Hey everybody, welcome to dead cat tom and Eric here. No, Katie this week she is off electing a new pope. So we don't have her. But this week we're talking politics. We've got Tim Miller here. political insider, GOP strategist, author, former former GOP strategist. I'm sorry. We're gonna leave that all in, though, author, writer at large at the bulwark, I just added that one outspoken Trump critic. I'm mostly pulling from your Wikipedia, but is there anything else I should have included there? I have a show on Snapchat called not my party I have. I'm a Snapchat content creator now. Okay. You know, father of Snapchat, Snapchat came to me. The dollars, it is it is great as great. Actually, I'd love it. I know that, you know, it's not cool to be, you know, on Snapchat, if you're 38 or whatever. And it doesn't feel like it's doing that great. But there are many daily active users who are teens. And so if I get recognized on the street, there's only two groups of people that will say hello to me, like 58 year old women and Whole Foods tsunami from MSNBC.
Or 16 year old Model UN boys who watched the Snapchat show. I love those. Those are my two demos. Do you think you have more influence over like, what do you think? I think I think the moms have more influence over the moms. Yeah. Like to say that the answer was the 16 year old boys. They're all independent minded. I think it's the moms who have got wrapped around my finger. They all want me to date their son or daughter.
That's the best Whole Foods conversation. Yeah. They want to say quickly, it may not be cool to have a Snapchat show with 38. It is very cool to write about Snapchat when you're 3738. So really, I want to I want to make that abundantly clear. Like I concur with that. Yeah. But anyway, and so this is supposed to be our our politics episode, we got our midterms preview, and the role that tech and tech money has played in the campaign. But I mean, look, we're recording this episode on a Friday. And at 1900 hours last night, zero hour arrived and the walls of Twitter were permanently breached. Could barbarians have entered the gate? He's like he's firing people heads on stakes right now outside Twitter and Market Street. But yeah, Elon owns a company. Now the prisons have been emptied the scores of canceled miscreants are hooting and hollering and shooting guns up in the air as they're all being led back onto the platform. So I guess we should just start right there. I mean, what do we have to say about an Elon on Twitter and the free for all that he has promised to? To unleash onto the world?
Yeah, I think that it's not going to be as fun as he thinks it's gonna be though he seems to have fun and shitty situations a lot. So maybe he'll make the best of it. But I wrote about do you guys Are you guys familiar with the website getter? Very popular social media site getter. That's how I spend all my time for far right. white nationalists. Now. Yeah, I wrote an article last year to headline get her by the pussy if you want to Google it. That explored a very traumatizing hours that I spent on getter, looking at all the weird porn and like racial slurs. And the thing is that I content moderation is very unfun. And it is very challenging. And I think the decisions are not as it's much easier to complain about content moderation than to moderate content. And so I think that Elon is in for a rockier time than he expects on that front. A lot of these decisions are not that clear. Do you
think he will like tear down the floodgates and deal with it? Or do you think he'll come to Jesus pretty fast and be like, Oh, my God, this is gonna be a mess. If I, if I really unleash
he's already having to reckon with, you know, with advertisers and the fact that if you turn that place into a cesspool, it's incredibly unappealing to the people that keep the fucking lights on. So that's my
analogy is always Craigslist. Can an unmoderated site survive? I mean, I guess Craigslist still survives, but do people use it anymore? Like no, you know, because it becomes scam artists and white nationalists and porn. there's already plenty of porn on Twitter. And so I you know, last time I tried to buy tickets for Warriors game on Craigslist, I got scammed, okay, so people don't use this shit anymore. And people stop using Twitter and advertisers will stop advertising on Twitter. So it does become a problem. He's gonna have to decide what to do about Donald Trump's here. You know, I think that he'll probably do away with some of the stuff that I didn't really think that was that valuable, that Twitter tried to do to, you know, calm down critics, like you know, random Twitter fact checks, things. And like, I don't think any of that stuff was that useful in the first place? So I'm sure we'll get rid of some of that and there'll be, you know, more of a free for all to say untrue things about vaccines and you think,
as sort of a whisper of the right who can speak up to the left like, do you think he will win over right leaning people On Twitter, I mean, like Trump has a competing, you know, network with true social, I guess Trump will come back just for the audience. But I mean, do you think he'll be able to sort of keep up the act of being on team right wing?
Yeah, I think so because it's super easy to keep up the act of being on team right wing right now, because it's just an oppositional nature towards the elites, trigger writer. And so yeah, so he can just kind of focus on complaining still about other left wing elites, and that will keep him in the good graces of the mega types. You know, he already replied to Cat turd today, letting him know that he's looking into his shadow ban
On the case he's looking into Can you imagine being a mid level executive at Twitter and getting an email today from Elon? It's like, Hey, could you please investigate the captured shadow ban?
At least we finally have an answer to the question of what did you get done this week? Well, I unban cat turd?
Are we sure Catherine was actually shadowbanned? Or did they just not have you know, that engaging of content?
Right? The guy has like, I think somebody was saying as 800,000 followers or something. It was like, just angry that he's not getting enough engagement?
Well, that's the issue. I think I mean, that, you know, like the q&a moment when Trump finally you know, had to step down and Biden came in and you realize that the prophecy wasn't true. I wonder how much of the prophecy not being true with the shadow ban people, they'll have to reckon with that, that, you know, it's like Elon is in charge. And I'm still not getting the engagement I thought I should be getting maybe this wasn't about like a giant, left wing Silicon Valley conspiracy.
I think that they'll find other things to, you know, feel aggrieved about. And I think that they probably will be a little bit more of a bump in engagement, because some people I don't know how many, but you know, they'll be some meaningful number of people that come back from Ghana and truth and parlor. And either do both or return to the site, you know,
though. parlor I think has 25,000. Right? Yeah. But
if you're talking about one of these people, if you're a conservative media tweeter, you know, who like tweets complaining about the liberal media, and like, you are getting 12 retweets, and now you're getting 18? Like, you're like, all right, you know, my message is spreading now. So I think that they'll be Yeah, won't do anything for like the bottom line of Twitter, the number of people that have come back, right, but for the users, you know, to assuage them, you know, you've already seen today people feel very gleeful to like, you know, tweet racial slurs, and like make fun of, you know, tell people to learn to code and all that sort of stuff. So like they will feel there'll be a brief var dump of endorphins,
what do you make of the argument that moderates tend to like content moderation more, and Elon has positioned this as sort of simultaneously like a moderate crusade and a sort of protect the right, crusade? How do you see those two things intersecting? Do you think he's going to end up serving the middle who doesn't want to see like the N word in their feeds, or he's going to know that his core constituency is sort of the troll crowd and he needs to keep them pretty close?
