The Most Fun Gift of 2019? Eric Metaxas’ New Book, Donald Builds the Wall
The Stream’s John Zmirak interviews Eric Metaxas on his new book, available just in time for Christmas season.
ZMIRAK: First of all, before I ask you any questions, let me vent. You have a gorgeous-looking, funny, deeply polemical book right here, Donald Builds the Wall. It’s a follow-up to Donald Drains the Swamp. It seems to me that you’re trying to plant a set of ideas in the malleable minds of children. Now I’ve wanted to do that for years. There’s a French novel, The Camp of the Saints, about the total obliteration of the West by massive immigration. I know exactly how to pitch it to the comprehension level of children. Or even of Catholic Democrats. But no publisher will look at it.
So right now, I’m kind of envious of you. How did you get these books published? Was it your fancy-schmancy Ivy League connections? Not everybody has enjoyed that kind of privilege, you know. I mean, yeah, I did. But I guess I’m just a screw up. Let’s just cut this short. I’m going to curl up in a corner with a bottle of cinnamon schnapps … .
METAXAS: Oddly enough I did not originally write these books for kids!!! Some of us can appreciate what this president is accomplishing. Others enjoy the outrageousness of him as a lovable cave-man character on the international stage. So we deserve a book about him that is almost as entertaining as he is. Maybe almost as outrageous and funny.
I teamed up with my dearest friend, the illustrator Tim Raglin, and voila! Donald the Caveman was born! Of course it was intended as a humor book in the form of a kids book. Just like a certain foul-mouthed parody that’s out there of my own book, It’s Time to Sleep, My Love.
Tim and I came up with Donald Drains the Swamp! and it did so well that the publisher asked us to do a sequel. Hence, Donald Builds the Wall. Both are loaded with grown-up jokes, but they are not mean or nasty. So the whole thing really does work for kids, too. Which is why many think these were originally intended as kids books. They were not. But if you buy them for kids that’s more than okay! I’ve given some to kids myself!
Howling, Radioactive Hellscapes
For decades, people like Ann Coulter, Mark Kirkorian, even Al Perrotta and I, have been making the case. Having de facto open borders with poor countries is a bad idea. It turns red states purple. Purple states blue. And blue states into howling, radioactive hellscapes dominated by the giant worms from Frank Herbert’s Dune. Did you know that there are only 737,666 people even left in California? And they’re all lined up in their Teslas, trying to get into Utah. Talk about traffic on the 405!
It seems like a simple idea. Importing millions of new voters accustomed to corrupt socialist welfare states, or sharia law and extremism? Maybe that isn’t helpful for ordered liberty. How did you make this understandable to children? The grown-ups are still trying to explain it to Paul Ryan.
That’s the point! Most people with common sense know that you can love people without thinking they should come to this country illegally. It’s so basic it’s funny. But it’s well known some of the harshest enemies of this president have signed a pact with the Lord of the Flies. So there’s no talking to them.
Saner people might want a fun primer on why it makes sense to have an actual border. (You know, the way every country has had since the beginning of time.) So we decided to write a funny sequel to Donald Drains the Swamp! The premise is simple. Things are going so swimmingly in the place where Donald has drained the Swamp — it’s now called The Land of the Free — that everyone wants to move there. That includes the horrible Swamp Creatures, who fled once they ran out of other peoples’ money.
The Creatures are only good at spending money, you see. So they need to go back to where the people work and make the money. Then they can tax it and spend it. Of course there is a vicious gang called MSNBC-13 involved. Plus lots of characters you may recognize:
- A certain angry young girl who has a plan to save the world from instant extinction. It’s called “The Green Raw Deal.”
- A familiar-looking sour old Vermonter.
- A certain Senator from NY who cries a lot and wears half glasses and might be Amy Schumer’s uncle.
- An orange triceratops who may be former CIA director John Brennan.
- Just to prove that the Swamp is bipartisan, there’s a Senator Majority leader dressed as a terrapin.
- A red Stegosaurus who MIGHT be a former First Lady.
- And of course the biggest and nastiest swamp creature of them all is a dinosaur known as the George-O-Saurus!
The Patheos Fallacy
That last one has cost you some controversy. People like to claim that criticism of meddling globalist Israel-bashing moneybags George Soros is anti-Semitic. You know, the way anyone who mocks Steve Bannon is immediately dismissed as an anti-Irish bigot. The kind of person who reads accounts of the Potato Famine and chuckles.
Eric, did you really not get the memo of which political figures who happen to be Jewish that it’s acceptable to criticize? And which ones where it amounts to anti-Semitism? I can print it out and fax it to you.
