Uniquely Assholic (folks I regret hosting here)

Tomi Lahren

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So a bunch of months ago, after I stupidly Tweeted that a bunch of female Fox News hosts dressed like hookers, Tomi Lahren ripped me to a shred.

She did so on one of her episodes of “Tomi” on TheBlaze, and it was fierce, merciless and pretty fucking impressive. That’s how Lahren operates: She picks a viewpoint, she zooms in on it and—BAM!—she picks it apart, piece by piece by piece. Do I agree with her takes? Quite literally, never. I mean, seriously, never, ever, ever, ever. But her largely conservative audience seems to love her, and with good reason. If communicating to the masses is a skill, Lahren has a PhD.

Hence, why she’s here today—explaining her dislike of Hillary Clinton, her skepticism over climate change, her love of her kitchen table. One can follow Tomi on Twitter here, and watch episodes of her show here.

Tomi Lahren, I hope your chosen candidates get demolished come November. But I also welcome you to The Land of Quaz …

JEFF PEARLMAN: OK, Tomi, I’m thrilled to have you here. Truly thrilled. And I want to start with why we came together: A while back I posted a r-e-a-l-l-y stupid Tweet criticizing some of the women on Fox News for dressing like hookers. It was a shit Tweet—and I’m genuinely furious with myself because A. It was hurtful and wrongheaded; B. Because it misrepresented how I feel. And here is, clearly, how I feel: Women and men are judged by completely different standards in televised media. Obviously there are exceptions, but there’s a ton of more pressure for women to look appealing, dress somewhat sexily, be young. Meanwhile, men can be Chris Berman, Chris Matthews, Sean Hannity, Stephen A. Smith, Skip Bayless—and, with age, they’re simple deemed “experienced” and “having gravitas.” The double standard drives me insane, and I don’t think it has anything to do with left or right—it’s just men generally running a business. So … does this make me a dick? Do you disagree? Agree? And do you, as a woman in media, feel any of this?

TOMI LAHREN: Agree to a point. I am tired of being told I am a victim. There is a double-standard. Sometimes it works to my advantage, sometimes it doesn’t. My looks might help me snag a few views on my show.  If my appearance draws them in and gets them to listen to my message (I write every single word) then so be it. Television is a visual medium, that’s the way it is. Yes it is more difficult for women when the country seems to favor “young and pretty” over “old and experienced” but there are notable exceptions. Here are a few: Barbara Walters, Diane Sawyer, Oprah, and Greta Van Susteren. I’ve been in TV and guess what—women run it. The largest shareholders may be old, white men but the producers, bookers, and talent recruiters are often women. I don’t want to be the woman that complains my ovaries hold me back. I want to be the woman that says, yeah there is an unfair standard and beating it everyday makes me more of a badass than my male counterparts.

J.P.: One more on the Tweet: So I wrote it. And I’m pretty much a nobody. Yeah, I have a blue check on Twitter. But I’m a guy who writes sports books. That’s it. And yet—the Tweet goes out and—whooooooosh! You’re a [fill in the insults]. Over and over and over. Tomi, I’m not asking as a left-right thing so much as a social media thing: How do you explain this? Like, why do people even care? And the intense anger? Is it real? Is it ever real? Or is it just who social media sorta makes us?

T.L.: Social media is a powerful tool. I know, I found “viral fame” on Facebook and YouTube. Here’s the thing: folks are tired of having so much to say and no place to say it. Twitter gives them the instant gratification of putting the “asshole” in his place. Also, the right-of-center folks are tired of liberals bashing their conservative outlets, especially Fox News. They have some kind of duty to protect their conservative warriors. I have my share of haters but more than that, my loving followers. It’s a blessing and a curse. I had a horrible day at work today, I Instagramed it and my followers made me feel better. That’s something.

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J.P.: You’re 23, you’re from Rapid City, you attended UNLV, you interned for Kristi Noem. But … how did this happen for you, soup to nuts? Was there a moment you thought, “Media!”? A moment you thought, “Conservative!”? In short, what’s your life path from womb to here?

T.L.: I like to talk. I’m pretty good at it. I also love politics. I studied journalism and political science at UNLV. No, not all Las Vegans are strippers.  Long story short, I was looking for an internship out of college. My first choice and now employer, The Blaze, turned me down. Oh well. I called up a new “conservative alternative” network, One America News. They didn’t give me an internship. They gave me a show. I built it from the ground up, and “On Point with Tomi Lahren” was born. I worked at OAN for just over a year when it happened. I went viral with my “Red White & Blue Unfiltered Final Thoughts” after the Chattanooga terrorist attack. Then my inbox exploded and my phone blew up. Now here I am, trying to get a show off the ground at The Blaze in Dallas. I’ve done it before, and I’ll do it again.

J.P.: I have a complaint about people like you. And Hannity. And Sharpton. And Matthews. And most political pundits. And it’s this: You hold the party you disagree with to ridiculous standards. Or, lemme say it this way: If, say, Paul Ryan had a Benghazi-type thing on his resume, you’d defend him, or at least not go after him the way you go after Hillary. If a sitting Republican president presided over 9.3 million new jobs (and I know you can debate the figure, but that’s not really the point of the question), you and yours would be raving about the economy and GOP policy. The Dixie Chicks speaking out against George W. Bush was treason, but Republicans questioning Barack Obama’s patriotism is fine and dandy. This is NOT about the content of your leanings, Tomi, but that it just seems you and others hold standards to one political viewpoint that you don’t to the other. Tell me why I’m wrong. Or right. Or both.

T.L.: You’re right. It’s called politics. I will say this; Republicans hold each other far more accountable than the Democrats do within their party. Ever heard of a RINO? There is no such thing as “DINO” because the Democrats rarely go after one another. For the record, I don’t dislike President Obama because he’s a Democrat. I dislike him for the way he’s treated our country. He is not the commander-in-chief I trust to lead my loved ones into battle. I don’t dislike Hillary because she’s a Democrat; I dislike Hillary because she’s a liar. I can respectfully disagree with many Democrats. I do it on my show all the time. I truly believe in the honest dialogue. I don’t talk over my guests, cut their mics, or try to make them look stupid. That’s not my game. I believe the better point will prevail. Watch my show, you’ll see.

J.P.: Greatest moment of your career? Lowest?

T.L.: The greatest moment of my career was my “viral final thoughts.” Not because of the fame or attention, because I meant every word and it’s nice to know it resonated. The lowest point was when I left One America. I don’t regret my decision but it was hard to walk away from the show I built. It felt like abandoning a child.

J.P.: There’s a phrase I see on Twitter all the time, and it drives me c-r-a-z-y: Libtard. Here’s why: I’m OK with “stupid liberal,” “damn liberal,” “asshole liberal”—seriously, whatever. But Libtard—the merging or liberal and retarded—just seems to cross a pretty nasty line. Thoughts?

T.L.: I don’t like it either and don’t use it. It’s an insult to those with mental handicaps. It makes me laugh but I don’t think it’s appropriate. Yet, Twitter will be Twitter. I much prefer the hash tags I created, #QueenHillary #BO #Obummer and #CuddleTerrorists.

J.P.: I’m fascinated: How do you think the presidential election winds up? I know you want a Republican to win. Totally get it. But who will win? How will it go? [JEFF NOTE: I asked this one before Rubio suspended his campaign]

T.L.: I hope it’s a Hillary-Rubio showdown. Marco Rubio is my candidate because he can win. Enough said. For so long the GOP has been the party of old, rich white men. Well, correct me if I’m wrong but Hillary meets three out of four. As I said in my controversial CPAC speech last year, “If the pantsuit fits, male too?” I don’t understand how the American voter could elect Hillary Clinton in confidence. She may be indicted for goodness sakes! Yet, this is the same electorate that voted for Obama a second time. The reason is low-informed voters. I say it all the time, I ‘d rather our voters be passionately liberal than ignorantly neutral. Don’t vote for Hillary because she’s a woman (barely). That’s not good enough.

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J.P.: So you’re clearly intelligent, informed, etc. I just don’t get why conservatives are so skeptical of climate change. I’ve heard the silly stuff (“Well, first you called in global warming—and now this?”) and the Al Gore jokes (can’t argue—he’s become ridiculous). But the science is, at this point, really strong. Doesn’t it make sense to take all the precautions we can—if nothing else, on the side of safety? Also, as a Christian, don’t you think it’s simply right to keep God’s creation as clean as possible?

