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September 7, 2022

Not long ago, I ran a commentary called “Take the Gen. Hayden Challenge” after former CIA head Gen. Michael Hayden had re-tweeted a post from British ‘journalist’ Edward Luce saying, “I’ve covered extremism and violent ideologies around the world over my career. Have never come across a political force more nihilistic, dangerous and contemptible than today’s Republicans. Nothing close.”

Gen. Hayden, when he re-tweeted, added this: “I agree. And I was the CIA Director.

Gen. Hayden had previously re-tweeted a picture of convicted-and-executed Russian spies Julius and Ethel Rosenberg with the caption, “Sounds about right,” apparently meaning execution for Trump as a traitor.

We made scathing fun of Gen. Hayden --- which he well deserved --- calling this gasbag “Exhibit A for what has gone wrong with our out-of-control intel community.” “He’s delusional, suffering from ‘long TDS,’” we said, “and needs to quarantine himself until he gets over it, if he ever does. He also should lock away his phone, as President Trump isn’t the only one who invites criticism for his mean tweets.”

Then we urged all who feel this way to take the Gen. Hayden Challenge. Here is that excerpt, again:

Let's say we set up two rooms. Room #1 contains five people selected at random from the studio audience of my TBN weekend show, HUCKABEE. These almost certainly will be the conservative "today's Republicans" you loathe, who will probably want to greet you, tell you about their families, hear some of your stories and share homemade pie. (They might also say "bless your heart" and give you an earful about the CIA, but you need to hear it.) Room #2 contains five of the terrorists who hacked off journalist Daniel Pearl’s head with a dull, rusty blade.”

Which room will you enter?

If you choose Room #2, well, at least you had the courage of your convictions. It was nice knowing you, and we hope you didn't suffer too much, though you probably did. If you choose Room #1, then you have to admit you were full of horse manure, apologize to all Republicans (a special apology to President Trump) for your crass stupidity, and refrain from tweeting forever.”

With that refresher, here’s the update: On Tuesday, a self-described liberal and California native named Samuel Donner went on “FOX & Friends” with Peter Doocy to say he’d forced himself to go to a Trump rally in Tennessee to see if he could find some common ground and actually make friends. He didn’t expect to be able to, but he did. “I was absolutely baffled,” he said, “that people wanted to talk to me and would actually be friends with me.”

He had seen this as a kind of test for himself, to go into what he believed was the most hostile environment he could find. He described being scared to death to be around Trump supporters, with a knot in the pit of his stomach! “Going in, I was expecting aggression,” he said, “but I actually experienced a lot of kindness.”

In an interaction reminiscent of the way I characterized my studio audience in the original “Gen. Hayden Challenge” above, Donner was asked by one rally attendee to join her Bible study, which he and a friend of his did, and where they experienced “incredible kindness.” He didn’t specifically mention homemade pie, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they had it.

So, again, in light of this, I invite all those who believe Trump supporters are racists and violent extremists and far more "nihilistic, dangerous and contemptible" than anything else in the world, to take the Gen. Hayden Challenge. Two rooms, one with five members of my studio audience of conservative Republicans, the other with five of the terrorists who hacked off Daniel Pearl’s head with a dull blade. Unless you choose the room with the beheaders, then just please stop tweeting your idiocy. Of course, if you do choose the beheaders, you’ll be stopped soon enough.

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