate you're supposed to eat them sort of like in the autumn. But those are like a new sort of wonder like how secure, if carried out, was to eat up cramped in
indoor spaces exactly. Why are these so ok, but they are open on one side at least I guess that's what I wonder every time I see these utter or they considered. Is this considered outdoor dining origin considered indoor dining end, and you make more of it as restaurant owner, because you can fill your all of what you have already. You can fill up to capacity right now by the way to things this weekend. So we should we should. We should talk about first there is this video that went viral of this wretched restaurateurs in Sherman Oaks in. in the valley, in LOS Angeles. Ah, ah, her name's Angelo, Mars them and she It's the some amazing video. She has a place called Pineapple Hill or something like that and she built an outdoor struck
sure am the mayor, our city of LOS Angeles, announced that all outdoor dining was to be cancelled and she's walking through. If you haven't seen it she's walking down and she said look. This is what I built. This is my thing, but over here is a is something that the city has authorized, and it's a movie sets catering, so it literally across him, alleyway from her outdoor space, restaurant and the cities. Forcing harder close but as allowing whatever film is being filmed to her its outdoor catering next to her now forcibly, shuddered establishment because- these are deemed an essential operation and she's crying and all of this, and it is horrifying
I so that its long radium yeah. She says one thing: she says it makes the video clip so powerful. She points to the to the movies catering and says that safe the mayors and that is safe and that your points to her much more actually aesthetically, appealing set up same exact You don't distancing our these as, but this is unsafe, that safety system safely. Basically Ex make it makes them since it is operating, says our dream and ruined I'm ruined and now this is my life and they are destroying my life and its also maddening, because the truth is since this started media and entertainment those industries. Have not been ruined? They have persevered they. They broadcasting they mount productions when media figures complained about people protesting shutdowns their doing so from
their places of work. And can I also point out when's the last time you saw a small business owner interviewed on one of the major new shows A small businesses I mean you see it on Fox NEWS, Tucker hacked Tucker Karlsson has people on all the time we were small business owners. I get is that I'm here, I'm not a huge cable news watcher, but I dont regularly see then their perspective brought into this national conversation and should be exciting. Part of is that you get a lot of. You know: elite media comedy there's telling people what they should think about small business owners, but you don't hear it from them directly in this. This video trap with widely because it was directly from a business owners that work will. I ever I have a facebook. Brennan Gregg, Hunt and hunt is arrest or occur return in Manhattan, and when I put up This Angela Marsden Video is research. was he said you know I have a pool hall. Is
a place called Amsterdam, Billiards a ton. Seventy six and I'm sorry I've a pool how the pause forcibly closed by the governor, so a no one common play, pool at Amsterdam Billiards, but you can bowl. go to a bowling alley. Why is that? What did this bizarre The discontinuity in these orders are going. to drive everybody correctly that the poor, the long range political consequences of this people should not think that just me, cause people are wandering around saying: oh, don't be a baby. We have to close down we're just trying to kill the virus. All this that there are gonna be massive, long term political consequences for the politicians who are making these decisions in part, because it is sort of culture? It is all it's going to be Gregg Hunt
a hundred people how Andrew Cuomo ruined him and if there are five hundred Gregg hunts There are five. Whatever you know, that's fifty. as some people are a hundred thousand beat. You know, that's the kind of thing we're margins of victory in a closed black should go one way or the other, including in places like California, in New York, where there's been so much one basic one party will for so long Things are already desiccated. You know there is enough when there wasn't a federal backstop are there was a federal backs up in the form of economic relief for firms upward most as a result of state mandates, but that their relief doesn't exist anymore. So these they're doing this to people who don't happen, that we don't have any stop to rely on any asylum Nancy policing. Trying to justify her recalcitrance on this point.
