The first guest speaker to voice conservative political viewpoints on campus, Emmy Award-winning radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt, discussed his book, “The Happiest Life” at an all school assembly Monday.
Assistant to the Head of School Michelle Bracken said that she was initially apprehensive regarding Hewitt’s presentation, but was pleasantly surprised by his ability to reasonably express and explain his views, as well as the student body’s ability to listen respectfully.
Hewitt focused his presentation on the pursuit of happiness, outlining seven “ingredients” he believes essential to lead a happy life: encouragement; enthusiasm; energy; empathy; generosity; graciousness and gratitude.
Hewitt’s political commentary included his view that there is no “civil war” occurring within the Republican Party, and instead that division is present within the Democratic Party.
Despite saying that he is close with the president, Hewitt said that he is not afraid to criticize his actions and ask him tough questions in debates.
“President Trump is not a Republican,” Hewitt said. “I’ve said that from the beginning. When he speaks conservatism it’s like me speaking French. I don’t speak French.”
In response to a question from a student, Hewitt applauded athletes who engage in political discussion, but condemned those who kneel during the national anthem.
“You can’t control what message people will receive unless you talk,” Hewitt said. “Gestures are open to misinterpretations, so talk your position, don’t gesture.”
Hewitt also discussed his experience as a radio talk show host. He shared personal stories from his 25 years of broadcasting.
“The interviews add up,” Hewitt said. “They span prime ministers and Oscar winners, ordinary house painters, heads of state, a lot of presidents, a lot of senators and congressmen and pretty much every journalist in America. I like to talk to people and I like to find out their stories. And if I had enough time for each of you, I would find out your story.”
Hewitt said that the role of the media is to relay the facts and emphasized the need to acknowledge biases. He also stressed the importance of respecting other political opinions.
“The greatest necessity in politics today is listening to both sides,” Hewitt said.