T.L.: Here’s the deal Jeff—it’s possible to be a common sense conservationist without blaming the coming apocalypse on SUVs and coal. We need to protect the earth but to say humans are the major cause of “climate change” is not scientifically agreed upon. I believe in innovation and energy alternatives. However, I also believe in jobs. Fracking is God’s gift to American energy independence. Let’s find a way to innovate our extraction process, not blame fossil fuels for every drought or rain cloud. I also don’t trust the EPA to do it. They are in the business of grant dollars and regulating puddles.

J.P.: During one of the GOP debates you Tweeted, “The Second Amendment is not a suggestion! Thank you @marcorubio.” I know where you stand on guns, but I also wanna know what you think we should do about all the gun violence. Do you genuinely believe more armed people=a safer society? Because, statistically at least, more guns in homes=more dead people in homes. Should there be any restrictions? None? 

T.L.: Jeff, when radical Islamic terrorists start abiding by our guns laws then we can talk. Until then, this is garbage. Do you really think some maniac (Christian or Muslim or whatever) is going to be stopped by an inability to buy a gun? I believe in the gun laws we already have. They should be enforced. It just so happens that the FBI often fails. That’s what bureaucracy does. I didn’t own a gun before the San Bernardino attack. I do now. The reality is, wackos and jihadists will find a way. When they do, I’ll be armed. Further restrictions only neuter law-abiding citizens.

J.P.: I don’t get the appeal of Donald Trump to the rural white voter. Do you? If so, can you explain?

T.L.: I get it. Americans are angry. Many feel ignored. Many feel they can’t even speak any longer without being labeled a racist, bigot, homophobe or sexist. Donald Trump says the things many frustrated Americans want to hear. We have a president who seems more concerned with Muslim sensitivity than name, rooting out and eliminating the problem of radical Islamic terror. He won’t even say it. We also have many Americans who are tired of illegal immigrants taking advantage of our pitiful border enforcement. Isn’t it time Americans are owed more in this country than illegal immigrants? Countries cannot survive without borders. I ask this: Do you lock your doors because you hate people outside? No. You lock your doors because you love the people inside and want to protect them. That’s why we have borders. Most Republicans feel this way. Donald Trump says it and says it louder.

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• Rank in order (favorite to least): “Orange is the New Black,” Michael Keaton, Carson Palmer, clams, Rush Limbaugh, Tim Duncan, “The Martian,” Janis Joplin, MMA, Toronto, your kitchen table, Jill Biden: My kitchen table, Carson Palmer, “The Martian”, Rush Limbaugh, MMA, Michael Keaton, Tim DuncanJanis Joplin, Toronto, Jill Biden, “Orange is the New Black.”

• Five all-time favorite Democratic political figures: Really, Jeff? LOL! I actually had to Google this because none came to mind. 1) Jim Webb—he’s not actually a Democrat in my opinion; 2) Bill Clinton (when he was moderate); 3) JFK (because he asked people what they could do for the country, not what it could do for them); 4) Howard Dean (because he makes me laugh); 5) Bernie Sanders (because he has no shot at winning but his heart is in the right place)

• Ever thought you were about to die in a plane crash? If so, what do you recall?: Yes, actually. The day after Christmas my plane from South Dakota back to Dallas was diverted to the lovely town of San Angelo, Texas due to tornadoes. We got off the plane, got back on, flew in a holding pattern. I don’t think we should have been flying. I saw lighting bolts out the window. I did meet some great people on that plane. We ordered pizza at the airport. Not a bad night. At least there was food. Oh, and I’m alive.

• Being serious—Obama calls. He says, “I know we disagree, but I’d love to invite you to the White House for tea with me and Michelle.” A. Do you go? B. Are you cool? C. Could you have fun hanging with a prez you so strongly disagree with?: I would go in a heartbeat. Here’s why, the office of the president is honorable regardless of the name or party ID. Also, I would ask the tough questions. I would be polite but firm. I don’t think someone like me has ever questioned him. I can have a fun conversation with anyone, even BO. Maybe Michelle can unveil what’s so great about turnips—again.

• One question you would ask Scott Stapp were he here right now?: When’s the band getting back together? Awkwardly—because I barely know who he is. I’m 23, remember?

Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Reince Priebus both make me want to punch a wall. How do you explain their status as party leaders?: Debbie Wasserman Schultz is the most polarizing, shrill woman I’ve heard after Queen Hillary Clinton. Reince Priebus might not be perfect but at least he recognizes the problems in the GOP. Schultz just rags on about how racist and sexist she thinks we are. All talk. No substance. She’s got a tough job though. How’d you like to defend the socialist and the liar? Ouch.

• Three memories from your senior prom: 1) My boyfriend was a jerk but he was a jerk for six years, what can I say? Live and learn; 2) It snowed. Yes, in April. Welcome to South Dakota; 3) My boyfriend’s parents actually asked me to step aside so they could photograph him, alone. Real winners.

• How many days in a row can I wear the sleep pants my mother in law bought me for Chanukah before it gets sorta gross?: That would be a two-day maximum on that. Please tell me you don’t wear sleep pants in public. It’s one of my biggest pet peeves. If I have to put on real pants, so do you, bud.

• Explain your name, please: Yes, Tomi, like the boy’s name. No my parents didn’t want a boy. They like unique names. I used to hate it. In fact, I used to tell people it was “Tami” when I was little. Now, I love it. It might be a boy’s name but you’ll never forget it. Drawback, when I go to grab my cup at Starbucks the whole place looks at me like I’ve stolen some dude’s drink. Ugh.

Joseph Nicolosi

Screen Shot 2014-08-19 at 6.46.44 PMWhat I love most about the Quaz is the chance to understand those I don’t understand.

Yeah, I dig having the sagas of journalists fill this space. But I get journalism, just as I get baseball players and sports agents. The best Quazes tend to be folks I neither grasp nor appreciate. People like Rocky Suhayda and Linda Ensor. I want to understand who they are; what serves as motivation; how and when certain ideas entered their heads.

The same goes for this week’s Quaz, Dr. Joseph Nicolosi—a man who tries to help homosexuals become straight.

I want to make this clear—I disagree, strongly, with Dr. Nicolosi’s beliefs. I don’t think homosexuality is a choice, I don’t think homosexuality is sinful and I certainly don’t think it’s curable. However, as I watched various YouTube clips of Dr. Nicolosi’s appearances, I found myself cringing. Instead of trying to understand the dude, most reporters seem to go after him with bullshit questions and underhanded motives. They were more interested in landing a jab than comprehending a perspective.

That’s not what the Quaz is about. Hence, I promised Dr. Nicolosi an open ear, if not a fully open mind. It’s important to give folks a chance to speak—even folks we don’t agree with. So, with that, I welcome Dr. Joseph Nicolosi to the Quaz …

JEFF PEARLMAN: So I’m reading through your website, and I’ve come to an interesting realization. It doesn’t seem like you’re saying, “If you’re gay, you need to stop being gay.” You’re saying, “If you’re gay, and you don’t want to be gay, maybe I can help.” Am I wrong on that distinction? And do you feel like people often accuse you of promoting something you don’t actually promote?

JOSEPH NICOLOSI: I certainly do not say, “If you’re gay, stop being gay,” But I do say more than, “If you’re gay, and you don’t want to be gay, maybe I can help.” What I actually say is this:

On a deeper level, there is no such thing as “gay” … “gay” is a popular cultural mythology. Except in very rare medical cases, our bodies have been designed for the opposite sex. This means everyone is designed for heterosexuality. But some heterosexuals have a homosexual problem. Given the fact that you are a heterosexual with a homosexual problem, it’s your choice if you want to participate in the popular cultural myth that you are “gay.” If that’s your wish, I wouldn’t interfere with your lifestyle, nor would I be disrespectful of your right to your own view.  But here, I would remind people who disagree with what I say: “Diversity includes me.”

J.P.: The opening question being said, there are many, many, many people who believe one is born gay, and that you can change that when you start changing a person’s skin color, or nation of origin. They believe gay isn’t a choice–it’s who a person is. To be honest, I agree with this. Tell me why I’m wrong.

