I've listened to about half of the interview of Ye by Alex Jones on Infowars. (It has already been banned from most sites. You can find it on banned.video, where, as of this morning, it has been viewed about 4.2 million times.)
I don't know what to make of it.
Alex seems star-struck and deferential. I am not used to that. From time to time, Alex seems stunned into silence. I am not used to that either. Alex is a force of nature. What, then, is Ye?
Regular readers know that I represent Alex Jones, and have done so for nearly four years now. I understand him, and I believe he has a lot to say that is of interest. His take on globalism seems correct, as does his fear of a dystopian future driven by big tech and government control of the economy and our personal choices.
Ye is new to me. My co-host on Law and Legitimacy, Mike Boyer, keeps telling me Ye is a genius, and that he has a lot to say. I trust Mike, so I am listening.
It seems that Ye has taken a fundamentalist Christian turn. He talks about loving Jesus, Christ as king, and recites the Bible self-consciously referring to himself as a baby Christian. But his love affair with his new faith doesn't seem to be taking him anywhere in particular, at least anywhere I care to follow. Platitude isn't social policy, and vowing to love God isn't a social philosophy. Ye is no St. Augustine, at least not yet.
Ye loves all men, and therefore sees the good in Hitler. Maybe. But why that choice? Why now come to love Stalin's warts, or the timbre of Pol Pot's voice as he ordered the death of millions.
Ye's the darling of the alt-right just now, but I worry that he is being used. He appears on the Infowars set, as he did at Mar-a-Lago for dinner with Trump, with Nick Fuentes, a 24-year-old young man much maligned as a white supremacist. It's quite the Oreo-cookie, this black and white combo. When policy questions require some detail, he defers to Mr. Fuentes. It's odd. (Full disclosure time: My office represents Mr. Fuentes in a dispute with the federal government about the TSA's no-fly list.)
Ye's repeated references to Zionists chills me. Oh, he doesn't dislike Jews, he points out. I felt like I was listening to a redneck talking about his black friends. There's something off there.
Was that Alex tongued from time to time?
I will defend Ye's right to speak, even if what he says makes little sense; even if some of it is chilling. Jews have been a convenient scapegoat for millennia. What is Ye doing now and why?
I saw a video of him in a car en route to his interview at Alex's Austin studio. He was sitting with a driver and two ideological associates. He was cool, calm, collected -- and rational. I don't buy the hypothesis that Ye is a manic depressive in need of medications.
Ye is talking about despair and the need for grace in a broken world. I get that. He is trying to situate himself in the Christian tradition. I wish he'd remember that is is a Judaeo-Christian tradition with a deep debt to classical antiquity. Ye is lost. I get that, too. So am I.
I'll finish the interview with Ye as soon as time permits.
But I am troubled by it. I am disappointed, candidly. I thought there was more to him. I am open to the possibility that I am not listening closely enough.
I do know this much, though. His cancellation makes him of interest to me. We hate what we fear. Why are people afraid of Ye?