Understanding Trump and Trumpism Part 5: After the Inaugural
Newt continues with his Understanding Trump and Trumpism series at The Heritage Foundation on the Monday following the inauguration of President Trump.
Thank you. Thank you, and I join Ed in apologizing. I was doing a number of things and running late, so I apologize.
What I actually want to talk about today is the Trump inaugural’s resemblance to Lincoln and Thatcher, and I think you’ll find it interesting. It occurred to me, as Callista and I were first up on the dais watching this, listening to the speech, and then on Saturday, watching the demonstrations around the country, and talking with people about their experience with the young fascists of the left, who have been going around breaking windows, and literally in one case, blocking a hotel so people couldn’t get to the ball, because they couldn’t get out of the hotel. Today, I was told about two people who were gold star families, who were being harassed and taunted by the young fascists.
Anyway, I want to start though by thanking Senator Jim DeMint, and Ed Feulner, and the Heritage Foundation. Heritage was the decisive intellectual center in the Reagan Administration’s bold policy changes. They offered over twenty-two hundred recommendations in a 1,093 page report called Mandate for Leadership.
In this transition today, Heritage is once again playing a leadership role, and these speeches are designed to reinforce the case for bold change. These speeches are in the tradition of Heritage’s vision statement, “To build an America where freedom, opportunity, prosperity in civil society flourish,” which sounds a lot like, “Make America great again.” I don’t exactly know the number. This is sixth in a series of speeches on Trump and Trumpism given at Heritage, which follows an original speech on the principles of Trump and Trumpism here at Heritage on December 13th, and a follow on speech about Trump and national security given at the National Defense University on December 14th. All of these speeches are available at Heritage.org and GingrichProductions.com. There will be two more speeches here at Heritage, one on Wednesday and another one next Monday.
There will only be the basis for a book, Understanding Trump, which will come out this spring. The central thesis I’m doing here, and the reason I decided to do this elaborate effort, is I think that we crossed a watershed on November 8th, the election day. There’s an easy way to imagine that, which I reminded people of on Friday, which is close your eyes and imagine you had been watching Hillary Clinton give the inaugural address, that you had the Hillary Clinton cabinet being up, you had the Hillary Clinton nominee for the Supreme Court, and my first piece of advice to all conservatives is for at least the first two years of the Trump Administration, every time you get frustrated with Trump, you should close your eyes, think about Hillary Clinton as president, and then just be happy that we’re making so much progress, because nothing he will do will be comparable to a single day of the Hillary Clinton administration.
In addition, if it’s a true watershed, which I think it is. I mean we now have more Republican state legislators than any time in the history of the Republican Party. We have 33 governors, the most since 1922. We control the Senate. We control the House. We have had ideas moving in our direction across the whole system, and in many ways, Obama has been a lagging indictor, the last stand of the FDR New Deal system.
The challenge for us is to understand this new world, to understand this new watershed, and to govern so well that in January of 2025, we’re swearing in the next Republican president with a Republican Congress and Republican legislators and governors, so that we’ve literally ended the FDR era after 84 years and moved into a new and very different system, a system that’s much more decentralized, much more entrepreneurial, much more work ethic, et cetera.
Today, I want to focus on Friday’s inaugural address and the hostility of the left, and the parallels that this period has with both President Lincoln and Prime Minister Thatcher. I’m going to come back to the text of the inaugural in the next talk, but this is not about the text. It’s about the framing of the inaugural and the general tone of the inaugural.
Our critics to the left are going to attack us, attack me anyway, and ridicule me for comparing Trump’s inaugural to Lincoln’s first inaugural in 1861. When I was thinking about it on Saturday, when I was trying to put it into place, first of all, I thought it was a very, very important inaugural address, because it was what he campaigned on, and all these commentators were saying, “It wasn’t like inaugurals are supposed to be.” Well, if you thought the purpose on an inaugural … And I went back over the weekend and reread Jefferson, and Jackson, and Lincoln’s first inaugural to get a feel. If you think the purpose of inaugurals are to tell you what the person being inaugurated actually intends to do, and if that person actually campaigned on what they intend to do, then they should actually make an inaugural which resembles their campaign, because that provides the continuity between voting and governing, so people know what they’re doing.
