The Kinginging: Politics Editor Steve King Interviews Former Congressman Steve King of Iowa

Feb 07, 2023

By Steve King


“The Multiverse is a concept about which we know frighteningly little.” – Dr. Stephen Strange

By Steve King, the Politics Editor/“The Other” according to Former Congressman Steve King

Shep Smith once said, “Politics is weird… And creepy… And now, I know, lacks even the loosest attachment to anything like reality.” Well, get ready to go down the damn rabbit hole, baby! You need a little background on this one. This whole thing is a bit much.

My name is Steve King and I’ve been writing about politics for a decade. I always avoided MySpace, Facebook, and Instagram, but I joined Twitter in 2009, and then something funny happened. A super-conservative member of Congress was on the (then Musk-free) network and he had a knack for saying and tweeting things that people found to be pretty fucking polarizing.

Randos would start mistakenly calling me a Nazi, and vile, and everything else that the birdapp is known for. I immediately took an interest in his career. I supported all of his Democratic challengers every two years. He’s beaten a lot of good people. I was at a book signing in 2010 for former Obama campaign hack David Plouffe, and when he asked who to make the book out to and I answered, his immediate response was an exasperated, “Really?”

Really. I’ve been getting this my whole life because I share a name with the really over-achieving Stephen King. There’s even another Republican Steve King from Wisconsin. Anyway, I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing for Under the Radar Magazine, the only competitive Democrat to run against Steve King. Multiple times. I’ve been interviewed by The Hill about what it’s like to share a name with a prominent politician.

So, when Steve King followed me on Twitter last summer, I was a little surprised. I DM’d him and said simply, “Took you long enough.” Since then, we’ve carried on a civil and honest DM conversation. One thing was certain, Iowa Steve King was about to learn a lot more about Euphoria than he ever cared to…

Listen, I’ve never lost a friend because we’ve found ourselves on opposite sides of the pendulum; if anything, I’ve gained some great ones from across the aisle. At some point during our interview scheduling I accidentally emailed him a Post that I meant to send myself, so even I am not immune to mistaking us for different people. And, I imagine, it will ramp up again once this is published.

Yo, the internet is a crazy place where many of us find our worst selves, but if you approach it with peace in your heart, you will occasionally be rewarded. I know some of you are going to be mad and say I elevated the voice of a total white supremacist, blah blah blah… but if you don’t like my story, write your own.

When you cover politics you get to know how politicians speak. They all have their quirks. When Trump is bored with a speech, he’ll start to sway back and forth. When Obama was angry or annoyed at a question, his answers would get more clipped. I’ve watched Steve King enough to know that he gets a gleeful little glint in his eye and a half smirk before saying something offensive that he knows will piss people off. I’ve seen it too many times. He knows what pushes your snowflake buttons, and he has an almost unparalleled talent for it. He even did it a couple times in this interview. It was a phone interview, but I could still tell.

This won’t be the fight you may want it to be. I mean, we have to acknowledge the monumental, towering level of narcissism on display here. It’s kind of like meeting another version of yourself in the Multiverse. When you stare into the abyss, it stares back. This is just a couple of Steves talking about politics.

Steve King (Under the Radar): A lot of my lefty friends are going to be mad that I did this interview or at the way that I did this interview. Because I could bitch and moan, and be all hostile and complain about things you said in the past, but you’ve got a construction background. I want to be constructive, I want to talk about politics like normal people. My first question would be, what do you think of these newer reps, like Lauren Bobert and Marjorie Taylor Green? They’re basically getting away with saying stuff that the party wasn’t happy with you for saying? Is that just what happens to a party in power? Like they need to sacrifice someone in order to, or in an effort to, keep the majority kind of thing? Is that the way it works?