Yeah, I actually don't know that there is as much distance as the question would make it seem because here's why there are two groups of moderates. Right. There's my group, right, which is the, you know, folks that left the Republican Party over Trump, you know, that have generally, you know, whatever classically liberal, moderate centrist views might care about things like democracy and norms and such, we're not gonna like, the changes that Elon is making. Okay, but when you use the word moderate, that's not who he's talking about. Elon is talking about Joe Rogan moderates, right, like people that were that like, are also for Bernie and for Trump, right? And
the views that coalesce around random candidates, and like, I dress whatever mood I have. I mean, that's honestly, most normal people are maybe not most, but a lot of normal people don't really align themselves to parties or candidates. They're just like, I believe in, I don't know, gun rights, and also that, you know, we should be nicer to trans people.
Yeah, exactly. So he just so he's like a reactionary, moderate, right, which is like, I have questions about vaccines. But I also, you know, I'm not a religious nut. But I also you know, what I mean, and we can get into this and where to and all those other guys are. So I just, I think that it is a different type of group that he's speaking to, which are people with like, heterodox kind of radical heterodox views. They are also moderate the same way I am, but we disagree on everything, right. But we're both moderate in the sense that we're not like in line with whatever the generic view is from the predominant political parties.
But who was the enemy then for the right wing? Now? You know, at least on Twitter, I mean, they had such a perfect foil, when they could say, you know, these are the lives of Silicon Valley that are stopping me from reaching my you know, God given audience but at this point with him in charge, I mean, they need something right. I mean, that's the core of I've got great news for your time. Yeah. Is it me, you? Oh,
yeah. You You're the enemy now.
That's actually gonna be huge for my follower count, because I'm the smallest of the three here so I'd be glad to bring it on. That's fine.
I don't know if you improve Take care, but meet the media. I mean, there will always be people to be aggrieved about on Twitter, it's just that they will no longer be able to be aggrieved about the Twitter executives. But that's just one category. Okay, I think that some people will be upset with Elon. But again, eventually you kind of have to just realize who's on either side and join that side. Right. And I think that there will probably be some decisions that he makes that they don't like. But the overwhelming majority of these people are not people that have like, broadly defined, like very specific policy views about exactly what type of content moderation should be done on these big platforms, like their views, or just, there's this group of people that I hate. And so I'm going to focus on on that. And that is what drives me and what motivates me. And that movie was not Elon,
I appreciate that you're the ex conservative and your, your takeaways. Their reasoning is dumber, than you think it is a little bit.
Yeah. I mean, I don't mean anything over the past seven years that made you think that it was more validating,
let's hear from the others, at least
once. Just one thing that I have to say is that in his speech, he talked about the concern about the right going into now Peter Thiel is smart, not like the people that are complaining about twitter.com. And he talks about nihilistic negation. And that's just a fancy way of saying, like, we just believe in nothing, we are oppositional to whatever the, you know, conventional wisdom, elite narrative status quo, whatever buzzword you want to use is, and like, Peter was right about that. It was like a self criticism of the right that he is trying to, like, encourage them to have more, you know, solutions oriented policy views. And so what he hasn't quite realized is like the people that are supporting and following all of his, like, various projects on this front don't actually have that or care about it. Because he lives in a like a rich person's bubble on the coasts. But he identified the problem
was supposed to come up with it, though, I felt like that speech. Yeah, it's like, oh, 90% of it is like him shitting on California, and him being a nihilist. And then the last, like 10% is like, Oh, by the way, we should probably have like a positive policy view. And it's like, aren't you? Isn't that what sort of the intellectual? Well, I
mean, look, I leave it to Tim, as you know, the ex GOP political consultant, but isn't that standard structure for a speech, you know, you want to tear down the other side in the last two seconds be like, and also we should do good things. And that's your applause line. I
don't know if that's the standard as a certainly a standard structure. For a populist demagogue speech, I worked for moderate technocrats. I didn't write a ton of speeches like that. But yeah, I mean, sure. There's something to that. But my point is that, like, he identified a real problem there at the end. Right. But I think he either doesn't realize or just doesn't want to admit, is that the underlying element of that is that the people that they're appealing to aren't looking for the solutions, right, like, that's not what they're interested in. And if he started a, you know, he has done some of the stuff like, you know, to nonprofit for, you know, populace seasteading solutions, like, nobody's gonna fucking tweet that shit. Alright, nobody wants to read the white paper about how they can find a different solution than California has to solving the housing crisis problem. The group of people who care about that finding solutions, going back to our two different kinds of moderates are my kind of moderates, right, like the technocratic neoliberal moderates, who are like frustrated, you know, who works briefly aligned with teal and Sachs on getting rid of Chasa. And, you know, trying to change some of the ways that some of the cities are being run. Like they're the ones that care about solutions, like the reactionaries that are upset about Twitter and are upset about content moderation, like those people are not interested in that.
So you've given us your moderate sort of framework. What is your view of the Republican elite right now? I mean, I feel it used to be the case that it was like, okay, the Republican elites willing to put up you know, the urbanist Republican elite especially, is willing to put up with some homophobia and racism in exchange for low taxes and a sense that abortion is never going to make progress. And so like, who cares, and that, like, anyone who's savvy knows that this is all about low regulation and taxes. And if you're the type of person who's gonna get so upset, about like a bunch of people like saying things that aren't even going to be implemented like you're an idiot. That's sort of how I make sense of the old Republican elite, which seems so much nicer now. I think at the time, though, I hated them. But now I'm like, Man, if only they were willing to sell out all their principles, so they could pay low taxes, at least that would make sense. What is the Republican elite right now want? Because even Peter Thiel is trying to incite some of the populism. He's not just trying to do this just for low taxes, right?
Yeah. Well, it kind of depends on what you mean by elite like at this point to me, the Mitch McConnell's of the world are like yesterday's men, and some of them realize it and some of them don't. And like those are the people that you are describing who are still around and like they were just willing to make greater sacrifices on the altar of nativism and You know, cultural war then like those of us who bailed over Trump were
right. He held the Republic together, you know, yeah. They're all being
displaced though, if you just look at the types of candidates are running right now, you know, teal boy Buckmasters, you're the JD Vance is, like Herschel Walker is ridiculous, but like, you know, the folks that are winning primaries, these Republican states, their deal is different. They're not actually even that interested in low taxes or, you know, smaller government. In fact, they dislike capitalism. To a large extent, I certainly dislike big corporations.
I mean, that's the reflection of of low capitalism, though, right? I mean, that's the Tucker Carlson view that like these guys are all forcing us to use the pronouns that we didn't feel. Yeah, we had to discuss all that much beforehand.
Yeah, correct. And so you can see DeSantis trying to embody that even Marco Rubio who was part of the older you know, kind of way that you describe things, Eric is now has now changed his rhetoric towards this. So now, like the primacy of their fight, is the culture war. And this is I think, what some people misunderstand what what's happening on the right is, there's this sense that like, oh, okay, these are just this is like the last gasp of these old boomers, like a culture war. And like, we had a little bit too much progress with a black president and you know, as kids using different pronouns and gay marriage and all this stuff, and now there's a backlash to this, that that will go away. That's not it.
