Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – “Jordan Bloom, our man in Mordor, is live at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. What can you tell us of the most standout moments thus far of your sojourn into the belly of the beast, actually being at the RNC?” Check out today’s transcript for the rest….
Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
Mike: Jordan Bloom, our man in Mordor, is live at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. I don’t think he’s at the convention. JB, where you at?
Jordan Bloom: I’m not at the convention hall itself. I’m in Cleveland, though. I’m across the river. What’s up?
Mike: What can you tell us of the most standout moments thus far of your sojourn into the belly of the beast, actually being at the RNC? Were you in the room Monday night when Melania Trump gave that address?
Bloom: No, but I was watching it on the live stream. That’s kind of all anyone has been talking about for the last day or two. It kind of overshadowed a lot of the other things that were going on. Earlier today Caitlyn Jenner gave a speech about why she’s still a loyal Republican, what Republicans can do for gay rights. It’s been going from thing to thing basically.
David Simpson: So what can we do for gay rights, Jordan?
Bloom: I guess understand – there’s a lot of specious stuff. I won’t go into it. Just kind of the sight of Caitlyn Jenner addressing a Republican crowd was sort of interesting.
Mike: The interesting thing about that is, Bruce Jenner still likes women. It converted to be a female so it could be a lesbian.
Bloom: Is that true?
Mike: I believe that is.
Bloom: Huh. Her voice just kind of freaks me out.
Mike: Just to see that mutilated monstrosity and then to hear the voice come out of it, to hear Darth Vader come out.
Simpson: I guess we need to add one event to the decathlon, don’t we?
Mike: As far as the Melania Trump and the hysterical, scandalous reaction by so many, including the Cuomos of the Clinton News Network – gosh, I would lose track. Marc Ambinder basically proclaimed Melania Trump a prostitute, a bimbo-whore-prostitute who had taken on some more esoteric and intelligence prose than she was ever capable of producing. I’m like: Really, dude? Do you sleep inside that skin? Really?
Bloom: I think what probably happened is some junior-level speech writer was reading a lot of famous first ladies and grabbed, stupidly, a couple of phrases. That’s pretty much it.
Mike: Like I was telling my daughter last night, she goes, “Daddy, what can happen?” I said, “Nothing. She’s not elected so they can’t impeach her. She’s not running for an office, so they can’t not vote for her.” What’s the pushback here?
Simpson: Jordan, really, there’s been a 24/7 media response to this and you summed it up in seven seconds, or maybe five. Is that really all there is to it?
Bloom: That’s really all there is to it.
Mike: Tell me a little bit about – so you’re not in the convention. Last night you’re watching on the live stream again?
Bloom: Yes. So basically there’s the – if you know Cleveland, there’s a bend in the Cuyahoga River that’s sort of right in the center of town. We’re staying on the western side of the river. On the eastern side is the Quicken Loans Arena and several blocks wide is the security perimeter, then the arena itself. So there’s a lot going on other than just that. That’s kind of where I was mostly for this week.
Mike: Last night Donald Trump Jr. gave a pretty decent speech. Very well tanned is he. He looks like Donald Trump, by the way. He has Trump’s mannerisms. There are a couple things –
Bloom: Speaking of which, in his speech he had a couple of lines that were conspicuously stolen from an American conservative piece. Whoever is giving these people – I also interviewed Bill Lind, whose stuff you’ve talked about on the show yesterday. Apparently he got to Trump’s people last time Trump was in town, gave them copies of he and Paul Weyrich’s book, The Next Conservatism, which is sort of – it’s in line with probably what Trump already believes. These lines from Donald Trump Jr. in his speech yesterday are very conspicuously from this piece by F.H. Buckley in May in The American Conservative called, basically the comparison of the quote in his speech yesterday, “Our schools used to be an elevator to the middle class; now they’re stalled on the ground floor. They’re like Soviet-era department stores run for the benefit of the clerks and not the customers.” Those almost exact same lines are written in the piece by F.H. Buckley from 2016.
There are two things that are interesting about that. One, the Trump campaign, and apparently Trump’s family, are reading this sort of sympathetic take that they can take about them, which sort of makes sense. They may be as egotistical as their father. I just thought that was pretty interesting.
Mike: Buckley’s piece is called “Trump vs. The New Class,” and I used it today as well because he makes some fantastic points in it.
Bloom: Yeah, it’s a very good piece.
Mike: Do you know F.H. Buckley? Is he of the Buckley clan as in WFB?
Bloom: You know, I don’t know the answer to that. I don’t think we ever published him. He seems like a great writer.
Mike: I have a couple esoteric questions. Is Taki from Taki’s Mag in town?