Former Iowa Congressman Steve King: I would say what happened with me wasn’t about what I said. It was about the positions that I took that were not favorable to the positions of our leadership. And there were a whole string of things; it’s clear to me that you’ve read my book, Steve, so I know that all the people who are reading your material haven’t, but over the years I’ve accumulated more influence and here in Iowa, the first in the nation caucus over that the cycles, well, clear back in 1996 and beyond, the 2008, 2012, 2016, I accumulated more and more influence on the presidential race. So the establishment, the RINOs, wanted to bring their candidate and get a good start in Iowa.

They weren’t able to do that. I didn’t reject any of them. I just advanced as much as I could the people who were full spectrum constitutional Christian conservatives. That was probably the biggest thing of all. But I fought Obamacare hard, pushed for the wall harder and earlier than anybody else did. On the marriage issue, I’m the only Republican congressman, they tell me this, who went to the Supreme Court steps with a podium and set of speakers and railed against the Obergefell decision. So I made a lot of enemies along the way with that, and Kevin McCarthy knew that when I and a handful of others pushed John Boehner out of the Speaker’s chair, that his odds of getting me to vote for him for Speaker were pretty close to zero.

And so that configuration of people at the hierarchy, the top of the Republican Party, at the national level, and at the state level, decided they would come together, they were gonna use something for a trigger. And that’s what that was, a New York Times story, which was a misquote

So back to your question on MTG, yeah…McCarthy’s caught in his hypocrisy now because the ruse that he used just to politically lynch me was a misquote in the New York Times, which if it had been actually an accurate quote, there was still no basis to do what he and so many others did, Steve.

When I was working on this article I realized that you’d written a book which I’m linking to and since I’m ego-bound to ask this, and on the record, how would you feel about sending me a signed copy for my political memoir shelf?

You warned me about that. That’s fine. Send me your mailing address. I’ll autograph one and send it to you. The other Steve King has not requested one yet, but I see they’re banning his books in Virginia.

I wouldn’t disagree, considering their governor.

It just seems kind of ironic that Stephen King from Maine has pounded or railed away on me because I’m sort of a despicable character, but nobody in Virginia has banned my book. I thought about sending him a little note and maybe I’ll send him an autographed copy along with what I’m mailing yours out. So if you give an address, I’ll send one of them to you.

I can’t buy it because it’s like an ethical gray area kind of thing. I’ve never given any money to anyone I’ve ever interviewed. Like, you can’t. It’s just kind of frowned upon.

That’s okay. I’ve got an inventory. I’m either going to sell these books or give them away or be stuck with them.

What do you think of the other side of the Capitol? Like McConnell and the Senate? You’ve been a huge House conservative, and, honestly, McConnell has been a genius when it comes to tactics but did you guys, like ever, not get along? He’s still the party boss. I imagine you guys never saw eye-to-eye all the time?

No, that’s true. When I think about those years, along the way I dealt with a lot of senators and probably went over to the floor of the Senate because the House members have floor access in the Senate as much as anybody did, that I know of. McConnell and I really haven’t had much eye-to-eye discussions or anything but he has spoken about me in the press with a certain amount of latitude that maybe he should not have taken. So I just look at McConnell this way, and we’ll say in the House, “The Democrats are not the enemy. The Senate is.” I’m not sure that I believe that all the way but I get the point that they’re making when they say that.

And McConnell and the Republican leadership in the House and in the Senate seem to have the same strategy, and that is they want to have a conference that reflects their will, their wishes, and doesn’t make any waves, that doesn’t push an agenda that’s not approved by leadership. And so McConnell is the epitome of that in the Senate, and of course now Kevin McCarthy is the epitome of that in the House, as was John Boehner, and to a little bit lesser degree Paul Ryan. Although he [Ryan] was more subtle about what he did.

I will say the strongest thing McConnell did that I can recall quickly is when he said that Merrick Garland is not going to be a Justice on the United States Supreme Court, and my senior Senator Chuck Grassley, took that stand also. That was a stand that changed the balance of the court; right now, maybe not technically, but it changed the balance of the Court and he held his ground on that. The worst thing that he’s done, from my perspective as a conservative, recently is to push the Omnibus spending bill through and jam the House with that in a lame duck session and take it out of their hands—the will of the people. It’s not quite a mandate because it’s a pretty weak majority.