The problem, of course, is when you get I think it was about a 16 page inaugural delivered calmly, deliberately, steadily, that is as bold and as profoundly change oriented as the Trump inaugural, then if you’re the propaganda of the left, which we used to refer to as the news media, but which I think we should talk about as propaganda. These are propaganda elements. These are not news elements, and you saw that if you saw the Sunday shows. I mean Meet the Press was entirely a propagandist effort on behalf of the nut cake left wing world view, and we just got to say that. Instead of pretending these are somehow reasonable people asking reasonable questions. No, they’re our opponents. They’re people who despise us, and that’s a fact.
We need to be able to come to grips with reality. I’ll give you one example. Trump, at one point, talked about America and the pain we’re living through, and people thought, “He’s using much too strong a language.” We had 4,000 people shot in Chicago last year. What words would our left wing friends like to use to describe a city in which 4,000 Americans are shot in one year? It seemed to me that Trump was pretty much talking about the real world.
This is another example. This one, by the way, is one of the things that put me over the edge. Trump gives a speech, which probably has a vivid a statement of anti-discrimination as any president has ever articulated. He said, “First of all, patriotism means you cannot discriminate, because it’s unpatriotic and you’re discriminating against an American.” He says, “Second, it doesn’t matter what color your skin is, whether it’s White, or Black, or Red, or whatever. What matters is that all of us have the same red blood.” These are pretty strong statements against discrimination, which had it been uttered by a liberal Republican or a liberal Democrat, would have led to rhapsodic response from people like Chris Matthews flowing with joy at the commitment to a color blind America.
Instead, at least to an idiot at Time Magazine … Remember the Nassim Taleb article I always recommend in every speech. Intellectual, yet idiot, which I urge you all to read if you haven’t read it. Goggle intellectual yet idiot, or IYI. They have an idiot at Time Magazine, who instead sends out a tweet as the pool reporter. He represents all of the news media, that he is in the Oval Office, and they have taken out the bust of Martin Luther King, so they’re setting up the following narrative: They’re bringing back Winston Churchill, who on the left is seen as a White imperialist, and they’re kicking out Martin Luther King, Jr., proving how really truly racist they are, and this must be what we mean by this new radical right, the alt right.
There’s only one problem with it. The bust of Martin Luther King, Jr. is in the Oval Office. It was a falsehood. It was probably an honest falsehood, because apparently there was a photographer standing in front of the bust, and the idiot Time Magazine [inaudible 00:10:09] it didn’t occur to him to either, A, look around the photographer, “Oh, look, there it is,” nor did it occur to him to ask Spicer, the White House press secretary. He just sent it out, and it was then repeated, according to Kellyanne Conway, 3,000 times, because the Press Corp took this to be the full report. Instead of covering this extraordinary commitment to anti-discrimination on the part of President Trump in his new inaugural, we have a brief flurry over whether or not he has kicked out Martin Luther King, Jr.
That gives you some some sense of the hostility and the dishonesty, which the Trump team should expect to have every day for eight years. It will never go away. It will never end, and it’s not an accident, and it’s not confusion. It’s not misinformation. These people are their mortal enemies.
That’s the context. As I was thinking about it, I was thinking about here’s this extraordinary speech in which Trump basically took on the whole national establishment and both parties, which is what he had done for the whole campaign. First, he won a hostile takeover of the Republican Party by beating 16 people when he was clearly not the candidate of the Republican establishment. Then he beat Hillary Clinton, the national propaganda media, and a billion dollar campaign in a hostile takeover of the presidency, and so he was here speaking on behalf of everybody who wanted a hostile takeover of Washington, saying, “Hi. I’m going to be really hostile.”
I say to myself, “It’s a remarkable speech.” It’s not a shallow speech. It’s not a flippant speech, and the only analog I could come up with is Lincoln’s first inaugural, because Lincoln campaigns on a very narrow dividing line. He knows exactly what the South needs in order not to secede, and he cannot give it to them, because what they need is the right for slavery to extend itself, so they could be sure it wouldn’t be wiped out, and he can’t do it. He won’t do it. He doesn’t believe in it. He tries to walk a narrow line of saying, “I’m not going to attack you, but I’m not going to do any of the things you tell me you need,” and, of course, as a result, the South attacks him.
I looked at all that, and I thought maybe I was too strong, and I knew if I just came in here and said that off the cuff, that if anybody noticed it on the left, they would all go crazy, but I was, also, thinking about the hostility of the left wing fascists as they broke windows, intimidated the crowd, harassed gold star families, and publicly dreamed about blowing up the White House, which, by the way, should lead to an arrest. You should not be allowed … I don’t care who you are, you can’t say you dream about blowing up the White House, even though we’re now told that, in fact, she didn’t mean blowing up the White House when she said blowing up the White House. She meant something else and it was taken out of context, because why would you think blowing up the White House meant blowing up the White House? Only right wingers would think blowing up the White House meant blowing up the White House, when everybody on the left who listen to her know she was really describing a large purple banana in the sky as part of her sophisticated use of language.
