Sean Hannity: “China Will Only Respond to Strength”

Sean Hannity fears for the future of America and the world. And he’s written his first book in ten years as a warning: “Live Free Or Die: America (and the World) on the Brink.”

In this episode, we sit down together to discuss.

This is American Thought Leaders, and I’m Jan Jekielek.

Jan Jekielek:  Sean Hannity, such a pleasure to have you on American Thought Leaders.

Sean Hannity:   Jan, thank you and I was telling you off-air I read the Epoch Times daily. I still like hard papers. I delivered the Long Island Press News Day and the New York Daily News when I was growing up, at different times. And I still like to grab that paper in my hand, but I get more printed versions of stories than ever before. But, you guys have done an amazing job and really I think there’s such a void in media, especially newspapers. They slant so solidly one way that there’s very few papers that I can really feel that I can rely on, and the Epoch Times is one.

Mr. Jekielek:   Really appreciate those kind words and we appreciate you also citing the paper on the show and so forth.

Mr. Hannity:   Thank you. Well, you deserve it. And I know you’re working hard. It’s amazing, isn’t it that the media, in my view, has gotten so corrupt, so abusively biased, so one-sided? I’ll give you just a few quick examples, if you don’t mind, but how do they claim that they care about obstruction of justice, but they didn’t care about Hillary’s subpoenaed emails and didn’t care about BleachBit and didn’t care about hammers?

And anybody that watches this American Thought Leaders show or reads The Epoch Times would know that if it was a conservative, they’d be in big trouble. Try deleting subpoenaed emails. That’s not going to work out or end well for you.

They care about Russia collusion, but they ignored Hillary Clinton’s bought and paid for Russian dossier, that was then used, unverified, to spy on a presidential candidate and his transition team and deep into the presidency. They pushed the Russian conspiracy theory that we now know the FBI knew—even before the first FISA application in August of 2016—was unverified. They knew for sure that it was debunked in January of 2017, when the sub-source of Christopher Steele that he used was saying, “Oh, no, none of this is real. That was all bar talk.” But they still drag the country through this.

They care about quid pro quos with Ukraine, but they didn’t care about Joe Biden on tape saying, you’re not getting a billion US taxpayer dollars unless you fire this particular prosecutor that’s investigating my son who has zero experience.

[Hunter Biden] went on Good Morning America, greatest interview of a 49-year-old man ever.

“Do you have any experience in oil?”







“No, none.”

“Any background that would entitle you to make millions of dollars to sit on a board?”

“No, not really.”

“Why do you think you got the job?”

“I don’t know.”

“Maybe because your father, the Vice President, was in charge of Ukraine policy?”

Then he goes, “Yeah, probably. That’s probably it.”

Yet they made a big deal about a call with [Ukrainian President] Zelensky and President Trump. After all of that that they put the country through, there was only one fact witness. Every other witness [was a] hearsay or opinion witness.

And what did the fact witness say? “Well, I talked to the President.” “Did he say he wanted anything from Ukraine?” He said, “No, no quid pro quo. … I just don’t want them to be corrupt.'” None whatsoever.

And when you just stand back and you take these examples in, it is breathtaking hypocrisy. And then the media that makes such a big deal and they say these things are important—Russia collusion is important, obstruction of justice is important, can’t have Russian interference [is] important, can’t have quid pro quos—they just ignore their side.

So they’re really propagandists, statists, no better than the former Soviet Union’s Pravda. They lie. They smear. They slander. They libel. They besmirch. They’re involved in daily character assassination. They have a cultish psychosis and hatred towards all things Donald Trump, and those are the times we’re living in.

And now we got an election in 82 days, and we have the most radical ticket in the history of this country that is now openly advancing the very policies that are the antithesis of those policies that made this country great. And that’s what I recognized a year ago. I said, this is going to be a tipping point election. We’ll lose the country. If their stated policies are implemented, the United States, literally everything gets turned on its head.

And as I have it, the fourth chapter of the book [is] “Socialism: A History of Failure.” It’s never worked. No matter what name it’s given, no matter what country it’s been tried in, it does not work. It will not work here. The promises that everything is going to be free will never be fulfilled. It will lead to poverty, it will lead to misery, and it will lead to a loss of freedoms. That is the end result every time.

