Evan Sayet on the Naïveté of the Left

Author and comedian Evan Sayet joined Seth Leibsohn and guest co-host Sean Noble to discuss Sayet’s book, “KinderGarten of Eden,” and how American liberals abandoned the grown-ups’ table. Listen to the audio and read the transcript below.

Seth Leibsohn: Well, if LeAnn Rimes doesn’t put a little shuffle in your step … I have to tell you folks. Welcome back to the Seth and Chris Show. I’m Seth Leibsohn. My guest host pro tem is our good friend, Sean Noble. I’ve been looking forward to the show all day today. I’ve been looking forward to 4 p.m. all day today ’cause this morning I emailed someone who just puts a shuffle in my step. He puts a smile on my face. He is one of the funniest men in the country. Also, happens to be a conservative, our old buddy Evan Sayet. Evan, welcome back to the airwaves of Phoenix.

Evan Sayet: I’m just wondering, Seth, do I or LeAnn put more of a step in …

Leibsohn: Shuffle in our ste’ … Isn’t [crosstalk 00:00:38] that a great old phrase? Put a little shuffle in your … I don’t even know really know what it looks like, but it sounds like fun, doesn’t it?

Sayet: It does. This is the right time of year for it.

Leibsohn: It certainly is, Evan. Evan Sayet, you can follow him on his website: evansayet.com. You can follow him on Twitter. Still, one of the great conservative books of, I would say, the last three decades. It’s the “KinderGarten of Eden: How the Modern Liberal Thinks.” You want an explanation of the modern liberal and their mind, they’re psychomachia, Evan wrote that book. Evan, you had a tweet today that put me in mind of you and I was surprised when I read it because it was so succinct, so apt given what we’ve been going through the past couple months and no one had said it, but you did. I guess that’s why your last name is Sayet.

Sayet: Right. It should be apt because that’s what Twitter and social media allows you to do is get something out there in a quick amount of time as opposed to all the other industries I’ve worked in. If you write a late night television monologue, perhaps you see it that night. If you write a sketch for Saturday night, perhaps you see it that week, but with things like Twitter and Facebook and Instagram … I mean Instagram is aptly named, it’s instant.

Leibsohn: Yes. That’s right. I won’t say it as well as you did, but basically, your point was when you’re looking at the vast majority of these horrible cases we’ve been reading about and inundated with, they’re coming primarily from a culture that taught you if it feels good, do it. It put me also in mind of your book. I mean the “KinderGarten of Eden,” a lot of these people are just acting like they never left kindergarten.

Sayet: Well, right. I mean that was the [crosstalk 00:02:20]

Leibsohn: Except Kindergartners act better.

Sayet: Well, that was exactly the intention of the modern liberal elite was to create a society where everybody was morally and intellectually stunted at the level: the 5-year-old child. See, they’re convinced that the human being is born morally perfect and then gets corrupted by evil forces that was in society; the patriarchy, the church, institutions like marriage that are unnatural and the binary sexism and so on. If you can retard the . . . moral and intellectual growth of everybody before they’ve been corrupted, they believe you’ll have this utopian society. Now it really is they’re belief is if you can get rid of all value, then you can get rid of all judgments and without judgements, you won’t have disagreements. Without disagreements, you won’t have fights. Without fights, you won’t have war. Without war, you won’t have poverty. Without poverty, you won’t have crime. Without crime, you won’t have injustice. Really all they needed to create, at least in their mind, was a society that was totally without values and you would have a utopian society.

If you think about the John Lennon song, which in many ways is the anthem of the modern liberal movement, “Imagine.” Imagine there are no countries so you have no civic values. Imagine there’s no religion so you have no religious values. Imagine that anybody and everybody is equally rewarded whether you’re slothful or hard-working, whether you’re sober or whether you’re intoxicated. Everybody has the same possession. Well, that’s the world they tried to create, but in such a world where there are no values, then you shouldn’t be surprised when people act as if they don’t have values.

Leibsohn: Evan, you’ve just given Sean and me about 20 follow-up questions in what you said there, but let me focus on the first one, which is that John Lennon song, “Imagine,” which I always thought was sung in the wrong language to the wrong people. It’s like that bumper sticker “coexist.” There’s one of those symbols that doesn’t coexist with the rest of ’em. Everyone else is pretty good about coexisting. Most religions are pretty good about coexisting. Most countries are pretty good about being peaceful, at least the ones that read English and don’t seem . . . They’re the ones that don’t seem to have cross-border aggressive intentions. That’s why I say, would that that song could have been sung in North Korea or Saudi Arabia?

