Jack Hunter Talks with Mike about CPAC and the Republican Party
Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – “That’s just a little bit of what Senator Paul talked about at CPAC, just a bit of a semblance of some sanity in that room for a brief moment, less cartoonish braggadocio beat the chest and let’s go to war, which was refreshing to hear just in and of itself. He does sound like he’s a candidate, though, Jack. You and I have talked about this before. He says he’s going to decide in April. It sounds to me like he decided in March.” Check out today’s transcript for the rest….
Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
Mike: Just a little clarification on the Battle for Haditha movie. I know some of you are going to get very angry and upset with me. I did not do any due diligence on the story that was told in the film. I’m only going from just the horrors of what that war must have looked like to many of you who are listening to Jack and I right now, and who actually had to go and don flak jackets and 70 pounds of gear and patrol the streets of Haditha and Fallujah, etc. The war movies have been made to varnish over that and to glorify it. I now, thanks to that film, have a better understanding of the horror of it.
Jack was talking about PTSD. I totally understand why you would have PTSD now. I would have serious mental stress if I had to what those guys, if any of us had to that. When we talk about nonintervention, and when you hear Senator Paul or anyone else talk about nonintervention and some of the considerations, there are considerations beyond what we vaguely and very vainly refer to as national defense. There are human considerations and there is a toll that is taken. Just like with The Hurt Locker, and I think that’s what The Hurt Locker did to you, too. It kind of illustrated the toll. Battle for Haditha is The Hurt Locker on steroids. That’s why I mentioned it.
Jack, hang on a second. Let’s listen to Senator Paul. We have one clip from Senator Paul and we’ll come back and discuss it.
[start audio file]
Senator Rand Paul: It’s time for a new way, a new set of ideas, a new leader, one you can trust, one who works for you. And above all, it’s time for a new president. [applause and chanting “President Paul”]
[end audio file]
Mike: They’re chanting “President Paul.” Let’s play the one about Mrs. Clinton and we’ll get Jack’s take on that.
[start audio file]
Senator Rand Paul: It’s time for Hillary Clinton to permanently retire.
Liberal policies have failed our poor communities. Our schools are not equal and the poverty gap continues to widen. It’s time for a new way, a way predicated on opportunity and freedom. Those of us who have enjoyed the American dream must break down the wall that separates us from the other America. The president’s answer is to raise taxes again. I believe we should do the opposite. I propose we cut everyone’s taxes, from the richest to the poorest. [applause]
[end audio file]
Mike: That’s just a little bit of what Senator Paul talked about at CPAC, just a bit of a semblance of some sanity in that room for a brief moment, less cartoonish braggadocio beat the chest and let’s go to war, which was refreshing to hear just in and of itself. He does sound like he’s a candidate, though, Jack. You and I have talked about this before. He says he’s going to decide in April. It sounds to me like he decided in March.
Jack Hunter: I think all of us, you included, would be very surprised if he didn’t run at this point. Those people screaming “President Paul” at CPAC would certainly be disappointed.
Mike: I was in a room with you back in 2011 and we heard a similar chant for another Paul.
Hunter: We did.
Mike: Tell me Jack Hunter of Rare.us – Jack is a prolific writer in his own regard – what’s going to be different this time, Senator Paul to Congressman Paul?
Hunter: They’re not exactly the same. The sort of core liberty principles are the same, the Libertarian leanings on foreign and domestic policy and things like audit the Fed and different issues. They have a different style. Politics is about building coalitions to implement policy eventually. That’s something that Ron Paul, his father, really didn’t do a lot of. That’s okay. He was sort of the beacon of light and the guy who would say exactly what he thought, and that inspired millions of people, one million in 2008, to vote for him in the Republican primary, two million in 2012 to vote for him in a GOP primary. Of course, he won CPAC two years in a row when his presidential campaigns were happening.
His son is very keen on building those coalitions. This audit the Fed recently that was started by his father, and was passed while his father was still in office at least in the House, now can pass the House, can easily pass the Senate. I’m sure Obama will veto it, but I think that’s important. Just across the board, just reaching out to people who aren’t necessarily Republican, whether you’re on the left, independent, apathetic, I think Senator Paul has done a great job in doing that. There are similarities and there are differences, but I think politically, if you want to see somebody of sort of that liberty bent within the Republican Party to go the distance, I think Senator Paul has a good chance.
Anything can happen. I love these prognosticators when it comes to elections saying: Jeb Bush is the frontrunner. Now it’s Scott Walker. Nobody knows. You remember in 2008, Rudy Giuliani was the man to beat, unless Fred Thompson got in the race and it was probably all over. Remember that?
