Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Interview: Bill Mitchell says that Donald Trump would not "have been elected without" social media

Editor's note: This article was originally published in February 2017.

This is the sixth part of my discussion with Bill Mitchell. The firstsecond, and thirdfourth, and fifth segments are available on-line. Quoted text below appeared in previous articles, offering background on our conversation.
Story by Joseph Ford Cotto

There are a great many talk radio hosts, and all of them are clamoring to be heard. Just how many, though, really offer something which deserves your time and consideration?

While the number is far too small for my liking, Bill Mitchell certainly makes the cut.

He has not been a force in the chattering class for long. Before Donald Trump's candidacy took off, Mitchell could best be described as a talent recruiter for various businesses who just happened to dabble in politics via the Internet. Today, he is a bona fide on-line celebrity. Last year, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology named him the foremost average fellow impacting election season.

Among all those influencing the race -- including Barack Obama, CNN, and Harry Reid -- Mitchell came up twenty-sixth. He beat Paul Ryan, The Associated Press, and Michael Moore, to mention a few.

What makes Mitchell so popular is not strategic positioning in FM markets -- his program is Internet-only -- or access to the most powerful names on the District of Columbia-New York City-Boston/Los Angeles-San Francisco-Seattle culture corridors -- he lives in Charlotte. Rather, Mitchell knows how to handle Twitter, focus on pertinent data, and explain complex, contentious matters in a down-to-earth yet coherent fashion.

Despite being in his late fifties, Mitchell is one of American conservatism's rising stars. His star is powered at a time when 'conservatism' is in rapid flux; changing from its family values, pro-free trade, immigration-friendly Reagan-Bush incarnation to a model built around national sovereignty, economic protectionism, and cultural cohesion. 

Essentially, 'American' conservatism is becoming Europeanized. 

Mitchell and I had a candid discussion regarding right-leaning politics and their relation to American life. Some if it is included below.

Joseph Ford Cotto: What do you suppose that within this new – I wouldn’t say presidential administration, it’s more like a new approach to how Americans view right-of-center politics – what do you say the ultimate fate of Richard Spencer, and even those who are a lot less polished than him – the various factions of the alt-right – do you think that they’ll continue getting a lot of media attention, do you think they’ll fizzle out, do you think that they’ll moderate, or do you think that they’ll just go on as-is?

Bill Mitchell: I think they’ll just be an irrelevant little subculture that thinks it has a voice when it really doesn’t because people just don’t agree with it. It’s like Never Trump – Never Trump was always a small group of noisy people, but they never could deliver. Bill Kristol was constantly, “Oh, we have this great new candidate who’s going to run against Trump, and he’ll bring in all kinds of money, and he’s going to be at the debates and it’s going to be unbelievable!”

Then who did we get? Evan Mc – Egg McMuffin, whatever the hell his name was?

Cotto: He didn’t even carry a county in Utah.

Mitchell: Yeah! The whole thing, it’s all talk, talk, talk, talk, talk. They just don’t deliver. That’s the beauty of America; you just can’t oppose the will of the people for very long. I had to take a stand against [Spencer and his fellow travelers] because I didn’t want the media – the media reads what I say all the time – so I didn’t want the media to be able to hang this whole racism tag on our movement because these guys are saying all this stuff and Bill Mitchell’s not responding to it. So, I knew I had to take one for the team – take a bullet on this – and go after these guys.

The Daily Beast interviewed me, and I told them that the Trump movement is not racist. We’re just not. We’re standing up against them and that’s what I’m doing here. So, we got a chance in a major liberal publication to state our viewpoint – that we do not agree with racism. So, that was my point, to get that to happen, and I think that’s going to pay long-term benefits.

Cotto: I agree. To get painted with the views of Spencer and those who follow him –

Mitchell: They’re immaterial. They’re nothing.

Cotto: – it’s career suicide and it’s terrible for whatever you represent. I think it’s a dead end.

Mitchell: They’re fools. They’re crazy. Their big thing is to signal ‘white genocide’ – that whites are being wiped out in the world and my response is, “Wait a minute! There are 250 million white people in America alone. In World War II, in a six-yearlong war, 60 million people died. You would have to kill the equivalent of four world wars to actually commit genocide on the American people.” It’s preposterous! It’s a paranoid delusion. Nobody is going to wipeout white people. Nobody is going to wipeout black people. Nobody is going to wipeout Hispanics – there’s just too many of them!

Sure, there are Black Lives Matter people out there, and the sensational thing where they held this guy hostage, but that isn’t happening in apartments – thousands and thousands of them – everywhere. It’s an isolated incident. So, both of these groups, Black Lives Matter – which does not speak for the black community – and the KKK – which does not speak for the white community, are fringe groups. Very small groups that make a lot of noise.

Cotto: I agree. If you look at the history of Nazism, Adolf Hitler did more damage to Western civilization that any other person in remotely recent memory. Whether you consider all the people who were killed in the war that he started or what came about after this war, the ideology of globalism, it’s been terrible for the West. It all traces back to his actions; how all these terrible things developed.

Mitchell: I don’t believe Hitler could have ever risen in the age of social media.

Cotto: I certainly hope not!

Mitchell: I don’t think it could have happened. He would have been shot down. The world is a much different place now than it was then.

Cotto: We’re all interconnected. People can’t get away with as much simply because there are folks watching with smart-phones that have cameras or video capability.

Mitchell: Exactly.

Cotto: I guess sometimes things are just that simple.

Mitchell: Just with social media – I don’t think that Donald Trump could have been elected without it.

Cotto: I agree.

Mitchell: We on social media were the suicide prevention squad. We were constantly – the media would tear everybody down and get everybody depressed – we would constantly bring them off the ledge.


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