It’s the weakest mandate ever.

Yeah, but their ability to set the budget appropriations for the year that was extended by CR [Continuing Resolution], and he knew what he was doing. He did that on purpose. He had to mess with them; the radical conservatives are what you would probably call them in the House. I want fiscal responsibility and he usurped that and the will of the people, as marginal as it was; and by the way, McConnell was taking a lot of cheap shots at me, stabs in the back without any knowledge or any basis to do so, other than that’s where the current or the public dialogue was going.

You know, doing a podcast kind of makes you a member of the media now, right? You’re one of us now…

Okay, yeah, I guess it does. I do quite a lot of interviews along the way and enjoy them. I had some folks here, just a week ago today, offer to put me on a payroll and I said, “No, no. Don’t you do that. I’m not for sale. I do this all for free and start and stop when I want to and I’ll quit if I want to.” But I really think it’s important to have our voices out there in the public. And so that’s how I look at this phase of life I’m in now. I’m doing a lot of public appearances, a lot of interviews, but none of them are anybody’s payroll and it’s kind of nice to be that free.

Neither of us are fans of the Speaker of the House; we’ve kind of chatted about this here and there. He’s going to be another weak GOP Speaker like Boehner and Paul Ryan; he’s just another RINO. Even Trump says that we shouldn’t be messing with Social Security. How do you think McConnell and Biden are going to handle the debt ceiling fight?

I don’t know who’s driving this idea that we need to mess with Social Security. I don’t see that right now. If you just ask me a cold question, “Is the House or Senate going to pick that up and grab it?” I don’t think so. I’m not hearing from other members and I stand in pretty good communication with them, and I’m on a think tank with some folks who are wired in really well and I talk with them, and I’m not hearing anybody saying we need to go into Social Security.

In fact, to take us back to when George W. Bush decided that was going to be in the mission for his second term, and he essentially had his political head handed to him. And I said to him then, having gone through it, and “I’ll go into that, but first I must have concessions from the other side of the aisle so that we know that both sides are serious.” There’s not a Democrat I know of who wants to touch Social Security. And I know all the solid conservatives except for some of the freshmen in the House, and none of them have ever raised the topic that I know of. They’ve been accused of it. But I just think that it’s a political loser. There’s so many other things that are so much more important than trying to address that. I don’t think it happens.

Right. I think there are moderates (or whatever you want to call them) in the House and Senate and they’re going for a tax hike and an entitlement cut, and they’re trying to pull off this Grand Bargain, but it’s like, “Guys we tried this back in 2011. It didn’t work out.” We’re further away from that kind of consensus than we are anything else.

The idea of a grand bargain, when I think of the times that they put these complex grand bargains together, the only time I can think of that that succeeded is when Obamacare passed, which to me was a disaster. But when Paul Ryan brought the thing he called the “repeal of Obamacare,” it was not, and I don’t think Paul Ryan, if you sat him down could explain his bill to you today. It was that complex, and the more complex you get things, the more likely they are to sink. And so my approach has long been: if you want something, and I was on this with the pieces that we wanted to repeal Obamacare first. Pass a standalone, just repeal it, then have the discussion about what to replace it with. Put the whole list of things you want out there if you replace it, and then take the one, just single issue rifle shots, the one issue that has the most public support, pass it, sign it into law, grab the next most popular, do the same and work your way down through the list, until you can’t get them passed anymore. That’s the right way to do things out in the open for the American people, instead of adding all of these things together in these grand bargains.

