Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – “There’s a great visual today of candidate Trump going to check in on his golf resorts in Scotland on the day of the Brexit vote. I don’t know if that’s coincidence or if it’s just smart campaigning to say: Donald hasn’t come out and said that he’s against the Brexit. Obama has and Mrs. Clinton has, but Trump hasn’t said anything about it. To me, there’s a visual there.” Check out today’s transcript for the rest….
Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
Mike: Scott, it is a pleasure to have you, my friend. How are you? Welcome to the Crusade Channel, part of the Veritas Radio Network.
Scott McConnell: Good to be here, Mike. So why Trump wins, I made the argument about why he won the Republican primaries against the expectations of pretty much everyone. That’s because there was a real need for a nationalist candidate. Trump, odd politician that he is, very talented in some ways, very new to the game in some ways, taps into forces which have not been represented, and which need representation and are actually bubbling up in every other Western democracy. The Brexit vote, which you were just talking about, is one indication. There’s a sense in which the citizens of Western democracies feel they’re losing control over their national destiny.
And Trump has tapped into that by talking about immigration and trade, and by not being super hawk on foreign policy, by saying basically the United States doesn’t have a solution to a lot of these problems and we can only bankrupt ourselves and bleed ourselves by trying a lot of world military problems. I think on those three issues, he is actually closer to where a lot of the GOP electorate was. The party elites just didn’t know that. They run on we’re going to cut taxes on various hedge fund guys, cut an immigration deal and legalize the illegal immigrants and let in more. We’re going to make a big fuss about overthrowing Assad and this, that, and the other thing. Somehow the people just – most of the Republican electorate just said: No, that’s not working for us. In so many obvious ways, Republican policies are not working for average Republican voters.
Mike: What I think is amazing about this, and amazing about Trump’s ability to – there’s no adversity that he seems to be incapable of overcoming. Scott, you’re old enough to know – and you’re one of the founding editors of The American Conservative magazine. That puts you in the league with Patrick J. Buchanan, one of my favorite writers of all time. You’re old enough to remember that our beloved President Ronald Reagan was called the Teflon president by his enemies. [mocking] “Nothing sticks to this guy.” No, maybe he just had really good answers when idiotic things were said about him. Trump is the exact opposite. Things do stick to him but it doesn’t seem to matter, does it?
McConnell: It didn’t in the primary. Right now I think he has a chance of winning. I think he had a bad June. I think he could have a good July and then be right with Hillary. It’s very hard to run against both your own party establishment and Democratic Party establishment. I think there’s a possibility that Trump will reshape the Republican Party but won’t win, and there’s a possibility he will win. I personally am not persuaded that he’s as bulletproof as Reagan was to attacks.
Mike: I’m on the record – and I have a bet with David Harsanyi, the editor of The Federalist, that it’s Trump 48 states and Mrs. Clinton 2.
McConnell: There are smart people who think that. It makes my heart sing every time I come across somebody smart who thinks that.
Mike: Wait a minute, are you saying, Scott McConnell, founding editor of The American Conservative magazine, you’re saying you’re on the phone with someone who’s smart? I’ve got to write the date down. My mother is listening right now going: Attaboy! Usually she’s in there looking in a mirror going: What did I do wrong!? Today she’s happy. I want to talk a little bit more about Trump and some other things that you have written about. We’ll stick on the subject of Trump. Your co-founding editor, Patrick J. Buchanan, hasn’t endorsed Trump but he’s been very pro-Trump. To me it’s undeniable. To me that’s the populist in Pat coming out. Pat sees a fellow populist and goes: I was talking about this in ’92 and they almost ran me out of the party, too. Pat’s like the wounded warrior who can sympathize with Trump. I think that Buchanan sees something here that the moneyed and entrenched class that Kelley Vlahos wrote about, that magnificent piece about the war-industrial complex, the terror-industrial complex.
McConnell: Great piece.
Mike: I think that Pat sees something here, Scott. I think that what he sees here is that the American middle-class voter quite frankly does not give a rat’s furry behind about what anyone who appears to be in any position of authority or of a stature – any person in a position of stature – it’s almost like – if you’re in a position of stature and you say something about my Donald, I just discount that. To me, the more they go after him like this, the more impervious he becomes to their attacks.
McConnell: I think that’s true for some people, but it’s true – I think that there are a number of people, I’ll think of my mother, for instance, who’s still alive and does not like Donald Trump. People who discount, who are influenced enough by the mainstream media that they don’t realize the extent to which they actually agree with Trump and Trump’s positions. I think there are a lot of people like that. Winning them over will be tough. I think the parallel with Pat Buchanan’s campaigns, ’92, ’96, and to a lesser extent the third-party campaign in 2000, is very, very pertinent. There’s big similarity on the three issues of trade, immigration, and foreign policy. Trump doesn’t stress social issues very much. He’s a little amorphous about where he stands, or he’s stood in various places in his life.