Looking at the unabashed firmness of President Trump’s inaugural versus the kind of conciliatory apologetic compromising speech a traditional Republican would have made, it seemed to me the right analogy was President Lincoln.
I wrote Dr. Allen Guelzo, who is the Henry Luce Professor of the Civil War Era, a director of the Civil War Era Studies Program at Gettysburg College, one of the great students of Lincoln in the country and one of the great historians in the country. I wrote him the following, “Thinking about Trump’s inaugural speech, it struck me that the parallel was Lincoln in 1861, a clear statement of non-negotiable principles, a bitter opposition, a speech which repudiated none of the most divisive campaign in American history, an appeal to a patriotism the other side repudiated. What do you think?” Frankly, I was thinking about today’s talk, and I thought if Allen writes back and says, “Have you just lost your mind,” I’d have to figure out a new topic.
Guelzo replies the following, and it’s a little lengthy, but, again, this is one of the great historians of the Civil War, who just wrote an award winning book on the Battle of Gettysburg. It’s quite a remarkable book. He said, “Your points are entirely on the mark. I have done a quick comparative outline of both inaugural addresses, and while the existential situation of the two are very different, on March 4th, 1861, Lincoln was already facing the succession of seven states, the official creation of a Confederate States of America, and demands for the surrender of federal property, there is this common thread, the sovereignty of the people. Lincoln used that principle to deny that one part of the nation, the seven seceding states, could break up the union without the consent of the American people, as well as denying that one branch of the government, the Supreme Court, could overrule the American people’s will.”
“Trump invokes that principle. To deny that a federal bureaucracy can enrich and empower itself at the expense of the people, as well as denying that identity enclaves can overrule the fundamental unity of the American people.”
This is Guelzo’s outline. “Lincoln, 1, Denial of radical intent. Application of fugitive slave law must incorporate due process. 2, Succession, an impossibility. Union is permanent. 3, No rights are threatened by the new administration. The people, not Supreme Court, are the supreme arbiters. 4, Nation belongs to the people who inhabit it. No objection to amending Constitution if people desire the need for confidence in the ultimate wisdom of the people. This, of course, all presages the Gettysburg Address, when he talks about government of the people, by the people and for the people, but the coda that we are not enemies, but friends.”
It says, “Trump, 1, People reclaiming government from establishment. 2, Establishment has failed its citizens while enriching others. 3, Decisions will now be based on the priority of American interests. 4, The US will provide the example, but not impose a way of life. 5, The Unity of the American people is based on patriotism.”
Guelzo goes on to say, “There is one other point of relationship two, and that is the mix of confrontation and conciliation in Lincoln, without any hint of compromise. Lincoln appealed to the better angels of all Americans to promote unity, but along with that, he refused to endorse any compromise, short of a popularly endorsed Constitutional amendment. He, also, and this is more subtle, insisted that the application of the Fugitive Slave Law be done with full respect for due process. This was a carefully calculated rebuke to Chief Justice Taney, sitting right behind him, who had insisted in Dred Scott versus Sanford that Blacks could not be citizens, and, therefore, could not claim due process rights.”
“Lincoln’s inaugural is often held up as an example of niceness. However, look at how southern opinion makers went berserk with rage, and you’ll understand just how confrontational Lincoln’s inaugural really was.”
A couple hours later, Guelzo wrote me again. He said, “I culled a few of following items from the newspapers following the election of Lincoln, and, surprise, they sound very, very familiar. I wouldn’t wonder if our hyperventilating friends on the left might be surprised to find who this puts them in bed with, meaning the slave holders, but on the other hand, they’re probably blissfully unaware of historical context anyway.”
“Within 90 days from the time Lincoln that is inaugurated, the Republican Party will be utterly ruined and destroyed. His path is environed with so many difficulties, that even if he had the ability of Jefferson and the energy of Jackson, he would fail, but he is a weak and inexperienced man, and his administration will be doomed from the commencement. If he takes that radical section of the Republican Party, the conservative wing of it will cut loose and repudiate him. If, on the other hand, he courts the conservatives and pursues a moderate conciliatory policy, the radicals will make open war upon his administration.” Memphis Daily Appeal, November 13th, 1860.
