RUSH: We rarely on this program have guests, but we do make exceptions. Today is such an exception. We are happy to welcome back Conrad Black, who is a noted columnist, author, broadcast and media baron now residing in Canada and author of a new book, a paperback version update of a book he published two years ago, it’s called A President Like No Other: Donald J. Trump and the Restoring of America.
This is the updated paperback version of something two years ago. And the one thing that you need to know before our discussion with Mr. Black, he’s been unwavering in his optimism about Donald Trump as president, about the United States under Donald Trump as president, and for the most part unwavering in his optimism of Donald Trump’s reelection in numerous columns and articles he has written for various websites over the course of the past three and a half years. So, Conrad, welcome back. Great to have you. Does your optimism still reign supreme? Are you still as optimistic as you have been?
BLACK: Thanks very much, Rush. It’s always a great honor to be with you. And you do not misappropriate yourself the title broadcaster-in-chief of the United States. The last time I was on, my book that you referred to, the original and substantially smaller version of this book, leapt by 200 places in the sales chart; so it is not only for commercial reasons that I’m honored to be here, but, in any case, thanks for having me.
On your question, I am on balance optimistic, but I would be misleading your listeners if I didn’t concede that I found the bad luck that the president has had and perhaps some tactical miscalculations that have occurred worrisome. And I do find the stubbornness of that group that appears to be prepared to vote for anybody in place of the incumbent president a bit disconcerting. I mean, if you’ll pardon my — and I hope your listeners will pardon me for saying this.
I’m not an American. I’m, as you know, a member of the British parliament, but I’m chiefly a resident in Canada at the moment, which is the country of my origin, and it’s not for a foreigner to say this, perhaps. But since you’ve been gracious enough to ask me, I absolutely do not understand how any sane person could vote a candidate so clearly questionable in having the mental and physical stamina in addition to do the job as Joe Biden is, a candidate who has faced in all four directions as he has, a candidate who has signed on to the Sanders-Biden unity agreement, which is essentially a Democratic-Marxist platform. They are not trying to abolish elections, they are simply trying to rig elections, disposing of the Electoral College enumerating whomever they wish to vote and adding Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., as what used to be called the nineteenth century Britain Rotten Boroughs that they could depend on the votes from.
And, finally, I don’t understand how anyone really could seriously vote for a party that is as compromised as the Democrats now are — historically a great party — but compromised by their playing footsie with groups that are really clearly urban guerrilla terrorists masquerading in some cases as advocates of civil rights. I mean, to me it is obvious who should win this election and add to that that the incumbent president has had a very successful record.
In my opinion, he’s had next to Abraham Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Richard Nixon, the most successful first term of any president in the history of the country. And so to me it is very frustrating just in the interests of having the best person win, that it is such a hotly contested election and the Democratic level of support, which I assumed as kind of a levitation, has held up as well as it has.
With that said, I think many of the polling organizations are really partisan and it is terribly difficult to poll in a Trump election because Trump supporters tend to be averse to discussing politics with strangers. But so to answer your question, yes, I’m optimistic the president will be reelected, but not as optimistic as I thought I would be or as I would wish to be.
RUSH: Is that because of the most recent developments regarding the president coming down with COVID-19, or is it events preceding even that?
BLACK: Well, it’s been building. The longer — I mean, I don’t mean to speak in a syncopated way. Let me start again. There is a trend. If you look at the trend on the approval rating, the president has gained approximately six points over the last eight weeks or so. And so that trend is encouraging, and I wish it were a little more rapid than it has been.
But the longer a surge upwards, which I believe the president deserves is deferred, the more cumulatively worrisome it becomes for those of us who believe he is — and I’m now speaking of the international community that’s interested in and favorable to the United States and wishes well for that country as the leader of all of us who are free countries and in the same general family of democratic and free market countries and a history of alliance together. And so it is somewhat frustrating, it becomes more so the longer it goes on.
Now, on the COVID question and the fact that he’s inflicted by it, the initial reaction, although I’m suspicious of quick polls, instant polls and indeed of polls generally, but they appear to favor the official spontaneous Democratic Party reaction, which was that, as I read it, that, well, he’s made a complete ass of himself this time. He’s disparaged and minimized the virus and he’s mocked those that take it seriously. Now he’s come down with it himself. Serves him right and shows that he doesn’t know what he’s doing. He’s completely mismanaged the COVID crisis. And that seems to have caught on a little bit.