Sayet: Right. I mean, but it requires a degree of naïveté that is so naïve, it belongs in the kindergarten classroom.

Leibsohn: Yeah.

Sayet: Once you begin to mature and you learn about the real world … In kindergarten, every child is special, but no child is more special than any other. In the United Nations, every nation is special, but no nation is more special than any other. All you really need to do is take the lessons taught in the kindergarten classroom and extrapolate them into more sophisticated, adult sounding language and you have every single Democratic Party position, whether its don’t hit anyone now becomes war is not the answer.

As I just pointed out their adoration for the United Nations, it requires that degree of naïveté and by the way, the quote that I just gave “extrapolate into more sophisticated, adult terms,” actually comes from a book that was perhaps the most successful book of the modern liberal era. It was called “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.”

Leibsohn: Right. Robert Fulghum or something like that. Yeah.

Sayet: Right. He’s absolutely serious. This is not a tongue in cheek exposé about the infantile nature of the Left. He’s absolutely serious that all you need to do is take the lessons that you were taught in kindergarten and offer them in more sophisticated, highly educated erudite language and you have exactly the same position that you have whether you’re a 70-year-old leftist college professor or 5-year-old child in kindergarten.

Leibsohn: Evan, as people who may have not heard you before, hearing you for the first time-

Sayet: That’s not possible.

Leibsohn: Well, we’re always getting … Four million Americans are born every year so you know. You know.

Sayet: Okay. There you go. For the new ones.

Leibsohn: Don’t ask me why I know that. That’s a story for another day, but, Evan, for those who … You didn’t always used to think this way, did you?

Sayet: Well, look, first of all, I was not involved in politics. I was a stand-up comedian doing the tour circuit. I was born in New York City, so I was a New York City born Jew in the entertainment industry. I was on the Left. I voted . . . I supported McGovern. But it wasn’t a thoughtful leftism. It wasn’t like I had read “Das Kapital” and said, “Yes. This is what works.” It was just what my friend, Andrew Breitbart, would call the default factory setting for somebody born into my demographic. Everybody I knew was a liberal. I was in the entertainment industry in New York, so my rabbi who was the liberal.

I make this point all the time. A lot of people aren’t really liberals, they’re conservatives. They’ve just never heard what a conservative believes from a conservative. All I ever knew was what liberals said conservatives believed. I knew that Democrats like peace and Republicans like war. Well, I like peace. I must be a Democrat. Democrats like air and water. I like air and water. I must be a Democrat.

It wasn’t until 9/11. It wasn’t even the attacks of 9/11, Seth. 9/11 didn’t surprise me. All right. Obviously, I didn’t know the date. I didn’t know the targets, but even as a brain-dead liberal, I knew just enough about the world to know the same people who were murdering the Jews of Israel, for no other reasons they were the closest infidels who were murdering Hindus in India, for no other reason they were the closest infidels who were murdering Buddhist in Afghanistan, for no other reasons they were the closest infidels. Lord, when they could figure out a way across those 3,000 miles of ocean, of course, they would come and kill the big infidel, the great Satan.

What really surprised me was what I call 9/12. It’s the days, the weeks, the months, and the years after 9/11 and the liberal response to the attacks. The idea that we deserved them, that they were the chickens coming home to roost, and the way to prevent further attacks was to be nicer to the terrorists. Well, this is insane to me and if this is what liberals think then I had to rethink what I was and Seth, I have an expression. The first time you think is the last time you’re a Democrat.

Leibsohn: That’s pretty strong, Evan. That’s pretty strong, but I mean that story is a story a lot of people know and my co-host here, Sean, can testify to the first part for sure. He was giving a lecture at ASU the other day and he was billed as, to the class, as a guest lecturer. Do I have this basically right, Sean? A real live Republican is coming in. [crosstalk 00:09:33] Like you were some anthropological specimen and they kind of like you. They kinda liked you, right? They had just never heard-

Sean Noble: A little bit shocked that I was [Republiced 00:09:41]. At one point, a young student, minority student, raised her hand. She said, “Can I ask a question that’s kind of personal?” I said, “Sure.” She’s like, “Well, you don’t sound like a Republican.” I was like, “Well, that’s because you have a different view of what Republicans are because you have been fed this trope that we’re all Nazis and radicals and extremists.”

