Townhall columnist Kurt Schlichter joined The Seth and Chris Show earlier this week to discuss war, phony “republican” ploys, North Korea, President Donald Trump and his upcoming book. Listen to the audio or read the transcript only at American Greatness.
Chris Buskirk: I am Chris Buskirk. He is Seth Leibsohn. Welcome back to The Seth and Chris Show.
We got a little surprise for you. We got our first-time guest joining us today. His name is Kurt Schlichter. He is a retired army officer, he is a practicing lawyer, he is a Town Hall columnist, and, gosh, I don’t know what other good things. All round, he’s one of the good guys. He wears a white hat.
Welcome to the show, Kurt, how are ya?
Kurt Schlichter: Thanks for having me. Love talking to Arizona, a place where they recognize the Constitution.
Chris Buskirk: Especially, we like all the amendments, but there are some that just have a little bit of a closer place in our heart than others. I’m thinking of that one that’s sandwiched in there between the first and the third.
Kurt Schlichter: Exactly. You know, the Third Amendment, though, doesn’t get much glory as it needs. I mean, the other day a bunch of—
Chris Buskirk: You still there?
Kurt Schlichter: … that piece—
Chris Buskirk: Oh, sorry—
Kurt Schlichter: Yeah.
Chris Buskirk: Sorry, we lost you for a second.
Kurt Schlichter: Oh, my gosh. Well, look. I have a particular love of the Third Amendment. Just the other day a couple soldiers knocked on my door, said, “We’d like to quarter in your house in time of peace in a manner not prescribed by Congress.” And I said, “Ha ha-”
Chris Buskirk: Forget it.
Kurt Schlichter: … sorry, guys. Third Amendment. Later!
Chris Buskirk: Keep moving, keep moving guys. If you wanna quarter in my house, it has to be in a manner that has been prescribed by Congress.
Kurt Schlichter: Exactly. So, there we go.
Chris Buskirk: Kurt, you have actually been on the show one time before from CPAC last year. It was very brief, but it’s been a year. Maybe you can just tell people, because I’d like to have you back on a regular basis, maybe just give people a little bit of your background so you know who you are.
Kurt Schlichter: Oh, jeez.
Chris Buskirk: I know. Make stuff up. They won’t know the difference.
Kurt Schlichter: I’m a humble guy because I’m a Los Angeles trial lawyer and a former Cavalry officer. So I’ve got a lot of humility going on. Let’s just say I’m America’s greatest hero.
Chris Buskirk: Not top three or top five? You’re it?
Kurt Schlichter: Well, Buzz Aldrin, move aside. It’s me. No, look, I’m just some guy who Andrew Breitbart suckered into writing for him and then would never let him go, and I kind of got under the whole conservative thing again. I mean, I started years ago, but in about 2009, Andrew came and said, “Look, you gotta write for me.” So I started writing. Now I’m at Town Hall two days a week, Mondays and Thursdays, though I will tell your listeners, I have a special column coming out tomorrow because I just can’t take the slobbering the media’s doing over those North Korean SOBs.
Chris Buskirk: Oh, my gosh. It’s disgusting, isn’t it?
Kurt Schlichter: Oh, like, holy cow. I’m trying to remain FCC compliant with my analogies and metaphors.
Chris Buskirk: Yeah, right. You get a paycheck from Salem, too, so just be careful what you say.
Kurt Schlichter: Exactly. Everybody, close your eyes, think real hard. That’s what I’m talking about.
Chris Buskirk: Mm-hmm. Yeah. Well, I mean, the dear leader does feed everyone well. It’s all the dirt you can eat.
Kurt Schlichter: Oh. If it wasn’t so, if this guy wasn’t such a genocidal freak, it would almost be funny the way our elites are kissing up to somebody who tortures and murders people, torturing and murdering people now as we speak. They just sent a brain dead American home. And I don’t mean that in a figurative sense. I mean, he was literally brain dead.
Chris Buskirk: You don’t mean reporters from NBC or CBS.
Kurt Schlichter: Yeah. Yeah. No. They took him prisoner over there and they tortured him until he was brain dead and died.
Chris Buskirk: You’re talking about Otto Warmbier?
Kurt Schlichter: I am. And these guys think it’s funny. He got Lester Holt over there doing the tingle off his leg like Chris Matthews looking at all the wonderful examples of what they would like if they had their way. You know, guys like you, guys like me, guys like the folks listening look at North Korea and we think, ‘Okay. Time to grab our rifles. ‘Cause that ain’t ever happening here.’ But unfortunately, we have an elite that looks at them and goes, “Ha! Good thinking. A lot of tips we can pick up.” Boy. They don’t have to explain to regular people much.