We’re going to either live free and stand by the principles of limited government, greater freedom, that our rights come from God, not from government, and freedom and risk and reward and capitalism, or we’ll go down the hellhole that is socialism, because that’s what’s at stake in just 82 days.

Mr. Jekielek:   It’s a remarkable book that you have, “Live Free Or Die,” and actually, you mentioned it’s not just America on the brink, in your view, but it’s also the world. And I want to ask you about that. But before I do that, you have this amazing stat in here in the book. You said 43% of Americans overall say socialism would be a good thing. But the thing that caught me was 51% say it’s a bad thing. So that means 49% won’t say it’s a bad thing. That’s astounding. And how did we get here?

Mr. Hannity:   They have this appeal. Look Jan, I almost can understand it. It’s on paper, we’ll put all of our stuff in a big pot, and we’ll give to each according to their need, from each according to their ability, right? Varying forms of socialism, communism, redistributionism, statism even.

This is what they’re promising. They’re promising that you will get pre-K through college education. They’re promising loan forgiveness for schools. They are promising a guaranteed government job at a guaranteed wage with a guaranteed government vacation, guaranteed government healthy food. They’re guaranteeing government health care, Medicare for All, or expanding Obamacare—which is a disaster. And then you’re going to have guaranteed retirement. Okay, that’s a lot of guarantees.

And they’re predicating it on this belief that we’re going to do it, and in 10 years, we’re going to abolish the lifeblood of the world’s economy: oil, gas, and coal. Okay. Now, that’s the dumbest decision I’ve ever heard.

These are lofty ideas… And I specifically put that chapter on socialism after the Democrats’ agenda and what they’re offering. I call it fantasy land. So they offer all these things. So maybe there’s a psychological component. “Ah, I’ll never have to worry about anything ever again for the rest of my life. I will have government-ensured everything. No more stress, no more pressure.”

I actually think there’s a healthy stress that makes you dig deep. The word education from the Latin means educare, to bring forth from within, where natural rights from God were endowed by not the thing, Jan, you know the thing, but God, the Creator of everything. [If] people don’t get that reference, you’re not following the news.

To bring forth from within says a lot, means it’s already there. And that fits in with our model, rights don’t come from government, they come from God. So every man, woman, and child I believe has God-given gifts. Now human beings have a propensity towards good and evil, separate argument. So if we believe that, and the government is going to guarantee all of these wonderful things. If you have no pressure, you’re not going to dig deep and find what your gifts are. You won’t have any need. Everything’s taken care of anyway.

We’ll basically make America a bunch of trust fund citizens. And I’ve never met many trust fund kids that it worked out well for. … I know people that have money that don’t give their kids as much as they would like. And they say, “You’ve got to buy your house, you’ve got to buy your car, you’ve got to pay your rent.” And then the kid is like, “Well, why don’t you do it?” “Because it’s your life and I’m not going to take living away from you.”

So anyway, the government promises all this. I ask everybody, “How’s government’s track record been so far?” Because I look at New York City, and I look at Chicago, and I look at Seattle and Portland, LA and San Francisco, how are they doing on the most fundamental role that government should have in terms of law and order, security and safety? Okay, if I was a teacher, I’d give them an F. They are failing at a spectacular level.

Next most important thing, how are they doing with the education of our kids? Well, the United States of America spends more per capita than any other country in the industrialized world. And we come in like 37th to 40th depending on if it’s proficiency in reading or math. There are actually, Jan, 13 public high schools in the city of Baltimore. Baltimore happens to be the third highest per capita spending in the world per student. 13. It’s not a quiz. It’s not a test question. I ask all of your viewers what percentage of those kids in those 13 public high schools do you believe are proficient in math? We’ll give you a few Jeopardy seconds. Dah dah dah dah dah. {Jeopardy sound effect} Okay. Now, the answer is: there’s not one child. Not one. Not one child in 13 high schools.

What do all these cities have in common? They’ve been run by liberal Democrats for decades, right?

How did that Obamacare thing work out? Well, millions lost their doctors. That’s not what they promised. Millions lost their plans. And everybody on average across the country is paying about 200% more. We’re not saving $2500 per family per year for better care. And there’s almost 40% of the country that has only one Biden Obamacare exchange option.

