Judd Dunning, a political author, host, pundit and producer, has penned a book, "13 1/2 Reasons Why NOT To Be A Liberal: And How to Enlighten Others".
In an interview with Sputnik, he explains how verbal attacks against conservatives go largely unnoticed by US mainstream media, what it's like to be banned on social media and lose investors because of "different" views, and why he believes that Donald Trump won the 2020 presidential election and "energised" conservatism in the United States.
Sputnik: Your book is titled “13 and 1/2 reasons why not to be a liberal”. What motivated you to pen this book? Why, in your view, should people drift away from liberalism?
Judd Dunning: Well, honestly, you know, my father passed away and we owned a property in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina that we were going to sell, and it was a historical property. It was a civil war cabin that had gone back to the American Civil War that my uncle had owned. My dad had always said something simple. He said: ”Government can stay the heck out of my business”. And then he would always say: ”If the government isn't working, then you shouldn't hear about it, it should just be in the background, is we're making a living”.
So my father had a couple, you know, core belief systems when I was young. And so I grew up in a Republican household. But in the 70s and 80s, people didn't talk about their politics the way we do now. Politics are now the reality show, entertainment of the world. It was much more private in those days. Your bedroom and your politics were your own business and you didn't choose your friends. At his passing, I just thought it would be a great moment to go up there. I'd already been in politics for 3 or 4 years, I guess. And we went up there and I took a writer by the name of Eric Ghaleb, who had done 5 books, who had been on a number of my panels at Politikon, the Comic-Con of Politics and Entertainment in America. And he had a gruff bottom line truth to him. So we sat there together for 13 days and we woke up at six in the morning and we worked until the end of the night. So, you know, I think, partially it was saying goodbye to the legacy of my father and his small government influence on me.
As far as liberalism itself, if you go back to its roots, our roots were free from religious oppression and governmental interventionism and military despotism from Britain. To be a liberal until the 1930s, meant to be free. Liberalism itself is a way for the government to keep expanding is anti-American. And as Dennis Prager says, and we use this in the beginning of my book: “The Bigger the Government, The Smaller the Citizen”. One of the things that are happening with all the politics and all the fake news, fake science, disinformation, the vitriol of politics is, I think, a lot of people get nervous to know their facts on every issue of why they stand, where they stand. And a lot of people just get influenced because they're scared to argue, because it's so easy to take one fact, repeat it, isolate it, gaslight people and make them think they're wrong. But the truth is, history and context liberate people.
So I wrote this book as a reason for people not to be a liberal is to anchor into each chapter. We look at the facts of liberalism versus conservatism and then how to argue. So that's really I mean, why should someone not be liberal - because history and facts would say otherwise.
Sputnik: You write that “conservatives often find themselves in situations where liberals relentlessly hammer them with insults”. Why does the mainstream media ignore such incidents?
Judd Dunning: So if you look at the dialogues that have been created since the 1960s in America and all the way back to the 1930s. But if you go back to nineteen twenty-nine, Joseph Stalin said “the Heresy of American exceptionalism”. Communism did not go so well, a lot of people lost their lives. There were positive elements of communism. A lot of people were protected and lifted out of poverty, too. But unfortunately, a lot of people lost their lives, lost their freedom. It didn't work as a model. It generally caused a lot of pain. So in the 1960s liberals in America, they packaged the emotionality of what was good about socialism and communism, which was four platforms:
- We should save the planet.
- Life should be fair.
- We should be part of a global peace, homogenized culture.
- We should educate our people.
[These] are all beautiful and noble elements. Liberalism captures a very powerful package.
But for you to say, oh, well, life is not equal inherently. We'll never have world peace because of the tensions inherently and of human nature that the planet is doing just fine. We already are taking care of it, we just need to wait until technology liberates us from fossil fuels rather than spending trillions of dollars in shifting power to the government.
When you say all these unpopular things, they don't have an argument. So what they can do is they can argue with you that you are bigoted, uneducated, racist, elitist, repressive, traditional, patriarchal. It's very easy to go after the conservative right and call it old-fashioned. But here's the catch.
Conservatism is actually progressive. Progressives are regressive. It's all a media flip of the information.