“There is intense excitement here. Large crowds have gathered in the streets. The pervading spirit among the masses is resistance to Lincoln’s administration, and everywhere that determination is manifest.” Lancaster, South Carolina Ledger, November, 1860.
“Our Charleston correspondent. Thursday night the streets were filled with excited crowds. Till nearly midnight, the streets presented the most animated appearance. The crowd illuminated their passage by rockets and other fireworks, and made the air resound with their deafening cries. No one talks of anything but the necessity for prompt action. It is believed that separate and immediate action on the part of this state will be followed by action on the part of several other southern states forthwith. It is hardly prudent for any man to express his opinion adverse to immediate succession. So heated are the public passions, so intolerant of restraint is the popular will.”
I want to repeat this one piece. This is a New York Herald report from their Charleston correspondent. I want you to think about university campuses. The number of young students I talk to who are intimidated. I want you to think about what happened with the young fascist with their hammers breaking glass the other night. I want you to think about literally the people who were trapped in their hotels.
“It is hardly prudent for any man to express his opinion adverse to immediate succession. So heated are the public passions, so intolerant of restraint is the popular will.”
What you have is a left which resemblance Charlestonians about to secede in defense of slavery, and I hope they love the comparison. The other comparison, of course, is European fascism.
Finally, Guelzo knocks down the myth of the Clinton majority with the following note. This came even later. He says, “The importance of getting your terms right. 1, The Constitution no where provides for a popular vote for the presidency. The only process described in the Constitution for electing a president is the electoral college. It is the states which hold a popular vote for presidential candidates in each state based on their own Constitutions and statutes.”
“2, Mrs. Clinton won 65.8 million votes in the states as opposed to 63 million for Mr. Trump. She did not, however, win a majority. Mr. Johnson won four million, a fourfold increase from 2012 for the Libertarians, and Ms. Stein won 1.2 million, a threefold increase over 2012 for the Green Party. Thus, a majority actually voted for someone else than Mrs. Clinton. Mrs. Clinton only won a plurality of votes in the states.”
“3, Only 55.3% of the eligible electorate actually cast ballots in their state for a presidential candidate. Thus, not candidate could be said to have won the votes of a majority of the American people.”
Anyway, Guelzo is a great historian. I think he puts some things in context that the Washington Post and New York Times will probably try to avoid thinking about, but I was comforted to make the parallel comparison, because I think it’s real. The election of Lincoln is a watershed moment in American history, in which an intense majority of Americans in the north, who were a minority of all Americans, picked Abraham Lincoln to be president at a time when southern slave holders have decided if they cannot expand slavery, it will inevitably be destroyed, and, therefore, passivity towards slavery, which is what Lincoln was arguing, is, in fact, guaranteeing the destruction of slavery, which is what Lincoln thought.
In defense of slavery, they secede and we fight the most bitter war in our history, six hundred and thirty thousand dead, more than all of our other wars combined.
This is a real hard challenge. It’s a very hard challenge for people to deal with. The hard left, funded by people like George Soros, want to create an America unacceptable to the vast majority of Americans. The truth is if the Republican Party were better at reaching out to and including Latinos, and African Americans, and Asian Americans, you would have a massive majority in favor of traditional values, and that’s got to be one of the great goals of the next couple years, and it’s part of why it is so enraging to have the propaganda media put out something like the Martin Luther King, Jr. story, because it’s designed to sustain a specific attack, designed to create a brand that says, “You cannot be for Trump if you’re non-White, because he’s a racist,” and you’re going to see this over, and over, and over again, because they can’t solve anything. The left has no solution for Chicago’s violence. The left has no solution for West Virginia’s poverty. The left has no solution to the disaster of the Baltimore Schools. All they can do is yell race, and hope that holds a coalition together.
I would draw a sharp distinction, that huge millions of Americans who voted for Hillary Clinton, who are not in any way committed to left wing principles, and those, frankly, are folks we got to work with.
I was reported the other day falsely as saying that all of the civil servants who voted for Hillary should be fired. What I said was, “Virtually all the civil servants voted for Hillary. Those who refuse to enforce the lawful instructions of the new administration should be fired,” and we should understand that if you go to the Environmental Protection Agency, you are dealing with a very substantial population of fanatics, who are going to do everything they can to undermine Trump. We don’t have to tolerate people we pay undermining the people we elect.