The memes are the ideology. Yeah,
there's the new group that is displacing the old group is actually centering the culture war even more. Right. And like, that is the motivating fight for people who are Republicans right now. It's something that I think that Thiel and his crowd get instinctually and maybe they don't like every element of it, but like they understand it, I think better than, you know, the old Republican Guard does, some of whom who are trying to catch up. And I think that we're moving towards a Republican Party that looks more like what TL wants and looks more like what European conservative parties are, which are culturally conservative on economic stuff, you know, maybe more conservative than the socialists, but like, certainly not, you know, free market Thatcherism or anything like that, like that's all gone. You know, more government control punishing foes. More isolationist, you know, so look at Brexit, look at autobahn, look at LePen. Like, that's where the Republican Party is going. Like, it's not going to look like the old, classical liberal, you know, Reagan, Thatcher ism, and it's moving towards this other thing that jettisons really, the fiscal conservative element to it. And then obviously, the global leadership element,
do you think they do like you think they can really abandon low taxes? And do you think they would embrace unions?
Probably not low taxes, they won't probably won't abandon, but they certainly will abandon like pro business regulatory elements. Right. And I think that low taxes will not be central to it. I don't think that you'll see a ton of tax hiking, except for tax hiking, that owns the libs, like, you know, getting rid of the exemption? Well, because
they're also not the technocrats. So they don't actually have to balance the budget either. So it's like,
what's the point of tax hiking unless you're just going to tax hike, like getting rid of the state based tax deduction, like to own the, you know, those of us who live in California and New York and stuff, you know, I mean, like, there'll be certain types of targeted tax hikes that attack people that don't like
just any taxes that went towards funding Urals, I imagine are in danger at this point. Yeah. That sounds like a top issue.
You work for McCain. Right. Yeah. Given the You're shitting on Republicans. Let's remind the listener a little you have some real Republican credentials here. How long were you on? Team elephant?
Yeah, sir. While I was a kid, I started working in politics in 98. On a governor's campaign, let's not age Me too. Let's not do any quick math on that, that I worked for McCain and Oh, eight and 2012. I worked for John Huntsman and the primary who was the most moderate. Yeah, Ryan ocuk. Squish candidate. And I think that was like the candidate the best reflected in my worldview,
but also the one who endorsed Trump fairly early on. And
yeah, we had a we've had a falling out over that. He also endorsed Mike Lee and a primary this week and I have a lot of people message me like, what's your boy doing? I was like, not my boy, man. I begged him to join the anti Trump effort I was working on in 2016. He refused to do it. Because he wanted to be Trump's ambassador. So if something I don't know. He did, you got ambassador to Russia. Great job, Donald Trump. And then I worked for Romney in the general after he beat us in the primary, and then jab in 2016. And I worked on the GOP autopsy in 2012. That was like trying to tell the party to bring back compassionate conservatism. That didn't work out too well. And I did a bunch of like, you know, lower, smaller races in between all that, but those are the Presidential ones.
I'm fascinated by the psychology of conservatives. So we sort of we touched on the elite McConnell to a little bit. I mean, JD Vance is obviously running and is a key candidate in the tech. Hoover. I assume you've read Hillbilly Elegy hillbilly. Thank you. The book
or watch the excellent movie on Netflix couldn't make
it through the movie.
Is there any connection from the book to his like view today? Or what do you make of the two people?
There's some connection that I think speaks to where the party is going. And there's this old joke on the right that we used to say to make fun of you commies, which was like, true Marxism has never been tried. You know, like, all these guys want to be Marxist. They're like, you know, just happens. They all turned into genocides. It's just an accident, like real Marxism to try to exactly
when you say that's a joke. I mean, I literally hear that from people on the left, right? Yeah, I guess. I guess just like you guys say it in a mocking enough way where it's
gonna say to mock you. Yeah,
back, but in that sneering way you've perfected over the years.
Yeah, there you go. And so I feel the same way about conservative populism, which is that true conservative populism has never been tried and probably is not doable. For this reason that JD Vance embodies what I'm talking about, which is that in a lot of ways, the JD Vance like went on the, you know, Davos tour after he wrote that book, like sounded kind of a lot like Joe Manchin, like, in a lot of ways you could almost have imagined him running as like a conservative Democrat, right. He was like, really conservative, we have to care about rural people, you know, we shouldn't be dismissing them telling them that they need to learn how to code but like, they also have responsibilities. They need to be able to pull themselves up from their bootstraps, but we need government, you know, level of government support that kind of free market Republicans have been not willing to give in the past. I
mean, the but to the extent I read it, it's like 95%, this is their fault culturally, but then to the extent he has any solution. The last 5% is like, maybe we could do some things with the government, it's so realizes that there has to be some government.
Yeah, right. That's a little bit more of a government, like the government can be more involved. Right, an element of concern, you know, the book definitely maintained more personal responsibility. Stephanie has now right. Okay, so but that is the kernel of this pivot about where the party is going. Right, which is that like, laissez faire capitalism is not popular, you know, does not work. And we can appeal to working class voters of all colors, but especially white voters, you know, by appealing to their grievance and saying government, Big Daddy, government can come help you too. And so when JD started the campaign, that is kind of the underlying element of it, it's like I can be a more populist government, the government can play more of a constructive role kind of cultural conservative. The problem is, again, going back to the Twitter thing, these people aren't looking for, like policy white papers about how we can move, you know, welfare to work, you know, and that's how we can make Medicaid more efficient Are you know how we can add some tariffs to certain countries so that we can build more widgets in Mechanicsburg? Like they're like, they don't care about any of that. What they care about is that they are mad at people that they feel like have, you know, aggrieved them that have left them behind. And so JDS campaign goes from, like trying to address some of the legitimate grievances and come up with solutions to it to just mirroring their illegitimate grievances about election fraud and COVID.
You guys are fucked up, and you need to fix your shit. He's like, I hear you that we're like, we're not.
Oh, did fuck you over the world? Yeah, the reason why your your life isn't going as well as it should is because somebody in Berkeley is saying that they have a them pronouns, right? Like that. You don't even want
So yeah, and I just think that that I think the JD Vance, like evolution kind of shows, like kind of where this is going. And as much as there might be some people who tried to put some policy white papers around Magga conservatism, like it really is just at its heart, you know, about, you know, kind of baby burning people's grievances back to him.