I am hopeful that if the reports all decent people, whatever their politics, will hope that these reports are true, that the president is recovering very quickly and will be back more or less as normal quite soon. If that’s true, I think he kind of presaged to us in his remarks last night from Walter Reed that he now knows a great deal more about this having gone through it and we to fight it as a country, and I would add as a civilization. Our whole Western society is in danger of becoming a fearful, fretful bunch of moles, emulating your former vice president in our reclusiveness, and intimidated by an ailment which, as is undisputed acknowledged, is survived by 99.997% people beneath the age of 70 and 94.6% of people above the age of 70, and those who do not survive it are in almost 90% of cases people who have substantial other medical problems.
So, it is serious. We have to take seriously and treat it prudently. But if the president’s line now is we’ve got to do this and fight it and not be afraid of it but fight it sensibly, I think that could be a strong selling point. I mean, the fact that he has gone through it makes him a much more credible person to lead on this issue and comment on it than people who have not.
RUSH: We are talking with Conrad Black in Canada. He is a member of the British Parliament. He is a member of the House of Lords, author, most recent updated book a paperback version, A President Like No Other: Donald J. Trump and the Restoring of America. You have owned prestigious media outlets, newspapers in Canada and in Israel and in the United States. So you were addressing the media moments ago, and you said you expressed an incredulity like we all feel here in the United States. We cannot possibly understand how thinking people can, in an unthinking way, end up supporting a candidate like Joe Biden, who puts a lid on his campaign at 9 o’clock every day, does not go anywhere to draw crowds, can’t draw crowds.
President Trump has engaged more people with COVID-19 the past three days than Joe Biden has and who was ostensibly healthy. Now, one explanation for this, Conrad, is the media is of course not reporting anywhere near what you and I know about Joe Biden to the majority of their consumers, and the people consuming mainstream media in America today simply are uninformed. They simply do not know because mainstream media today is devoted totally to the destruction of President Trump.
BLACK: I’m afraid that except for the News Corporation — that’s Fox News, Wall Street Journal, and the New York Post — that is true. What you’ve said is exactly true. And it is, of course, I think an unprecedented state of affairs and will be the subject of a lot of analysis by historians and media specialists in the future. And my own impression has been that the reason for this has been that when Donald Trump announced in 2015, carried on from there, he made it clear that unlike other candidates in the past, he was running against the entire system. He was running against all factions of both parties, and he was running really against the Bushes as much as the lintons and Obama.
RUSH: And he’s been true to that. He’s been true to that —
BLACK: He’s been true to that, but once elected, he I think made conciliatory moves to bring the Republican Party and the congressional delegation especially, which just sat on its hands for six months to see if he would be impeached or not. Paul Ryan, who was the Speaker, and in the first six months or so, Mitch McConnell, they didn’t lift a finger to help him.
But once they saw that he was for real, I think he’s made an effort to bring them in under the tent, not Ryan personally, but, you know, the Republican congressmen and senators, and they’ve responded to that. And I think he’s clearly at the head of that party officially now, and Never Trumpers are, you know, cowering in the camp of the Democrats firing missiles backwards, you know, over their backs like (unintelligible) throwing the flowers, you know. But part of what he attacked, the whole system specifically included his attack on the national political media.
And I think they — I don’t want to take liberties and mind read large and varied groups, but, as a group, I think they felt that he was threatening them as he was threatening the whole political establishment, that he was going to say that, in effect, the emperor had no clothes. The Washington press corps is accustomed to elevating and demoting political leaders as it wishes, and he end ran them with the social media and is influencing a sort of broadcast journalism that you’re involved in, are the leader of, and he countered their influence. And, for all I know, I’m not an expert in social media, but he may still be capturing. He obviously has a direct line to scores of millions of people through Twitter and so on.
I think they feel that he is threatening their influence in the political life of the country and they don’t like it. Now, add to that most of them tend to be leftish and snobbish. And leftists and snobs don’t much care for Donald Trump because he is not a man of the left, although he’s certainly not a reactionary, either. He’s a man of the people, but not the left. And they are of course not the same thing. And he is informal and straight talking and politically incorrect. And that tends to incite stupefying levels of snobbery.
And he is the victim of that, but he’s also the beneficiary of that because as all the polls indicate, the media are in a uniquely low repute in the country. And, incidentally, you haven’t raised this, but I will if (unintelligible), I think that that whole state of affairs is worrisome because we have to have a free press to have a functioning democracy, and we can’t have any one government or anyone else tampering with it. But we have a very inferior press, not only the United States, but it’s a problem throughout the advanced Western countries.
And when the public disdains the press, I believe that is eventually a dangerous situation. We have to have a free press that is respected. But it can only be respected if it earns that respect. And, as you said a minute ago, the conduct of the media at this election campaign has been absolutely scandalous. They are full of malice, and they are liars. And one hesitates to use such inflammatory phrases, but I cannot take issue with the president when he said they are enemies of the people. To the extent that they deliberately misinforming the public, that’s what they are, enemies.