Bloom: I was told that he was. I was told that he’s covering it for Tak. Scott McConnell definitely is. I’ve seen his tweets.
Mike: I’m trying to get Taki on because I’m told that he’s quite the gregarious guest and he’d definitely be a great crusader.
Bloom: That would be an awesome, awesome interview.
Mike: We’ll make it happen. There’s a couple other things that Donald Trump Jr. said last night that, again, I think following the narrative here, this is so totally apart from the robotic, [mocking] “No, the political class gets to instruct the peasants on how this convention is going to be run and how ‘Murica is going to be under a Romney administration.” The Trump campaign is: Okay, this is how business and people actually work. This is how they actually sound when they actually talk about having real jobs and real problems, so we’re going to let them talk. Jordan, I’d be lying if I didn’t say I think it’s working.
Bloom: To be frank, I agree with you. I was really struck on the drive up here. Going from DC to Cleveland, you’re driving through basically Trump country. You look at some of these places and think: There’s no way these people are ever going to vote for Hillary. I guess it sort of – what I got here, it struck me – so we were both in Tampa four years ago. It seems much, much smaller than last convention. I don’t know if that’s a function of the conscientious objectors. I don’t know if that’s a function of the fact that there’s just fewer places to stay in Cleveland, or just kind of the way the city works. Regardless, it does seem a little bit smaller. But also, less kind of inundated with Reaganite platitudes. Those have suddenly become rather unfashionable.
Mike: I think the interesting thing is – you could say that they’re platitudinal. Because they’re delivered by real people who – we’re not used to seeing avocado growers from California, the avocado farmer lady, we’re not used to seeing avocado growers – she even said: There have been weeks where Frank and I, we didn’t pay ourselves. We paid the employees instead. I’m going: I just did that. I identify with that. I did that the last three weeks on the Crusade Channel. Mike and Candace ain’t got nothing. I say that partially true, partially joking. That’s identifiable. David, you know this.
My point is that this is working. I’ll tell you why it’s working. Anyone that tunes into that does not see the political class. You may get a snippet or two of it. I think Giuliani is about as close as they got to the political class. Instead, they are seeing, maybe yeah, some very good-looking of the working class, because the Trump family is very attractive, but bringing the avocado worker in there. I thought even bringing the working-class lady in there –
What’s the new senator from West Virginia? What’s her name? Capito. She spoke last night. She gave Hillary basically the finger that: We’re going to elect Donald Trump and you’re not coming to take coal miner jobs from my state of West Virginia, because Donald Trump wants those men to go into those mines. If we want to dig more mines, we’re going to dig more mines in West Virginia. That’s our business. She didn’t sound like a politician. That, again, sounded to me like a valid complaint from a valid section of the American economy, Jordan. On your way to Cleveland, you might have passed through West Virginia, right?
Bloom: Yeah, definitely. It was that, Maryland, Ohio, and Virginia. Someone else made the point, there’s sort of a contrast between what you’re talking about and the way the Republican Party used to talk about this stuff. There was a speaker yesterday that sort of spoke in the old way. He accused Obama of violating our American exceptionalism, which is a strange, almost catechetical statement. He doesn’t appeal to those sorts of base economic grievances. Someone else made the point, the rhetorical shift is jobs over entrepreneurship. “We’re going to make America work again” was the first day’s tagline, as opposed to Marco Rubio talking about how we’re going to retrain coal miners to be coders.
Mike: That was the beauty of it, because the coal miner lady, the senator from West Virginia got up there and said: No, our coal miners are coal miners. We’re not retraining and retooling. I’m reminded of the line from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, “Retooling? I’ll retool you!”
Simpson: Jordan, taking Mike’s point, do you get a sense that the political class is trying to jump on the bandwagon and retool their message, or do you think there’s this obstinacy and they’re not coming along and they really will cause a stink even in the electoral, when the cycle comes around, when the voting comes around?
Bloom: John Boyd, the military theorist – I’m working on a profile while I’m here of Bill Lind. We were talking about this last night. He thinks about this a lot. It’s sort of my favorite parlor game, how the system all breaks down. He went off of a concept by John Boyd about a closed system and the problem with closed systems is they always collapse. If Trump wins and we don’t collapse, that’s evidence that it isn’t a closed system. The thing is, if you deviate outside the five percent allowed by the establishment, you’re not longer a member of the establishment. That’s sort of the definition of a closed system.