So those are their promises. I’ll add a couple more things. Last time, Jan, that I checked Social Security and Medicare, they were going bankrupt. Do you remember that? I don’t know when’s the last time you checked, but we’re headed on a trajectory that we’re not going to have enough money to pay for it. By the way, they were supposed to put that money in a lockbox, as they told us. That money has been squandered. It’s been spent. They raided it, they spent it. Where I grew up, we would call that stealing because they made a promise.

So now they failed in every major promise they’ve made, but we’re going to believe this new set of promises? And now we’re going to bank on them having a 100% track record because what’s going to happen when we’re now dependent on energy again? We’re now energy independent because of Donald Trump’s policies for the first time in 75 years. We’re the world’s largest producer of energy in over 75 years. How are we going to pull this off? It is 94 trillion for the Green New Deal. It’s 52 trillion for Medicare for All or expansion of Obamacare. We cannot afford it. Let me give you the simple math. We only take in 4 to 4.5 trillion dollars a year. Over 10 years, we’re close to 50 million dollars. Wow. Okay, so that wouldn’t even pay for Medicare for All. And that’s with no defense spending. Zero. None of the other governmental programs are funded and you still come up, well, about two-thirds of the money short based on the estimates.

It’s a fantasy, it’s a lie, it’s false security, and it will end badly as socialism always ends badly. It starts out with the great promises. “We’ll take the money from those evil, rich people, and we’ll redistribute it.”

That’s not what has made America great. America’s goodness and greatness is the belief that we’re endowed by our Creator. We have talents from that Creator. We dig deep and find those talents. We create goods and services that people want, need, and desire. And guess what? While we’re serving our fellow man, we’re also paying our mortgage and buying a car, as those people that create the cars and build the home are servicing us. And so there’s never been a system ever designed by man that is better. You show me one, I’ll look at it. I’ve not seen it.

My friend Barry Farber, one of the great pioneers of talk radio would always say, “There’s never been a country in the history of mankind, not perfect, but that has accumulated more power, abused it less than this one.” And I add, “There’s never been a country in the history of mankind, that has accumulated more power, abused it less, and used the power to advance the human condition than this country.”

I know it’s not popular now to talk about American goodness, American greatness, American exceptionalism. But it’s real, and that defines who we are as a people. We are a great, good people, and freedom and liberty and capitalism and risk and reward and innovation and invention has made us great.

So, the “Or Die” part [of my title] is, we’re going to fall for the lie. [Kamala Harris] won’t even give you your own private insurance option. I thought liberals were pro-choice. [Biden and Harris] both want to get rid of fracking. They both want to buy into this Green New Deal. Biden’s pledging trillions.

It is the biggest choice election, Jan, in our life. It’s simple. Pretty much every issue, you’re either going to believe in much, much higher taxes or lower taxes, more bureaucratic red tape or wiping it out like Donald Trump has been doing. You’re going to want activists on the court, they’ll give you that. Or Donald Trump will give you constitutionalists, those that revere the Constitution. It’s about open borders, amnesty, becoming the Sanctuary States of America versus. Secure borders doesn’t mean we’re closing off from the world, but we get to vet people that come to this country, make sure that they don’t have radical ties, make sure that they’re healthy before they enter our family. It comes down to energy independence. That’s key. I can’t imagine going back to energy dependence. That’s a bad idea. That’s not good for national security either. So, better trade deals, better foreign policy. It’s all on the line.

That “Or Die” part is if somehow the media is able to convince to us—and they’ll be the largest donors to Biden and Kamala—to reject what has been the greatest, most successful system of governance with the greatest wealth creation in the history of mankind. That’s us. That’s who we are. Are we going to stay the course or are we going to go backwards?

Mr. Jekielek:   So Sean, I want to get into “the World” part in your title because our viewers know that I’m actually Canadian and most of them know I’m also an American exceptionalist. I’ve had my eye on China for about two decades. And when I saw “the World on the Brink” I was, of course, I was thinking of China, but what were you thinking?