But that’s not the that’s not the stock and trade of people like Mitch McConnell, or also now Speaker McCarthy. And McCarthy is—I say this and in conservative interviews too, and this isn’t what I would call an analysis of him—but he is a narcissistic abuser. He’s been singularly possessed with the idea of becoming Speaker of the House. There’s no moral standards that would obstruct his focus on that, and the abuser part of this thing, it happens in a lot of marriages, sometimes it’s Stockholm Syndrome, that’s the result of that. It’s criticism and praise doled out to manipulate the people who are subject to the power that he’s got. I was never swayed by that. I always believed, and I’ll believe to my last breath, that there’s no leadership’s constituency that deserves any more representation than any other member. And so when they decided that their job was to impose their will on the group, I pushed back and said, “No. Your job is to bring out the will of the group, not impose your will on the group. And that requires you as a leader to compromise to the will of the group, not the other way around.” Not heavy-handed, not these kinds of tactics that McCarthy has been using. And it’s a little bit of the carrot and the stick. Apparently he dangled the carrot in front of Marjorie Taylor-Greene…

No shit, right?

We’ll see how that plays out, but we know already she’s on the Oversight Committee and that was her objective. Myself? I just could not have gone down that path. I don’t go anywhere with my hat in my hand. I’d like to think that I’m just straight up, “Look at me the way I am. I’m representing my constituents. I’m giving them my best effort and my best judgment and that’s what I owe them.” The best effort and best judgment means that you have to get yourself educated on every issue that matters as thoroughly as you can, and you have to have a moral foundation that’s anchored on the best effort. And the best judgment is to use all of that with the processing power that God has given you and all of the input that comes from the constituents. Pull their ideas together and bring them to Washington, DC, serve them up in front of the House of Representatives, and let the marketplace of ideas compete on equal footing. That’s how our Founders envisioned it and that’s how it should work to serve the American people and move America up in an arc of ascendancy. But we’ve got a top-down leadership system under Pelosi, but also under John Boehner, Paul Ryan, and now Kevin McCarthy.

We’ve talked about this too. We both agree that Gingrich was the last strong Republican Speaker. We know what makes an effective Speaker. Pelosi, no matter how anyone feels about her, she was effective. What makes an effective GOP House Speaker?

I think it is to have the confidence of the members you’re representing and have those members understand, believe, and know that you’re not in it to glorify yourself, but you’re in it to advance the causes that they collectively believe in and then, just serve the members. Of course, Newt Gingrich was a mountain of ideas and his weakness was that he had so many great ideas, it was impossible to execute them all. And so how do you choose from the good ideas, which ones you’re going to bring forth and execute? I’ve heard that from members who served under him. I came in shortly after him. But I think what makes a good leader, a good Speaker, is to know that the leader has your interest in mind and they’re doing their very best to see to it that the agenda that you bring, providing it conforms with the majority of the other folks who are there, is to advance through the process rather than kill things through the process. And of course I saw my agenda killed through the process because I pushed back on leadership when they said what I should say, and I should vote and speak the way they told me to. And I’m just not wired that way. And it looks like I’m going to be able to live all the rest of my life just like that.

You’ve said Cruz was the most constitutionally conservative. He was. He was my favorite. I was a fan until he endorsed Trump because it was the antithesis of everything that he had been about, especially at the convention. Like, come on, I met the man, I met him in Towson, MD, when he did one of his 2016 campaign rallies. How did an overwhelmingly, evangelical, culturally conservative American political party let some godless, former Democrat, philistine from New York become their leader? It doesn’t make sense. It still doesn’t make sense to me all these years later.

Well, I think evangelicals understand that, first, the easiest one is the Lord works in mysterious ways, but the other thing is He brings sinners to do His good. King David would be one of those. So they’re using some of that rationale that’s there.