Yeah. And the people that have tried to, you know, write the white papers and lend intellectual heft to Magga. Republicanism don't seem to have all that much power within the party, or they're just not very interesting people, you know, you have like, fuck, what's his name? Josh Hawley was trying to do that for a while, right. I mean, he had that whole convention around trying to build a theological framework around Trumpism. And no one really cares about him. And he's probably going to, I don't need to get a run in 24. Either way, he's not going to make it very far. Because he has no purchase
to tech policy. You guys know this better than me. But the tech policy is a great example of this, right? It's like, oh, we were mad at section 230. And we should punish the big tech companies, right? But then it's like, well, Elon takes over. He's like, Wait, now, you know, based on that letter that was sent out. It's like, I realized the importance of section 30. Right. It's like they don't have any actual like, what they really want to do is a note and say that I feel like the big guys are being mean to us, like they don't have actual like, Oh, I think we should reform tech and XY and Z ways and the people that do want that, you know, end up just being extremely minor players. Well,
what's up Don't worry about it to me, as I was just noticing and you know, Google released their their cue. And in it, they put in a new risk factor of all the different regulatory legislation that could affect their business Nanded list like all the different things that have passed in state houses that could affect their business in some way or another. And I noticed that one of the things in there was the DeSantis bill that allows people to sue tech companies for D platforming them. I actually didn't even remember when that passed, it was sometime last year, but you know, they're like, look, this is a thing out there. It could affect us. And I mean, there's no question in my mind. Like, if someone actually did sue under this law, it would get appealed all the way up to the Supreme Court. And someone would need to make a, you know, a judgment on whether or not this is a violation of the First Amendment, which in my mind, there's no way that it's not a violation of the First Amendment, you know, being allowed to sue someone for D platforming. It's so absurd. But I don't know how fully they've thought any of this through, right. It just felt really good at the time to sign a bill and tweet about it and anger a bunch of what the assumed, you know, this idea of lives in Silicon Valley.
Yeah, DeSantis has signed like a couple of bills that are like this, that are certainly gonna get overturned. And that's just one of them. If you look at the examples, the legal experts put their PR releases as bills. And now the thing is just the whole thing is preposterous. And this is where I get even crossways with the left liberal criticism, I have plenty of criticisms of big tech on the margins, but the populist left criticism of like how we need to, you know, use antitrust against it and all those things. It's just like, Yeah, it's like, I'm sorry, we just have went through this huge test, actually, about whether the big tech companies are monopolies that need to be broken up. And the answer is obviously, no, this is like the golden age of Nazi social media sites, like people who get who given whatever D platformed. Have, like they've started three competing for competing media companies that are all that all are doing varying degrees of fine as far as businesses, maybe they don't have they are the size of whatever, but there's certainly some market
capitalism. Firms are in prolific. Yeah,
they're proliferating. This is the golden age of them. I mean, are they doing really any worse than RC Cola is doing or like the smaller niche cola companies competing against Coke and Pepsi? I don't think so. Like they're doing fine. So you know, Anyway, like this is like it's all just preposterous, but that's like they're not. They don't Ron DeSantis doesn't care if it is right, if you know if the law actually is upheld.
Do you think the Republican elites are want to be fascists at the moment? They know this mob is out of control doesn't make any sense. But they want to ride this thing you've already invoked or Bong, like, do you think this is semi fascism, full fascism? Or obviously Tyler Cowen wrote that piece sort of analyzing the new right recently where he sort of, I thought he was almost he was too friendly. I mean, he, he sort of concludes that the new right is totally incoherent like we are, but he's sort of like bent over backwards to read some sort of anti elitist argument through it that was meant to make sense. I think there's no one really thinks it makes sense. Like, anyway, but do you think they're fascists?
It's like, you know, we get into a semantic debate, right? It's like, is Viktor Orban a fascist? I mean, I guess kind of he's a semi fascist. He's He's fascistic in a way that he's not like Putin. Or she, you know, I mean, like, there aren't any Uighur camps in Hungary, right. And like, you can still, you're not getting arrested for tweeting, I don't like Viktor Orban in Hungary, you know, and there's definitely some corrupt ability of the courts and the media right and more government control. So Jonathan Chait of the New York Magazine, went to the National conservative conference where TL spoke and I think in wrote about this very smartly, and it's like there's a lot of space between like Reagan and Putin. I forget what the fascist to Hitler, maybe he is. I forget what the fascism example is, like, there's a lot of space in the semi fascist space. Right. And so yeah, I think that the Republican elites want to move to something like that. I mean, just rubbishing Disney, like get taken away Disney's tax breaks because they, you know, had a lesbian kiss in a movie like is that fascistic that's fascistic fascism? I don't you know, do the Republicans actually want to put lives in camps? Like I don't think so. Right. But do they want to use
we should have to have in this world where we're counting on like, the goodness of their hearts where at the end of the day, they won't go too far. I mean, I feel like
their hearts efficiencies of their like operational ism, right? It's like I feel like they would want to get a lot of this stuff done, but they literally don't know how to motivate and like, operationalize the troops to do anything beyond you know, chaos, and I don't mean
to downplay that, right. Like I think that that Orban in Hungary is horrible, right? So I'm not trying to downplay I'm just trying to say like, when you're trying to give a fair assessment of what they what their goals are, you know, it is it is a quasi minority rule. You know, I mean, the Republicans have not won a majority of popular votes since two Just before so it's a quasi minority rule. It's it's controlled the courts, it's punishing enemies using kind of tax code and regulatory stuff. It's demonizing marginalized groups, right? So like all that stuff is bad. You know what I mean? But I think that sometimes when people say, Oh, they want fascism, they're like, no, like, literally, they want to be Putin. And I'm not sure that's true. I think that there's certainly some people, you know, Stephen Miller, is pretty as bad as fascistic as you can get the look into, you know, what he wanted to do with child separation and all that. So, you know, there are elements of it. But I think that, that what the Santas is doing in Florida is moving towards or urbanism is kind of what they see as the future.
Yeah, we can have Paxton on next week to break down the anatomy of fascism. And you know, what falls? What definition what Robert Paxton, he wrote a kind of a seminal book about the anatomy of fascism and helping to define the term in the 20th century. It's a spin off
for this show. Yeah, yeah. Berto echo.
Yeah, I, you know, I read like a lot of books for like a month after 2016. And so I vaguely remember authors and titles, but that's
kind of rely on all rely on that one month to sound smart during Yeah.
And like recreating more and more as days go by. So don't ask me a single question about these books. Paxton is like 89 years old, too. He's not coming on. Okay, so we've already talked a lot about the candidates on the right, specifically JD Vance. And, you know, I mean, basically, Trump picked him off with a scrap heap in Ohio, in order not the scrap heap, but he basically like pushed him over the line in a way that he wasn't going to make it up to that point. So he's clearly you know, at this point indebted to Trump. And then the other obvious person in that list, who's also a Peter Thiel. Acolyte is Blake masters, who we haven't talked that much about. I want to have it set on the podcast here, because I've said it in group DMS. And Eric is annoyed with me. I think he's going to win in Arizona. I know this is going against conventional wisdom and the polls, but I just find that to be the most absurd outcome on the terms.
I'm not making predictions. I feel like I don't
do you think Blake masters could get us a reservation at Dorsia?
I heard he would get that reference. Now.
It's American Psycho. Right? Or
what? Have you ever watched American Psycho Tom? Yeah, just just watch the movie. He's it's very creepy. His parallels with Patrick Bateman the main character from American Psycho.
Just basically, or just like everything, just
the way he carries himself. Not just Yeah, I don't know. That any murders. But yeah, no, no emotions, the lack of emotional. He's a crazy
character to me. Because, you know, in the tech world, we were all aware of him. We knew of him as the guy that I think he wrote zero to one. Right.
And, you know, he was elected the notes for or whatever.