Chris Buskirk: Yeah, we kinda like that. That’s the deal we’ve been trying to get for ourselves, ’cause these regular people, they’re annoying, well, they wanna vote, then they wanna change leadership, they won’t let us do what we wanna do. They won’t let us move to the pieces around on the chess board.
Kurt Schlichter: They want input in their own lives. They want say in their own government. They wanna be citizens and not subjects. And so, they’re out there, they’re speaking up, exercising the First Amendment, they wanna remain armed, they’re exercising the Second Amendment, and it’s terrible.
Chris Buskirk: Kurt, what’s the most egregious example you’ve seen of sucking up from the media to the North Koreans?
Kurt Schlichter: Gosh, definitely competition. But I’d probably have to go with avoiders. The sister of this murderous punk has won diplomatic gold in South Korea. I mean—
Chris Buskirk: Yeah, that was vile.
Kurt Schlichter: It’s everything you can do to keep from projectile vomiting. But these are the people who think they’re better than us, Chris. These are the people who think, ‘I was born to lead you.’ I’m just, I’m stunned, because I think our elite has been bred in such a way as to remove shame gene.
Chris Buskirk: Yeah, well, they don’t have anything to be ashamed about. They know everything.
Kurt Schlichter: Well, they’re better than us.
Chris Buskirk: Yeah, they’re better than us. Who are you to make them ashamed of anything?
Kurt Schlichter: Well, I’m pretty deep in the weeds on this. I am about to, in a day or two, send my manuscript into Hachette for a book on the subject [inaudible].
Chris Buskirk: Yeah, so I wanted to talk about that. Tell us about your book.
Kurt Schlichter: Well, it isn’t gonna be out for a while, but—
Chris Buskirk: Is it a this year book?
Kurt Schlichter: Oh, it’ll be here. It’ll be here this year. But—
Chris Buskirk: Yeah, okay.
Kurt Schlichter: … it’s definitely, it’s a book that essentially talks about what we’ve just been talking about, how we have an elite that’s frankly not elite. I would like to see a meritocracy with a little merit every once in a while, and it talks about how normal Americans, regular Americans, the people who built this country, who defended it, sometimes to the death, are rising up and demanding their birthright, which is the sovereignty every American citizen should have. They’ve been ignored too long, they’ve been screwed over too long, and frankly we have an elite that bizarrely decides to go into fights with normal Americans. Do you know, I didn’t see that 60 years ago. Remember the Kennedys? Did you ever see the Kennedy family maybe playing football and they really, they were paying homage to the kind of normal traditional values that regular Americans have, right? I mean, in the background, Kennedy goes in the house, and God knows what he’s doing with the local talent, but out in front, he’s paying homage to these things. They don’t even do that anymore, Chris. They don’t even do that anymore. They attack those traditional values, even though they themselves often live by them personally, but they celebrate them publicly to attack us. They go out of their ways to pick fights with us.
Chris Buskirk: Bitter clingers. Deplorables. Irredeemables.
Kurt Schlichter: They just wanna show that they’re the boss. And I’m not sure any of these guys have met real Americans. I mean, look, you’re in Arizona. Walk into a cowboy bar, look everybody up and down and they say, “Hey, I’m from New York City and I’m going to tell you how to live.” See how that goes.
Chris Buskirk: So, I like that idea, but I would make one small change to that idea. I would have you do that instead of me.
Kurt Schlichter: Oh, no.
Chris Buskirk: I just wanna be … I would like to be on the outside. I’ll keep the motor running, but you be the one who goes in there and does it.
Kurt Schlichter: That would fail. That would be a super poor idea. One time with a bunch of infantrymen and I mean look I’m a blue state lawyer. I live in Los Angeles. I’m on the coast. I’m in the heart of darkness or the heart of blueness. But I remember where my family came from, and I remember the people who were at my side when I [inaudible]. I remember the guys I led and the guys I worked for in the army. And they may not have been exactly like me in a lot of ways, because, look, I do a lot of these elite things. I got my own college degree and all that other fancy stuff but I understand one thing. I understand that the heart and soul of this country is the people, and when I say the people, I mean all the people. Not just some elect people, not just people who went to Harvard, not just people who drive BMWs, not just people who live within seagull flight distance from the coast. I mean all the people. Every single one of ’em. And we all deserve our voice and we all deserve respect. And you know what? I love that Americans are standing up and demanding it.
