April 22, 2022

487: The Rise of Celebrity Conservatism (with Kenny Cody)

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On today's episode of The Brian Nichols Show, I'm once again joined by Kenny Cody to discuss "The Rise of Celebrity Conservatism".:


"I think we really have to look at how much we can capitalize on Republicans and people who are celebrities and are ready to come out of their shells. Hollywood and the left ostracize celebrities that sort of have these right-leaning tendencies hit for their conservative belief systems. And now you have these two people (Herschel Walker & Dr. Oz) who are now running as Republicans with "R"s next to their name on ballots

And I think the shift within the Republican Party's direction is a good thing, because you're kind of making people come out unashamed to be with conservatives anymore."


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Brian Nichols  0:05  
focusing on winning arguments. We're teaching the basic fundamentals of sales and marketing and how we can use them to win in the world of politics, teaching you how to meet people where they're at on the issues they care about. Welcome to The Brian Nichols Show. Well, happy Friday there, folks, Brian Nichols here on The Brian Nichols Show. Hope you're getting ready for the weekend. I am as always your humble host. And yet today we are for another fun filled episode. Today we're having a returning guest. He's a good friend of ours, part of The Brian Nichols Show family you know him you love him, the one and only Kenny Cody, welcome back to The Brian Nichols Show. Hey, Brian, how are you? Brother? Doing good, my friend doing good. Good to see you. I know it's been a little bit since we last had you on the program. We both been a little busy to say the least. You're back in person teaching school, which I think I know a lot of parents are excited about now. I will say you're in Tennessee, right. So we're seeing a little bit maybe a different approach to the government schools, the public schools that we'd see. I don't know in Philadelphia, where I was just spending the past seven years. So how have things been Kenny Cody,

Kenny Cody  1:09  
back to normal. I was telling my friend She's actually visiting from DC this week. And she lives in DC and you know, all the mandates in everything are still in place. And I'm saying we'd be back to normal since about the start of the school year in August. There's no no restrictions or anything like that. You know, to this day, CLS later knows that authoritarian mandates kind of campus locked down for too long and we're back to we've been Mexico last a year.

Brian Nichols  1:32  
So we're gonna go well, I was. I just recently moved out to Indiana. The audience has heard this story many times over the past four months because it was the best decision I probably made in the past 10 years. And when you look at Philadelphia, they were one no they were the only city to consider and then actually implement the mask mandate once again here just this past week. And guess what? They went not even a week and they already have that turned it back and they removed the mask mandate. And I think that the biggest visual now we're recording you're obviously on Friday, there was a Philadelphia Sunday Sixers game that was taking place. And this is just after the mask mandate went back into place. And you look at the the Wells Fargo Center where the Sixers play, maybe, you know like 100 200 people wearing masks. It's over. It's the end of Ferris Bueller's Day Off, or Matthew Broderick walks up he goes, you're still here. It's over. That's COVID And yet we still see Kenny you got like Anthony Fauci, who's coming out saying, when we gotta go ahead, and you gotta listen to the CDC, it's like, I don't know why middle Bernie Sanders there too. But like, it's over it this this time of COVID this time of constant fear porn. It's not people aren't aren't buying what they were selling there for the past two years. And you know, seeing like, to your point things back to normal, God is refreshing.

Kenny Cody  2:54  
It is I mean, it's especially seeing the kids happy and seeing students happy is it is a great thing. You know, it's funny to me, I think that Fauci is just willing to say most outlandish things just to get back on television, but he's coming on so long. Saying the CDC and the best of the best comment and tells me everything I needed to know about him is when he said he questioned Dr. Anthony Fauci, you're criticized Dr. Anthony Fauci, you're criticizing science. So the science that until that tells me everything I need to know, I just want to be back in the spotlight again.