Yeah, I mean, he's basically a professional blogger. And kind of, I don't know what the word would be for Peter to what is your take on Blake masters to me? He's an incredible case of just I mean, he's an absolute zero. You know, no charisma, you know, if he wasn't really a figure and and
he's running against like an amazing candidate, right, Mark Kelly.
He's pretty. He's pretty good. He was an astronaut. I don't know if he's an amazing.
How's it an astronaut? I haven't watched these debates. But I would just think an astronaut. That's your dream candidate.
Yeah, I mean, Mark Kelly isn't exactly Mr. Charisma himself. He's okay. He's pretty fun. He's fine. But he is obviously has a much more accomplished and a better life story than like masters who took notes for Peter Thiel as best we can tell. But yeah, no, he has zero Chris I went to see I was doing the circus. It's showtime show. And we had an episode in Arizona and I went down there and watched masters, Carrie lake and then Ted Cruz speak at events and like, I mean, Masters makes Ted Cruz you know, look like one of the great or tours of all time. asters has like has literally nothing going from a Christmas standpoint that Carrie Lake is super talented and super Fashi and I think that she can maybe carry him across the line a bit that just the crossover voting these days is pretty small. So it depends on how she wins by so I definitely think masters could win though I don't know if I'd be ready to predict that I think that I think both those races are gonna be pretty close. And yeah, I find them interesting because he is he's done a really good you can tell that like Blake Masters is like a dude from California who like has probably like some like mainstream conservative views and like a few weird you know, contrarian takes just like all these fucking tech bros do right but is trying to now fashion himself into like what he thinks a maga person should say right and so you know this is how you see them struggle on the abortion thing you know on the on the election fraud.
Old like blog posts is like a young libertarian, right? Yeah. Which sort of direct contrast? I mean, yeah.
monarchy in that right? Wasn't that his wasn't that he was
a convenient dude. He was a contrarian bro posting on message boards like for CrossFit like that's all it was right like he was
just got to they were CrossFit message was what's Yeah, he's like what
was the last bastion of free speech? He was searching for community. You feel you haven't done CrossFit but it's the most uplifting community you can imagine. No, he
was searching for community and there are a lot of the CrossFit to fascism pipeline is actually pretty well interested. Yeah. So green is also CrossFit. That's true. That's a CrossFit store. Interest anyway, I Master's to me is like trying to figure out right and so the did you see the humiliating video of Trump calling him to tell him that he wasn't tough enough on the election fraud?
I want to drop that audio into this podcast because it's it's really something I mean, basically, you know, he has Trump on speakerphone and they're doing like a post debate recap and Trump who I don't even think watched it other than the fact that he said you know, is like you weren't strong enough about saying the election was a fraud.
You want to get across the line you gotta go stronger in that one thing because that was a lot of complaints. Karis willing with very little money, and if they say How is your family she says the election was rigged and stolen. You will lose if you lose the base I'm not
going soft. And you can just tell it Masters is like despite the fact that I can bear to a Patrick Bateman like he's not a total sociopath like Trump's right eye king knows that the election wasn't really stolen and you can just kind of see him in the faux intellectual way like trying to like stretch to find a way that he can say the right thing without like totally embarrassing himself and just being like yes, I think that the Chinese bamboo ballots you know, we're at to blame here in Arizona even though there have been five audits run by Republicans that have all said it was fine, right? Like, like it's hard for him to get there. And so he's struggling to navigate it but I think that the key insight though for Masters is that he is at least not playing the game that Eric was talking about at the start where it's like I really care about tax cuts and and you know, all this other stuff is fake and supportive that like that's not what he's doing like he really cares about the the beefs that this deal world and the PayPal Mafia have with the quote cultural elite. And like that's what he actually cares about. Just in support
they're not even gonna like the legit Erik wemple Just like admitted that this is a total tangent but like he admitted that he was like afraid to criticize the Tom con not bad like I just feel like whatever fires they have burning about canceled culture are like burning out right now. And do you say
that but at the same time, you know, Tucker Carlson label Taylor Lorenz the ideological you know, chief of the Biden White House Glenn
Greenwald just tacked on Ryan Mac because Ryan Mac like laughed at him on Twitter. It's amazing that it's so proximate that it just like Glenn Greenwald just has to yell at you and then all of a sudden is fucking on Tucker Carlson for the Hulk. I don't what do you what is your world? Yeah, like, what is it for money like what is
like nine tweets about me the other day because I appeared on joy and read shell and he said, he felt like that showed grave hypocrisy. Why? Because Joy had said some homophobic tweets or something a long time ago. And then like, kind of you think
you could be making a lot more money. Now, if you double down on like, stuck with the Trump thing, like sometimes I think I'm a sucker. I should just like go in. I could be crushing it in conservative world, because it's such a low caliber of person, like, you could be running circles around these people. And yet we decide to compete against other Democrats. And it's like, Oh, my God, like, it's too much competition. I like did you think about sticking it out.
I never thought about sticking it out. I fucking hate Don. I've like I've told Trump derangement syndrome. Like, I hate him. I hate to be the old, it'd be the old man and the senior citizen. So I'm pointing my bony finger at the other person in the cafeteria being like that person was for Trump and I sit with them the cafeteria, and 2082. But so I would not. But that said, and I just I preface this by saying I do not, I do not want or require any sympathy, I do just fine. I have a wonderful life in Oakland. But the amount of money that was left on the table by bailing is like extremely substantial. And my friends who stuck around, you know, that I literally one was just telling me the other day, he was like, Dude, you have no idea. He's like, people that are idiots are millionaires. Because, you know, just the amount of money flowing through these campaigns also, like, the no competition thing is part of it. But the amount of money that's flowing through these campaigns, you know, both bottom up from Mega donors who are now spending way more on small dollars than they were for Mitt Romney. Like the amount of small dollar money coming in to these campaigns or to some parties and yeah, and then top down from the billionaire class. I don't know like a contrarian billionaire class. So see, I know they're doing they're doing well, but that's, that's just part of life. That's part of, you know,
supposed to be costly. I guess that's sort of that's how you get to feel good about
okay, I'm going to yoga Just kind of dealing with it. You know, things happen to bad people. That's, you know, that's that's part of life. It's a good life lesson.
Have you spent time with Peter Thiel?
No, I get a lot of calls for everybody that wants to write Peter Thiel, stories. They're just like, you're gay. You were a Republican, or didn't you ever get invited over? I don't know if I was Twinkie, enough for Peter to get invited to the house. When I when I see pictures of the little crowd that surrounds him, they have more muscles, and are blonder than me. So I just I don't know that I was ever
read a lot into that question ever.