And that’s what Donald Trump was. Donald Trump was a, “Hey, we’re serious, guys, and the guys we were warning have not been taking this seriously.”
Chris Buskirk: It’s not just people on the progressive Left, right? I mean, there’s plenty of folks who, historically, who have been on our side, broadly speaking, who will self-identify as conservatives.
Kurt Schlichter: Yeah. Bill Kristol.
Chris Buskirk: Yeah. He’s the poster boy.
Kurt Schlichter: Yeah. I mean, when he’s not out shilling elderly Conservatives for a few bucks to take him between islands in the Bahamas, and offering the chance to talk to Matt Labash, the Cocktail Hour, he’s—
Chris Buskirk: It’s the cruise culture.
Kurt Schlichter: Yeah. And he’s running … This is the guy who said, “Yeah, I really wish the deep state would step in,” or words to that effect in the tweet, and I’m thinking, ‘If this is conservatism, count me the hell out.’
Chris Buskirk: That’s right. That’s not anything that I recognize as conservatism. Kurt, can you stay one more segment?
Kurt Schlichter: I sure as hell will.
Chris Buskirk: Sounds good.
Kurt Schlichter’s our guest, he’s a columnist for townhall.com. We will be right back with more of The Seth and Chris Show.
I am Chris Buskirk. He is Seth Leibsohn. Welcome back to The Seth and Chris Show. We’re joined Kurt Schlichter, a columnist for Town Hall, practicing lawyer and somebody who’s afraid of everything to do with guns, right? I have that right, don’t I Kurt?
Kurt Schlichter: Yeah, I get kind of—
Chris Buskirk: You get nervous?
Kurt Schlichter: … scared. Like I write for the Free Beacon.
Chris Buskirk: Okay. That’s a good inside baseball slam. I like that.
Kurt Schlichter: I had one of those little hobbits today, started talking to me and I was like, “You are making a mistake. You are considering yourself my peer, you 26-year-old virgin geek.”
Chris Buskirk: And by talking to you, I’m guessing that doesn’t actually mean talking to you, that means tweeting at you.
Kurt Schlichter: It does mean tweeting at me. It’s not like he’s got my phone number.
Chris Buskirk: Right. It’s amazing though how brave people get from behind their Twitter screens isn’t it?
Kurt Schlichter: It’s just pathetic, because I’d like to see, look, I’ve been in the Conservative Movement since the mid-’80s in various forms. And I’ve got some expectations. All right? You shouldn’t be a complete [inaudible]. You shouldn’t be a wuss. You should be firm in your convictions, you should understand your ideology, you should be fairly consistent about it, and you should stand up with an American flag and American people. And if you’re not doing all those things, I’m not sure you’re really conservative. You tend to be conservative. But you’re not.
Chris Buskirk: Yeah. I mean, tell me what you think of this: I’ve kind of got this working theory that, at least in part, some of the antipathy from the Republican Never Trumpers, the Bill Kristol type of folks towards Donald Trump. It’s basically just a replay of high school politics, right? There’s somebody like Donald Trump shoved Bill Kristol into his locker.
Kurt Schlichter: There’s a lot of that. But here’s the thing, here’s what really got them: they thought they were done with high school. Now they’re in Washington, right? You got Bush, you got Obama, doesn’t really matter, you got your place in the food chain. Right? You’re never gonna do a lot of changes, oh, you’re gonna write a bunch of articles about, “How we got to do this. Let’s fight that culture war,” and that’s what your donor letters say. “Gimme money, we’ll really take it to the liberals.”
But you know, when you do a lot of talking about conservatism, but you never do much actual conserving, and then eventually some people come, normal Americans, and they go, “Hey, what the hell good are you anyway? What have you done?” And then suddenly you get all huffy, because now—
Chris Buskirk: “What do you mean ‘done’?'”
Kurt Schlichter: Yeah. Exactly.
Chris Buskirk: I sent out a sternly worded tweet just an hour ago.
Kurt Schlichter: Yeah. “Well, I’ve really made the case at many, many Georgetown parties that our slightly less spending would be a good idea.” You know what I’m saying? No. Okay? Look, Americans are hurting or we’re hurting and people are on the way up. We have jobs flowing overseas, we have a middle class in crisis, we have stagnant wages, we have our young men and women dying in wars that apparently our politicians don’t think are important enough to win, but their lives aren’t important enough to stop. Okay? We got people coming and wanting to take our constitutional rights, not just our guns, but our religion and our speech. Normal Americans are under attack. And you know what? They noticed. And they looked to the people who are pretending to be their voice in the establishment, and those people were off partying and clicking bourbon glasses with John Boehner.