Republicans had issued a smaller relief under a trillion, but there was one they are trying to push them in autumn and Nancy Policy at this dust up where she now she she's defending herself by attacking Wolf, Blitzer calling will flits or an agent of republican propaganda and really having a meltdown over this sort of thing, she's dead. your position, opposition, is now coming closer to Republicans, I'm good, but she did so justifying herself by saying well, look: there's a new president is a vaccine there's a new president. You know what it now we can. We can move because the The light at the end of the tunnel is upon us. and that you will respect. Look briefly give an exact at the very least, if not reporters, to become a little irritated. By, though that the notion here that relief is on offer only in so far as you vote in a direction that Nancy policy like vote, but you would expect
please reporters to fact chakra dispassionately on the facts of the matter that she's claiming there is in fact no new president. There is, in fact no approved vaccine The conditions that prevail in October prevail today and you saw reporters like Steve Dennis over at the Bloomberg centre. Reporter reacting It's like what nobody expected to say. What do you want her to say? You know so that the republic consented to deal with. That's your job, that's a flax job that somebody who runs block four. Political position. At the very least, you should be expected to make a note of the inaccuracies in her statement, if not feel a little revulsion over the postage taking that she's justifying here, but there was not an offer because their position is valid. whatever their position, happens to be well, you know, I think, that were
estimating. Well, maybe I should just be for myself, but I've been under estimating the quite apart from the politics, the permanent economic damage. comes from shutting down places like the restaurant and german oxen Saunders. Phenomenon because scarring in labour economic, which means Oh essentially, losing jobs. They're not just for waiting, ran to get another job looking for another job, but they just drop on a labour force altogether. evidently the sick. Succeeded. Reading of the numbers last week, where the the unemployment rate dropped by the percentage when ten percentage points It is actually evidence of this phenomenon happening on a very large scale that people are simply leaving the labour force, which we saw after that
huge recession in await no nine, but this is seems to me to be here almost a voluntary kind is self inflicted wound that were having here for dubious results. The thing that strikes me over and over again is Nobody knows how this There was behaves and united looking at the times. Map of the nation S, data covered map and its justice see you ve read every every play join fire, and then you look down onto the right, lower corner in Theirs Florida and its yellow in Orange, for the reason for that is not on fire. The way it was supposed to be when the scientists came in and started trying to lift all of the the covered restrictions. Meanwhile,
other warm weather states, like Arizona, are growing up in flames, Nobody knows why this is happening. the idea that you can risk something major, a major body blow or to the labour force on the ground, of ivory, when nobody knows what were protecting against strikes me as Canada, that, whilst so you know that we have, then you have the sort of the bad bad story, which is the other side of this, which is what happens when things are this volatile story and sat Mile of MAX Barn Grill, where you had this kind of revolt last week the two owners you now saying we're not building an outdoor area because I was going to go with it. That's not it's too cold and no one wants the people want to go into the bar and we're declaring this an autonomous region and getting arrested and then there's a protest outside and all of this
and apparently on Saturday night they reopened at which they weren't supposed to do based on these rules and they and ended a Marshall when an undercover to research. What was going on and as they were, closing up marshals approached the car of what marshals approached one of the nurse to arrest him for having reopened, and he ploughed his car into one of them breaking his ankles, I think, I mean literally, was like a scene out of a movie where the guy ended up like going over the hood of the car, because apparently the Her panicked! It's not it's probably that you'd want to drive the car into the garden he was like trying to get away and and and he got arrested and the guy is in the hospital and all of that and that's the other part of the story, which is it it goes on and on
No defence, obviously, for for what this, what this guy dead, but you know, and, of course, because they sort of became folk heroes. He may have been in some slightly delusional condition of Vienna of martyrdom our or thing himself a self martyr and then end up doing something. Reckless him really crazily responsible could have killed somebody, but. You know this is what happens when you are doing. What is what Politicians are doing, which is, they are served waving their hands and shutting down private industry, is in the United States. This is not how we do things in the United States I made at the very waste if you're gonna do it, you accompany it with some deep sense of humility. or an understanding of the tragedy, or something like that. But that is not how
Car Sadie and new some and Cuomo, and these people behave. They get angry when people say you're ruining my life as they could say. Oh my god, you know this is the worst thing that ever happened to us and we don't know what else to do. We don't know what else You accept closed down in interior spaces, where people that where, where there might super spreading events and which putting all the pressure that we can on Washington to do what they can we're. So sorry were so sorry that this happening to you, then somebody says well, why, like a judge, why are what is the evidence to justify outdoor closures? There is no evidence. There is no scientific justification for that, so you're only recourse is to get angry and defensive. What are you gonna? Do
So the outdoor closer I mean an airway you're talking about how like they they serve declared the people warrants was to go out on their bicycles. I mean that's that's where that's where it's it's very hard. Aside from the, though the you know, the labour economics problem here, talking about a kind of governmental fee out that I just don't think we ve ever really seen before- and I remember after nine eleven- that the lower Tipp of Manhattan below Canal Street was basically under martial law. You know you couldn't dry, you need, The Parma give you this year that, and it was very jarring- was totally under