J.N.: You’re wrong because scientists know that as complex a behavioral pattern as sexual preference cannot be explained by just a gene. A gene explains one’s characteristics like hair color or height. But claiming that there is a gay gene would be like saying there is a “violin virtuoso gene.” To be a great violin player requires many genes, some for eye-hand coordination, finger dexterity, pitch discrimination, rhythm and discipline to study; and it requires a certain kind of environment and life experiences that foster this skill, as well as a whole cascade of personal attitudes and choices along the way. You believe it is solely a matter of genetics, not because you studied the evidence, but because were told this myth repeatedly by the popular media. Gay-activist groups have conducted many studies that show the general public is more accepting of homosexuality if they believe it is biologically determined.

I don’t believe people choose to have homosexual feelings. It is, instead, something they gradually discover within themselves. But some people can choose to reduce their unwanted homosexuality and develop their heterosexual potential. And so, while the gay gene myth serves the purpose of social acceptance, it censors information for those who want to work toward some degree of change. The ex-gay movement attempts to convey the message that people can and do change; one such network of ministries, which are Christian-based, is Restored Hope Network.

There is a strong body of evidence—dating back many years, because it is not politically acceptable to do such research any more—leading to the conclusion that male homosexuality is strongly rooted in the family environment. Over and over we see an intrusive mother and an emotionally distant, uninvolved father who, as a couple, interfere (of course, quite unintentially) with the boy’s masculine identity development. There are varying versions of this scenario, of course. But if people were born with a gay gene, and that’s the end of that—“done!”–then why do they have such similar family dynamics? We are not supposed to talk about such things.

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J.P.: In 2002 you wrote a book titled, “A Parent’s Guide to Preventing Homosexuality.” The thesis, in a sense, seems to be: “We are gay because of disruptions in relationships with our same-sex parent, which causes a gender dysphoria and incomplete sense of maleness/femaleness.” I have two young children. Should I so desire, what are the beginning steps I can take to make sure they’re not gay.

J.N.: If you believe, as you say, that people are born gay, then there is nothing you can do. Kick back and watch what happens. But evidence shows that the parent-child relationship is the primary determinant of the child’s gender identity, and gender identity greatly influences adult sexual orientation. A meta-analyis, which is a statistical average of all studies, shows about a 75% correlation between gender identity disorder and adulthood homosexuality, bisexuality or transgenderism. Parents are not being told this sort of information because of the powerful gay activist agenda.

To assure your son becomes straight, be sure you establish and maintain a secure emotional bond with him, from which he will identify with your masculinity. As we say, a bit simplistically of course, but with a lot of truth: “Hug your son, or another man will.” If your child is a girl, you will want your wife to bond firmly with your daughter but not to interfere with her individuation, as some narcissistic mothers unintentionally do; this can lead to lesbianism . You want your daughter to internalize a secure sense of her femininity.

J.P.: Why wouldn’t I want my kids to be gay? Serious question that fascinates me. Is it because being gay is a more difficult existence? Because it’s sinful? Both? Neither? Because, to be totally honest, I don’t care if they’re gay or straight. Literally doesn’t concern me.

J.N.: Assuming you don’t believe we were designed for heterosexuality and you have no traditional religious beliefs (what you are saying implies this is true), then I would speak to you from a practical point of view. The fact is that this is a heterosexual world. Most parents would rather have their children grow up to live a heterosexual lifestyle. These parents are not “homophobic,” but they know that it is easier to be with 98 percent of the population versus being part of 2 percent of the population. (The percentage of homosexuality is not 10 percent, as gays have been telling America for 50 years. ) As one father said to me: “Living as a heterosexual is hard enough.”

And there are significantly higher levels of mental-health disturbance and addiction in the gay population. Many studies show that there is greater stress and dysfunction among homosexuals compared to heterosexuals including greater drug and alcohol abuse, more depression, suicide attempts, promiscuity (mainly among gay males), failed relationships, sado-masochism and other “exotic” sexual practices, etc.

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J.P.: I know you graduated from the New School for Social Research (M.A.) and received your Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology, Los Angeles. But how did this path happen for you? As in, womb to now, how did you become a therapist, and one who assists gays become un-gay?

J.N.: I never thought much about the subject. During my eight years of training toward a Ph.D. in clinical psychology there was never a word spoken about the causes and treatment of homosexuality. It was not P.C. to even ask the question in graduate training. So I was unprepared, as I began my private practice, to help some clients with unwanted same sex attraction. So like any good therapist, I just listened and empathized. But as I listened to their stories, I began to hear common themes of childhood hurtful relations. For the male clients, it was a deep disappointment with an emotionally detached father and an excessively close but frustrating relationship with an intrusive mother. If there was an older brother, it was a feared, hostile relationship. That is exactly what Freud observed, over 100 years ago, but no one was talking about it. As I began to look in to the old psychoanalytic literature, this family pattern was repeatedly reported up until the gay rights movement of the 70’s. Then suddenly all psychological investigation stopped. Suddenly everyone was told it was a gay gene and you were a hating homophobe is you dared question the gay gene myth. If you were an unhappy homosexual, you were told, “You have no choice, celebrate your gayness.” Fortunately today there is greater visibility of the ex-gay movement.

J.P.: How do you know when someone is cured? Is there a moment? A breakthrough? Are there many relapses? Like alcoholism, do you view this as a lifelong battle?

J.N.: Treatment is a slow and difficult process, and there is a certain degree of lifelong maintenance necessary, as with treatment for any deep-seated condition (drug, alcohol and eating disorders fall into the same category). I’ll not pretend there is any “quick fix.” But some unhappy homosexually oriented people are willing to do the hard work and they should be allowed to do so. Unfortunately, some clients will be unsuccessful in changing no matter how hard they try, but most will experience a significant reduction in their same-sex attractions and some will experience an increase in their opposite-sex attraction. In most cases, some same-sex attractions recur under periods of stress, but they will be manageable. In a few cases there will be absolutely no homosexual attractions remaining at all.

J.P.: I think you’d agree that the gay rights movement has moved at a pretty phenomenal pace the past decade or so. Legally, socially. How has this impacted your work? Your practice?

J.N.: There continues to be a population of men and woman who feel a deep dissatisfaction with their homosexual behavior, not just out of religious guilt or social pressure, but because it just doesn’t feel right for themselves. A gay lifestyle doesn’t work for them. No amount of gay-pride rhetoric will change their deepest desire for conventional marriage and family.

J.P.: You’ve been branded a homophobe myriad times. What do you say to people who think, “This guy clearly hates gays”?

J.N.: Accusations of “hate” shut down discussion. Today, facts and philosophical discussion mean nothing. Identity politics and personal stories trump science. So whoever is the most offended wins the argument. The consequence is that people are deprived of making an informed choice about how they can live their lives.

By the way, get ready for the nasty letters. You too will be called a “hating homophobe” just for allowing this interview.

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J.P.: What is an early therapy session like? What I mean is—I’m gay, I don’t want to be gay, I make an appointment. How does it go from there? What’s the process?

J.N.: Each session begins with the therapist asking: “What do you want to work on today?” and each session should end with: “What did you learn about yourself today?” What happens in-between is the outcome of a collaborative relationship. The therapeutic alliance, which is the foundation of treatment, is when the therapist and client work together toward goals and objectives defined by the client. The client must always feel in control of the session. The therapist asks questions and offers interpretation for the client to consider.

As treatment progresses, the client and the therapist find links between childhood shame events—what we call “shame trauma”—and present-day same-sex attractions.  For the male, these “shame traumas” typically involve painful rejection from father, brothers or peers and include emotional, physical or sexual abuse. The result of these shame traumas is the client’s taking upon himself negative self-labels communicated to him in those moments. These negative self-labels typically involving male identity: “I am not male enough.” “I am not good enough to be accepted by other males.”

The client begins to see the connection between these moments of rejection and his present-day desire for what we call “The Three A’s”—attention, affection and approval, which are the emotional foundations of sexual attractions. He begins to understand that sexual contact is a substitute for authentic male affirmation.

Along with this we encourage close male friendships with straight guys. The client will often discover that if he becomes friends with a guy he is attracted to, the sexual attraction disappears. If the client reports sexual feelings for another guy, I will encourage him to make friends with him. He will often discover that friendship cancels out sexual feelings. I remember a teenage boy in his first session reporting that he was sexually attracted to a guy on the football team. I suggested he make friends with him. “No,” he said, “if I do, then I’ll lose the attraction.” He never read Freud, but he knew.

This might explain why gay male relationships don’t last, or if they do, they almost inevitably become open relationships. The familiarity diminishes the mystique. There is no heterosexual equivalent, since the opposite sex is always mysterious.