Chris Buskirk: John Boenher didn’t wanna do anything radical. He just wanted to be able to ride around DC in his armored suburban, smoke cigarettes and play golf.
Kurt Schlichter: Exactly, and that’s a great gig if you can get it, but I’m sorry, our lives matter. Look at something like illegal immigration, and you know I’m the worst possible guy because I actually married an American immigrant, somebody who came here, became an American by choice and whose father and brother both served in the American military, people who are real immigrants, but immigration has real problems and real consequences, especially illegal immigration. And if you have somebody who’s lying over the body of his dying daughter who’s been shot in the heart, saying, “Help me, daddy,” and you look to your establishment, the people who are supposed to be running these institutions, the people who are supposed to be taking care of this country, and think, ‘My God, they killed my daughter. We need help.’ And their answer is, “You’re just racist?” Well, that’s unacceptable. Which means we’re not going to accept it. And we haven’t. And that’s how you got Trump.
Chris Buskirk: I’ll tell ya, it’s interesting, I mean the vast disparity between legal immigrants and illegal immigrants. I think it’s hard to overstate it. I mean, some of friends that I have in my personal life who are legal immigrants, these are people who get Trump more than I do in some ways. I mean, they get it, because they wanted to be Americans, they did it the right way and they are just die hard for the Trump agenda.
Contrast that with all these marches you see with the dreamers. Your first act upon entering a new country where you say you want to be a citizen, part of the self-governing class, should not be to break the law.
Kurt Schlichter: Yeah.
Chris Buskirk: It doesn’t bode well for the future.
Kurt Schlichter: Well, here’s a simple question, Chris. Let me set the stage. The immigration laws are set by our Congress. I watched Schoolhouse Rock in the seventh, I’m dating myself, and I know how a bill becomes a law. And our representatives passed it and our president signed it and it’s the law, and our elite wants to repeal that law without actually going through the whole process of asking our representatives to do it. In fact, because they can’t do it, because our representatives won’t, or at least not enough of them, they just decide not to enforce the law, which makes that tyranny, because either you enforce the law and the people’s will is obeyed, or it isn’t and the people aren’t in charge. Who’s is in charge if they choose not to enforce the law?
This is more than just, ‘Great, I got my car ran into by somebody with no insurance it’s from Oaxaca.’ Okay? That’s annoying. When it becomes a matter of you, Americans don’t get a say in your own governance. We have taken the question of immigration away from you, and we will decide it ourselves. You don’t get a vote. That’s when we start getting angry.
Chris Buskirk: You’re absolutely right, and that’s what you have with immigration. There are laws. We did take a vote. Congress did pass these laws and now the permanent political class has decided to change them. They just don’t wanna tell anybody. They just don’t wanna own up to it.
Kurt Schlichter: Yeah. They just don’t want to actually do the hard work of doing it.
Chris Buskirk: Yeah.
Kurt Schlichter: And here’s the thing about democracy. The key to democracy is the ability to lose. That is, when somebody loses a political fight, they go, ‘Okay, I was heard, I got to make my case, the proper procedures were followed, there was a vote, I did not win the vote, I’m not happy about it, but it was fair and through the process and I’m going to honor and respect it.’ If there’s no process, then it’s not okay. And you’ve destroyed that very important element what makes a country like this works.
Look, I’m biased. I’ve been in places with the military where they didn’t have a representative government. It’s bad. It’s really bad. I don’t wanna see that here but I understand human nature. You cannot keep up that system where you refuse to allow the American people to have their proper place.
Chris Buskirk: This is the system that you have to some extent in California, right? It’s a plantation state. You have the very rich using the very poor for votes, but who’s living well? The very rich are living just great, the coastal elites. Middle class is shrinking [inaudible] in California. Sorry?
Kurt Schlichter: I’m very comfortable. What about that county in Fontana?
Chris Buskirk: Exactly. Exactly right. We’re gonna have to leave it there, Kurt. Will you come back on again?
Kurt Schlichter: Anytime, Chris. Anytime for you.
Chris Buskirk: Very good.
Kurt Schlichter has been my guest. Look for his new book coming out. In the meantime, follow him on Twitter, @KurtSchlichter, Kurt, thanks a bunch. We’ll talk to you again soon.
Kurt Schlichter: Bye.