Annabelle. My guess it happens. You know like when there's a nuclear accident or something like that obviously have to prevent people from going near a nuclear held three mile island or you know something like that. But it is stunning to me that you know this is happening and people. You know that the serve them Three million! Stop! Don't don't remark on the incredible bizarre worry of this bill, what they say and this is a size. I saw a new Jersey, governor Full Murphy today complaining about how people word observing lockdown rules in New Jersey and them response and and Murphy was of course open to this is well made, be. What you need to do is make make the consequences for disobeying harsher. and he's again, it's hard to do that. But yes, but we're looking at that. So this
is a dangerous dynamic, because that will only exacerbate the sit there the problem, that is precisely what what people are objecting to remedy and California is closer than it's. It's a stay at home or to right, you're, not even supposed to see your neighbors you're supposed to be locked into your home. what and Pennsylvania had something not dissimilar? That was struck down upon review in an appeal court that found the the closure quote: non life sustaining business violated the fort the first amendment in the fourteenth amendment, equal protection, less and that's the problem right. The remedy: the only remedy to these draconian orders is through the court system, but by the time they work. These cases work their way through, even at the speed with which some of them have it's. You know it's. late for the businesses there on a business and that's why I think that you see a little more kind of you can
vigilantes, I'm going on among these individual businesses, because they now, even if they have, if their debt, even if there are absolutely correct on the law, if they did the cost and time of of then a lawsuit having when we ve had a few of these it with the religious question, but look at me as a parent you kids can go back to school. I feel, like the teachers unions should be sued in class action like going to the core vera fino of people right now like sue the union's, but that's never, if that happens and of the EU should now. These kids are already have missed an entire year. Just like these businesses will be long gone by the time they get any sort of legal rights. So let me let me pull back for a moment and talk to about our first sponsor today. The and some group were given hearing me say now. For a week, vast majority, National financial investment advice is awful, most fun. so advisers, lazy, disengaged uninterested in the real work that is required to Popper properly steward their clients assets. I haven't on good
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is the Republicans or plurality Republicans believe that the twenty twenty election was stolen, even though Joe Biden prevailed by tens of thousands of votes in all the states where it is said, Donald Trump had the election stolen from him, because you know aside from. Everything else is that a lot of us have been saying which, as you know, wow, it's really amazing that people on the other side of the Isle. It was ok for them, too. The Russians had gone in instead and changed votes by the tens of thousands and twenty sixteen and that, therefore the election was illegitimate, but but but people in America, thinking that you have something might have happened in the other direction. That's the most horrifying threat to democracy that there has ever been, but forget that four minute, my here's here
I had the sir what I thought was an insight thinking about this after some of the coverage of Donald Trumps appearance in Georgia this weekend, which is that what Republicans think is that the media basically said that Biden was gonna win and a landslide using polling as the major means of its of its assertions and A lot of us thought that too we thought it was gonna be pretty close if he did not want a landslide, though we won by more than four points and that what you, therefore, have is the media functioning both as the gatekeeper as the ref right saying, Lex, it's gonna be a landslide. The poles are showing the trump doesn't have a chance, and then, after the election, saying everybody,
to concede right away. You all know that this is the only fair thing is conceived concede. Anyone who says that you know shouldn't considered the election was one is of. Is an opponent of american democracy in this terrible right, so there the gatekeepers and the rafts, but there in the eyes of so many conservativism, Republicans there so on the team there on the other team. So it is not just that that term that they are there calling there's are calling the game but they're calling the game, while playing for the other team, and that this is not fair and that, therefore the election was stolen because their declaring a victory
while having a rooting, interest and even a conflict of interest- and maybe even a monetary interest in the result- and therefore maybe the election wasn't stolen literally, but it was stolen, seriously, Andy Woody That's a very big, clever, kicker there, the seriously distinction very good, well, first off all questions appalling. now of all times should be considered. Deeply suspect after what we ve seen adjusts over the last month, but over the last twenty years Appalling, has a very limited utility and especially sort of up and down trying to questions about issues, the
respondents probably haven't given a lot of thought to that sort of drop in their plate by the pollster, and then the pulsar says you like it or not. Those things is strike me, those kinds of exercise and strike me as almost completely worthless having said that, it seems to me also that what is being measured years, something real witches, is your finger on it. It's the degree of alienation, people who call themselves Republicans feel towards the. I guess what we call the mainstream institutions american life, particularly media, and pulling pollster calls you in your phone. That is the estate calling you on the phone and Republicans are not going to answer the way they think the establishment wants them to
in a sense, this is measuring something real. I dont know you know how far you can take that both right- and this also reacted coffee at this sentiment with the potential that it it doesn't reflect a real opinion, but does reflect a desired opinion, and I think Georgia will be illustrative of this. The democratic party spent I have two years have talked about the fourth and last to your saying that the twenty eighteen election, the gubernatorial election, was stolen for a variety of reasons. Governor camp, who was the secretary of state at the time, invalidated votes, some close down polling places and purged from the voter roles. Voters who would otherwise have participated so Stacy Abrams. Fifty six, hasn't vote loss was not valid and he's an illegitimate governor and unhappy and when they do they went back.