They're the ones trying to shift power away from the individual. They're the ones trying to oppress those that have free speech. They're the ones that are actually racist and have used minorities for political power. They're the ones that opposed the Civil Rights Act. They're the ones that opposed women's suffrage. They're the ones that are stoking the flames of racism for political power.
So the attacks on conservatives are attacks really on individual liberty, and they don't have a good argument, so what they do is they attack. So if you're talking to someone and if someone doesn't have a real argument, then they will lower the bar and they will get personal. And this is pretty much the playbook of the American liberal left.
Sputnik: How polarised is American society right now? Joe Biden has repeatedly called for unity and "healing", but can the current administration actually provide a solution to the problems and issues people in the US are faced with today?
Judd Dunning: It's very polarized right now, I'd say it's the most polarized in my lifetime. That being said, there's a great book about this that every time somebody says the Republican Party is dead or the Democratic Party is dead. We've got over two hundred and forty years of a two-party system that has had periods of great, bombastic tension. So for people who don't believe in history, this is the worst time in American history.
And you know, that's not true. We have a pretty dynamic system. But Joe Biden called for unity when [Franklin Delano Roosevelt] FDR pushed through 30 executive orders during the Great Depression. And he was the most executive order dictatorial president that we've had. Joe Biden beat him. Joe Biden actually had twenty-eight in the same time that FDR had three executive orders and now he's into the 40s.
So what is, if I may use the word weak or calculated, because when you use executive orders, what are you doing? The executive branch is overriding the legislative branch and the judicial branch in order to push through a policy. And he did it aggressively, called for unity, and then meanwhile, his base was saying that Trumpers should be put in reprogramming or reformation camps.
The Lincoln Project that you contacted me originally has two mission statements: to defeat Trump and then to turn around and to eliminate all things that are Trumpisms. So that's almost got the languaging of cleansing in it. Right? And so what's happening is there are two forces that have come to pass at the same time: we have a cancelling media, a big tech media, all owned by extreme liberals, and you've got academia and Hollywood in America all supporting the liberal left.
So it's a weird time for us. And you've got this thing now about canceling people for having different views. I lost investors, my real estate company. I lost 700 people on Facebook recently. I've been thrown in Facebook jail and Twitter jail, and Instagram jail. I've got a TV show that used to get thousands of views. That's down to some days, like nine views. I mean, it's amazing how I started posting this book, I'm telling you, I had two million in groups, all of my social media was shut down. We're in a very unique period right now.
Every time that we put out our shows, we've gone from thousands. I do a show with Michael Loftus of Fox News. I do another show with Rob Nelson, a Fox host. I have two million in like 80 groups on all of our profiles, any time I posted them, we were shut down for 30 days. Anything that I put on the air... I'm fact-checked. It's serious right now.
Well, there's a massive migration to alternative platforms, but the true test of whether or not America has lost its way in social media is very simple. The owner of Facebook and the owner of Twitter, [Mark] Zuckerberg and [Jack] Dorsey, in a normal functioning free market economy, they would have bought Parler immediately and they would have sized it up, as would have Apple, as would have Google.
So the problem is, when elites are so polarized and, you know, into liberalism that they'll pass up the profit motive to destroy a company, that's not a good sign. I mean, for me, that was a big red flag. I'm like, wait a minute, if a company gets successful, let's buy it. Let's make hundreds of millions of dollars.
We didn't do that. That was what was abhorrent about that. Facebook has bought Instagram. Facebook bought like 6 or 7 other platforms.
So if Trump had stayed in, then we have this rule section. We have Section 230. And what Section 230 is, is it allows if somebody plays the role of a news source, they have the ability to be sued in civil court for slander or libel if they misreport. So these private companies are news platforms there. They formed a monopoly, essentially, and an oligarchy, if you would even say, together and they are not going to be broke up, they would have probably been close to being broken up by Trump. I mean, we in America, we break up monopolies.
When this government intervention makes sense to protect the individual if companies become so large, they start, you know, cancelling out all competition. So it's obvious that we're there. In fact, here's what's amazing. What's amazing is the fact that the president was definitively using Twitter for communication of the state. [Russian President Vladimir] Putin would notice his tweets, [North Korean leader] Kim Jong-un, Iran. So we were using that as, you know, as an actual communication platform, not just privately by effect. And they cancelled a sitting president, a sitting president, lost his ability to communicate, which, by the way, was a phenomenal invasion of the standard of American freedom.