But Trump is a consummate salesman, he’s the marketer, he’s the WWE guy. So his instincts are to respond to the public. My insight into this thing after all these years in the Iowa Caucuses, knowing some of these presidential candidates, a lot of them have been in my house here; there’ll be more, maybe, I don’t know. But, I’ve watched them and tested them and questioned them and promoted them. I’ve done a lot of those things. But here, I put it this way: each of these presidential candidates, when they get up in the morning and look in the mirror, they see the next President of the United States looking back at them. But if you would hand them a parchment and a goose quill and ink, and say, “Now you write down your platform, and this is all you’re going to get, but you’re going to have to stand behind all of it. And now once that happens, we’re going to publish it and you’re going to campaign with it and sink or swim, and that’s what you’re going to work on,” it would scare them to death. They don’t know all the things they want to do to be president. They just want to be president.

And so when they come to Iowa, it’s a really good thing that it was first in the nation, by the way, because our value system here is good; and all these Democrats, Republicans…I mean, I just want to remind the folks who are going to read your stuff: In Iowa, we launched Barack Obama. I’m not really happy about that but we did.

You guys share a media market with Illinois, so he already had a leg up there. Because of you, and the Caucuses, I’ve learned more about Iowa than I ever thought I would and I truly love it. And I think it makes presidents. I think it picks Democratic presidents and it picks Republican runners-up basically, or… until last time it did for Democrats…

So these candidates come to Iowa and they give speeches all over the place. Rick Santorum gave 385 of them in 2012 and we wheeled him around to most of those. Anyway, let’s take a Donald Trump, for example. Think of him when I say this.

So they step up before a crowd, and the crowd might be small and it might be large. And if they say something like, “I will defend your Second Amendment, whatever it takes,” people will cheer, stomp their feet, even stand up to do something. If they say, “You know what, I don’t care about the deficit spending. We don’t need to worry about the debt ceiling,” they’re going to get boos, hisses, and some people walk away. Well, as this goes on, speech after speech, response after response, what’s really happening in the minds of these candidates is it’s building the platform that they’re going to run for President on.

We build the platform in Iowa, plank by plank, by the responses that are given by the potential caucus-goers to the presidential candidates that are here shopping their wares to us. So down comes the platform pro-life, for the Second Amendment, for a balanced budget, for a strong military, all of those things. And we nail all these things down, ship them off to New Hampshire and those folks in New Hampshire will pull a few nails out, maybe try to get another board in there, maybe take one out, and then a slightly damaged platform goes down to South Carolina where they go, “You know what Iowans, you should have used screws instead of nails,” and they screw that thing down tighter and that’s what went to the Oval Office with Donald Trump on it.

He adopted the will of the people along the way and embraced it, and to this day, I believe he really does. And I didn’t think so from the beginning, but when I walked into The West Wing shortly after he was inaugurated, I looked up on the wall of the ward room; here was this great big white board, a four by eight white board, and on it was all of the promises that Donald Trump had made. And he had already issued some executive orders, and there were checkmarks behind those or he was [otherwise] keeping his word. So I think he adopted that platform as he went through this. And then he used the skill sets of a hard-nosed businessman out of New York to try to get it done.

When it comes to Trump, conservatives have spent decades talking about the right to life and how euthanasia is bad. But then COVID hit and the party basically became a kind of a pro-death organization, and then to criminalize the reproductive freedom of half of the country with the Dobbs decision…dude, it’s unconstitutional. After COVID, how can Republicans still claim they’re pro-life?

Well, you look at the COVID situation, and we go around on that in this house between my wife and I, and I just had another conversation this morning, and you’re seeing a long list of people that have died abruptly, and I can’t say that that’s because of the vaccine and I can’t say that it wasn’t because of COVID. But on the grander scheme of things, we lost people with COVID earlier who were not vaccinated, and then we lost some people that were vaccinated. And as time went on, I think it’s the people that are most vulnerable, many of them have gone to the graveyard, sadly, and lots of them, and others who didn’t get vaccinated are relying on their immunity because they were healthy enough to build a natural immunity. Others were vaccinated and got COVID and then built an additional natural immunity.