poles two years later and voted Joe Biden. The President Republicans me there is something very similar in because there is one avenue to achieve political power in this country is through the ballot box. and as much as you want to say. Well, it all now garbage, at the end of the day, to go back to the ballot box and participate in the election, because your objectives, to achieve political power and to prevent the other side from achieving political power and your party, the patient in that process is a vote of confidence in it. So if you were to give new, if we saw Republicans, really shun this thing as limb but in Sydney Power have said they should then you'll you'll see it drew up, often republican participation in these. In this January, for foreign off elections, I dont think you well. I think you will see a mark in turn out. To believe in record turn out in part, because what matters here is control of the Senate and they know
control of the Senate is in the balance and to object to the purchaser to reject Dissipation in that process would the process over the Democrats if they really believed that it was an invite process. You you'd see some sort of a rejection of it, but I don't think he will. I think this is really just a narrative that Republicans exe in order to not offend certain people, not offend our voters, not offend Donald Trump nodded and polite opinion on the right which, which really does is adhering to this narrative as a means of exculpating their failures in November. But it's not a real thing. It's something name they they say because they feel it back to say it, but couldn't they think it is a real thing but then also not want to discourage republic the voters, because. in the end, that's all they have anyway this, despite the fact that,
may not see a fair election. Supposedly I didn't so contradictory that it it invalidates the notion that this is a flawed or corrupt process. Was a flawed and corrupt process. You'd act that way and acting that way, would be establishing commissions and leaning on your legislators to to perform commissions and rejected the process outright and then and doing what Linwood said you should do, which is to say that these republican stab you in the back, don't validate there their actions in their efforts. Don't head to the poles to give them a victory, and we ve seen but republican officials in the states saying at the same time. Don't you probably was cheated out of their race, or at least implying that, and then also make sure you the poles and vote because its most important election right said that the legitimacy of elections becomes just another tool in the toolbox for winning elections. Right. It's a weird sort of thing and their current secretary in stages. Demand blinking on in Georgia, has a good short lop animals
journal today, which says as much he says. Look, you stated Abrams ran this playbook already sheet. She claimed it was fraudulent. She raised a ton of money for her own organisation on the back of this fraudulent claim. He's like this is exactly the Paypal. Donald Trump is now following he's: raising a ton of money off of these claims, particular in Georgia. These are fraudulent elections and the danger long term. Those of us who had some sort of sense of the need to have faith in our Situations is it. This is bad for our the institution of government right. We dont want to use this as a kind of cynical ploy in every election, and both sides have already now proven their willing to do that. So I think it's important to call it out in and the fact that Kelly left learner debate over the weekend wouldn't say that she thought Donald Trump had lost. The election is not a good things out of good and evil. We ve seen this for years. This is it. This is a condition that democratic, incubating and brought into the world, which is there, There is power and agency in
immigration, narrative right, but then I oughta Power Da Vinci and being control of your environment right well. This is the big thing because Trump you know was usual spoke. The LEO spoke the stage directions, in the rally in Georgia on Saturday night, he said quote: we're all victims, everybody here, all these thousands of people here tonight there all victims every one of you victims, the president of the United States, who claims to be a billion ere many times over whom we know, gets to be the after coming down a stupid escalator than sixteen months later. Winning the presidents and exits is a victim. Just like someone from Thou Dost Georgia, who got the presidency stolen from him right.
So the message I raise the apron strike he he now Stacy Abrams right. So so, and you know what, as no I said- Stacy Abrams Road, her victimization into position of of of extraordinary prominence and argue in our end, it we're gonna, be arguing over how what her role was in helping Biden to win Georgia for as long as long as anybody really wants to pay attention to this. But that narrative is very powerful and, what's more, I can understand entirely the the animal cunning that is leading trump to go down this route, which is it really will freeze the Republican Party in place for the next four years. If he actually decides that he wants to run again, which I think is still very much an open question, but I certainly will wanna will work.
preserve that option right, and so the best thing for him is. Nobody is allowed to come in and be the next Republican, because there shouldn't be an extra publican. I should be the guy in the White House, and I'm gonna come back and take what's mine and if enough Republicans believe this, nobody else can get any national purchase. So him saying I'm your victim and I'm the ultimate victim of your victimization, I think, is a very canny strategy and I think it goes back to what I was suggesting the beginning, which is that effectively. Republicans believe that the media are so unfair and unjust that the media saying
You got it. You gotta concede proves that he was. The election was stolen that every moment that someone goes on in other Jonathan Carl says this or Jake Tapir says that or now using people who are not in a hostile to the right. You know Steve Quacking says this. Jake Tapir says that you know John Carl, who added at a conservative, papered Wesleyan, says the other thing and all that that just strengthens the idea that the election was stolen. But then it also strengthens the idea that they're just saying that, because they can't bear to give these people the saddle. action of saying yes you're right, we'll know, but but but it matters that they say it. You see it matters that the right says the election was stolen, because once you say
If you are opening your open to it, whether you believe it's ultimately, what I'm saying is it doesn't matter what you believe technically that dominion did this or doesn't matter that technically you think that the poll workers you know who invented the balance in some existential Gogol's overcoat since the election was stolen, because no one on that you cannot get a fair shake. If you're a conservative in America, while the other side of that is that the press is going to exploit that to help you, I guess it was Saturday. The Post, Washington Post ran a completely invented. Pseudo piece of journalism or piece of pseudo journalism where they canvassed remember what do hundred and twenty I am actually giving Congress. Everyone hobbled get me end and answer those instead did Trump win or lose