Mr. Hannity:   Well, China’s a big part of it, especially now what they did to the world. The most sinister part of all that they did here, to me, is they prevented people in Wuhan province from flying out of Wuhan province to any other part of China. They put their own travel ban in effect, and they prevented people from the rest of China to fly into Wuhan. But they let Wuhan province residents travel the globe, and you could come from anywhere, you could land in Wuhan province. That tells you everything you need to know about how selfish they were.

The world would have united the world’s best scientists, researchers, medical professionals, we could have descended upon China to contain this thing—the invisible enemy the President calls it—immediately, had they just sought help. Everybody would have been all-hands-on-deck, and they allowed this to happen.

In my view, I hold them accountable. And for the senators, [for] this most recent relief package to try and give them liability protection is insanity. They don’t deserve it. And families should be compensated for what they allowed to have happen. They didn’t create the virus, but they allowed the spread of the virus. They didn’t tell the world the truth.

Here’s the broader picture, though. What I was thinking about [when I wrote] “America and the world.” My father fought in World War II. He grew up very poor. My mom grew up very poor. My four grandparents all came from Ireland, all of them very poor. My mom grew up in the South Bronx, was a prison guard, worked 16 hour shifts almost my whole life growing up. My dad worked as a waiter on the weekend, family court probation during the week. But when he was 18 or thereabouts, he signed up, he served four years in the Pacific in World War II, didn’t particularly like it.

But if you look at the last century alone. Let’s just isolate the last century. Over 100 million human souls when you add it all up. Mao, the revolution, China, Russia, Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, fascism, [Hideki] Tojo, Japan, the killing fields, Cambodia, over 100 million souls killed in these governmental systems.

It’s the United States of America, we beat back the forces of fascism. We beat back the forces of Nazism and Imperial Japan and communism and more recently, we lead the world in this fight against radical Islamism. And we paid blood, sweat, tears, financial burden. That’s all on us. We take it on, and we protect the world. So, so goes America, Jan, so goes the world.

And we need a strong America. And we need a mighty military to deal with the real evil, the real danger that exists in the world. And to deny that reality or that fact is beyond naive.

It’s amazing because there’s never been a president that has been a closer ally, friend to Israel. More recently, we saw the president’s actions, you’re speaking of China, with Hong Kong. I think that what was inconceivable five years ago is now happening. You see this alliance that has emerged with Jordan and Egypt and Israel and the United States and the Saudis and the Emirates. This is all historic stuff. But the alignment really comes against Iranian hegemony in the region.

China and Iran and Russia [are] the three real, clear, present dangers to the world, I believe, that we’ve got to keep our eye on the most. And for all these countries that would never get along to unite as they have in ways that I know that many other people don’t know, it’s amazing progress for the good that I hope we build upon.

If Iran ever gets a nuclear weapon, they will use it. That’s my prediction. That can’t happen.

Mr. Jekielek:   Yeah. This normalization of the relations between Israel and the UAE, remarkable. And secondly, we also have the first biting sanctions against China, against these human rights abuses in Xinjiang and what Hong Kong is doing, essentially at the behest of the Chinese Communist Party. We haven’t seen anything like this before.

Mr. Hannity:   It’s interesting because President Trump ran as somebody who doesn’t want to get involved in foreign entanglements. First of all, energy independence from a geo-political, strategic vantage point, the Strait of Hormuz, as much as we don’t like the Iranians, you got what? 40 miles, 44 miles that you got to sneak through those narrow straits and a third of the world’s oil supply passes through there. And you see what the Iranians from time to time, they do a little saber-rattling. We don’t have to worry about the Strait of Hormuz anymore, because we’re energy independent. Now, doesn’t mean we’re going to let them get away with it if they are stopping the free flow of oil at market prices, but the fact that we don’t have to get involved gives us the ability and flexibility that we otherwise didn’t have.

As far as China goes, I think China will only respond to strength. I think they have contempt for American weakness. And to be honest, I don’t think Joe Biden is … Physically, I see him. He looks frail. He looks weak to me. He obviously doesn’t seem, you know, one flub after another, he kind of seems out of it. I think this is a real question that the country better ask itself. Who is Kamala Harris? I’ve been exposing [her], now that we know she’s the VP. I just don’t think that Joe has the strength, the stamina, the mental alertness and acuity to take on the hardest job in the world at a time where it matters, especially on the world stage.

This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity. 
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