Already, or possibly he just knew that I was I'm kind of the enemy. You have to understand that these people should have spent more time with Barry's Bootcamp. Apparently, that's I should have spent more time berries for these folks. Like the to crowd. Like, I'm really like the enemy. Like as much as the left is the enemy, like the quote unquote neocon kind of like establishment. Like I said, we're moderate and I don't want to say Peters moderate, but our views are different in opposite ways. Right? Like I was drawn to Republican stuff by like the US should play a force for good in the world. You know, we shouldn't have less government in our lives like Peter was drawn to it for like, we should have culture war, the US should do less. We should punish our enemies. Right. And so they looked at the like establishment Republican types as the real real enemies. And so no, I don't we didn't have it. We did like, the bombings, parts. Yeah, we were on opposite sides, all those primaries. That's rude. We're on opposite sides of all those primaries back in the
day. Let's just play it forward. By the way, this episode is coming up before the midterms, this might be our most topically relevant episode.
Tom, so proud of us for doing something ahead of something.
Usually it comes out like a week after the story. It's like past winter anyway. So you know, I assume that the Republicans will win the house. I guess the Senate is sort of a toss up, you know, if they're in play, you know, and assuming they try to push some sort of legislation as far as tech goes. I mean, what do you expect to see given the makeup of the current GOP?
Well, I think the Republicans will take the Senate to just while we're in the prediction business, but they're going to do nothing. There'll be some brinksmanship on the budget. And they will investigate Hunter Biden, they'll probably try to impeach Secretary Mayorkas. If Secretary America's doesn't resign, the homeland security
man, I don't even know some of this storylines they have going on. I read this stuff like what Parliament Now
anyone who doesn't understand and this is good for everyone who has a friend who like, you know, it's kind of unhappy about inflation and thinks Elon is funny. Isn't his dabbling in, you know, republicanism, I sign everybody one hour of Steve Bannon podcast, you just got to listen to it for one hour. And if you like what you're hearing, then go ahead and put on the hat switch teams that that is to understand what's happening, you need one hour Steve Bannon,
this part of the argument of why letting Trump back on Twitter could be good for Democrats, where it's like, at least, like, get these moderates back in touch with what Republicans
they actually said now, I don't think I mean, there's this thing called the thing that's been termed secret Congress, which does things that are that are just kind of not in the headlines, you know, and make incremental change to various things where things can get past. productive, right, that's yeah, so there could be some, I'm a little bit out of tech policy from my days when I was doing that work. So I don't exactly know what could fit under that rubric. But like the idea that there's gonna be big, sweeping, you know, change to, you know, section 230 or two addressing these like big controversial, you know, issues around antitrust, etc. There's not, it's just not it's just gonna, they're not gonna cut it. Nobody's cutting a fucking deal on that. Over the next two years between the next presidential
Yeah, so no one's gonna champion one way or the other the leg, you know, carried interest loop loophole, or anything that like would actually actually matter to our
audience. Going back to sort of the, you know, the Neo cons and the Republican are sort of the new right at Neo cons. The David Sachs and Peter Thiel support the Warren rock. Like, I feel like David Sachs is on Twitter all the time being like, the word rock was such a mistake. Oh, but like that guy, definitely support had, I can't, I can't find I'm like, I've lazy find any evidence for this wasn't bad. It wasn't much of a person. I can't find evidence either way, you know, they just become more famous.
Because people are prolific. I mean, they're like, fucking, you know, like, the other hand,
if anybody has evidence, the David Sachs supported the war in Iraq, sent it to me.
I guess you wouldn't see David Sachs on a CrossFit message board, but maybe check out some, I don't know, message board. Subotica case. Yeah. But I see if he's received, see where he's posting I'd have to assume so that he had been, but again, I'm saying these guys like that is, you know, sort of the cheat code for like drawing the type of audience that they want, right, which is that we are not part of the elite establishment. And so in order to do that, you have to go down this contrarian path. You just have to learn Look at well, okay, what were the things that the elites did that were wrong? Like the Iraq war is obviously example one. And so you know, all of them, like, criticize that now. But, you know, there weren't a lot of people like that look like David Sachs at the at the Code Pink protests and Croft right, am I to my recollection? So
the idea that these guys are not elites, like the whole elite conversation is the most infuriating, like anybody just gets to call somebody else elite? And then I mean, with the whole Kanye situation in the rising like, anti semitism, it feels like even more coded when it's like you're a billionaire. And yet you're calling other people, elites. What is that? Well, actually,
I think it's fairly straightforward. If you are influencing elections, then you are an elite. If you are influencing an election, and also have a podcast with other people in which you are criticizing elites, then you're not an elite, because you're criticizing them and you're aware of the hierarchy. And being aware of the hierarchy removes you from that, therefore, you are clear to do that without being responsible for the system.
I think if you are a 1%, owner in the Golden State Warriors, and get chastised for saying rude things, about the Uyghurs, and just saying nice things about the Chinese, then you are not an elite, because the real leader is the majority owner of the warriors who has more of a stake in the basketball team and can can wag his finger at you, right? Or the people that are on Twitter,
you can find one person more elite than you find about the elites,
right? Yeah, look to your left, look to your right, if they're not more elite than you, then you're in big trouble. Okay, the last section of the podcast here, we have spent a lot of time talking about the types of people who are extremely critical of the mainstream media, and I guess, Eric and mean people that represent that. But you were also a central figure in the Facebook stories from a couple of years now central figure, you were a figure in the Facebook stories from a couple of years back and kind of, you know, in your time with definers, and advising veterans with Cheryl specifically, or or just Facebook on, you know, policy and presentation and how to kind of work your way in through Washington. And they were kind of pointing to definers, and maybe even us specifically, as I don't know, kind of a nefarious part of running a corporation and pushing through, I don't know, misleading talking points and legislation and things like that. And then the New York Times specifically, I mean, looking back at that whole period, which I think Did you know, affect you, in certain ways? I mean, what's your take on that whole episode, and the way that the media can occasionally glom on to a narrative, and, you know, see it
through, I know, this is going to be really a complicated answer. And so it's going to challenge people's priors and make people really, you know, uncomfortable, that like the media can be not perfect, and also do their best to get the story right. and figure it out. I know. Wow. And this is really challenging. I mean, I, you know, I always say, like, some people on the right get mad at me, and they're like, why are you more mad at the left, you were canceled. And I was like, I was I'm doing okay, I've got more Twitter followers than Tom. Here on this podcast right now. So I'm doing okay, I was criticized, I was criticized the work we were doing for Facebook, I think some of the work we were criticized for, it was totally fair. You know, I write about this and not to do a book flog while not doing bad things I did. But like I write about this in the book where I look back, what's the title, so your title, it's called why we did it. I looked back at the choices that I made, even though I bailed on Trump. And I think I made some bad choices. You're when you're in this ecosystem of playing this political game, or political adjacent game in the game of like public affairs, PR, you know, there's a lot of incentives that push yourself to you know, want to help to get clients want help to get good stories for your clients want to help support your, you know, the people that are paying you to, like, make you do some shit not make you but that lead you to do shit that is in a gray area, ethically speaking. And I think that in the bubble, one of the things I wanted to write about in the book, I think is so important is in this bubble, like the people who criticize you for that are bad. And those of us who are just trying to do our job, you know, running cover for these big companies, or these politicians are like, you know, we're just part of the game, like, I don't like get off our back, right? Like, this is just, you know, part of our job and like that culture, I think is very, you know, creates problems, you know, and I think creates Brad incentives. And I think that it allowed a lot of people to justify going to work for Trump because they'd been doing work that they self justified for a long time that they knew part of it was not real