the election, the troubles the election and There is no way that a self respecting republican congressmen to walk into that Briarpatch with the Washington Post, so most of them just didn't respond, which does than the Pope counted as a Russian of belief that Trump won the election. Which gave them the headline that they wanted when they at the idea for the story, I'm sure which is most welcome. King congressmen, I think the Trump one you know it. It was absent. simply concocted MRI artificially exercise, is it willing, even really journalism and I've had friends, send story to me and say: look look at your party see, how crazy they all are now in the book there's nothing stopping
CNN or the Washington Post through the times from doing this kind of thing, week after week after week, what were in fact in that story, two out of the two hundred and forty nine Republicans canvassed said trumpet one had actually affirmatively said the trumpet one most of them refused to answer. Why not because not just because I didn't want to be thrown the briar patch cause, it's like basic, screw. You do. I use, don't use me to create civil war in my party like you're, actually you are trying to foment a civil war. In my party- and I am not going to play in your liberal sandbox well, there's two things to that: one This happens all the time. It's not the first time that Republicans have been asked of every Republican, his canvassed to account for something the Republican did granted. This is the president, but it's not a new
over. You know these new play the counterfactual being one of the democratic blank. Every Democrat would be asked about it and then you know liberal: Edison saying now give me an example of that, while carrying out this is the example of that. At the same time and it's really frustrating to hear, Kelly, Conway sort of said something that implied that Donald Trump. It actually lost the election. We get this headline every two days and it's really obnoxious, but at the
a time you wouldn't be having a headline if Donald Trump and not refuse to concede the election, and he lost right. Well, I ain't. None of this constitutes a defence of Trump. For me, I'm just saying that if you want to understand why this trumps id Trump as the end of the Republican Party continues to be a successful play for him, it is because he is a Vulcan this we are all victims and what are they victims of their victims of a liberal, a would do a little tendency that is controlling the high in that country,
and serve the high the high planes or where everyone is called the high ground of american political culture, the universities, the media and you know, and and now basically that one of the houses of Congress and and and the presidency and you can't break through them and am show business and and and Hollywood, and so they they control everything and they treat us like garbage and may caricature us and they make fun of us. They they disrespect us and we're all victims of them. Now people I get andean Andean me would like we ve, been. We ve been friends for going on more than three decades and going with this idea and the right that you know everything. the so incredibly unfair has been a that's like it's a standard, issue problem at every
how basically gotta any republican conference, serb or conservative meeting and people why for an hour about how the media, or so and that's, been the case forever right, but oh, it's really got a mass follow it. I would say, because the president has harnessed it. Well, that and energy has been. It's been institutionalized on the right to work with Fox news in all of the various pseudo new sort, does that have arisen on the right, so it's it's popularized. That idea, I don't know Doesn't it also I'm sorry, but doesn't it also provide, an emotional experience, Fer, a conservative voters, republican voters that they really haven't had a very long time right. I mean there everyone rally round the flag, puss, I'm leavin, with with George W Bush, but there's a kind of obsession Tromp on the right
that I don't share. But that I look at it, it's all in a weird way: the mirror image of the of the obsession with Barack Obama, for example, like there there's a strained. The call to personality satisfies a deeply human felt needed. So that's why, when it's my own, we all locked it when it was Obama. Now you know the rights getting marked for doing you a trumpet, but it is, I think, That's right that we should try to understand it if we're gonna avoided in the future. If we think it's bad for our politics, we have to understand what it is in. That emotional appeal is far more powerful than any policy making suggestions that the trumpet major, even that Obama made, and it's really really connects to people and its. Why EO see who's whose you know not the sharpest tool in the in the shed is it connects to people the same thing, it's emotional
Well, you know, I remember wrongly, when Mitt Romney made his except in speech and in twenty twelve at the republican convention, which was a bad speech rewritten by by entirely written by Steward Stevens, the his chief consultants, who has now decided that everything that he ever did was a lie in the Republican Party is just a racist coalition, which of course raises the question of why he has returned the sixty seventy eighty million dollars. He made us consultant or you have given it and then gone to a mountain top and car Pythian out to it to a monastery tab to atone for his sins, but now I say we wrote this and you know Romney said Indian in steward Sir telling you now Obama says he wants to get out of the sea levels, will change and that this by all this wonderful thing, I want to go your job and
is a terrible wine because, while the president doesn't get you a job. But second because this was like Obama's aspirational figure- I'm not I'm not here to be somebody that you can believe him, I'm here to have to do to be transactional with you vote for me I'll get. You would Bob reversal. People know that that's not the way it works, but it was almost like. I can't even I can even promised to be a kind, person that your proud to vote for or that or that who will somehow fill the Optional need fill an emotional need for you, which all politicians do, I'm I'm, I'm I'm avoiding that I'm evading it right. It was a terrible speech. The convention did Romney no good
the one moment where he rallied America. The Republicans behind him and made them excited was that first debate where he basically said I am I. A moral and spiritual opponent of the Obama World View, I believe then this America, I want to be the rubber however, this America, not that America and people got very excited but isn't there's something of this. This spiralling sort of vote. For me, I'm on the Volvo message in Baden appeal. I don't think so. I honestly think that what what. I mean this is Biden said: I'm not crazy. And I wanna heal a man. I want America. Merrick is a better place than Donald Trump says it is an
a normal person and he's a crazy person than I am not going to be crazy. That's different from saying I'm going to get you a job, he didn't say I'm going to get you a job. You said I have a plan, but it did, but no cared about what is now I kind of like. I don't think I M is entirely off here. I mean there is theirs it to the extent that both Donald Trump, Brok, Obama managed to harness on the shoulder of their respective coalitions that offences to them both Barack Obama in them. from were perceived to be offences directed against them themselves to their voters. They had they had become avatars of their own personal sense of lack of fulfilment in life and that anything That was perceived to be a slight against them with a slight against themselves. Personally, I don't see anybody evincing, that kind of sentiment for Joe Biden, analysing anybody identifying with Joe Biden as an extension of their own self conception. Yeah