J.P.: It seems like there’s a very close tie between the anti-homosexuality movement and devout Christianity. How much of your work is based upon your own religious upbringing? And what role does faith play in your therapy? Can an agnostic Satan worshiper come to you for assistance?

J.N.: While I am a Catholic and cannot deny how my faith has shaped my worldview, the therapy is science-based. Here, theology and psychology are compatible. The therapy is psychodynamic and while the majority of our clients are religious, quite a few are not. Besides, this therapy is not anti-anything. It’s about choice.

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• You’ve appeared on Dr. Drew’s Show. My wife and I talk about him all the time. How can you diagnose a celebrity’s problem with a TV studio 2,000 miles away? Doesn’t that violate some professional code?: Actually, I found Dr. Drew to be very fair and open minded. He respectfully gave me the opportunity to express my views. He seemed particularly interested in the idea that homosexuality is trauma-based. I wish I could say the same for other TV hosts.

• Five reasons one should make Encino, California his/her next vacation destination?: Encino has a wonderful cultural mix. Where else can you find so many sushi-deli’s?

• Rank in order (favorite to least): chai tea latte, Disney Land, Rock Hudson, Jimmy Fallon, Alonzo Mourning, Batman, Ice Cube, Saved By the Bell, Michele Bachmann, The Rock, John Stamos: I don’t recognize most of these names. I’m totally out of the popular culture. I don’t listen to any music written after 1924, the year Puccini died. Maybe Sinatra, if I’m feeling edgy.

• Five all-time favorite movies: Anything directed by John Ford and starring John Wayne.

• Thoughts on Michael Sam as an openly gay NFL player? OK with it? Should he not be allowed?: Much ado about nothing. It’s his life, let him live it. But he may want to consider looking at his childhood traumas.

• Why do you think pay phones still exist?: It’s the only place where you can pretend to be talking to someone as an excuse to have a little time alone.

• Elvis was a hero to most, but he never meant shit to me. What do you think of him?: You must be desperate for questions.

• The best advice you ever received was …: If you are not sure what to do as a therapist, listen to your client.

• Who wins in a 12-round boxing match between you and Dr. Phil? What’s the result?: He actually was very gracious when I was on his show. My mother loves Dr. Phil and watches him every day. She once said to me: “Joseph, you should watch Dr. Phil, you could learn a lot.”

• I met a guy yesterday who said he doesn’t drink soda because of the health risks—but then went out to smoke a cigarette. Am I morally allowed to punch him in the head?: The down side of a democracy is that people are allowed to self-destruct.

Rocky Suhayda

Back when I was a kid, attending weekly Sunday school classes and monthly services at my local Chavurah, there was a general rule of thumb toward the views of anti-Semites: Ignore everything.

Ignore what they say.

Ignore what they scream.

Ignore what they write.

Ignore, ignore, ignore.

Because I was young, and because it seemed to make sense, I followed along. When some Nazi so-and-so held a march in so-and-so town, I didn’t even read about it. When some moron like David Duke ran for whatever office, I paid little mind. It was good ol’ see no evil, hear no evil—and it kept me warm and safe and protected.

With just one problem: I hated being warm and safe and protected.

Do I like Nazis? Uh, being a liberal New York Jew, that’d be a big ol’ No. Do I support their goals? Not even close. But am I curious to understand their beliefs, and the origins of their world views, and their goals and desires and self-described needs? Yes, I am.

That’s why, a couple of months ago, I contacted Rocky Suhayda, chairman of the American Nazi Party, and asked whether he’d consider doing a Quaz. Up front, I informed Rocky that I am, indeed Jewish, and he promptly told me that he’d do his best to answer my questions and explain his takes. When he submitted his replies, I was riveted, fascinated—and disgusted. Here is a man who somehow believes in gay rights, yet abhors interracial marriage; who seems to have no real issue with run-of-the-mill Jews, yet damns those who, in his opinion, control the money. Truth be told, I’m still not sure why Rocky calls himself a Nazi—he seems to believe the Holocaust happened, but just doesn’t think we should keep dwelling on it. That solitary view might well make him an anti-Semite. But it doesn’t coincide with many of the more evil Nazi-esque viewpoints I’ve heard (Rocky noted to me on multiple occasions that the Hollywood stereotyping of his ilk has led to great misinformation).

Truth be told, I’m not sure what to make of Rocky. I can’t say I “like” him, because, well, I loathe so many of his viewpoints. I do, however, sometimes think that we allow names and tags to incorrectly label. Are Rocky’s stated viewpoints all that much worse than the Southern conservative activists trying their all to keep blacks from voting by insisting on IDs at polling stations? Are they so different than people questioning Barack Obama’s birthplace, and referring to him—deliberately, pointedly—by his middle name?

I don’t have the answer to these questions—I really don’t. But, come day’s end, I do believe there’s legitimate value in understanding the perspectives of others … even when those perspectives make us want to vomit (and, to be blunt, when you consider someone’s historical interpretations to be based upon misinformation/bullshit).

Rocky Suhayda is today’s Quaz guest …

JEFF PEARLMAN: Rocky, first, I wanna thank you for doing this. You’re not my traditional interview guest, and this probably isn’t your traditional interview. So that’s worth something, I suppose.

First question I want to ask you is a very personal one for me: As I told you in the e-mail to set this up, I’m Jewish. My grandparents came here from Germany to escape Hitler. My Great-grandmother, Johanna Baer, was captured, sent to a concentration camp and killed. From the time I was born until her death in 1999, my Grandma Marta could barely talk about what happened in Germany—to her mother, to her friends, to her neighbors. You and your organization, however, insist this never happened. My question is: A. With all the historical documentation, even from the nation of Germany and countless Nazi participants, what case can you make? And B. Why in the world would you want to identify yourself with, of all things, Naziism? Can’t you be anti-immigration and anti-race mixing without aligning yourself with Adolph Hitler?

ROCKY SUHAYDA: First, let’s be honest here—the victors write the history books. Today, according to the (controlled) media, Adolf Hitler and his ideology of National Socialism was the most “evil, stupid, non-sense filled” doctrine ever “forced” upon mankind. Yet, the German people are not an ignorant, stupid or evil people. They are among the most intelligent, and creative people in the world.

Going further, the National Socialist doctrine spread to just about every other White nation on the face of the earth, finding followers all over the globe.

Literally millions of non-Germans fought for National Socialism in World War II. They came from as far different areas as Spain, France, Belgium, Italy—even over a million Russians fought for NS Germany’s efforts to destroy Judeo-Capitalism and Judeo-Communism.

Today, the “victors” fear the idea of National Socialism, that in Germany it is “outlawed.” Now, if National Socialism was so discredited—why not simply let it exist as an alternative choice in the field of political ideas—and then, let the people show their distain by ignoring it? Why this constant fear of a “discredited” philosophy?

National Socialism is a nature based view of life. Unlike either Judeo-Capitalism, or Judeo-Communism—it is not based upon crass materialism.  It is healthy, and caring towards the needs of the folk that make up its society—unlike what we are forced to exist under in todays corrupt and decadent “western world”.

Second, we believe in the principals of National Socialism. Not in what William L Shirer (a Jew) or “Time-Life” depicts in their hate propaganda—but, as put forth in Hitler’s book Mein Kampf.

Whether one like to admit it or not, NS Germany came out of the Great Depression years before any other western nation, because of National Socialisms progressive policies—for the average German. America, for example only came out of the Depression because of the advent of war. Pretty sad, eh?

The Christian church was involved in some pretty “drastic” measure of their own over the centuries—Inquisitions, Crusades, witch-hunts etc et al. Would you suggest that “Christianity” should be condemned and “forgotten” because of these?

There is quite enough “lying” in politics already—we ARE National Socialists, why should we hide it? For “fear” of our enemies, of the “Jews” and their power? We believe in truth, no matter how harsh it is, or difficult for people to accept.

We know ourselves to be decent, honorable people who seek only the betterment of our people. We are not the “Hollywood”-created caracature of the “scowling, bonehead bigot, who only lives to terrorize others”. As our website states—we are your friends, co-workers, neighbors and family members—we are one of you.

J.P.: Are you saying the Holocaust didn’t exist, the Holocaust sort of existed or it didn’t exist at all? I mean, there seems to be documented proof beyond documented proof that these people were, indeed, killed. As I told you earlier, my grandmother, before she passed, had a very detailed and vivid narrative of the loss of her mother. So are you saying Grandma was lying?

