About that Hugh Hewitt interview of Donald Trump: It amazes me.
It amazes me that Trump’s inability to name the top sheiks of jihad is Page One News to our Twitter-tagged #GOPSmartSet. I do not, however, detect similar alarm over how many of those sheihks’ foot soldiers, both killers and colonizers, are streaming into borderless Europe, also the USA.
They are too busy with deep analysis of Hewitt’s pop quiz.
This in itself produces a kind of “Eureka” moment. Little Picture people deal in factoids. Donald Trump is a Big Picture kind of guy.
I offer Hewitt’s Trump interview as Exhibit A. According to the radio host, knowing the names of the bosses of what he calls (gag me with political correctness again) “Islamist extremism” could not possibly be of greater importance. As he put it to Trump: “I’m looking for the next commander-in-chief, to know who Hassan Nasrallah is, and Zawahiri, and al-Julani, and al-Baghdadi. Do you know the players without a scorecard, yet, Donald Trump?”
Of course, such a “feat” will take anyone about 60 seconds on Wikipedia, so what is really go on here? Hewitt says he is not playing “gotcha,” and, in a way, I believe him. That is, I think this is really how #GOPSmartSet thinks. (Exception: when they’re dealing with a #GOPSmartSet-approved-candidate such as Ben Carson, who did not know the Baltic countries are part of NATO, no one goes on “Meet the Press.” But that’s another turn of the rigged wheel).
Here is the relevant stretch of Trump transcript, which opens with Hewitt bringing up “Gen. Soleimani” of Iran’s “Quds Forces.”
HH: Agreed. So Soleimani runs the Quds Forces. Do you expect his behavior is going to change as a result of this deal with Iran?
Not an insightful question — even for #GOPSmartSet. Obviously, with the Iran deal, Soleimani’s “behavior” is going to get worse. Trump responds more generally about the Iranian regime (Big Picture) — not the general, who, of course, reports to the Iranian regime.
DT: I think that Iran right now is in the driver’s seat to do whatever they want to do. I think what’s happening with Iran is, I think it’s one of the, and I covered it very well. I assume you saw the news conference. I think Iran is, it’s one of the great deals ever made for them. I think it’s one of the most incompetent contracts I’ve even seen. I’m not just talking about defense. I’m not talking about a contract with another country. I’ve never seen more of a one-sided deal, I think, in my life, absolutely.
Hewitt does not want to talk about Iran or the deal and refocuses on the Iranian general.
HH: Well, Soleimani is to terrorism sort of what Trump is to real estate.
Does anyone else hear the jarring note? Equating a U.S.-designated terrorist leader of a U.S.-desigated terrorist group — one that killed and maimed thousands of Americans in the Iraq War — with any kind of American star, whether of business or baseball, is profoundly tone-deaf.
But maybe I am reading too much into it.
HH: Many people would say he’s the most dangerous man in the world, and he runs the Quds Forces, which is their Navy SEALs.
No, I am not reading too much into the Soleimani-Trump comparison. This would actually be insulting (think: “he runs the SS, which is their Navy SEALs”), at least if he knew of what he did. But I don’t think he does. By equating Iranian Quds terrorists with Navy SEALs, Hewitt reveals that he has a rather blurry way of relating to the world around him. The better to focus on factoids, perhaps. Successful terrorist Soleiman is like successful businessman Trump, just as the terrorist Quds Force is like US Navy SEALs. Excellence is excellence? Of course, given that Soleimani’s excellent forces have been struggling against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, the whole framework kind of breaks down, but maybe that’s another story.
DT: Is he the gentleman that was going back and forth with Russia and meeting with Putin? I read something, and that seems to be also where he’s at.
HH: That’s the guy.
DT: He’s going back and forth meeting with other countries, et cetera, et cetera.
HH: That’s the guy.
DT: Not good.
HH: And so do you think…
Hewitt is determined to get his obvious Soleimani question asked, so Trump has to talk over Hewitt to say something quite interesting:
DT: Not good for us. And what it shows is a total lack of respect, I mean, that the other countries would even be entertaining him, and they’re entertaining him big league, big league.
Here we see Trump painting the Big Picture, offering a wider perspective than most people see by noting the implications for the United States in Soleimani’s star treatment by Russia and other countries — “not good.” I would have liked to hear him expand on this point.
Not Hewitt, who is still intent on his data. But first, some framing.
HH: So when you went before the Senate, and I always tell people my favorite testimony of all time is when Donald Trump just schooled the Senate on the construction of the U.N. remodel.
The smarm count is rising.
HH: You know that stuff. You know every developer in Manhattan. You know everything about building buildings. You could build the wall. I have no doubt about that.
Hewitt has just opened the perfect window on the Little Picture perspective. Pace Hewitt, Trump, a builder at the level of Soleimani’s terroristic excellence (really bizarro, I know), could, indeed, build a great wall of America. Hewitt sees the wall itself as endgoal, merely an engineering feat that a builder like Trump could achieve. He does not seem to grasp that the wall is the capstone of an overarching immigration policy revolution to resurrect such Big Things as U.S. sovereignty, borders, and immigration control in order to have a shot at saving America, the English-speaking nation of majority European and minority African roots, from being lost forever in demographic tsunamis coming from the Third World.
That’s way too big.
DT: Right. By the way, and nobody knows how easy that would be. And I mean, it would be, it would be tall, it would be powerful, we would make it very good looking. It would be as good as a wall’s got to be, and people will not be climbing over that wall, believe me. Go ahead.
HH: You know, I’d buy that, because you’re a builder.
And then the pivot:
HH: But on the front of Islamist terrorism, I’m looking for the next commander-in-chief, to know who Hassan Nasrallah is, and Zawahiri, and al-Julani, and al-Baghdadi. Do you know the players without a scorecard, yet, Donald Trump?
Poor Little Picture people. They really think this is how you win the game.