ethics is that it might be inconvenient to you the idea that it's just your job is not an out like, that's sort of exactly what the point of sort of moral
is exactly right. But my point is that in this culture in DC, particularly on the right there was this kind of buddy, you know, culture in which we don't have to deal with those ethical questions because like, you know, this is this is just part of you know, what we do, right and so anyway, be savvy like yeah, we're savvy right we get it we get these other fucking whiners on Twitter in their basement complaining about us don't get it. So anyway, that's that's a long intro to the point of like, The actual Facebook's where we're consulting for Facebook, a lot of the work that definers was doing, I look back on and feel gross about the actual Facebook thing that the original story was about is like not really one of them. Like the work that we're doing for Facebook was kind of just basic blocking and tackling do it running PR, and I guess maybe working for Facebook is the actual thing that they picked on 2018 Like this? Yeah, it's like we put together backgrounders for all of the people that criticize them, right? And was just like, here's why that person is conflicted. A lot of times these are people on the right, all these people we've been talking about, right? All the people who had fake cancellations, who said we were shadow banned, you know, diamond and silk are testifying in front of Congress and I was putting together background or being like diamond and silk or not shadowbanned actually, they're doing great on Facebook. Maybe Facebook should be banning, the more actually. And so, you know, we did similar for lefty critics. And the one example that the times keyed in on was the idea that like there was a background on who is funding, you know, some of the left wing critics of Facebook and George Soros was one of the funders. And so I sent them times this background, I was like, There's nothing here. Like we're just looking into who the various people are, that are funding, the anti Facebook work. And then they sat on it for six months, and the Tree of Life synagogue thing happens and like the story runs four days later, which is like Facebook has hired Republicans to like, smear, you know, to be like, you know, make up this fake thing about George Soros. And then the next year, the Times runs an op ed from like Soros Foundation. That's like, we're looking into Facebook. It's all I guess was true. So anyway,
I come out aggressively attacking Soros itself. No, nobody had come out of dress. Yes, come do an assessment that I think Soros is involved in
it. Yeah, there was a list of all the different potential liberal groups and organizations and like Soros is like the flashy name because that's what people talking about. So I get it, you have to be censored around Soros, because there is a lot of anti semitic attacks. But like, literally, this was what I did all the time as a PR guy, which I'm happy enough to do anymore, which is like, hey, we did some research. I sent it to a bunch of reporters, probably not Eric newcomer. And it was like, Hey, will you look into this, see if this is true, etc. The thing never went out? Like it never was published the Census Bureau's things to reporters. Yeah, it was like a background or on like, funding the left wing anti Facebook stuff. So anyway, in retrospect, it's probably not great because of Soros. Like we probably should have been more sensitive, even with the background or but like, nothing went public. I just think that the reaction to it was overwhelming. But because the reaction was so great, in large part because of proximity, the tree of life thing, which was fucking horrible. And there was a ton of sort of misinformation that was happening at the time about the caravans and stuff which I was criticizing, like, they looked into other shit definers did. And like, yeah, and we were all these people that we're talking about right now, the right wing media types, like I was feeding them shit, you know, to write stories about, you know, on behalf of clients, and I justified that because I was like, you know, whatever, like, the stuff I'm sending them isn't racist, right? But you know, it's going to live on these like Mega websites. And, and I like, I shouldn't have been fucking playing footsies with those assholes, you know, like, I shouldn't have been doing like, why to like, get paid extra money, but by Qualcomm, like, all that stuff was, you know, regrettable. And some of it was listening for not even really real, right. But that's part of doing PR. And I kind of wish I wasn't, I hadn't been doing that. Yeah.
I mean, what's interesting to me as a tech reporter, during that period, is that it seemed like this was fast realization for a lot of tech reporters that the companies they have gotten have become very political in the way that they ran their PR operations. And I'm not saying the reporting was right or wrong, or we shouldn't be critical of the fact that this was the new norm in the way these companies were run. But it just seemed like there was an unfamiliarity within a lot of tech reporters, when you see things that are standard within the DC world. Now, you could argue that it's not okay for it to be standard within the kind of the political world, but there just seemed like, you know, it felt like foreign territory for a lot of reporters and you see something. Yeah,
I feel like a challenge with reporting sometimes, sometimes you can have great reporting that comes in and says something that's like, obvious to every other reporter, but the public doesn't understand. And people will go wild because the public know it even though Right, right. Like it's
my thing on the Facebook thing. It's like it's crazy everyone everybody's like now looking at like, oh my god, this firm that has Republican guys is working for Facebook. This is shocking. I was like, every reporter knew we were we weren't doing like they tried to pay they did paint it in a way and I don't really think this was intentional, but like it made it seem like, oh, man, like we're uncovering this dark arts thing. When like, really like we were just like doing basic public affairs for Facebook. I like I said, we were doing some more. So we were doing some dark arts stuff or some other companies, which is why maybe Facebook shouldn't hired us and maybe we shouldn't ever work for Facebook. I grant all that. But yeah, I do think that there was there is sometimes a sense of kind of a babe in the woods type attitude.
The New York Times uniquely is able to just be like both because they're good at framing and writing and because they have such a huge audience and just like turning the whole world on to something as soon as they write about
net worth. But to me that the framing was always what bothered me about a lot of the stories because you can criticize the tactic in general and the fact that all of these companies use these things. But I remember there was, you know, a lot of stories saying, Facebook had operatives that were going into Trump HQ and other campaigns and giving them data and helping them, you know, work on Facebook a lot more so that, and it's just like, Well, yeah, because they're spending a lot of money on Facebook. And that's their job as a company that makes money is to make sure the people that are spending money, but there were a lot of stories written about that. And in one sense, it's like, okay, yeah, I mean, that does sort of suck. If you want to talk about any, you know, platform, having some sort of relationship with any kind of client, I would love it if these things were all just like, you know, software that people would just plug into, and there wasn't as kind of hand in glove approach to things. But the fact is, there is and it's constant, specifically within politics. And I just think you need to have an awareness of that if you want to have a smart opinion on it, rather than just feel like, ooh, that really smells bad to me. And you can frame it in that way. And I don't know, the stories just didn't hold up, in my opinion. You know, they were splashes at the moment and looking back at them, they just look really thin.