R.S.: Neither you nor I were even born then … it’s ancient history. Who cares what happened way back in World War II, except it was a “holocaust” for tens of millions of my people, and should never occur again. It’s like the “slavery” issue with negroes—my family never owned a slave. In fact back in Europe they were serfs and peasants—was that much different? I remember my gramma had a “medal” that was awarded to some great, great, great ancestor of mine—for catching “poachers”, by some “Baron” or other “lordship.” Yeah, some poor serf, catching other serfs, who were no doubt starving! Lovely, eh? The  Japs killed over 30 million Chinese, yet there are no “memorials” to them. Few people are even aware of it—I wonder why?  Not too many “Chinese” in control of western media, I guess. You know, I’m still waiting for a movie to come along, depicting the life of the average Germans—women, kids, old folks—being fire-bombed day and night, by the “greatest generation” … won’t hold my breath, though. LOL. I can’t imagine that being in Hamburg, Berlin, Dresden et al—was much worse, than being in any camp.

J.P.: I’m a Jewish guy from Mahopac, New York. I was born to hard-working parents, I attended college, I work my butt off. One of my closest friends is a black guy from Mahopac, New York. His dad died of cancer when he was young, his mom worked her butt off as a bus driver, then teacher, to raise her kids. He attended the Naval Academy and is a fantastic man. Why do you have any beef with us? Why do you think this nation would be better without us?

R.S.: Surprise! Sincere National Socialists do not hate all “Jews.”

It doesn’t matter to me personally “what” you “worship”—personally, I’m an agnostic. What we are against are people who do harm to our people. Why Jews then? OK, it’s like this—look at all these Wall Street Banksters. How many of them are “Jews”? It’s the same throughout the entire “financial sector”—private or government. We are determined to pry these “Jewish” fingers, with their interest-slavery usury, from our people’s economic life!

Per the average Jewish guy, who owns a deli, or is a dentist—unless they actively support what we call the “Jewish Power Structure,” or are actively against our efforts—we have no “problems” with them.

Believe it or not, we have had people self-discribing themselves as “Jews,” contact us and state that they agree with pretty much everything we’re saying, but they obviously can’t join because they are “Jews.” Too bad they had to bring it up—if they were sincere in fighting Judeo-Capitalism they could have been of use.

In fact, we are having so many “Non-Aryans” contacting us with similar viewpoints that I am seriously considering launching an “ANP Sympathizer” branch, where they could support our agenda, without “officially” joining as members. I’m honestly not joking here.

Not “all Jews” are “bad” any more than any other race is all “bad.”  Today’s decadent “white” culture ( or, lack of true, decent culture ) probably contains more “bad” people than any other out there. And that’s our agenda—to turn these lost brothers and sisters around, and to bring them “home”—where they can live a decent and healthy life, in tune with nature, rather than against it.

J.P.: You are the chairman of the American Nazi Party. How did this happen? What I mean is, Rocky, what was your life path? I know you’re from Detroit and used to work in the medical field. Are your parents Nazis as well, or was this something you discovered on your own? In other words, what’s your story?

R.S.: I was born in Detroit, honorably discharged from the Army, worked various jobs, mainly 25 years as a medical warehouse supervisor/worker. I have never been convicted of a crime. I have been married for over 30 years and have three children, two of whom are Autistic. I have campaigned several times for local office. My “best” vote total was around 1,600 when I ran for City Council in Livonia Michigan, a city of around 80,000 population. That time the JDL picketed my home—lol.

I first joined George Lincoln Rockwell’s American Nazi Party back in 1967 at the age of 16. I worked in the library throughout high school and found a copy of Hitler’s book, Mein Kampf, on the shelves, and read it.

My father had been in World War II, “won” a Silver and Bronze Star for “killing 16 Nazi’s”—and yes, he was a “racist.” But he had no influence upon my thinking. My mother made me my first armband when I was a teenager, more out of love for me than anything else.

I became a National Socialist because I dug and researched far beyond the “normal” propaganda about Hitler and National Socialism, and over the years my views have only been more confirmed.

With each generation, people are caring less about the old World War II propaganda, and more new truths are coming forth about the true nature of National Socialism. If there hadn’t been World War II, Adolf Hitler would have gone down in history as The Man of the Century. But, two “supposed, deadly enemies”—Judeo-Capitalism and Judeo-Communism—joined together to utterly destroy this man and his Idea, who dared challenge International Finance.  They “won” temporarily, and all of us underemployed, unemployed and indigent White Workers around the world can give them a big “thank you” for the barren sewers we exist in today!

J.P.: I’ve always wondered something about Nazi sympathizers (if that’s the right term) who live in America. If you go to, say, an auto body shop and the mechanic is Asian, do you refuse service? Or let’s say you check into a hospital and the doctor is black? Or your accountant is Jewish? What I mean is, can you deal cordially with minorities on a day-to-day, real-world basis? And is it even remotely possible for you to have a black or Jewish or Asian or Indian friend?

R.S.: I’m amazed! Unlike the Judeo-Capitalist world that had “Empires” like un-Great Britain, and today the U.S.—that exploited these peoples for their own gain—NS Germany had no “colonies,” and great relations with non-Aryans.

They were the heroes of the Arab world, that had long be exploited by the “west.” They aided the Iraqi’s with arms and troops to free themselves from British exploitation, and the Egyptians praying for the Africa Korps to kick the imperialist out of the Middle East! The Grand Mulla himself was a guest of Hitler, and served as Spiritual Advisor for Muslim troops (White) in the Balkins. And their greatest ally was Japan, an oriental nation.

No, true National Socialist live by the “Golden Rule.”

J.P.: You once said that you wished Aryan-Americans had the cojones of the 9/11 hijackers. Your quote was—”If we were one-tenth as serious, we might start getting somewhere.” Uh … really? I mean, do you believe violence of such magnitude has its place in your movement?

R.S.: What I believe, is that conviction to such a degree, is sorely lacking in far too many people involved in this so-called “racial movement.”

How can any person deny that, that “Alamo spirit” that these men showed, is anything but admirable? Was it much different than “massada”?  Yes, I do admire anyone who fights like a tiger, with anything they’ve got—for their side. Unlike this society, I try really hard, not to be a hypocrite. “Ohhh, we give ’em Shock and Awe and it’s cool”—all the while, doing it from miles away, up in the sky—safe. They “do it”—expending their own lives in the process, and they’re “madmen.” Only in this “society.”

J.P.: The president of the United States has a white mother and a black father. I’m assuming, based on your website, this doesn’t exactly thrill you. So I’m wondering—did you watch his inauguration? Could you, in any way, shape or form, appreciate the historical significance of the moment? Do you consider Barack Obama to be the devil? And, if he knocked on your door, would you speak with him cordially?

R.S.: Actually, if you Google it up, you’ll find that in that shell-game, er “election”—I stated in a interview for another magazine, that I “prefered Obama over McCain, the pale-faced war-monger.”

Obama promised “change”—of course, we didn’t get it. He promised shutting down torture camps like Gitmo—he didn’t. He promised he would stop the wars—he bombed Libya, and surged Aftganistan, and is creating more “hot spots” around the globe as I write. A typical lying political sock-puppet for the real “powers that be.”

Anyways, he’s half white, isn’t he? LOL Tragically, he’s lost his racial ancestry, through centuries of his ancestors.

Yes, I preferred “giving him a chance” over what I knew Old Fat Face was. After all, here was a negro who (at the time) attended a black nationalist church, was married to a black woman instead of capturing a “white” prize, like most wealthy blacks do. He spouted “change” and God knows, I’m for just about any kind of change when it comes to this political cesspool—so, give him a chance …

He flunked.

The negro population must really be disgusted. Here they thought that they would have “one of them” in the White House, it’s gonna be “milk and honey” time!  Hell, he might have well been green, for all that he’s done for ‘them.” Nope, just another political fraud.

J.P.: Your group seems awfully upset about Jews “controlling” everything. Here’s the thing, Rocky: Generally (and stereotypically) speaking, we work our asses off, we stress education, our mothers insist we become lawyers or doctors, we give a lot of money to charity. Isn’t it possible that you’re just jealous because we’re significantly smarter than you? [Writer’s note: I was kidding]

R.S.: OK, here’s where we “take off the gloves.”