There was a piece today in The Daily Beast, I forget the name of the author, about how this offers – it was basically a kind of out-to-lunch, how do the people who used to run the Republican Party take it back from Trump? It was sort of we need to get rid of the nativists, the Tea Partiers, and the isolationists. Then there was Kasich. He appeared briefly. He said: The three biggest threats in the party are isolationism, nationalism, and anti-immigrationism. At a certain point – and the same thing in The Daily Beast piece. It was these three groups of people that, if you get rid of them, you don’t really have much of a Republican Party. What’s the Bertolt Brecht quote? “The parliament is decided to fire the people and elect a new one.”
Mike: Let me say a couple things on this. Number one, there’s nothing inherently wrong with nativism. We’re all nativists. When we’re in our houses and our communities, we choose what neighbors to admit. This is the most simplest way to boil down immigration. If I’ve got a bad neighbor, I don’t invite him over for barbecue. I may evangelize to him out in the street: Hey, brother, have you heard the word of God today? Oh, no, no, you don’t need to point the gun at me. I’m going to go back in the house now. Nativism is natural. David has his house. Mike has his. Christopher goes to his. Jordan has his. We all have our own houses. We’re nativists. In that sense, the Simpson Clan is native. Jordan, in your house you’re a nativist. In the Church house, we’re nativists. I know Christopher’s mom and dad and Christopher’s family, they’re nativists.
You choose who to invite in. This is natural. It’s your choice. You’re not under compulsion – my homeowner’s association doesn’t say I have to have a yearly barbecue in my backyard and I have to invite certain neighbors that I don’t like. This just defies our natural – we talk about this in philosophy all the time. It defies common sense that we’re told we have to, [mocking] “We’re a nation of immigrants.” We don’t have to be. I think you can pull the drawbridge up at 320 million, and about 110 million of them being fertile, I think we’ll be okay. It just defies the natural order. People have had it. No one is buying that there’s something wrong, racist, xenophobic. Use all the words you want. Trump doesn’t care. No one in the #TrumpNation cares. What about that?
Bloom: I think that’s right. More importantly, at this point, these people that are trying to sell out the people that have removed them from the leadership of the Republican Party, they’ve got a long way to go now. For better or for worse, it’s Trump’s party. The only conceivable way by which they could regain some of that influence is by persuading more people. Talking down to them like that and telling them the things they believe in are either unjustified complaints or bigotry is not the way to get there.
Simpson: Jordan, what I’m hearing from you is they really don’t want to retool their message but they don’t have any choice. Is that a fair statement?
Bloom: Yeah, basically. They don’t have any choice, to some extent because some of these people work for non-profits that have a particular issue set. You’re not going to see Grover Norquist going for a Trumpian national greatness kind of infrastructure spending conservatism. That’s just not how most of the conservative movement works. Trump is an indictment of the conservative moment because he indicts the idea that all conservatism is is tax cuts for the rich.
Mike: Going back to F.H. Buckley, that’s one of the points that Buckley makes. David, I told you I was going to share this with you. His principal point is that there is a caste system. I illustrate this with the giant circle with the little dot in the middle, the giant circle being the parasitian monks and the little dot being the actual elected class. The elected class is surrounded by the Heritage Foundation, the American Enterprise Institute, and Media Matters and other groups. They’re protected. They’re all feeding at the $4 trillion trough. As Buckley writes – Jordan, I don’t know if you got a chance to read the piece, these people don’t need to ascend. They are born into this clique. They’re born into this caste. Their children do not descend. They all go to the cocktail parties. Jordan, you might remember a couple years back when Angelo Codevilla wrote that magnificent essay for The American Spectator called “The Ruling Class.” Do you remember that?
Mike: And then they turned it into a book. This was Codevilla’s thesis. The thesis is that no, there is a caste system. If you’re not inside it, then you’re outside it. Your chances for advancement are slim, not none but slim. What Buckley draws on is economist Michael Hogue did some research into this. Perfect immobility is a one on his graph. Perfect mobility, meaning you can move from pauper to penthouse, so a zero is perfect mobility. Jordan, did you read the piece?
Bloom: Codevilla’s I read a long, long time ago.
Mike: No, no, Buckley’s.
Bloom: Oh, Buckley’s, yeah. I read it. It was a couple of – it’s been out for a couple months, though.
Mike: We should all be pursuing the American dream or the Denmark dream?
Simpson: I’m going to say American dream, just for why not. Give me a buzzer.
Mike: No, Denmark. Here’s the top five in mobility: Sweden, Australia, Canada, Finland, Norway, Denmark. You live in the country that’s supposed to be evil, socialist empire.
Simpson: I’m going to have to read the article to see if I agree with that proposition.
Mike: Your mobility, the potential for your son Steven to advance –
Simpson: Rags to riches.