RUSH: Conrad Black is our guest. A brief, obscene profit time-out and we will return right after this.
RUSH: And we are back with our final moments with Conrad Black, author of A President Like No Other: Donald J. Trump and the Restoring of America. Paperback version out now. Conrad, your description of Donald Trump is among the best that I have seen. “Like the country he represents, Donald Trump possesses the optimism, the perseverance to succeed, the confidence to affront tradition and convention, a genius for spectacle, and a firm belief in common sense and the common man.”
His connection that he has with the common people of this country, his connection, the bond that he has is unbreakable. This is what’s so frustrating the media, I believe. They can’t separate him from his base supporters.
BLACK: I’m sure that’s right. And goodness knows they’ve tried. They’ve thrown everything at him. It’s the greatest exercise in mudslinging I have ever seen in a democratic country.
RUSH: And you also have, you made mention of the fact of the media. We in America have survived, I think. You’re right about the need of a free press. We have survived purely and simply because our public has been informed. This is what so many people worry about today is now the misinformation is so astronomical, it’s such an effort to be properly informed today, whereas it used to not be.
Education has been compromised. The public education system, the media and so forth. Young people are taught hatred for their own country today. They’re taught that this country is still practicing slavery, that we have not made amends, we have not fixed anything. They’ve really, really attacked the mind-set of youthful, white Americans in college. And it’s been a very difficult thing to overcome. And they’ve literally convinced people like that Donald Trump is mean, that he has an agenda against them, that he represents an America that’s 200 years old. Nothing could be further from the truth.
BLACK: And that he’s an authoritarian trying to usurp democracy.
RUSH: Yeah, exactly.
BLACK: There’s no shred of evidence and nothing could be further from the truth. Rush, when I first knew you, it was shortly after the Cold War ended, and I remember there was a lot of speculation around generally we all, you know, were involved in it, that without a foreign challenge, no foreign challenge, the United States could fall to greater internal divisions than if it had some of — well, since it became involved in international affairs, I guess, in the thirties. And there is some truth to that.
Now, there are ways to deal with it. One assumes that eventually the country will tire of the turmoil which, thanks to the media, that you’ve just accurately described, they chiefly blame on the president. But he’s the subject of it, not the author of it. But things will settle down. I mean, as a very young person I remember the McCarthy era. There weren’t great demonstrations and things like there are now, but were terrible public spectacles and political bloodletting of a kind that was unjust and frightening at times. Mr. Nixon, and he mismanaged the investigation, but he was persecuted right off office. And patriotic an American as he was, even though there is still to this day not a shred of evidence that he himself committed a crime (unintelligible) —
BLACK: — he departed office to spare the country the ordeal. I mean, the country will get back to a greater state of normalcy. I just hope that it doesn’t do so at the expense of losing a very capable, successful president in the middle of his term.
RUSH: Conrad, thank you so much for your time. You’ve kept me going. Your optimism in all that you have written in the past three and a half years has been so welcome, and I hope you’re able to continue it because you genuinely feel it. We really appreciate the time. The best of luck here with A President Like No Other: Donald J. Trump and the Restoring of America. Conrad Black, thank you so much.
RUSH: And once again, thanks to Conrad Black. Really, folks, if you have occasion to read anything Conrad Black writes, be it at American Greatness or at National Review, you really should. We’ve posted a number of his pieces at RushLimbaugh.com, linked to them. He has been uniquely optimistic about Donald Trump from the beginning, and during whatever periods of disquiet and discomfort and challenge, he’s been unwaveringly optimistic, and he remains so, although he thinks that some problems recently have been self-inflicted, he worries about them.
But you heard him say, he just cannot understand why and how so many Americans can blindly support a candidate like Joe Biden who doesn’t campaign. This guy is one of the oldest, corrupt — this guy is exactly why people don’t like politics. But he’s not reported on that way. He is a machine politician who has enriched his family by using his political connections.
Everything people despise about politics Joe Biden is and has been for 47 years. But because the media loves that kind of Washington, that type of Washington, he’s not reported on that way. He’s reported on as one of the premier Washingtonians. And it’s coupled with the enmity, the hatred that they have for President Trump. So we shall see.
He was right about the need for a free press. There’s no question about that. But it’s a free press that informs. We don’t have a press that’s informing anybody. We have a press that’s all gone. They’re totally corrupted now. And they are nothing more than left-wing Democrat advocates. I mean, they are essentially political operatives and disguised as journalists. And that too is puzzling, how more people don’t see it. I expressed frustration earlier in the busy broadcast with that. So we shall see.