This is why in a second I want to switch to Thatcher, because this is what Thatcher was faced with. Is the President of the United States actually the President of the United States or is he only the President of those parts of the United States that want to recognize him? That’s why I think the first domestic action on immigration should be to send the Immigration Services back into the big city jails, so that when an illegal alien who is a criminal is released from jail, they go directly into a bus to go back out of the country, and never touch the street. That was always the rule until sanctuary cities came up, and I want that fight for a practical reason. I want to see Rahm Emanuel explain to the people of Chicago why they need more criminals on the street.
It’s a matter of sovereignty. If the United States government insists on you turning over illegal aliens as they leave jail, no city has the right to interpose itself. Interposition, by the way, was a segregationist concept. Rahm Emanuel deciding he will interpose himself against the federal government is an absurdity, and it’s the right kind of fight, because it is impossible intellectually to stand in the middle of the carnage, to use Donald Trump’s word, of South Side Chicago, and explain, “We don’t have enough murders. Could you please release a few more,” but that’s the kind of fight that we need.
Lincoln is the first analogy. The second analogy is Prime Minister Thatcher, and here I recommend to all of you a remarkable small book by Claire Berlinski, city of Berlin with an S-K-I after it. Claire Berlinski is a novelist. She was a graduate student at Oxford when Thatcher was Prime Minister and she was anti-Thatcher, and later on in life, she began to realize that Thatcher had really been historically absolutely vital, and so she wrote a book called There Is No Alternative Why Margaret Thatcher Matters, and the core of her argument is that Thatcher, upon becoming Prime Minister, faced two crises. The first was the crisis of socialism as an immoral dictatorial and dangerous movement. The second was the effort by the coal miners union to actually take over and run the country.
In the first one, her response was to wage moral warfare. She attacked socialism as immoral, not just wrong, not just expensive. It was immoral. It’s immoral to steal from one person to give to another. It’s immoral to spend other people’s money. It’s immoral to engage in a philosophy that teaches that dependence while others take care of you is better than the work ethic, and she was very, very aggressive about it.
There’s a famous scene when she’s still the opposition leader when she goes to the Conservative Party annual meeting, and she says at one point, “People ask us what is our policy.” She reaches into this giant handbag, and she pulls out Hayek’s Constitutional Liberty, which is quite a big book, and she slams it on the podium, and she says, “Our policy is captured in this book. Our policy is freedom and people learning to be free.” In America, we say our policy is you get to pursue your own dreams, but that means you’ve got to pursue them.
Dependency is remarkably antithetical to American culture, because American culture is profoundly based on the work ethic and the notion that you can have big dreams, but then you got to go work to make them happen.
She actually spend four years planning to take on the coal miners union, and it was a head on fight. The coal miners union believed, much like the PATCO strikers in 1981 with Reagan, who had believed that Reagan couldn’t fire them, because it would end the air traffic control system. They were absolutely confident he couldn’t fire them, and I actually have been endorsed by the Air Traffic Control. I represented both the Hampton Center and the Atlanta Airport, and I had to go to them in the spring and say, “This was a great strategy for Jimmy Carter, because he would have caved, but the election occurred. You’re in a new world. He’s going to fire you,” and they said, “He can’t do that. He’d risk an entire air traffic system,” and I said, “Trust me, they are planning to replace you overnight, so you go on strike, you aren’t coming back.”
It was an enormous shock. Actually we know in retrospect, it, also, shocked the Soviets. It’s one of the things the Soviets said genuinely made them worried about the whole dealing with Reagan. He clearly wasn’t Carter, and they had to be changing all their planning.
She was up against the head of the coal miners union, who believed that they could go on strike, and that Britain would run out of coal, and that they could seal off the mines so they couldn’t deliver coal, and so she spent four years preparing, and she used the military. She used the police, and she kept open the coal mines, and it was about a year long fight. In her mind, because she’d grown up with a father who was very pro Churchill, and she’d grown up in the shadow of Churchill, what she was doing was Churchillian. She saw socialism morally and the coal miners union practically, as striking at the very heart of representative self-government, that a representing self-governing society would not survive long term in socialism and it would not survive long term if the coal miners union were more important than Parliament.
Because Thatcher was so clearly anti-left, they hated her from the day she was sworn in, and they reviled her. The truth is, if the Argentinians had not made the mistake of attacking the Falklands, she might not have gotten reelected, because every element of the British news media attacked her. Every element of the British intellectual community attacked her. Every element of the labor union movement attacked her. She was constantly under siege, to such a degree that she wouldn’t read the newspapers. She just said, “I don’t want to feel good or bad. I’m just going to do what I think is right. We’ll see what happens.”