Yeah, so I think there are two elements. I think there was a Facebook moral panic at the moment apart because, like, they thought that Facebook's fault that Donald Trump won, you know, because of Russia and the platform and like, none of that, like has held up as being really true like the, like the Russia the stuff that happened in the mainstream media was the other thing I mad I did get mad at the Times about I was just like, you fucking like we're the ones to blame. The one that was covering Hillary's emails on the front page, I was like, these little Facebook pages it like, destroyed every Yeah, the earned media destroyed Hillary, like these Facebook pages. They were bad Facebook should have caught them. But like, they were really hackneyed. You know, I like the amount of impressions that the front page New York Times got, was significantly more than like the weird little Facebook groups that they said started to create, like the amount of ad money they spent was really small. So anyway, it doesn't mean it was good. There should have certainly been reporting about all that. But like, there was this, like, more like everybody kind of got cozy being like, it's Facebook's fault that Donald Trump won. And like that, like Facebook, did, you know stuff that in retrospect, they, you know, they should have cracked down on but like, there were a lot of actors who were complicit in the WikiLeaks stuff in particular, and the Russian on our elections in 2016. So that did bother me. And I think that like had, you know, you literally taken this exact same story about what we were doing for Facebook, and like we had been doing it for Apple. Well, I could literally wouldn't, it would have been like a half a day story, right? Like people just wouldn't have cared like, there was it? Yeah, yeah, there was a lot of, you know, because people are doing that for Apple, by the way, they're still doing it to this day, and for Google, and for whatever. And so I think that there was just this moment about that. And I think that that some of that was obviously overblown and led
some I'd like to read it. And
the other. The other element, though, is I do think that the Trump thing woke people up. And we were kind of a shrapnel to that a little bit. And there's an element of this. And I do agree with that. I think that these challenges are hard for reporters for anybody, which is like, things that were SOP, you know, when Mark Penn was doing her ship for Microsoft, you know, things that were standard operating procedure, when Mark Penn was doing the ship for Microsoft? Like, is that really appropriate in the Trump era? Right, like, is it really appropriate after the Muslim ban? You know, keep proposing the Muslim ban to go do white glove service for them? I don't know the answer to that. I think that's worth looking at. Like then on the other hand, like should companies really be saying, well, we have random red lines of people that were willing to give, you know, we'll do it for Liz Cheney, but we won't do it for Donald Trump. Maybe that doesn't. I do think that there's some there's some ethical questions associated with that, that just like the absurdity and just extent of Trump's you know, fucking corruption and bigotry, like I made things that in a different time might have seemed like not that big of a deal into feeling like a big deal for like some good reasons. So I think that that is also an element of us
moving away from companies for a second like just like, as a, you know, looking at the Democrats for a second fucker. Yeah, exactly. Like, I feel like there's one view that like, Democrats aren't cynical enough. Like you're you got to fight fire with fire, like the Republicans are so good at like trying to win and we're all just like, a bunch of like, earnest people running around being like, why why do they do that? On the other hand, I feel like there's an argument that it's like, if you're gonna play like, moral piety, you should like, stand, you know, rise to the occasion. I don't know. Do you have a general like leaning one way whether this the Democrats should be more pragmatic, more ruthless, try to win against the real enemy. Or if you're going to be the virtuous player, you got to be virtuous and like, stick to that? I think.
I mean, can they do both? I don't I mean, are there gonna be times of moral? Were there things are ethically gray? You know, I don't know, like, I don't know, what's the answer to this. This is another scandal associated with Facebook stuff. And stuff we were doing when we were working for PR. Like we would run these like, kind of not really news things that kind of looked like news, right in order to promote, you know certain things. So it wasn't like fake in the sense that we made up the fact that it was fake in a sense, like he made somebody look like news that's actually a PR op. That's just like, something that million grass tops people have been doing ever since they were mailing fake newspapers. You know, you'd have a website that it'd be like, oh, yeah, you know, the Lynchburg Gazette like tell, you know, you know, reports this fact. And so like you sort of reframe an article that was written by a credible outlet to like, make it as inflammatory as possible, and then you promote it adds to it, that sort of thing. Right. So Democrats are doing this now. Right, like Republicans have been doing it, Democrats are doing it. And it's like, Should Democrats not be doing that? Because they should, you know, practice what they preach? Or should Democrats make sure to use every tool at their disposal to compete against the threat?
So I'm asking, yeah, no, I'm
giving that as a confused. I'm giving that as an example that I think is I really, I don't know, I'm not an ethicist. And I don't think that if you read my book, anyone would want me to be there. So I'm doing the best I can. I think that's a confusing one. I think that they deserve to be criticized for it. But at the same time I get it. I think that the thing that bugs me more about the Democrats is I do think that one difference between the right and the left in a way that's nice impure about the Democrats, but it's hurting them is that the actual people that staff these campaigns are like really earnest, really, really earnest and God loves them. And the people that run Republican campaigns are nihilist. And I think that this, like, we're paying with a broad brush, obviously, but like the generally there's something to this. And I see Democrats, like using messaging and things because they think that it's the right thing to do. And they don't want to hurt anybody's feelings on their team, and stuff that is actually hurting campaigns. And if you look at their paid advertising, Democrats paid advertising is like pretty good. Like, if you look at Tim Ryan's paid advertising in Ohio, like you might think that he's a Republican. Like, it's pretty good in the sense that like it is
with his wife, it's like, you don't have to agree on everything with your own wife. You don't Why would you have to agree with a politician? Like
yeah, so I mean, some of that stuff. She used him with Tucker Carlson. And so I think that like the paid, you know, but who's running paid advertising, it's like older gray hair, like Democratic strategists, like who's running the Twitter feed, who's running the Facebook who's dealing with the candidate day to day, and I just I worry that Democrats are leaving stuff on the table. And like losing races, they shouldn't be winning. I've written just this week, but the Arizona governor's race like which is a clusterfuck. I look at Fetterman. You know, I see this whole for the Fetterman discourse. It's like, Guys, it may be ableist. It might hurt his feelings, you know, it might not be appropriate to criticize. But if we had a real talk, real politic discussion about Fetterman after his stroke, like, shouldn't they really tried to find another candidate? Right? Like if he wasn't going to be up for it? i That's not ableist. It's just like, re it's just reality. Right? It's not saying that Fetterman can never run for anything again, or that he should be insulted or mocked, or the people that have aphasia should be insulted or mocked. You're just like, what's what's Well, yeah, but like, what is the but this person is gonna have a Senate seat for six years, and they're going to be a puppet for Donald Trump. Maybe we should, like do what we can to win. So that is the part I do think that, that sometimes Democrats pull punches, because they're trying to do the right thing or feeling like they want to do the right thing in ways that is harmful. That concerns me.
All right. So and we should we should probably wrap it up there. But thank you for coming on. I hope you feel you know, more morally pure in your in your movement away from, you know, being in PR and promoting other companies to being in media and promoting yourself, which is the light, which is the truth of the way.
Well, the nice thing is about about it is that I am just promoting shit I actually think is true. So that's a good step. It's not it's not morally pure, but it is an important step in living a fulfilling life. And so I do recommend that and you know, but I'm still I'm still a fallen angel, you know, trying to do my best. So maybe eventually I'll move one step over from promoting myself to like promoting
their venue immediately. Good, thanks.
Okay, well, let me know. I don't think the priesthood is for me, but maybe if you find something a little more pure. I'm happy to take feedback.
All right. Thanks, Tim. Thanks for joining. Thanks for lunch.