“Jews” are well known by everyone—tell a joke about Jews and money, and everyone will ‘get it’—for being “manipulators” of finance.

It’s not too difficult to make money, if you control the whole ball-game, as the weathy Jews do. Usury, ie interest slavery, was outlawed in Old Europe by the Church. It was outlawed in National Socialist Germany too. Islam outlaws it today.

Thats why the Rothchilds and the rest created World War II, to get rid of NS Germany’s barter-trade system, out-flanking the International Banks, and their “handling” of monies. They couldn’t allow that idea to spread throughout the world, now could they.

Pardon me, but you seem to have an “elitest” attitude—Jews are “educated doctor and lawyers”? I myself have met and worked with Jews who weren’t so lucky. Not all jews are wealthy. Do you look askance at them?  Kinda like, when the wealthy jews were fleeing Europe, with all their ill-gotten gains, and left the “small” jews to be interned. Yes, interned—just as we (gosh, gasp) freedom loving, god-fearing Americans (Jews too, don’t forget were helping) were rounding up every “Jap” we could find, stripping them of their homes, jobs, business’s and putting them out in the desert in “concentration camps.”  What do you think might have happened to them, if America had lost the war?  What happened to the “Indians” …

I have a thought for you—why is it, that no matter where Jews have gone—Spain, France, England etc—they have been “percecuted” and “pogramed” by the indigenous population? What do these Jews “do” to get people so riled up about them?  Is everybody so “wrong” about “the Jews”, and the Jews really are “God’s Chosen People”—whoa! now that sounds kinda “supremacist,” pal—that God loves Jews more than anyone else. Are you a Jew Supremacist?

As for “being smarter,” well, old Moses got lost in a 40-square mile piece of desert for how many years? LOL

J.P.: Why does race matter to you? What I mean is, why would you bond with others because of the pigmentation of their skin? I can understand feeling a kinship because you’re both Brewers fans, or you’re both from Oakland. But … pigmentation? I mean, skin-wise, you and I are both white. But I’m sure as hell not inviting you over for Passover.

R.S.: It’s a “nature thing,” from your questions, I’m really wondering if “Jews” really  are more “different” from us Goyim (non-Jews) than I thought.

After all, so many “Jews” have inter-married with beautiful Aryan women over the years  that they honestly aren’t racial Jews anymore.

It’s the “mindset,” ie “spiritual Judaism” that sets them apart. Let’s be honest here—Jews are the most “racist”-minded people on planet earth.

Oh, they’re mainly “liberal minded” ( in the wrong ways, such as promoting race-mixing for others, and pushing “rights” for unnaturnal lifestyles like homosexuals, and putrifying “entertainment” to the point where it’s either pornographic or idiotic …) but, as a closed community—they mostly marry other Jews, and promote other Jews’ interests in business, and basically “keep it all in the club.”

Now mind you, I admire Jews for it! I really do. I only wish that someday, Aryans will have the same mindset—in National Socialist Germany they did!

In any case, race is the once thing that binds a people together. When one people share the same interests, culture, history—they move forward together, better than a mob does—where every self-interest group fights the others for a piece of the pie.

“God” or Nature created all these different species—isn’t it going against God or Nature to obliterate that which was created in the first place? Would earth be a better place if all the birds blended into crows? In nature, robins mate with robins, not blue-jays. Tigers mate with only other tigers, not with leopards. Trout stay with trout, not mating with catfish? Do you see the point? Look at Israel—look at how they treat the indiginous Arab population.  It’s almost National Socialism (Hollywood style) with a Star of David!

Over the centuries, the strength of the Jewish people has been their unity against their perceived opponants, their insular desire to stay with their own, their their willingness to sacrifice for their common good over any other thinking—would you deny that to other peoples, like mine?

J.P.: Another part of your platform reads: “We further demand the removal of all alien influences from the cultural life of the Aryan community, and the elimination of the cult of ugliness and insanity known as “modern art” and “modern music” (For example “rap”).” A. What’s your beef with modern art? And B. What’s your beef with rap? And would you be sorta OK with, say, Nazi-themed rap performed by a white guy?

R.S.: I went to the local “holohoax museum” one time, and they had a display. One wall was NS condemned “art”—it was filled with silly, ugly, distasteful “art” that repulsed me. The other wall was NS approved art—it was filled with pictures that looked beautiful. Items like what that artist Thomas Kinkaid, who recently died did … you know, the pretty cottages and scenery.

Today’s “art” and “entertainment” is of the “Catskills” variety—crude, rude, degenerate and imbicilic. Let’s not forget who to “thank” for this trend—it’s well know that this “style” was first formulated in the Jewish “comedians,” who pushed the line farther and farther.  Outright filth. Of course, for idiocy, you had the “Fine brothers” of the “Three Stooges” fame—to mention only one example.

There are books out now, where you Jews boast of your longtime control over Hollywood and the entertainment business. So I guess we have you Jews to “thank” for what’s presently available?

Don’t confuse this “bonehead” music, as in any form or manner as “National Socialistic”—just because someone slaps on a Swastika, doesn’t make them a National Socialist. The same with these costumed, fantasy groups out there, playing street-theater, like scripted clowns. Your side really ought to pay them for being “Posterboys” of what your propaganda “says” NS supposedly are.

J.P.: Is being a Nazi sorta lonely in 2012? I mean, the country is overwhelmingly ethnic, Chinese restaurants pop up everywhere, we Jews control Hollywood (but don’t blame us for Gigli). It seems like your existence might be increasingly hard to maintain. No?

R.S.: You wish me to honest? Well, for literally decades, yes it was kind of “lonely.” America’s White Workers were fairly well paid, they had jobs, and the country was mostly White—except certain areas, like major cities—which they could pretend didn’t exist, or could stay away from.

I’ll admit, that you can’t make a Revolutionary out of a well-fed, happy materialist. Only a few idealists came along.

But! Now, is the time I have waited for, for so damn long! I won’t go into all the job loss, the Judeo-Capitalist Banksters stealing people’s homes and sending their employment overseas (for good) and the literal “darkening” of America with this ever growing illegal invasion.

Each White generation can expect less than the previous one! Even the “educated” White youth are finding zilch out there. Parents are finding it grimmer to feed or keep a roof over their children’s heads! The “American dream” is quickly turning into a nightmare. Need I go on?

People are more willing to listen to alternatives—any alternative. And we of the American Nazi Party aren’t too stupid. The people are already grumbling about that “one percent”—that’s the first step.They only need pointing out—”who is” that “special elite.”

And don’t think its only “us nazi’s” pointing it out. At OWS protests, negroes have been among the foremost in spreading the Word! Let me “warn” you for what it’s worth: the poor—black, meztizo’s, what have you —have no “great love” for those whom they perceive as their exploiters.  And, it’s not people like me, scraping to get by as they are, who are exploiting them!

Someday, that three percent of the population, who control 90 percent of America’s wealth—might get a surprise at “people coming together” to put an end to evil and corruption. I have more “in common” with a sincere Black Nationalist—let us say—than a Fat Judeo-Capitalist Bankster who wants to steal both our homes!

No, times are getting exciting!


• Can a member of the American Nazi Party be a sports fan and root for, say, LeBron James or Derek Jeter?: Why would they?

• Have you ever thought you were about to die in a plane crash? If so, what do you remember?: My family.

• You have to eat either a taco, an egg roll or a bowl of Matzah ball soup. Which do you choose?: I’ve never had “Matzah ball soup”, but if I was hungry—who cares? I grew up poor … you ever try and eat “pig’s feet”, because they were cheap?

• I was shocked to read your fairly moderate view on gays. Does that go over well with your peers?: What differnce does it make to me or anyone else, what two consenting adults “do” to one another in private? It similar to “religion”—it’s a “personal choice” as long as it isn’t shoved down others faces. A lot of heterosexuals do some pretty disgusting things as well, at least to me.

In the ANP, members may have their own views on certain subjects, but all have accepted ANP policy, or they keep it to themselves. This isn’t a struggle over people’s sex lives, unless they’re child-molesting perverts, who of course we deeply abhore.

• Who are you planning on supporting in the 2012 presidential election?: None. Nothing will change, it will only continue to get worse.

• What do members of the American Nazi Party do for fun?: You’re kidding, right?  Are we still “carcatured” in your mind?

