An “aspiring freelance journalist”, one Spencer Folkins, “decided to conduct a series of interviews with authors on what his victory means to them and writing as a whole.” Here are the questions and my answers.
1) Over 450 other authors signed a petition launched by authors Mark Slouka and Andrew Altschul back in May opposing Trumps candidacy. What were your thoughts once you became of this petition?
Never heard of it or them. (But then, I’m unknown, too.)
2) Do you feel it was appropriate for writers to get involved in politics in this way? Why or why not?
In a Democracy (we used to be a Republic), everything turns or is political. Democracy is politics—by definition. Writers are no different than other citizens. They’re forced to have an opinion, informed or not.
3) Trump’s track record with media over the course of his campaign was anything but pretty. Do you think the media was fair in their portrayal of him? Why or why not?
Fair? Certainly not. The media did its best to torpedo him and to downplay the horrors of Hillary. Many in the media openly admitted as such (you ought to get these quotes to do a complete job). Trump supporters were routinely painted as ‘racist’, ‘sexist’, ‘angry whites’, etc., etc. It’s no wonder the stuffed-diaper crowd hyperventilated after the election and ran to safe spaces to have cry-ins. They believed the media. They thought Trump was ‘literally’ (so much for English education) Hitler, because that’s the image that was painted of the man.
That the media was itself torpedoed is the best thing about the election. The media had grown far too powerful. Take that the Raddatz chicky at the debate, to name but one of a legion of incidents. (Obama was at her wedding?) After all, in a Democracy, he who controls the information controls much, nearly all. Heretofore, being a reporter meant never having to say you were sorry. It was nothing but a pleasure to watch their comeuppance.
4) How do you think this predominantly negative media attention affected voters?
It touched them deeply. Propaganda works. That’s why there’s so much of it. For example: There were citizens who answered when asked about the Project Veritas exposé, “Those videos were faked”, which is, of course, absurd, until you recall that’s what the media told them to say. These people never bothered to watch the videos themselves. And the same is true in many, many other examples. Most people believe what they’re told, not having the time, inclination, or capacity to investigate for themselves. That’s why having a media aligned towards a common goal, such as installing Hillary, can be particularly dangerous.
5) What was your response when you learned Trump had won the election?
6) Over the course of his campaign, Donald Trump once mocked New York Times journalist Serge Kovaleski – who lives with arthrogryposis, a congenital joint condition which limits the movement of joints – and more recently threatened to sue The New York Times over a well-researched article they published regarding the sexual assault allegations against him. He also said he would not be providing media credentials for The Washington Post to attend his events after they wrote something about him that he did not like. Historically he has been hostile towards anyone who has been even slightly critical of him, even if it is only to the extent of asking him questions or accurately quoting him. As a Trump supporter and writer, how do you justify or dismiss these actions?
I don’t justify or dismiss (though anybody suing the NYT gets my support: remember how they published his partial tax returns? Would you like yours put out? How often does the NYT front-page apologize when they get it wrong? How many of Trump’s accusers turned out to be fake?). Anyway, my, and your, support and vote came to a choice, Hillary or Trump. And Trump’s infractions were minor, trivial next to Hillary’s (and Bill’s) life of crime. Inappropriately making fun of somebody is nothing next to selling the office of Secretary of State to the highest bidder. A vote is not an indicator of moral purity, but a choice, and in this case it wasn’t even close. Did we really want to see Spirit Cooking dinners in the White House? I notice, for instance, you ask no questions about Hillary’s multitudinous failings. Why is that?
7) What do you think an imminent Trump presidency means for the free press?
It will, to some small extent, put the ‘free’ back in ‘free press’. It will rein in some of the worse excesses so that, perhaps, and in some limited cases, reporters can start doing their jobs again. Could you, under Obama or an imagined Hillary, imagine the NYT going after the nonsense at the EPA? Or the Clinton Foundation? No, you cannot. Most journalists are progressives, as everybody knows, so that bias will still be inherent. It’s not as if reporters will have had a change of heart. They’ll still be progressives. But maybe they will have learned some respect.
You forgot to ask about how the citizenry will react to the media’s defeat. Hard-core leftists will remain the same, and will continue trusting comedy shows and the standard press to tell them what they want to hear. The hard-core right will still distrust the media. But there’s hope the folks in the center see that the beast has been weakened. Some of these people, maybe even many, will now second guess the news. They will discover the many alternate sources for information. This is a great benefit of the election.
Of course, it won’t last. Trump is a respite, not a solution.
8) With the influence politics has on art, what do you predict the next 4 years will look like for writers and American literature with Trump as president?
Increased freedom from fretting about political correctness can only be a good, not just for writers, but for everybody. Self-censorship has only been applied by the right, not the left. The only thing that will change is that writers not attached to universities won’t have to look over their shoulders as much. Those on campus are still lost. I’d be willing to bet that we’ll see plenty of pieces, maybe even a novel or two, where the left paints itself as imaginary victims of the Trumpocalypse.
9) Young people are going to grow up listening to what Donald Trump has to say. He now has the highest platform in the country and one of the highest in the world. What should young people know about the importance of political correctness and respect in free speech?
‘What you just said wasn’t factually correct, komrade.’
‘No, but it was politically correct, komrade.’
I’m hoping it’s clear to all, not just the young, that we don’t have to bend over and take it. We can fight back, and win. If a man wants to say, ‘Marriage means one man plus one woman for life’, he can say it, and not be chased beyond the gates by baying hounds of the ‘outraged’.
The advice to the young is this: when you’re right, be not afraid; and never, ever apologize. The Truth can stand for itself and needs no apology. The media lies to you: they tell you they are winning, that they have won, that resistance is futile. Never believe it. Even if you are an Army of one, you still possess what the enemy does not. The Truth.
As the man said, never give up, never surrender!