I agree with that. I think that one of the attractive things about fine is precisely that he's a counter to what I Christina, because she was described describing describing is noted that that them the speech that in the first place it the Obama gave combined with the keys. I suppose you aren't, you won't have to think about him every day. Please in your face all the time, but there should be a, but that doesn't mean that he doesn't get provide an emotional connection. It just means that he doesn't blocked the son out. Well, I think it does mean that whatever emotional connection he's got or that he's promising is not Maybe the consuming thing that defines Obama Currently we gotta be weird stories like he was somehow broke. His foot while pulling
Dogs tackling the shower whether I came, follow without destroying was an eye, but in even want to have that in my mind and trying to figure it out, but it'll be lots of weird little. You know gas and little. You know Grandpa Simpson, ask kind: do they really gonna fight without whose well we could have all following the shower with red? Haven't cleaner God sound in the shower with your own burial, Joe Biden Dog in the shower guile, wanna know, but saying it's not like. I'm not gonna, be anything to you. It's more like vote for me, you're gonna, be so relieved. You're gonna be great. full to be relieved that things aren't as crazy as they were before. It's not like. I'm gonna fulfil all your wishes and hopes and dreams, but it is like
I'm gonna take you we will have. A cup of coffee will be calm. We were just in this abuse. Our relaunch resident, he's our rebound president, every volatile relation that it up and you have broken out, he's your rebounds and you can laugh. but you know it's coming right. What were you the one thing you know I I can't say enough good things about that, actually, because the if the personality that you saw, that we marked with Obama and we stood back watched horrified with Trump Those things are profoundly anti democratic for Anti Europe, Look in smaller republican whenever you are not I used to have a politics that obsesses you in that it's over all aspects of your thinking in your life and that's what those guys were promising to their followers and still do, promise in, and that is not a healthy thing in self government now
totally unhealthy and of course I don't know I mean it is all the ultimate. You know this is what happens when you have a country that where, where where people are increasingly people of no a third, no religion or anything like that gases that that that need has to be filled somewhere in the worst possible place you can fulfil. It is politics because politics shouldn play this shouldn't, be in this you're living in a nightmare world, if if politics is religion by definition, die, it's idle worship of of the worst sort and then it also if it makes politics to central to life and and and that's where we are trump- We're publicans have always of war, have ever have at least theoretically avoided or spoken against this tendency, though it's very hard not to feel it or leave it or be in it. If you're not like working in a White House
something like that trump of course has encouraged it, because that's. Why he's in politics is for the worship. The reminds me of my favorite line from this from his eyes rally in Georgia. Saturday night, I get your Saturday night was his commission it's one of those sort of moments of insouciance that he had he kind of stumbled into once in a while wherein he says I am sorry Maybe he's sort of insufficiently said well I worked harder on this meaning overturning the election on this. In the last three weeks been I've worked on anything in my entire life, and then you think but able what what is also notable about these. Last three weeks we haven't had Donald Trump he's totally went to ground
and now you know why, because he was actually working so imagine if he had taken the first four years of our order. The four years of his tenure in the White House actually worked. He would have been out of our face. we wouldn't have had to deal with them every day. There wouldn't have to be new tweets in and ridiculous press conferences that, then dominate the new cycle for twenty four hours until the next press conference. A startling admission and exerted gave you a sense of you know how it could have been how great it could have been if the research, if there was a trump administrations, works which is kind of working in that coming out to the press room every day from Mumia. Let me pull back for a second sponsored today. Expressly pm doesn't make sense then company that controls have Obama, retail, also passively eavesdrop on your private conversations at home,
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personnel ORB of american personnel, particularly in Havana, but also in a couple of other places in twenty seventeen, I believe out was likely the result of targeted microwave attacks on personnel by foreign actors, meaning that directed microwaves were sent into wombs. Specifically, NED ended up giving people vertigo, making them sick interfering with some of their cognitive faculties and facilities, and so this story came out, I think Friday night and why isn't this leading every newscast? Why isn't this the biggest story in the World
there's been- and this has happened over the certainly during the term presidency, Ireland and somewhat prior to but serve the replacement of news that matters with news that can be useful use. either in a partisan sense or generally in the future, wars, coordination of everything right so important stories than you know, a communist in attacking Americans with with with with high tech weapons. This is a big story. It's not that useful in terms of partisanship and in terms of the culture war. If you look back at how the aid for hemp courts were recovered, they place they broke through two from paid isn't headlines, not so much as a transformative policy that can reset the Middle EAST,
They were too to the extent that what was important about them was that they involve Donald Trump, I'm. So, therefore, it It could be seen as something bad somehow and that Social distancing and masks weren't, rigorously adhered to in the signing, so it fits into this. Culture war in the broadest sense. There's nothing here! For for any of that, it there's nothing in the Cuban. yet if they can find something, then
will become a bigger story, not because it's important geo, politically and in terms of foreign policy, but because it even if it can fit, is somehow into the cultural war or be the trump saga than than than will become a big story Noah. What how how'd? What's interesting about this is that it has the quality of something that you would say I'll come on. That's just like lunacy. That's dislike! Would crazy people think that you know that foreign intelligence. The agencies are beaming microwaves, our people to make them SEC, except it's true self. It's true. What do we do about? It Yeah, I don't really know I mean I struggle to see their strategic rationale behind the sort of thing