• If you’re trying to win over new members, why a “swastika”? Why not use like a happy face or an ice cream cone? Something more positive?: Just as the Star of David is the symbol of your people–the Swastika is the age-old symbol of ours.

• Is a member of the American Nazi Party allowed to think Halle Berry is really good looking?: Another “chocolate colored white woman”—ie a mullato. If you want to see real negroes, come to Detroit. No Halle Berrys in view.

• Best joke you know?: You’ll expect this—How was copper wire invented? Two Jews were fighting over a penny”. Satisfied? [Writer’s note: L-a-m-e]

• Would you rather take a week’s vacation to Hawaii with Jesse Jackson or streak naked across Yankee Stadium during the World Series?: I would rather be sitting as Chief Justice on a Peoples Court—trying One Percenters of all races—for crimes against the people. Then sentencing them to dig that big cross-country canal by hand with picks and shovels!  LOL.

Dan Riehl

When I began doing these Quaz Q&As back in the day, my goal was never to feature only people I agree with. What I wanted, more than anything, was to offer jeffpearlman.com readers a wide variety of backgrounds, careers and viewpoints.

Even if it friggin’ kills me …

For those of you who don’t regularly follow the conservative blogosphere, Dan Riehl’s Riehl World View is one of the kings of the medium. Dan states his opinions with strength and passion and verve, and while I disagree with, oh, 99.99999 percent of what he writes (Palin for President? Really? R-e-a-l-l-y?), I do admire his commitment to speaking out.

Here, Dan explains why conservatives are genuinely empathetic; why the former Alaska governor would—no joke—make an excellent commander in chief; why climate change is no biggie and why you never want to enjoy some hash by his side. You can visit Dan’s website here, and follow him on Twitter here.

Dan Riehl, damn you, welcome to the Quaz …

JEFF PEARLMAN: In a recent post you called yourself a “fan” of Sarah Palin. And, from reading your blog, that’s very clear. As an old-school liberal, I just don’t get it; don’t get her. A. She quit her job as governor—as governor!—to become a media personality; B. She strikes me as a complete, 100% opportunist who will say whatever she must to remain in the limelight; C. She seems remarkably unintelligent—strikingly so; D. If she weighed 250 pounds with a couple of warts, you wouldn’t be talking about her. And neither would I. So, Dan, please explain how you can possibly like Sarah Palin.

DAN RIEHL: It’s ironic that the politically correct Left is always so quick to objectify women if they disagree with their politics. I realize that a lot of liberal broads remind one of an old house, in bad need of a paint job, everything’s sagging and the grass needs cut, but you shouldn’t allow yourself to be distracted because so many conservative women are so hot. It’s usually a reflection of the beauty within, a healthy respect for and sense of oneself apart from the collective hive. We’re individualists and it instills a sense of pride. I know several particularly bright individuals who have spent time talking with Palin, each has told me she is surprisingly well informed and articulate. If you want to buy into a media caricature, suit yourself. I also accept that she left the governorship precisely for the reasons she’s given. The Left was intent on filing bogus ethics charge after bogus ethics charge, it was expensive and wasteful of her time and government resources, because she was one in Alaska. True, that she resigned doesn’t fit into a neat little box—she’s always been someone who walks to the sound of her own drum. One could just as easily see it as a principled, bold choice, as a negative. From there, why should she not make as much money as she can as a media personality? Oh, that’s right, wealth creation is a crime on the Left. I guess if she stayed in Alaska and worked on a fishing boat you’d be a fan? Nah, you’d say she stayed in Alaska to hide because she wasn’t all that.

J.P.: One of the most important issues out there, for me, is climate change. I believe in it 100 percent; I believe the scientists who insist it’s happening; hell, I look at the weather patterns and am, at the least, insanely nervous. Now I get that you, and most Republicans, don’t believe in man-made climate change. But—in the absence of 100 percent certainty—isn’t this an area where we should err on the side of caution? I mean, if it is happening, you and I are both fucked. Even worse, our kids and grandkids are fucked. So why do conservatives continue to bark about climate change being a hoax—and to hell with anyone who believes (egad) scientists who study (egad) climate? Isn’t it merely an ignorant hope for sunny skies?

D.R.: What seems lost on you is that there are a great many reputable scientists who don’t accept it. On top of that, many of the same people pushing global warming were warning us of the coming ice age just a decade, or two ago. Look for the old Newsweek cover story on that and get back to me. The planet has warmed, cooled, frozen and boiled in cycles for billions of years. If anything, I see a lot of pseudo-scientists more intent on proving man is supreme over everything, than objectively looking at ALL the facts. I have. I’ve looked at the arguments from both sides and I am unconcerned. If global warming troubles you so much, by some shorts and T-shirts and keep the sun off your head. I’d hate to see the rest of your brain cells melt. 🙂

J.P.: How did you get here? What I mean is, you’re a widely read conservative blogger with a genuine voice. What was your life path to this point? And is this what you envisioned yourself doing—to some degree—back in the day? And what inspired you to start the blog?

D.R.: I wanted to write from a very young age but life intervened and I didn’t pursue it until I began to blog. From a blue-collar, working class family, further education wasn’t encouraged after high school. The need to support myself and the steel mill, police or fire department were. I had family in those areas and they were great people. I didn’t have a problem with it, so much as a feeling I didn’t fit in, or wouldn’t be happy there. I worked enough through high school to know I wanted a different kind of job. I split the difference and went into retail, while taking college courses at night and eventually ended up both working and attending college full-time. During that period I had studied journalism and also edited a school paper. By the way, my first ever vote was for Jimmy Carter, but I haven’t voted for a Democrat since.

When I graduated, Malcolm Forbes spoke at the commencement. He said, if you want to get rich, don’t do want earns you the most money, do what you love most. Unfortunately—LOL—I didn’t listen to him. Faced with the choice between a very low paying entry-level job in journalism,  or a slot in the Fortune 20 paying 3 times as much, I went into sales, then marketing as a career and spent a couple of decades there. I discovered blogging from news reports early in the 2004 election cycle. After looking around a bit I thought, hell, I can do that and became a hobbyist. While not here at the very beginning, nothing thrills me more than to have been a part of it as it all started to explode.

A couple years ago the relationship I had been in for some time was at a crossroads. Oh wait, I mean, dead-end. We had decided to sell the house and split-up and three weeks later it became apparent that the company I was with was going away, too. Hmm. A lovely older woman I won’t name—and a reader of my blog—talked to me now and then in email. When I told her what was what, she said she had a place on Chincoteague Island she wouldn’t be using for the summer and I was welcome to hang out and re-group if I wanted. I wanted!

As fate would have it, a dear friend from childhood lived just outside D.C. with her husband and their kids were grown. I was talking to her about the options I was considering and she said, ‘Do the blogging thing, come stay with us until you settle in.’ So, I moved to D.C. One of my first consulting projects was helping the good people at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Foundation to understand new media and blogging. I’ve also worked with those evil automobile company people, lest I damage my conservative cred.  From there, I settled in down here, got a place of my own and now I blog and consult, including working with Andrew Breitbart. If nothing else, surely you can hate me for THAT???

J.P.: One of the biggest problems I have with modern conservatives is the jarring lack of empathy. Everything is about tax cuts, tax cuts, spending cuts, spending cuts. As the husband and son of social workers, I’ve seen the genuine value of government fiscal involvement. For example, my wife worked at a youth homeless shelter that educated and housed thousands of young New Yorkers who would have been on the street. The agency depends on federal funds. There are, literally, thousands of similar places that need federal or state funding to survive. And yet, you guys only seem to bemoan any spending. You’d rather have that money stay in the pockets of the wealthy. Why the selfishness? And is there a way to accomplish both minimal taxes/government involvement AND keep public-good institutions going?

D.R.: Please get over this wealthy nonsense. Do your homework. The wealth of America is in the broad middle class. And that is precisely where the  bulk of government money comes from. It always has and always will. Do you ever read below the headlines,or do research on your own? You are mouthing platitudes that don’t add up. To the extent the wealthy are involved, that money is not sitting in anyone’s pocket. It flows through the economy as investment. It is the same money that helps a young guy or gal start a new business, or buy a home. It is not sitting stagnant, off in some fiscal eddy somewhere. The more money that flows through the private sector, the more that is accessible to anyone who wants to earn it, or take risks by borrowing it.