Mike: Well, to advance beyond you, according to Hogue’s research, is greater in Denmark than it is in America. We are halfway towards immobility. That’s because of this, of the circle, inner circle.
Simpson: Which fits the caste system description.
Mike: Trump is a threat to this because Trump, for the reasons that we talked about earlier, for various reasons, poses a threat to this. This isn’t hard to figure out. Stop importing cheap cash labor in. Let the states do it. If the states want to do it, they can. If they don’t want to do it, then they don’t have to. That’s the solution to the problem. The other problem is – when Father Heenan was on the show, he talked about this. We need to stop the exporting of virile, vigorous and able-bodied young men from Mexico to the United States for another reason. They’re needed there to lead families and actually reestablish Mexico as a Catholic country that it used to be. If they keep going north for work, that’s never going to happen. It’s a twofold problem.
Jordan, I think Trump – I don’t want a wall, and I don’t think they’re going to build a wall, but there’s going to be some kind of wall, whether it’s virtual or not. Is that message – is that tonight’s message? What’s tonight’s theme, do you know?
Bloom: Today is “Make America First Again.” The themes are all sort of variations on that. I think something you said is right, to the extent that Trump represents the – there is an establishment caste in every social democracy. That’s kind of how it works. Its house ideology calls for all the things that the power would be in favor of exporting abroad: representative democracy, elections, rights for various groups of people, this sort of thing. What they don’t like is, or what possibility kind of scrambles that is, what if the people don’t vote for liberal democracy? What if they vote for something else? That’s the possibility of a non-closed system that Trump kind of represents. He’s been the first candidate – Lind said to me yesterday, Trump is the first candidate since Ronald Reagan from the major two parties that he’s going to vote for.
Mike: Wow. William S. Lind told you that?
Mike: Wow! He’s a – you’d like reading Lind.
Bloom: I remember him from 2012. We had a symposium for TAC, and Lind’s contribution, he didn’t endorse anybody. He said: Pray for a godly monarch.
Mike: You’d like reading Lind. Lind is a great writer. Lind, to me, is in that Bill Kauffman mode. He’s funny and his prose is just beyond. The man has a Chestertonian gift, he really does. That’s interesting. Are you publishing something by Lind, that he’s going to vote for Trump?
Bloom: It’ll be in the profile I’m working on about him for TAC.
Mike: You’re working on a profile for The American Conservative?
Mike: Fantastic. That’s in the next issue?
Bloom: Probably. I’ve got to turn it in at the end of the month.
Mike: What do you look forward to – I’d like to, if you have time, either tomorrow or tomorrow evening we’re going to be live on the air. I imagine you’ll be busy tomorrow night. The Trump speech, has anyone started a rumor mill about what he’s – is he going to go off teleprompter? Is Reince Priebus telling him: You have to let us look at your speech and we have to approve it. Is the speech going to be – I think this would be a huge mistake – based upon the platform that they just kind of hammered out in Cleveland?
Bloom: I haven’t heard any rumors one way or the other about that. That would be my guess; however, I think there have been a couple awkward slip-ups, among them Melania’s speech. I’m trying to remember and I’m blanking on it. Two days ago there was another incident of a speech that sounded like it hadn’t been vetted but probably should have been. The Trump campaign doesn’t seem to be doing a great job of making sure people are on message. Its actual operation, from all the reporting I’ve seen, is quite small. They don’t have very many campaign workers at all.
Mike: Isn’t that amazing? Not a million and a half staffers to run a campaign, yet either tied or leading in many polls. What’s on the agenda today? What do you guys do? I remember last year you had credentials to get into the convention. Do you still have credentials?
Bloom: I do. You need a separate credential to get inside the actual arena. I’ll basically be doing the day’s worth of articles. I don’t have any reporting or filing requirements. If I see someone that would make a good interview, I’ll probably flag them down. I’ve got to finish editing and drinking to the death of the republic this evening, I guess.
Mike: I think tonight I may be doing some –
Simpson: I think you stole that line from somewhere, Jordan. You plagiarized just now, I think.
Bloom: Could be.
Mike: I’m pretty sure I read that in a Bill Kauffman piece. I’ll let you get back to it. Always a pleasure. Great information again. Thank you for being part of our little channel here.
Bloom: Sure thing.
Mike: We’ll talk again soon. Jordan Bloom, the one and only there. It’s nice to have someone that’s in that media circle that can give you all the scoop. You would like reading William S. Lind.
Simpson: I’m going to check it out. I don’t know what possessed him to say he’ll pull the lever for someone, but I’ll see what comes –
Mike: DeRosa, who is self-described paleo-Catholic said he’s pulling the lever, and he gave the reasons why.
End Mike Church Show Transcript