But there’s some things going on after the fact that are potentially bringing about early death on people. Even if Covid had not been a factor, whether through the vaccine, or the disease, or some combination of the two, they would still be fine. So I don’t see that as pushing back but saying you have an individual freedom to decide whether or not to be vaccinated. I don’t think that’s pro-death. You can describe it as pro-choice for yourself, you get to decide what path you’re going to take that may decide whether you live or die. That’s for yourself but it’s not for an unborn baby. An unborn baby is completely different than that. I’ll just put this down to be really really clear, where I stand and where pro-life people stand. You have to ask the question: Is human life sacred in all of its forms, or even, is a human life sacred? And I’ve asked this question in a whole school gymnasium. And it’s just universal. Yes, human life is sacred. And then the second question is, the only other one you have to ask is, then at what moment does life begin? And science and common sense and all that we’ve known for all of my life is that it begins at the moment of conception. And so if you’re really true to the principle of life being sacred and then, it has to begin in a moment, it can’t be a continuum. It’s got to be in a moment. The only moment is conception. So therefore human life is sacred and we need to protect it and take care of it at every turn, whether it’s a baby that’s born into a family that doesn’t want them, that won’t take care of them. We have to reach in then and help that child and raise them up with an opportunity, and equal opportunity. That’s our moral obligation and that’s where I want this society to be.

This is one of the things we’re just never gonna see eye-to-eye on and that’s fine. To me, the Dobbs decision robs half of the population of their sacred lives, you know what I mean? It is fundamentally unconstitutional. You can’t criminalize half of the population. Like, it’s the definition of tyrannical big government. That’s not my opinion. That’s the Constitution, that’s the highest law of our land. This is about freedom. We got to be able to kind of balance those scales a little bit. Some of the stories that we’ve heard after Dobbs have been insane. There’s nothing sacred about the lives of people having to go across a state line to go get an abortion. There’s nothing sacred about that at all.

Well, that argument cuts both ways, actually, but I would just take it back to this: the Dobbs decision says, “Now it goes back to the states.” The Republicans who are running for congressional office all jumped on that bandwagon like, “Don’t blame me anymore because now it’s gone back to the states.” Well, no, it’s still a national obligation and lots of states are going to have to sort this thing out in those laboratories. But in the end, Life, Liberty, and your Pursuit of Happiness, those are three prioritized rights. And in your pursuit of happiness, which I could go into the details of what the Greek term for that [“eudaimonia”] actually meant, but in your pursuit of happiness, you can’t trample someone’s liberty or their life. But as long as you’re in the zone of your pursuit of happiness without doing so, you’re free to do that, and you’re free to exercise all of your liberties, provided you don’t trample on someone else’s pursuit of happiness, like property rights, for example. But you can’t take someone’s life. Because that’s the highest prioritized thing, laid out in the Declaration of Independence and constitutionally we have that obligation to protect life. The most heinous murderer can appeal his conviction and cases all the way to the Supreme Court, or drag this thing out for 20 years no matter how nasty they are, because it’s a constitutionally protected right to do so. Shouldn’t that same right also be available to an unborn baby that could maybe in the next hour, be living and screaming?

Couldn’t liberty also be extended to the women who are being forced to carry unwanted pregnancies to term. This is one of those things where we could go on and on and reinforce our kind of views.

There’s one more point that needs to be made on that. I understand your point on this and that’s fine. But it hit me this way: I graduated from high school in 1967. I learned sometime when I was about a junior or senior and that one of the girls in the class was on birth control pills. Now the guys thought “There’s an opportunity,” and the rumor went through all of the guys. And so we had birth control pills. Pills became available. IUDs became available. All of this long list of contraceptives was available and became available in about the middle ’60s, and in that same period of time we had the Griswold decision, and then in 1973 we had Roe v. Wade. How was it that you needed abortion when you had far more access to contraceptives than the world had ever seen and been flooded with contraceptives, and then we say, well, the woman doesn’t have the right anymore to choose, but she had all kinds of rights. She just needs to plan her life a little better and not let a baby be the only solution.

Yeah, but now the party is coming after contraception too. This is what I mean, we could, we could go back and forth.