Mike: Those were the days. With Jack Hunter on the Dude Maker Hotline, I must say, Jack, while I am personally heartened and I like to hear Senator Paul’s sanity, and I like to hear his elocution on these matters that you and I – and we represent many listeners and readers that care about these things – while I am heartened to hear it and I’m glad that there was a very enthusiastic support base for it, I don’t think there is – I know we’re supposed to have a big tent. I just don’t think at this time that there’s room in the tent for Senator Paul. That makes me think as well that his campaign as a Republican is ultimately ill-fated, and that he really services the purpose, for you and I and people who think like us, of being our advocate in the ring but having no chance of actually surviving around ’15 and have his glove exalted as the winner of the match. Am I being too pessimistic?
Hunter: I’m a little more optimistic than this. I’ll say this, if Rand Paul never ran for president and was just sort of that voice for the liberty faction of the Republican Party in the Senate that would be pretty revolutionary. Bob Taft was a big deal in his day. He was sort of his party’s right flank in some of the things they talked about. I will say this, though. These historical comparisons are never perfect because times are different and eras are different. Barry Goldwater, for conservatives of that generation, was the gold standard, pun intended, when it came to conservatism. When Reagan came along, they were tired of that. They got tired of the Republican establishment. Reagan was popular in ’76. He obviously got it in ’80. A lot of people in the Republican Party didn’t want anything to do with that. People forget that. Things like the idea that Republicans should cut taxes weren’t even a consensus until after Ronald Reagan won in 1980. That was an open question. It became Reagan’s party, sort of the ideas of Goldwater filtered through this more popular figure in Ronald Reagan. Who’s to say that Rand Paul is not the Reagan to his father? That’s not a perfect comparison.
I think there’s maybe even more pushback against Rand Paul than there was Reagan. I don’t know. I’m 40 years old. I can remember that time, but not as well as maybe some others. I do think that anytime these transformational moments happen in one of the major parties, in the moments preceding them there might have been a glimmer of hope or whatnot but nobody could have seen it coming in the way that it unfolds. It could be the opposite as well. This could be as high as it ever goes and Rand Paul gets nowhere close to the nomination and the liberty faction is there but we don’t have the influence that we would have liked. That could happen, too. I’m a little more optimistic than that. I think the attitudes of millennials, who are going to be the largest voting bloc – that’s 85 million Americans – here in the coming years is going to have a lot to do with where the Republican Party needs to go if it wants to survive. It’s the Libertarian faction that’s leading that charge and showing the Republican Party how it can remain viable nationally.
Mike: Jack Hunter, who is the editor of Rare.us – that’s an online journal that keeps track of many news streams, and has their own opinion writers – is on the Dude Maker Hotline with us. A final question, and we’ll chalk this one up to the realm of Mike Church and Jack Hunter old-school. That is, outside of national politics and CPAC and Senator Paul, there are hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of little CPACs that are going on across the amber waves of fuel every weekend, Tea Party meetings, other assorted groups that meet. I meet under the headline of this thing called a Gentlemen’s Boot Camp. What do you think the overall – leaving national politics out – from what you’ve read and from the people correspond with, what do you think the overall state of the conservative / libertarian movement is?
Hunter: I think the liberty movement is the most exciting – the thing I’m most optimistic about. It’s the most exciting, most effective, most promising movement in American politics right now. I’m talking about outside of Washington. Washington is what we across the nation, we get together and organize in our towns. I’m talking about all 50 states. Then we come to Washington to beat the hell out of these guys. That’s the whole idea, right? Washington, DC is the enemy. Groups, for example, like Young Americans for Liberty, I still speak at their state conventions every year. A few weekends ago I was in Phoenix. I’m going to Salt Lake City in two weeks. That is the largest student political organization on the right in the country, bigger than College Republicans, any of that, and these are young Paul libertarians, and there is an army of them. I see them in state to state.
That’s just the young people. You’ve got Campaign for Liberty. You’ve got these Tea Party groups. You’ve got all sorts of groups out there who meet, have local meetings, organize, mobilize, know what they’re about. I’m encouraged by it. Quite frankly, that’s where my heart is. It’s those people and those ideas – that’s who shows up at CPAC and votes for Rand Paul in the straw poll. It’s not a bunch of DC beltway goofs, for the most part, if you catch my drift. Those people are voting for Jeb Bush. I’m very encouraged about it. Maybe I’m guilty of being overly optimistic. Ron Paul is my hero. Rand Paul is my hero. Ronald Reagan is my hero, too. I think his sort of outlook and that optimistic outlook is something we need in American politics, and the liberty movement could use it as well.
End Mike Church Show Transcript