Leibsohn: Yeah. She had never heard one directly. It’s my story, too. I never heard a conservative intellectual arguing ’cause I was never given the opportunity to hear one until I was about 18 and someone said, “Have you ever read ‘Commentary’ magazine?” Evan, can you stay one more segment?

Sayet: It would be my pleasure.

Leibsohn: Great. Evan Sayet is our guest. You can go to his website: evansayet.com. Sayet is spelled S-A-Y-E-T. You can follow him on Twitter @evansayet. Get his book. You won’t regret it. “KinderGarten of Eden: How the Modern Liberal Thinks.” He and we will be right back.

You can’t do better on a Friday then with a little Jimmy Buffett and a little Evan Sayet. Evan Sayet. His last name is spelled S-A-Y-E-T. He is a comedian. He is an author. He’s a political commentator. Evansayet.com is his website. “KinderGarten of Eden: How the Modern Liberal Thinks” is his book.

Evan, Sean and I were just talking over the break a little bit. In the light of all these scandals that have come to the surface: the John Conyers and the Al Frankens and the Matt Lauers. You’re now beginning to see some people, as you saw in Hollywood with Harvey Weinstein, particularly women, saying, “Well, everyone kind of knew this.” Cokie Roberts recently said, I think yesterday said, “The talk of the town for years was you weren’t supposed to get into an elevator alone with John Conyers.” What the heck? I mean what has happened to feminism where it’s just gotten to the point of we’re going to overlook this. We’re going to shrug your shoulders, and we’re going to laugh until the rest of the world finds out? What the hell is going on? As long as you have the right policies, we’ll overlook abuse? Is this the modern movement?

Sayet: That’s exactly right. Listen. The thing you have to keep in mind is that the umbrella under which the Democrat advances policy is never what they really mean. For example, they don’t care about the environment. If they cared about the environment, then why aren’t they outraged that Al Gore whose carbon footprint is bigger than Sasquatches footprint. I mean this is a guy who flies around the world and then he lands with a caravan of SUVs, who leaves the engine running for the hour that he’s giving a multi-million dollar speech so that when he returns to the car the air conditioning is his comfort zone. All right. If they cared about the environment, why aren’t they outraged at Al Gore? All right. They don’t care at all about black people. If they did, then why don’t they have the same respect for and defense of people like Clarence Thomas? Or people like Condoleezza Rice? They don’t care about women. This is … I’ll give you a perfect example.

The former president of NOW’s largest chapter was a lesbian feminist by the name of Tammy Bruce and she was young, attractive, smart, engaging. She quickly became the go-to person for NOW, you know, the national organization, whenever there was news, whenever there was a reason to hold a press conference and they got into a big fight . . . the organization and she . . . because she defended Nicole Simpson and went after OJ Simpson. Of course, you do. Of course, you side with the battered [crosstalk 00:13:28] woman, the murdered woman over the man who killed her, but because it was a leftist movement, not a feminist movement and they were tied to the black movement, they decided it didn’t even matter. You can murder a woman. That won’t alter their position. It’s all political calculus. It’s hard to fight back when they say it’s feminism. It’s hard to fight back when they say it’s environmentalism. It’s hard to fight back when they say its civil rights, but none of these things are what they really believe. It’s all leftism.

Leibsohn: I had forgotten the Tammy Bruce story. Of course, we now know her in her second and better career and I appreciate you reminding us. Let me ask you to do one other thing in the short time we have left, Evan, ’cause you’ve been doing this for a long time and I think it’s time to do it again. We have … It seems not you and me, not Sean, not much of this audience, but we have as a culture put a lot of credibility in and given a lot of credibility deference to the mainstream media. You like to tell the story how they just haven’t earned it. They haven’t earned it in decades. They have gotten stories after story, after story, not just wrong-

Sayet: Well, quite literally.

Leibsohn: But massively wrong.

Sayet: Yep. I thought you were going to use actually one of my catchphrases, which is “not just wrong, but is wrong as wrong can be.”

Leibsohn: OK.

Sayet: Every major story of the past 60 years, the mainstream media has not only gotten wrong, they’ve gotten it diametrically, opposed to the truth and in every single case, they’re mis-characterization, aiding and abetting all that is evil, failed and wrong and undermining and weakening all that is good, right and successful. You can go back to the Tet Offensive, which they declared a back breaking defeat for the forces of freedom and a war winning victory for the Viet Cong who the communists, the most murderous ideology in all of human history, when in fact it was exactly the opposite.