except in so far as with ape said, is the muted response domestically allows eaten, It's not just Havana, but is also Beijing and Moscow allows you to handicap the diplomatic corps, and in a way which allows them to unless you, the adversarial power yet right, open handed diplomatic corps and get away with it without any repercussions. art because he saw it likes. Might Pontio haven't said anything about this everybody's afraid of how it will play the it. It would compel Washington to Margaret what would be in essence in international incident on arguably an act of war in so far as its in a sultan on american property embassies are american soil, sovereign american, soil so or consulate proper
so it was a thorny matter and when the probably doesn't it shouldn't be adjudicated in the public square, the kind of thing that, the public, well, maybe should be aware of them, should not be aware of our responses to these sorts of things which may not necessarily be diplomatic in nature, but nevertheless the mute, in public response to any sort of things and then among the journalistic class suggests that you can do this, with impunity and get away and nobody really minds all that much which is really dangerous conditions up I just us precisely how this could become a story, if you frame it as the release of this assessment is the tree Administrations, parting effort to Ty Biden up on Cuba
as it is. I think many IRAN right because member I already of Cuba much praised in the press because they all figured they go party in Havana when Obama did it was this actually is written. This weirdly should be considered in the course of our diplomacy or lack thereof with Cuba and how about a policy carried over into the trumpet ministration and why they would even be doing this in and but it just strikes me- and we were talking about this earlier- that you don't hear something actually does sound like a real conspiracy theory, but it's not, and yet the summit were calling conspiracies or have clear, factual basis minutes it's a strange world right now, but I actually believe that this is something that should be taken. very seriously and would be- and certainly was when we were in the midst of a cold war, but the aid this doesn't have some, that there isn't some media response. It's been shaped by how enthusiastic they were about Cuba
You can try it on how we should all just open up all the borders enough Castro's master I meet. That was a real theme for many many years during your bottom ministries, and what I mean There is something to the idea that that this transformation of the newsrooms that we have been talking about forever- or you know least Urbino though by the with their transformation of the woke newsroom death? the ending of foreign bureaus the fact that everybody who made their bones in american journalism and became major figures by by spending time abroad by reporting from abroad, bye, bye getting it! How America you know interacted with with us, countries like that there's almost none of that any more and so people who actually say what our dip that's our having microwaves beamed in their heads or are making them second might might actually have long term consequences for them.
Cognition like I know those people. You know that So the people that I drank with for three years in Dubrovnik or what you know where wherever and so this was a real personal expense it's for many people in journalism, and now you are much more likely to get a major job in American Jerusalem Journalism because you worked at the old refinery, twenty nine writing about fashion and I m tik Tok. Then you would because you made your bones working at local papers and then going and being sent off to a foreign bureau and getting season over time. So the EU then came back and wrote about the world with from experience not to be to get off my back I'm an anti Europe even more get off the long, and I am in this respect now you just passed me. I did
yes, your way ahead of me way ahead of you now you actually like you have you actually you are you do reporting and stuff like that. I just sit around and criticise other people's report. All that's. Why you're you're here more often right than I am and better it's about. The thing they strike me about. The story was a and its horrifying. On the other hand, it's the triviality of what there What's the Cubans are the Russians are whoever's doing this that you know it's. it doesn't seem to have any long term agenda behind it, except for just harassment of individual diplomats, and I guessed larger point would be too low. the: U s now that they have this power and that they can deploy it when they want better. there's something so so picking
and about the forest with Dutch. A strike me as very odd I dont see with the with the game plan, is for them. Well, I'm unfastening cause. You everybody's been talking about the Shoah, Netflix, the queen's gambit, which is a story of a of nineteen sixties era, chess genius who comes to represent America and the cold war matches against the Soviet Union. The show ends with the big World championship in Moscow being played by Beth the heroin against these Russians who are said to all work together. Unlike the Americans were to ornery to work together and they help each other and they solve problems, and they they they do all this and their very civil there very simple, the Russians and thereby there
wonderfully complimentary of her when she wins and they congratulate her on being good and never their third there so they're, so civil and its also so now, of course, is not an bears, no relation to what things were actually like in the cold war chess matches, where you know most famously Bob Fisher play: Boris Basket. Nineteen, seventy two and a both Fisher adds basking worse, gets a frantic said. I'd say that literally there were both paranoid schizophrenia, x and spats keys, key thing that he worried about him. He wore hat. He did stuff during during certain matches where he wore hats, literally with him, element, because he became convinced that the Americans or his rivals, if they were not, the Americans were beaming attempting to be microwaves into his head to interfere with his chest, playing.
So this was always like a job. You know that they tinfoil had idea sort of came in part from Spanky who famously put tinfoil in his hat word, playing playing chess matches except one If Spanky got this idea because see your officials in the Soviet Union. Know perfectly well that the Soviet Union was experimenting with microwave technology in the late sixties, early seventies and was attempting to perfected, and that damn you better watch out, because the Americans are probably doing this to you and of course, then got into ask his head and dead ruined his life because he was convinced this was happening at all times. What was interesting to me is that everybody thought this was far out so funny spats he's such a crazy person, but it would appear like one
going backwards from what has happened here, that that was a real thing that the that the Russians we have been working on forever and if the Cubans have at that probably means the Russians, have it or had right like again the Andes right. God knows why they're doing or what their, what? What why their experimenting with it are wide happened or if it's happened before, and we also don't know affair Well, the New York Times reported on this very report on this very issue that Soviet Union was engaged. Threats to bombard american diplomatic facility, that's my grave radiation- and it was reported- at the time the reporter Nineteen, seventy, nine okay, so there you go, but but obviously all these sorts of things have got. Much- you know probably much more targeted and focused on you- can do more with them and manipulate them. Better and a god, only knows.