Here’s the thing. I worship a Jew as God. Maybe some don’t remember that Jesus is a Jew. I also wrote a 600-page book denouncing anti-Semitism. I think any kind of tribalist hatred — whether of Jews or blacks or Hispanics — is a serious sin. So anyone wanting to think I might be anti-Semitic or racist is free in America to hold to his dramatically ill-informed views. But I’m not inclined to take them seriously. In fact I’m mocking them right now by making very funny faces you can’t see. People who resort to name-calling because they have no arguments are acting like … fascists. So of course there is a great irony at work, n’est ce pas?
Sorry, Eric, I don’t speak Foreign. Let’s move on.
You have a lot of loyal fans, readers, and listeners. Of course that provokes some … Envy. I see trolls online who have set up entire accounts dedicated to misunderstanding what you’ve said. Then complaining about you to all 243 of their followers at Patheos.
In case Stream readers haven’t heard of it, Patheos is the cutting edge new media service that transcribes Greyhound bus station bathroom stall graffiti, and posts it to the Internet in real time.
Perhaps the nastiest attack has been on this new book of yours. What are the most goofball things that people have said? What are their home addresses, and where do they work?
Sorry, I meant, “How do you respond to these criticisms?”
I try simply to pray for these people. They are wildly misinformed and often very, very nasty. Or self-righteous and pompous in the ugliest religious way possible. They are the same people who thought opposing National Socialism was “being too political.” Who would have told Abolitionists to stop shoving their religion down everyone’s throat. (If you don’t like slavery, just don’t buy a slave!) They don’t disagree with you in a loving way, but spew a level of vitriol that makes it clear they are not to be taken seriously.
Donald Interns the Democrats
Some people have claimed that you’ve published a book of “fascist propaganda” aimed at kids. How do you respond to these criticisms, and do you plan to include nasty caricatures of the critics themselves in your next book, Donald Interns the Democrats?
Whenever criticism is based on deep ignorance, it’s hard to know what to do. These people are in love with their hate. They cannot be bothered with nuance or grace or facts. Their sourness and passion make them feel so morally superior to the people … it’s a tough habit to kick! It just feels so good. They have evidently given themselves permission to hate. This despite Jesus’ commands to love our enemies, pray for our persecutors, and do unto others as we’d have them do unto us.
People seem to think Jesus said those things in a gentler time. You know before Trump came onto the scene, rendering everything in both Testaments obsolete. So to give grace to someone like me, who might have something to say, or a real point to make? That is unthinkable and inconvenient. So I really do pray for them. I hope they have a relative who might send them a copy of these books. Then they could actually read what I wrote rather than imagine it.
Skull and Bones and the Shriners
You and I know perfectly well that America was founded and built by people with names like “Metaxas” and “Zmirak.” Don’t believe those phony old “history books” the WASPs published that tell you otherwise. It’s all part of a conspiracy between Skull and Bones and the Shriners to whitewash our national past.
But seriously. Both your parents are immigrants. Both of my dad’s were, too. Since your book is about Donald building a wall, how do you explain to people what’s different now? How has immigration gotten out of control, politicized, and turned into an assembly line for new pro-choice, Big Gummint voters?
It’s about assimilation. When my parents came here they wanted to and were expected to buy into the values and culture of their newly adopted country. That’s at least the polite thing to do when someone invites you into their home. It’s a privilege to come to America. My parents took that privilege very seriously, by loving their new country and by raising their kids to do the same. Anyone who thinks he can come to a country and then take that country and that country’s inestimable freedoms and opportunities for granted ought not to be allowed to live in that country at all. Until we can reestablish this most basic of basic ideas, we need to slow immigration way down.
People all over the world want to come here. Those that want it most ought to be given consideration, instead of those who can stroll in here because they just happen to live nearby. My parents applied for citizenship, and wept when America welcomed them. So yes, I am the proud son of immigrants, who taught me to love the country we live in because it is the freest country on the planet and has allowed millions like my parents to participate in those freedoms and opportunities.
I hear your next project is aimed at grades K through 4, a Lego-style set that lets them actually build the Wall. It even has Swamp Creatures they can keep out of the country, and guard towers that fire Nerf bullets. Tell us more about that.
You’re a panic! And a card!!! Right now I’m working on getting people to know about these two books — and thanks for your help with that!!! I’m trying to get them to buy lots of copies for Christmas. To help everyone in America celebrate what it means to have a president who is trying hard to drain the swamp. One who is trying hard to restore some of the order that’s been lost because of swampy politicians of both parties who cared more about getting along with their enemies in the media and their enemies in politics than they did about fighting for what is right and true and honorable.
If we sell enough copies this year we will write a third one ASAP. Stay tuned! And people tell your friends to sign up for my weekly newsletter at Ericmetaxas.com! Tons of fun stuff I cannot tell you about here!!!
John Zmirak is a senior editor at The Stream, and author or co-author of ten books, including The Politically Incorrect Guide to Immigration.