No serious conservative I know advocates simply doing away with everything. But along with waste, fraud and abuse, look at the vast sums we have pumped into our inner cities, while they only continue to get worse. There is nothing wrong with helping out those in need. The difference is, what are you helping them to do? To the extent we develop a class of people, and we have in America, that falls into the trap of believing the government can and will do for you, as opposed to having to do for yourself, we damage those people, we don’t help them. The  problem is, too many programs become entrenched, filled with bureaucrats, whose primary concern is keeping their own job. To the extent they are invested in that, there is no incentive to truly help anyone by empowering them to take care of themselves.

That is not to say many of the people in those fields are not fine people who genuinely wish to do good. The problem is more institutional and political than it is personal. Nevertheless, without writing an entire paper on it here, I’ll just say, it is the inefficiency, corruption and, in too many cases, self interest that perverts and twists the best objectives. The simple truth of it is, give a man a fish versus teach a man to fish, etc. And the sad reality of it is, when it comes to government institutions, too many bureaucrats become focused on keeping the pond stacked, as opposed to preparing people for a productive fishing trip.

J.P.: Clearly, Barack Obama is a loathed man among Republicans. What I don’t understand is, where was this anger when George W. Bush was president? I know he disappointed many of you in different ways, but even as he spent, spent spent; even as he cooked intelligence on Iraq and watched from an elementary school as 9/11 happened, y’all supported him. Barack Obama caves to Republicans on every friggin’ thing and he was in office when we nabbed Osama. Fuck, you should love this guy.

D.R.: My son, there is no hope for you if you believe any of that. Was it a fall as a child, or some sort of chemically induced brain damage? Surely somewhere in the world there is a government program for you!

J.P.: Do you think race has anything to play in conservative anger toward the president? Or are we liberals just looking for an excuse?

D.R.: There are racists aligned with every political ideology, unfortunately. That’s a fact. The same conservatives who might loath Barack Obama absolutely love Rep. Alan West of Florida. I rest my case. Get over it.

J.P.: Where do you stand on gay marriage and gay adoption? Do you really think the institution of marriage will decline because gay couples can also marry?

D.R.: Marriage is sacred and between a man and a  woman—that’s my view. But that’s embraced primarily through any exposure I’ve had to religion, not government. I also believe it is unique because of the biological notion of conception. As I hope the species will keep going for a while, I have no problem providing some sort of special consideration for committed couples capable of it. I’ve yet to meet the homosexual couple who has pulled it off—LOL. That said, I have no issue with same sex couples who wish to make a long-term commitment to one another. Ideally, government would get out of the marriage business and leave it to the church. One could marry in a church and also seek a license through the state. Who the state provides said licenses to is an issue for democracy. I could live with whatever the population determined at the ballot box and would vastly prefer that to Washington, or some small panel of judges making the determination.

As for gay adoption, my concerns  there go to the well-being of the child. Has our society shifted enough so that it would not represent a social problem for a child thus adopted? I don’t know. It seems to be moving that way. The gay lobby often strikes me as too impatient for its own good. A little more maturity and a few less raging drag queens, or bitchy bull dykes would be a nice thing to see.

J.P.: What’s your take on the state of American journalism in 2011? How do you think the conservative viewpoint is being conveyed?

D.R.: The explosion in new media is opening the way for a more partisan media, each respective side representing its own view. I think that’s a good thing and people should get over the idea that it’s new. Several newspapers are named the Democrat this, or that, because it was common for cities to have two newspapers with competing points of view. One tended to serve Republicans, one Democrats. As long as we’re all engaged in the same larger debate that takes place around our electoral politics, I see nothing wrong with it. I’m very pro-choice in that regard!

J.P.: There’s been a lot of talk about Michelle Bachman’s husband, and his alleged past work helping gays “switch” to straight. Do you think a presidential candidate’s spouse should be an issue in an election? And, if the Bachman information is correct, does it matter? Does it say anything about her that impacts the presidency?

D.R.: I don’t know that it says anything about her, I don’t know the details of their relationship. I did see a video of him and remember thinking, there’s no way the country elects him to be the first man. But then, in 2008, I thought, no way America elects a guy named Barack Hussein Obama as president, so what the hell do I know?

J.P.: I’m an agnostic/atheist. Were any presidential candidate to admit this, he/she would no longer be a presidential candidate. Why do you think a belief in God is an American requirement to the presidency? And are you cool with it?

D.R.: I value religion. That said, I also believe in separation of church and state. One’s religion, or lack thereof, should have no bearing on one’s suitability to be president. But, I also believe in liberty, so I don’t get to make up everyone’s mind for them. People should be free to believe, or not believe, what they want. If it ain’t in the Constitution, it shouldn’t apply. And there is no religious requirement for the job, as far as I know.


• Would you rather take a two week vacation with Jimmy Carter, Al Gore or Walter Mondale?: It would depend on which one has the hottest daughters.

• Does Vince Young have a future as a starting QB?: Vince who?

• Have you ever thought you were about to die in a plane crash? If so, details …: No.

• Your favorite Democrat (for real—not sarcastically): The hottest looking serving female. I’d have to research that.

• Five favorite all-time politicians; five least-favorite: Favorites—Reagan, Goldwater, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Palin; Least Favorite: Clinton, Carter, Obama, Kerry, Edwards.

• Invent a Celine Dion joke on the spot: I don’t use mustard.

• You cried during the recent Sarah Palin film. Explain why. And does this make you a wuss?: While I don’t perceive Palin as weak or in need of defending, a portion of her image as the GOP VP nominee was innocent, or pure, if you will. Here was this female governor no one basically knew thrust onto the national stage over night. It was the ugly, vile and even vulgar, relentless attacks spat her way that made me cry. It was the broader concept, or image that got to me. It could have just as easily been a child, or even a small animal cast in the role of the innocent. When I see innocence attacked so viciously I become very angry. My tears flowed from that, not so much from sympathy for her as an individual. She remained strong through the whole thing.

• Worst date story: Hmm—better not use her real name – call her Gina. I had known her in high school but never dated her. We hooked up at a college pub one night – yes, it was that long ago. The long and short of it – some guy was up from south Jersey for driver education classes after a DUI. LOL. Fancy him being in a bar, huh? He needed a ride to South Jersey (30 miles) and said he had some really good hash he’d share, even give us a bowl or two after we dropped him off. So, we did. Driving back North, we decided to stop and find a place to get high under the stars. Nudge, nudge. Anyway, we were already pretty blasted from the pub and it was about 3 AM.

I pulled off somewhere, we parked, walked into the trees and came upon this really terrific field of grass. I put a blanket down—had it in my trunk—got high and one thing led to another. Evidently, it was very good hash. The next memory I have is about two hours later and there was this low, un-Godly, absolutely earsplitting sound echoing around in my head as I came to my senses. I first realized I was standing in a field and, eventually, looking down, realized Gina wasn’t standing at that particular time. Which was rather okay with me, frankly, when I reflect on it now. ; ) We were, apparently, doing whatever it was we went there to do in one form, or another. Then that damned sound started again. Turns out, off to the left about 50 yards was Route 295 and the sound was the air horn on another 18 wheeler, evidently just like the one that went by a few seconds before. And so I stood there, dazed … but pleased, if still confused, as about five or six 18 wheelers drove by at dawn saluting Gina’s fine work by laying on their air horns as they passed by. Needless to say, she panicked at some point.

Anyway, we grabbed the blanket and articles of clothing here and there as we ran back down a path through the trees toward the car. Evidently I had parked behind an apartment complex. Looking at wall of apartment windows facing us, we thought taking time to dress might be imprudent and I ended up driving back North about 20 miles naked from the waste down. Of course by the time we got there, it was that I’m not drunk but not straight and have dirt in my mouth sick sort of Saturday morning feeling and as I pull up to Gina’s. You know, kind of like, good God what have I done? Well, it turns out Gina’s mother was an early riser. So, there I was about 6:30 on Saturday morning, sitting in Gina’s driveway looking over at her mom standing in the doorway glaring at me as lovely young Gina finished dressing next to me and I was naked from the waste down, in my car. Thank heavens, dear girl that she was, the last words Gina ever spoke to me were, “You don’t have to walk me up.” And to this day, I’ve never seen Gina, again. Damn!

• Is there an afterlife? If so, what do you envision?: Well, after that last story—and several I won’t  tell … oh yeah, I’m definitely going to hell.

• Fill in the sentence: Thanks to Jon Stewart …: for being on a network where and at a time when I’ve never had to watch you.