On Wednesday’s episode of “The Michael Knowles Show,” Knowles talks about President Trump’s recent California fundraisers and how Trump is using Hollywood leftists for his strategic advantage. Video and partial transcript below:
President Trump got a great deal on his two- or three-day swing through California. He was just in Beverly Hills, and I think the total he’s taking out of that state is 15 million bucks. The big takeaway here for the Left, for the chattering class, is that 15 million bucks didn’t come from nowhere. We talk about California as though it’s just monolithic, completely leftist, there isn’t a conservative anywhere. I mean, I make jokes about it, too. But there are [conservatives there].
I mean, we used to have a group out in Los Angeles called “Friends of Abe,” and “Friends of Abe” was friends of Abraham Lincoln. It was all the secret conservatives in Hollywood. There were a lot of us. The Obama administration tried to get a list of our members. Everyone wanted to know who they were, because if you asked anybody in the industry they’d say, “I don’t know any conservatives out here, I don’t need any conservatives in Hollywood.” And yet there were a lot. They just were afraid of speaking up because the Left is so vindictive in California.
I suppose this is what we mean by the phrase, “the silent majority.” Republicans — conservatives have been relying on that silent majority since Nixon, since Reagan, and all the way up through Trump. There are different names for them: The forgotten Americans, the great men and women of the middle of the country. Whatever, they’re out there. They’re even in California. I think what Trump is seeing here is [that] he doesn’t need to win California for California to help him win in 2020. You know it’s true.
Hillary Clinton won California in a landslide. Trump got four and a half million votes there, four and a half million people voted for President Trump in 2016. That was the harder election to vote for Trump, because we didn’t know what he was going to do. We didn’t know how he was going to behave. He’s exceeded pretty much everybody’s expectations. We were told the economy was going to collapse, we were told we’re going to go to World War III, we were told all the terrible things would happen if Trump got elected. Instead, pretty much everything has improved. The economy’s great, we have record-low unemployment, relative peace abroad, re-negotiated trade deals. Things are looking pretty good.
How many votes is he going to get in 2020 [in California]? Enough to win? Almost certainly not, but it could galvanize some support for him. Four and a half million votes in 2016. He also raised $333 million in California in 2016. That’s a lot of money. What this tells you is there are Trump supporters in California. I probably know most of them personally, but there are [some], there actually are.
This isn’t even a Left/Right thing. Trump made a central pillar, of his fundraising swing through California, how the cities are deteriorating — Los Angeles and San Francisco. I live in L.A., [and it’s] falling apart. Homelessness is up 16% in just one year in L.A. San Francisco is falling apart, there are drugs all over the street, they’re decriminalizing the homeless behaviors there as well. There’s public defecation on the streets in San Francisco.
You don’t need to be some rock-ribbed Reaganite Republican to say this isn’t good, maybe we don’t want this, maybe we want the state to move in another direction. So I think Trump is very smart to bring this up — to talk about this. He was talking about L.A. homelessness; obviously the president of the United States is probably not going to fix a municipal problem like L.A. homelessness, but it’s a symbol for the rot that comes as a result of these leftist policies.
More importantly even than that, … the reason why Trump probably should swing back through Hollywood next time he gets a chance is just for the rest of the country. He gets to use Hollywood as a foil for him and for his policies. That liberal, vindictive Hollywood can be the foil. It’s like the anti-Trump. I mean, we saw just a few weeks ago the stars of “Will and Grace,” Eric McCormack and Debra Messing, who Trump then nicknamed Deborah “The Mess” Messing in his very Trumpian way. They came out and they called for the public naming of any Trump supporters in Hollywood.
We’re talking about McCarthyite blacklists. I even hesitate to use the term McCarthyite to describe what they were doing, because at least Joe McCarthy was going after communists, at least Joe McCarthy was going after enemies of America. Those two, Will and Grace, were going after people who support the president and saying — they said explicitly — we want you to name their names so we know who not to work with. We want you to name their names so we know who to blacklist, to ruin their reputations, ruin their careers, take away their livelihood. That is a bad look.
I mean, there was even some pushback from liberal Hollywood about that, and Trump gets to come out there and … trigger them [and] whip them up into [a] frenzy, and then show the rest of the country. So you have genuinely a choice, not an echo. You know Hollywood has widespread reach. They are exporters of culture, and so Will and Grace going out and calling for a blacklist, maybe it won’t change votes in California — it’s almost certainly not going to flip California to become some Republican state — but, that sort of vindictive leftism is not going to play in Peoria …
Every election is about a choice, if [you] have to choose between Trump who’s given us a pretty good economy — you know he’s got some mean tweets, but whatever, they’re pretty funny — and relative peace, and he actually seems pretty normal and [you] get to choose between that or these lunatics out there in Hollywood, who [are you] going to pick? Obviously, you’re going to pick President Trump.