But we have no reason to know what our response has actually been right, I'm a we know. That some of the diplomats themselves claim that nothing has been done in their behalf. That's in the New York Times story, they're suing the government and all of that and one can understand that. But we don't know whether or not there has been there have been. You know private threats or whatever, and but I think it's more striking that what people want to talk about is you know, is the latest Wilkie MC woken steam cry Up where than a story about how american diplomats were being attacked by science, fictional technology, I mean you know, isn't that a bigger loosed, isn't that, like the fulfilment of weird amazing stories. You know the hard science
a sure thing from nineteen, sixty seven? Isn't that like isn't that service your story them, then I don't know what. I get another turning the election gathered returning the election that's right, which really that which really doesn't matter as much Andy We are missing your your regular com. Terry Work now lean commentary, but other places, because you have a step back to while will work on up on a book right eye, speaking of the cold war. I ma am I I'm writing a book about. Richard Nixon and his spare sort of place in American. I guess mythology, I would say we sense, pretty high toned
But it's actually a fascinating way to spend. A pandemic is sitting around with a bunch of books about Richard Nixon I wrote a book about Abraham Lincoln several years ago and it was much more pleasant to sit around thinking about Abraham, Lincoln, then consider thinking about Richard Nixon nobody's perfect paranoid ties are exactly I'm starting to get little paranoid myself. I have all these pictures and makes them, and sometimes we start package to be slightly worrisome. But yes, It is a kind of occurred to me too there's going to be a whole rash of Nixon stuff coming up because twenty twenty four will be the fiftieth anniversary of his resignation, So, unfortunately, there's going to be a lot of fiftieth anniversary. We forget things, then, that sort of stuff his trip to China that by them
so I think we're going to have a lot of Nixon in our future, but that I hope I feel that way to say something fresh. You know we're we're We have heard some of us in the last two weeks. Right I mean it's like one of the one of the weirdest things that people are saying is, like you know, even Nixon in, sorry. I know he had the election stolen from him, but he conceived it, which of course, the pretty fuck em in an odd when you know it's like to say, look try. sure can see it, because Nixon in Nixon believe fully believed what some credible reason to believe that that the knife Sixty election was stolen from him and Cook County by the dealing machinery, taxes and in Texas but he conceded anyway, because American needed him to concede. well actually it isn t he he behaved very honourably about it. There was a reporter printing. The New York Herald.
The way in which this kind of the vaguely republican opposite to the New York Times back then the guy was really going to town and amassing tremendous as evidence that include county. in Illinois, and several different counties in Texas about totals were or were simply implausible or, if not impossible, and Nix actually called in the reporter and said. Please stop the your series, that you're running it's bad for the country and mixing went through? the various hot spots in the world, for this reporter inside you know we keep keep add this. We lose, confidence in ourselves to be read
The kind of the world starts Salute, cut, loose confidence in the validity of our government, and then it's gonna be bad here, it's gonna, be there the bad there and I'm the guy stopped a guy. Stop this running the series in the Herald trip. It's a very strange thing: you don't Dixon! That's why it's kind of fun to write about, because he is so hard to figure out. He has these moments of genuine nobility. and kindness and patriotism and then he's he was clearly a scoundrel of the first order at other times, so it sir he is the most. You know. You'd have to say he is the most complicated personnel were to be processed
probably I almost certainly the most the most of the most complicated might. My favorite Nixon story was told me by letter garment who was his personal lawyer was his partner at much rose in New York and in our serve like was the jewish liaison and the? Why but very close friend of her of of of Nixon's and them was on the plane with Nixon the night in nice in semi to win won the election in the. What was then is the largest or the second, I think, was the largest landslide american history right. It was like the eighty one, thirty seven, something like that, so you want
I, like twenty four point, seven think about that. For me, it couldst almost sides frictional to think that such a thing happened. He won this gigantic election and he was flying on the plane and he was holding a scotch, and he looked at at garment and said now will go. The sons of bitches, like that was his response to having been validated. in a way that this guy, who will always felt like he had his nose pushed the well known, was like rejected by all like he had just. He had just been validated in a way. Almost no human being has ever been validated in the history of this planet. and that he'd been waving his hour? I your lawyer, and he went dark and bleak black, whether to say you know I did it. I did
What a great country, what a lovely valley you know I'd America exactly so he was like now will get the sons of bitches and the sons of bitches got him instead. Andy. Thank you so much for joining us. Having made we will please return, your many phone calls and does say about that. That's ok! I think I'd get out to tat color at age. I think I'm a human eyes is me a little bit its answer to me down for my how to stop. Yes, like by mixing story, humanised Vixin the Apple, don't get decided, bitches, edged idea and add so for aid Christina. Now, I'm John towards keep the candle burning.
Transcript generated on 2020-12-08.