I’ve said in here before, I think Thatcher is a much closer analogy than Reagan for what’s going to happen with Trump, because the fact is Reagan, while he threatened the Soviet Union, he didn’t threaten the Stanford faculty, and Reagan didn’t engage in cultural fights domestically. He was for American history. He was for American civic culture, but he didn’t take on the left domestically, so they might not have agreed with him on defeating the Soviet empire, but it didn’t threaten their direct interests.
Trump, to his credit, is threatening both the left and the establishment simultaneously. That is so different than anything we’ve seen in our lifetime. I think only Andrew Jackson and Abraham Lincoln give you a comparable sense. You could argue Jefferson versus Adams, but that was a different world and much less clearly formed at that point, although Jefferson does wipe out the Federalists, and is the first great change in power, but I think Jackson, where you had a real eruption against the establishment, and we had a western populism versus the eastern elitism.
I think you’ve got Lincoln where you have one section of the country prepared to wage war. As Lincoln says in his second inaugural, “One side would fight rather than let them leave, and the other side would fight rather than stay.” In their case, it became a real war, and I think that we are more likely to be in a Thatcherite environment where there irritations and there are eruptions, but I think you have to take seriously the people who are running around breaking windows the other night. You have to take seriously Madonna saying she dreams of bombing the White House. You have to take seriously the fact that you had worldwide George Soros funding … There’s an article this morning arguing that Soros funded 50 different organizations, because Soros, in a sense, is the equivalent of the coal miners leader in Great Britain. Soros would like to impose Soros’ vision of a hard left world, and he’s willing to spend an amazing amount of money to do it.
The fact that the day after the inaugural, if you go and look at their speeches, you go listen to what they said, there’s no middle ground here. Either Trump surrenders or Trump wins, but there’s not going to be any zone of compromise, unless Trump is prepared just to surrender, and I don’t think Trump’s going to surrender.
I, also, think you have to recognize in the amazing negative coverage … I was told on the way in here by Joe DeSantis, who works with me and who while I was sitting up on the dais was watching television, that one of the networks was actually showing you the Obama crowd and the Trump crowd on a split screen during the inaugural. The reason I raise this, it’s like the Martin Luther King lie. We need to learn in the conservative movement, we need to give up the term news media, and just talk about propaganda media. We need to strip them of any credibility, which means, to me, and I said this this morning on Fox and Friends, I would not only move the reporters in the White House to a much larger room, either in the Old Executive Office Building, at the Marriott Hotel. I don’t care, but I would really seriously consider letting half the people in the press conference be citizens and turning them into town hall meetings.
Why pretend that your mortal enemies are the people who ought to ask you questions? The current system is entire incestuous. It’s a very small number of people in a very small room, where the people who ridicule … If you took the people who sit in the front two rows, and you went back and you pulled up all the things they had said hostile about Donald Trump in the last six months, you’d ask yourself, “Why would any rational person allow these people to ask questions?” You don’t have an obligation to be a masochist, and I think we really have to rethink the whole pattern, and I think it’s a very, very big problem.
I think there are a lot of lessons for President Trump and for his supporters. On Wednesday, I’m going to really look at Trump’s four key speeches, the acceptance speech at the convention, the contract with the American voters at Gettysburg, the new deal for African Americans in Charlotte, and the inaugural address, but I want to close with this comment, because there was this whole thing on the left about both the convention speech and the inaugural were dark. This is a major fundamental difference.
I think it’s appropriate to be dark about Chicago when 4,000 Americans are shot. I would recommend to all of you to read Sam Quinones’ extraordinary book, Dreamland, which is a study of the Oxycontin heroin epidemic, which is ravaging America. I think it is a dark experience. I suggest you go to large parts of West Virginia, or Appalachia, or rural America, and look at what’s happened to small towns. It is dark. I suggest you look at the schools which now have tyrannies of the left, where fascism on the left is normal, and if you oppose it, you don’t get tenure. You can’t survive, and if you’re a student, you get humiliated and attacked. I think that is dark.
That’s one of the major differences. The elites don’t care about those who are in pain. The elites don’t care about those who disagree, except to crush them, and so from the standpoint of the Hollywood elite or the New York elite, the academic elite, they’re doing fine. They manage to con the rest of us into paying their salaries, so we all give enough money that you can be a Harvard professor, totally hostile to the American spirit and the American belief system, and we pay you as though you’re teaching our kids something useful. What a deal. I think that’s why there’s such a fundamental difference in world views between the left and the vast majority of Americans.
I look forward to your questions, and I appreciate being here. I think we have microphones. Do we have microphones?