I was pleasantly surprised when Connect Savannah editor-in-chief Jim Morekis told me the readers of his newspaper had voted me “Best Conservative Savannahian.” Pleasantly, because everyone likes to win stuff, and surprised that the readers of Connect didn’t vote me “Best Savannahian to be Strapped to a Rocket and Shot into the Sun.” With the honor came a short interview to accompany my mug shot.
Jim gave me a list of 5 questions, hoping I would deliver somewhere in the neighborhood of 250 words, total. I showed up with closer to 1000. Obviously, Connect doesn’t have the room to burn off column inches on my verbosity, so the interview was truncated to a more printable length. However, the unexpurgated version is worth a read, if only to give you readers a better sense of where I think we are, where I think we’re headed, and how we should get there. Jim is a stand-up guy, and has given me permission to run the entire interview.
(1) In the Trump era, what exactly does conservative really mean? How should conservatives prepare for a post-Trump era in either 2020 or 2024?
The definition of “conservative” hasn’t changed. The definition of “Republican” has. It’s an important distinction. Conservatives still believe in the adage (probably mis-) attributed to John Stuart Mill: “The right to swing my arms in any direction ends where your nose begins;” that freedom - freedom to live, love and even loathe whomever and whatever you wish – should always remain sacrosanct. In the Trump era, “Republican” is becoming a synonym for “MAGA.” Trump is the Batman President: he’s not the one we need, he’s the one we deserve. Nonetheless, real conservatism is gaining traction, while increasingly authoritarian liberalism is facing a decline. There’s a lot more room with the people who say “do what you want, as long as I don’t have to pay for it,” than with the people who scream “do what you want, as long as it doesn’t offend the shrieking mob in the ‘pussy’ hats!”
(2) Tell me about Last Stop on the Right, and maybe tell me about the importance of podcasting in alternative media and conservative media in particular.
LastStopontheRight.com, and the Last Pod on the Right, are just my own interchange on the information superhighway. In addition to the podcast, there are polls, memes, and short form looks at the day’s top stories, none of which are taken too seriously. It’s more reflective of the natural topics of conversation anyone might have during the day. Football, food, music, guns, television, and movies all have a place. Obviously, I do a fair amount of “owning the libs,” but always at civilized volume levels. And with the Last Pod, I get to drink beer while doing it. Podcasting itself is the logical progression of interaction in the digital age. The signal-to-noise ratio is still fairly high, but much like the blogging explosion 15 years ago, the wheat will separate from the chaff. Given the dominance of liberal opinions in the legacy media, podcasting offers a less restrictive medium to conservatives, and a wide-open playing field for anyone that has a story that won’t fit into a Netflix documentary or HBO miniseries – a green light to alternative media of all sorts.
(3) What lessons and/or preparation did you take away from your days in talk radio? Is talk radio still as important a political/cultural force?
Comedy beats combat. A fire-breathing sermon may rev up the faithful, but it won’t win converts to the cause like laughter will. Moreover, being angry is incredibly tiring. Sarcasm and satire have their place, but anger is hard to endure, much less listen to by choice. And politics is a lousy yardstick by which to measure someone. Some of the finest humans I ever met through radio are Democrats; the biggest snake I ever ran across is a Republican. If I had never taken the political blinders off, I might have missed out on some remarkable people. Talk radio, unlike music radio, will remain a force as long talent exists to air. Digital alternatives will obviate music radio; who wants to wait for the new Drake track to come up in the next hour when they can catch it on Spotify right now? But they’ll augment talk; local talk most of all. Take Bill and Laura on WTKS. Drake might come through Savannah on tour on occasion; Bill and Laura are here every weekday morning.
(4) Optional Question: Do you think Trump will get reelected?
It’s a mistake to bet against him. The Democrats went into 2016 crowing “elections have consequences.” They warned that Trump wouldn’t “respect the results of this election. By doing that, he’s threatening our democracy.” Since then, they’ve contracted into a hypocritical rage cult. White men – especially wealthy ones - are evil. “Woke” beats right. Feelings count as much as, if not more than, facts. Everyone who isn’t with them is a Nazi. They’ve got two dozen Presidential candidates – some of whom are white and wealthy enough to be honorary Kennedys – floating ideas like imprisoning people for “hate speech,” opposing them on climate change, and/or owning firearms. They’re so wrapped up in being anti-Trump, whatever that might entail, they’re making unforced errors like the Mueller Investigation, running conservatives off college campuses with everything but torches and pitchforks, even winking at anti-Semitism. Come next fall, don’t be stunned if prosperity which cuts – in record fashion – across not only social, but racial, lines, beats “impeach the mother*cker.”
5) And of course anything you'd like to add.
Share more pictures of your pets. Don’t forget to call your mother. Socialism is communism with tenure, fascism with office hours.
The piece as printed in Connect Savannah: https://www.connectsavannah.com/savannah/best-local-conservative/BestOf?oid=12671283