I don’t think that’s really happening. That would be a strategic mistake if you want to protect lives to go after contraception. I mean, to do that probably goes back to Griswold, in saying, “Okay, we’re gonna reverse Griswold and you don’t have a right to privacy anymore.” I don’t see that happening. All these things have been ginned up but I but I think the current of this is that, and the Dobbs decision is the Dobbs decision and I think it’ll be a long, long time before we see anything else come before the Supreme Court on that topic. And I regret that the states have to fight this out for perhaps the next 50 years before it is resolved. But anyway, that’s where we each are on the topic, Steve.

And we both agree about that. It’s going to be a long time coming, yeah. I’ve been telling people, “Get ready for another 30-year fight,” basically. Also the vaccines are fine, it’s a flu shot. I’ve had like five of them. I’m about to get another booster. I’ve got multiple sclerosis and I’m on two different medications that intentionally weaken my immune system, so I’ve got every shot. I’ve had two Moderna boosters. I’ve had two Pfizer shots after I had J&J back in 2021. I’m fine. I have to get a million different blood tests, a million different MRIs, and I’m better than I’ve ever been and I’m facing down 40. The shots are fine. It’s a flu shot, basically. Like, come on…

Well, yeah for most people, and if that were true, we’d have a lot more fatalities. I do agree with that. The data that’s coming out shows, and I don’t buy into all of this either. I’ve got skepticism. But, for example, I won’t challenge these numbers that Tucker Carlson put out here a couple weeks ago. He said that in Europe the number of young athletes’ sudden deaths were averaging 29 a year across the European Union. And I don’t know where this data comes from. Then they said that was before COVID, and now after COVID, it’s 1500. And 2/3 of them died from sudden heart cardiac arrest. That’s stunning. But even if you take that on its face, and I’m not going to challenge the numbers and then 1,000 people died where those were otherwise 29 and then you have to ask, “Okay, so how many were vaccinated and how many were not vaccinated?” Well, with 80% of sudden death and 90% were vaccinated, that’s actually lower. So I don’t see as apples to apples data coming from this, and we still don’t know whether it’s even if you’re vaccinated and probably got COVID, which is the case for me.

I still haven’t gotten it for over three years. I’m still a COVID virgin.

You’ve got to be a recluse then. Have you been living in a bubble, Steve?

I mean, I’m a writer. I’ve been shaving my head since 2020, and as I get older, I don’t go out as much, but I still wear my mask in public. I take it seriously because I’m a, you know, I’m a crippled person. I’ve got to be careful.

And I understand that. The AMA says that if you have a weaker immune system, take all the precautions that you can, and it’s the same for people like me. I’ve got immunizations from both sides of this and so if, say, if all of a sudden I had cardiac arrest it would be because “he’s old.” Which is probably true.

But that’s the majority of the deaths that we’re seeing now. They’re vaccinated people, but for the most part, older folks who have just had a lot of other things going on. I think the rest of the whole sudden death thing is just confirmation bias. I would have to look at those numbers too, but the majority of people were dying, or the majority of people who died have been unvaccinated. You guys would have won in a landslide if there hadn’t been more vaccine hesitancy. You’d have a larger majority.

That’s interesting and I better not go off on this next tangent here, but I’ll just put it this way, that if you’re vaccinated and you die unexpectedly, that may be the vaccine. It could have even been the cause. It could have been a contributing cause. It could have been that you also had COVID, and COVID was the cause or the contributing cause, or a combination of those two things, have not been sorted out, statistically. But I think it’s pretty clear we have early unexplained deaths in numbers that we did not expect, and so I don’t know where we’re going to get to the truth of this, but the faith and the trust in the CDC and NIH, and Fauci, has been diminished dramatically.

