I was fortunate to be among some 50 conservative journalists and writers invited to a private reception and press briefing at the White House on April 24. It was mostly a symbolic act, meant to reward long-time loyalists who’d risked blacklisting and anathema by the establishment media for supporting Donald Trump, with the information to be publicly distributed after the briefing.
As it was raining outside, and the doors to the reception area were still locked, a group of friends and I took shelter in the regular White House briefing room, a cramped and ugly space where the White House press pool is kept. For a while the two groups of journalists got to mix with each other. There was not a little ill feeling and testiness expressed by some of the establishment media.
“That’s not fair,” pouted a particularly obnoxious European correspondent to no one in particular, loudly demanding that she be allowed to cover the private briefing.
“That would vitiate the purpose of holding a private briefing,” I sniffed, refusing to check my privilege.
“Well, at least let me interview you,” she said, indicating my small group.
align=”left” Just as my interlocutor was visibly wearying, White House staffer announced that the private reception would begin in a few minutes. It was then that she drew the ace she’d been hiding up her sleeve, the killer question that she would have liked to raise with Trump.
“Go to hell,” I heard my husband mutter as he turned his back on her. My husband is a wise man, even if sometimes profane when aroused. But, as fools rush in where those of better judgment fear to tread, I volunteered to be her interviewee.
“What question do you plan to ask the president,” she started. “I know what I’d ask him. What do you want to ask?”
“I don’t want to ask a question. I’d rather tell him how much I admire him, and how I’ve written articles supporting him since August 2015. I want to thank him for giving up his comfortable life with his beautiful wife and children to take on the extraordinary task of leading our country away from the edge of the abyss to which the last eight years have brought us.
“Donald Trump ran for president because he was summoned by a historical imperative. I’m talking about ‘History’ in the Hegelian sense. In Donald Trump, the man and the time are met.
“He’s a World Historical Figure,” I added, drawing upon the last remaining scraps of Hegel’s The Philosophy of History that I still retained.
“What was the imperative?”
“First, to beat Hillary Clinton. Think of the calamitous course she’d chart for America—and the world. Everyone thought she was inevitable. That American decline was inevitable. Everyone thought she’d win.”
“Not everyone would agree with you about Hillary being calamitous,” she retorted.
“Do you want to interview me or argue with me?”
“OK, you supported him. But what do you think now, after his first 100 days?”
“Oh, where to begin? He’s exceeded my wildest expectations! He’s rolled back so many needless and harmful regulations, making our country more friendly to job creation. He’s taken us out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which failed to protect our workers, our trade secrets, and intellectual property.
“By honoring the red line in the sand in Syria that Obama abandoned, he’s returned America to its historical position as a moral force in the world without getting us involved in nation-building. He’s put the world on notice that America is watching and is not to be toyed with.
“By his rhetoric alone, he’s reduced the number of illegals entering our country.”
Just as my interlocutor was visibly wearying, White House staffer announced that the private reception would begin in a few minutes. It was then that she drew the ace she’d been hiding up her sleeve, the killer question that she would have liked to raise with Trump.
It was meant to be the sort of gotcha question that embarrasses the interviewee and garners kudos from a liberal correspondent’s fellow travellers in the press pool.
“What do you have to say about the fact that Trump is going to address the NRA conference next week?”
“You mean the National Rifle Association? The NRA stands up for our Second Amendment right to bear arms. Unfortunately, you haven’t got similar protections in your country.”
“As a Canadian immigrant, one of the first things I did after I got here was to get a gun. That’s when I felt truly liberated. Acquiring a gun is a uniquely quintessential American experience.”
“I have a Glock. What kind of gun do you have?”
“I don’t need to own a gun.”
“What would you do if you had to defend yourself? Like from an intruder into your home?”
“So you think a woman needs a man to protect her? I’m shocked. I had you pegged as a feminist. Am I wrong?”
“Gloria Steinem said that a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle. What you’re telling me is that you need a bicycle!”
“I’ve got to run though. I’ve enjoyed our interview! Hope you got what you needed!”