So, yeah, we'll see what happens. A lot of alternative platforms are coming to pass the Rumble, Telegram. They say Parler is coming back.
There are a couple of other sites that people are going to, but it's hard because, you know, the majority is controlled there. There was a great movie that just came out, the Social Dilemma. And really the sad thing is Americans are just using Facebook to have all of their marketing information sold to, you know, to companies.
Sputnik: This weekend saw former President Donald Trump acquitted in his second impeachment trial. What do you make of this process overall? What mark will it leave on the American political landscape?
Judd Dunning: Propaganda, propaganda, very simply put. Donald Trump was elected because the power that is amassed in the left and the right over the many, many years has created a lot of corporatism and a lot of graft in American politics where we're too influenced by the people that back our politicians. I would say our system is still free, but it's contaminated and we need term limits, which we don't have. A lot of these senators like Mitch McConnell, Mitt Romney, Nancy Pelosi that you're seeing problems with... Donald Trump was a threat to the system.
And if they can throw an election in American politics, which I believe this election was contaminated, I think the reason Trump got in is they just didn't think he was going to win. So I don't think they were ready to influence in the ways that this election seems to have been influenced. So hopefully our system is still functioning. We don't know. 50 percent of Americans don't know if our election system was fully contaminated. Thirty five percent of Democrats think it might have been contaminated. So it was an interesting situation with Trump. I think that he won.
[On impeachment trial] It was propaganda. The way they edited that movie [Editor's Note: impeachment prosecutors played a video compilation of the 6 January Capitol storming] wasn't truthful. The guy carrying the Confederate flag through the Capitol, he's a registered Democrat. The police officer that died being hit by the fire hydrant. It never happened. So we've got to a point where the bullies in the Democrat left, the progressives, they don't care about the truth anymore. All they care about is public perception. We've gone into a period of politics that we call gaslighting, it's repeating the same lie over and over again.
The biggest lie is that the Democrats are the party of non-racism.
Look at our history. They are a racist party. So this whole thing about being racist was a complete lie. This whole thing about the Mueller report as it relates to Russia, it wasn't proven in court. And what they do is they repeated again and again, and again and say that, you know, even though they lost in court, we still had our election stolen by some kind of collusion between Putin and Russia, which was proven in court as wrong.
In the eyes of the public, the way that the media grabs impeachment, he might as well have lost, because what they did is they did a lot of damage. They basically wanted to damage his reputation. So we all, the majority of Americans, I would say, see the impeachment trial as a waste of time.
And we're looking forward to the midterms in America in two years and trying to shift power back. So I think Trump was the most exciting president we've had since Reagan. He did a great job.
He had over four hundred policy achievements that are undeniable. But our news doesn't cover his great work.
Sputnik: There's been a visible split within the Republican Party: there are GOP lawmakers who want Trump's legacy purged and some lawmakers and grassroots supporters who remain steadfastly loyal to the former president. What future do you see for the GOP? What needs to be done to overcome this deep divide? To what extent will Trump retain his influence in the Republican Party?
Judd Dunning: Republicans tend to be rationalists, where people have context, where people have a history or people tradition. So as much as we were unhappy with the behaviour of seven senators during the impeachment process, particularly Mitt Romney, particularly Mitch McConnell, we are not going to take people out of the balance of power so to cut off our nose, to spite our face. So we'll see. I think what we're going to have is a grassroots movement looking for the right candidates, for the people that showed the lack of allegiance to the party that we'll carefully try to replace, but we're not going to replace them and lose the balance of power. So I'd say Republicans are pretty rational.
That being said, there's 80 million Americans that I would call are part of the Patriot Party of the Republican Party. Conservatism has been energized, Trump just said he's going to show us what he's going to do, something else to help be a thought leader with those people. We don't know what's going to happen. I think that's pretty exciting for us.
I think regardless of what happens forward, Trump energized conservatism into national pride and populism. And I think you're going to see a lot more active conservative politics in America. And it's going to be exciting times ahead. We don't get into it we don't need to split the party. Splitting the party would be deconstructive. And to be honest, it just wouldn't happen. We've had independent people, parties run and get enough momentum that it usually sabotages the goals of both sides. Americans are aware of this.
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