Pat was prematurely correct, i.e., we had the trade deals in the ‘90s and a lot of people warned there’s going to be a big, big exit of manufacturing jobs away from the United States. That happened but it didn’t happen in ’96. It began happening in ’96 and steadily afterwards. The same with immigration. There were a lot of immigrants in 1996, but there wasn’t a terrorism problem with immigration. There was less of a wage stagnation because the economy was doing pretty well in the ‘90s. Pat was right but he was right before his time. Of course, the Iraq War was a big disaster, but that hadn’t happened yet.
Mike: Scott McConnell is one of the founding editors of The American Conservative magazine. His cover story is on the cover of The American Conservative magazine this month that you’ll find on the surviving newsstands that are left out there, or by subscription. You can always go to amconmag.com. “Why Trump Wins – He Knows Border Wars Have Replaced Culture Wars.” I’ll hit another point here that I think you made that when I read it I went: Yeah, that’s exactly right.
One of the things that Trump has tapped into, and one of the reasons why that middle-class guy out there that used to have a job working with his hands is now told to get in a blue smock and stand outside of Walmart or he’s got to learn some techno jargon that he has no desire to learn, is that these people, by and large – I know a lot of them out here in the hinterlands. We never were, and I’ll throw myself in, we never were globalists. They told us that we were globalists. They said it would be good for us if we were globalists. It never sank in. No one ever agreed to this. There are many that are nationalists. I’m only a nationalist when it comes to my state of Louisiana. To me that’s my nation. I’m old-fashioned. I understand the nationalistic tendencies of most people. I think what you wrote there is precisely it. They don’t want to be globalists but they do want to be nationalists. Flesh that out a little bit.
McConnell: I would say there are different flavors of nationalist. I’m not crazy for getting out and shouting “America’s #1!” I travel a lot and try to appreciate other countries. I do think that American immigration policy and trade policy should think about the American citizenry and what favors them first. What will be the actual result on Americans’ wages and jobs and they don’t. There’s a growing number of people on the left, but the right has kind of embraced it, too, that just thinks a borderless world is the wave of the future. It’s progressive and why should we discriminate in favor or Americans as opposed to perfectly deserving people in Asia, Africa, South America? It’s just kind of nuts. People can’t have loyalty and a sort of sense of solidarity. Instead they think it’s infinitely broad or it’s so broad that it becomes meaningless. It will result in a kind of deluge which will destroy America, which was both an egalitarian and very democratic place and the envy of much of the world for my whole lifetime. That’s not written in stone that that’s going to be forever. I think that excessive globalism will destroy it.
Mike: There’s a great visual today of candidate Trump going to check in on his golf resorts in Scotland on the day of the Brexit vote. I don’t know if that’s coincidence or if it’s just smart campaigning to say: Donald hasn’t come out and said that he’s against the Brexit. Obama has and Mrs. Clinton has, but Trump hasn’t said anything about it. To me, there’s a visual there. There’s another visual there. There’s another object there. You’ve been covering politics for most of your career, I assume.
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Mike: There’s another object here, though, and this is something that has been missing, I think, almost completely, although we have had businessmen that wanted to be in politics like Mitt Romney and Ariana Huffington’s husband, who was one of the most wealthy men on the planet. He crashed and burned. There’s something to be said for Donald Trump. His successes aren’t just on paper like Ross Perot’s. Nobody could actually see where Perot was successful. You can go to a Trump resort. I’ve actually been to Royal Turnberry. They wouldn’t let me in, Scott. I drove past it. I know where it is in Scotland. I’ve been to the Trump Tower in New York City. It’s beautiful. You can see Donald Trump’s successes. You can see his footprint there. That’s an object that no other candidate I think has ever had. Do you think that’s a factor?
McConnell: I think it’s a factor. I think it’s definitely a factor that helped him get this far. I don’t know if it’s going to be factor enough to put him over the top. Him visiting Turnberry, I haven’t seen any pictures yet. It just makes me laugh that he’s – he should be on the phone with fundraisers or something like that. Appreciating the importance of the Brexit vote. I think he has come out saying that he thinks Brexit would be a good idea. He, of course, is not a British citizen. He has other things in his life besides the naked pursuit of power. There’s kind of the implicit contrast with Madam Clinton.
End Mike Church Show Transcript