The CDC has always been a very troubled agency and it just so happened that it was still troubled at the time of a pandemic. I’ve now interviewed three people from Iowa. I interviewed JD a couple times [JD Sholton], Tom Arnold, and now you. I tried to interview Abby Finkenauer but she didn’t make it through her primary and we just kind of fell out of touch. I want to visit one day. I’ve learned a ton about it, so… thanks, I guess.

I hope you’re getting material you can use here. By the way, if they go to steveking.com, that website is where that taps into my inventory here and they’ll come out of here, an autographed copy comes out of steveking.com every time.

I’ll have to ask you to sell me that domain name one day. That one email I sent you was totally my mistake because I’m so used to sending myself stuff, links and stories, stuff like that, and I was in my Under the Radar e-mail and you’re the only Steve King I have in my Under the Radar contacts. I haven’t sent myself anything else from another email. Sorry about that.

Mine has been replicated so many times that I actually didn’t have you in any of my contacts, so your contact is just called “The Other.”

But I’ve learned a lot about Iowa, I can’t wait to visit. You’ve got the Iowa Writers Workshop. There’s a ton of great stuff about the state and I’ve written a ton of great stuff about the state that I’ve learned as a result so it’s all good.

And when you get my book—I take it you have not read my book yet and I misunderstood.

I didn’t know until I was doing research on the article and then I was like, “Oh, cool. I’ve got to ask for one.”

Okay, so here’s what I’m going to ask you. I’m going to send you a book, read it, and then when you read it, ping me back again, and we’ll do a little interview on that. I want to know what you think. I’m curious about what your reactions are.

Totally. We could do a book review and interview. We actually do book reviews.

Just jot down some question you’d like to ask. We can make that work.

That’s a great idea. I know I can never get you to watch Euphoria but have you seen Peacemaker?

No… What is that?

It’s about a very patriotic man who will “kill every man, woman, and child” he has to in order to bring about peace. It’s on HBO. It’s a crazy comic book show, but it’s very good and he’s just very enthusiastic about America. I think you would dig it. You should check it out. It’s pretty cool. It’s a great show.

Is it a sequel?

Kind of, technically, yeah. It’s kind of connected to the second Suicide Squad movie, they were kind of, I don’t know, they were like super villains or something. I’m not really into DC. I’m more into Marvel. But the show was extremely… uh, accessible to a lot of people. And I was like, “You know what? Steve King will watch this before he watches Euphoria…”

I’ll Google that to get started and see what I’m looking at there. And also with that accidental email you sent to me, it was all around the Game of Thrones and that’s why I presumed you read my book, because I use a character out of Game of Thrones to identify Liz Cheney .You probably know if you’re a Game of Thrones guy. Cersei Lannister is Liz Cheney. But when I wrote my book, Liz was Cersei Lannister through and through. And so I put that moniker on her in my book and that’s why when you sent me the Game of Thrones link by accident I presumed you had read my book.

It was about Richie Torres. He is not happy about Santos, obviously, who is Cersei..? I’d compare Ginny Thomas to Cercei more than Liz Cheney. Liz Cheney isn’t operating anything anymore. She’s operating a plow somewhere in Wyoming or chilling in McClean.

Well, I have a completely different opinion of her, I would say, Steve. I know [Ginny] really well too. But there’s something that people don’t know about her. They think she got her politics somehow from Clarence. And that’s not true at all. She’s from Omaha, which is kind of my neighbor here. I know her sister and I didn’t ever get to know her mother, but her mother gave her the political activism that she has. She’ll say straight out, “I got it from mom, not from Clarence.” I talk to her fairly regularly. I can assure you this, when in their marriage they just put up a wall of separation in there, to use a Jeffersonian phrase, that Clarence wouldn’t talk about his work and she wouldn’t talk about hers. That way neither one of them influences the other and she’s free to move forward with her convictions, exercising all of her constitutional rights, and he’s free to defend it. So it’s a unique situation and she is fiery and she is opinionated but I think that she absolutely has the virtues that I respect.

Fair enough. Well, please let me know if you ever check out Peacemaker and I will let you know when I read the book.

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