You can go back to the Soviet Union up until the moment it disintegrated to nonexistence, they were still telling us they were a coequal super power, whether it was in the eighties, when Japan was supposed to be an unstoppable economic juggernaut just as they were diving into what is now a decades long recession, whether it’s what happened on the streets of Ferguson, Missouri, where they lied and said this career thug who was high on drugs is actually the hero, whether it’s what happened in Benghazi. It doesn’t matter. Literally, every major story of the past 60 years, the mainstream media has gotten not only wrong, but diametrically opposed to the truth.

Leibsohn: And as we’re now learning, they have been covering up for each other as well.

Sayet: As well, and we can add a thousand more. The Tea Party is a violent, racists organization, but Black Lives Matter is a Civil Rights organization.

Leibsohn: Yeah.

Evan Sayet: You name it.

Leibsohn: Evan, you’re a gift. You really are. I appreciate it. Speaking of gifts, your book would make a good Christmas gift. Wouldn’t it? “KinderGarten of Eden: How the Modern Liberal Thinks.” I’m going to recommend it and commend it. I think I have a couple people on my list I’m going to give it to, as well, this year, Evan.

Evan Sayet: That means a lot to me.

Leibsohn: Evan, I hope you’ll come back to Phoenix soon, but I hope you’ll stay in touch. I love having you on the air and I love having you on a Friday. You lift our spirits generally, brother.

Evan Sayet: Well, it’s my pleasure. Have a good weekend. Have a Merry Christmas and we’ll talk in the new year.

Leibsohn: You got it. Evan Sayet, folks. You can go to his website and learn more about him if you like. E-V-A-N is his first name. Sayet, S-A-Y-E-T is his last name. You can follow him on Twitter @evansayet. He is smart. He is funny. Sean, it’s a good point about the media. What have they done to earn so much credibility?

Noble: They’re standing on the shoulders of the true newsman of the ’40s, ’50s, what ’60s and unfortunately, it’s not been that way. You remember Peter Jennings and Dan Rather?

Leibsohn: Yeah.

Noble: And Tom Brokaw?

Leibsohn: Yeah.

Noble: Were seen as these pillars and icons and they all had challenges because they just fundamentally came out. It was obvious that their liberal bias and their tilt and that’s only gotten worse. The nightly newscasters, who on most people can’t even name anymore because-

Leibsohn: I can’t. I can’t.

Noble: The nightly news is … I don’t even know who’s on nightly news any [crosstalk 00:17:46].

Leibsohn: Right. Right. I can’t tell you anymore either. I mean, it’s not just the nightly news though. It’s the late night comic shows, I think. It’s-

Noble: No question.

Leibsohn: It’s that no one can tell me the difference between the Jimmy’s and who’s on what network.

Noble: Right.

Leibsohn: I mean all of it has taken such a hit that I don’t know why they deserve any credibility whatsoever. They haven’t earned it, right? They just haven’t [crosstalk 00:18:06]

Noble: They haven’t. But you see it in the numbers. All of the numbers are in decline. I mean, there’s so few people in comparison to the TV of yesteryear.

Leibsohn: Johnny Carson at his height was getting 17 million viewers. The late night comics now that we’re talking about, the Jimmy’s and who’s the third one? There’s two Jimmy’s and another one, right? Bill, we don’t know.

Sean  Noble: Colbert. Stephen Colbert.

Leibsohn: Stephen Colbert. None of them do more than a million.

Sean  Noble: Yeah. Right. Right. Right. [crosstalk 00:18:31]

Leibsohn: None of ’em do no more than a 100 million. Johnny Carson alone did 17 million.

Noble: 17 million. Yeah.

Leibsohn: That’s what we’re talking about.

Noble: We have 100 million more people in the United States now.

Leibsohn: Right. Right. With a bigger, with a bigger perspective audience. Talk about not even close to saturation point. Rem, I’m going to take your call on the other side. We have a guest whose right up your alley on the news of the day having to do with taxes. That’s Lauren Zelt. She knows of what she speaks. She’s a Republican strategist and Managing Director at FP1 Strategies. She’s going to call in and talk to us with the latest update on the tax bill, which is good news for all of us. Surprised it was this close, but we got it. I think we got it. I’m Seth. He’s Sean Noble and we’ll be right back.

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