Brian Nichols  3:22  
Oh, yeah. Well, and the power to write this is going to be the overarching theme as we move out of this is, once the power is is given, it's very, very difficult to take away and we're seeing right now in the repeal of the the CDC mask mandate by the Florida judge down there this earlier this week, and just the people across the United States outrageously excited about this videos going galore, people ripping their masks off and celebrating on airplanes, and yet, the Biden administration is actually repealing or they're appealing this decision by the Florida judge. And they're arguing it's for the CDC and future circumstances to be able to maintain this power and the authority and it kind of strikes you, Oh, this isn't about keeping people safe or avoiding illness. It's about control power.

Kenny Cody  4:15  
And that's just the truth. I mean, the fact that they are living up to a government agency that has really no restricting power and just gives out recommendations anyway, I mean, the CDC has no purpose besides to do research and then provide state governments, local governments, the federal government on policies to create the CDC has no governing power. So the fact that the bad administration automatically goes to we need to listen to this is for the CDC, you need to listen to CDC, or whatever. I don't really understand the argumentation. They're there. They're not a governing body. They're not the Department of Health. They're not the Tennessee Department of Health or not the Pennsylvania Department they don't they are a recommendation based government agency. So to say that, we need to leave it up to the CDC really just shows how much of control the federal government and this administration wants to give the federal government they want to go back If it was up to them, they would fear monger the American public back into their homes, they would probably push for, you know, mailing voting, early voting, things like that. Just in so just looking at that they're gonna have a chance to train the 2020 elections, you know, that fear mongering, sent people back home, don't let people be participative don't let people be aware and keep, you know, no see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil, they want to do that to the American public. And they don't want to hear that evil of the federal government's actually spouting still, that they don't they want to hold on to every opportunity they can get because they know that's the only reason that they can win is to make you know, everybody fear monger or fear monger or the American public makes make sure everybody is in fear if you give the Republicans but you know, back the House or the presidency or the Senate, then we're gonna go back and we're gonna go into COVID again. So it's, it's, it's entertaining to me to see them hanging on to the very last threads of their own political help. Yup.

Brian Nichols  5:55  
Well, and this is why it's so important, right when we go to the voting booth, and we present candidates for the voters to choose instead of a voting booth that we're presenting, not just candidates, but good candidates, the right candidates, and you just wrote an article over at Newsmax and we're gonna go ahead and quickly run through this, it was Walker oz exemplify the rise of celebrity conservatism. Now you're referring to Herschel Walker, who I appreciate more as a Dallas Cowboys fan for helping us essentially lay the foundation foundation and groundwork for the 90 Super Bowls that we have won and has been the only real thing that we can put in our cap for anything of the past 25 years he was traded the Minnesota Vikings win, which the Vikings gave up, I think it was like pretty much two drafts worth of picks. He is now running for US Senate in Georgia. And then you mentioned Dr. Oz, right. Everybody's favorite, favorite doctor, and he is now running for Senate in the US Senate. It is in Pennsylvania. But Kenny, you're a little concerned because Are they really principled conservatives or Liberty advocates? Or are they more so taking advantage of and I can't believe I'm saying this out loud. The popularity suddenly of being more in the Liberty slash right of center camp.

Kenny Cody  7:11  
It was it was interesting. So Herschel Walker was always from from what I've always loved his political activism. He's always been Republican. Right. I mean, he endorsed Donald Trump he has when he when he spoke at the 2020 RNC, he has always been a Republican has always, you know, leaned to the, to the rot of social conservative issues of fiscally conservative issues and things like that. So he's always been a pretty secure security conservative in those kind of terms. So I'm not really nervous about Mr. Walker, I think a lot of people's concerns were the concerns of Dr. Oz who has been a Hollywood conservative, a Hollywood doctor had a show on primetime television for so many years. So that was a little bit concerned when I heard about him at first, but looked into him. And to be quite honest, it's really strange, you know, in Pennsylvania, it's sort of a moderate state, right. I mean, Pat Toomey is the current senator. Now he is, of course retiring. And John Fetterman is a far left socialist who is running for the Democratic nomination for the Senate is more than likely going to win his lieutenant governor of Pennsylvania. And then you have Dr. Oz. And I think that he is actually going to be a very, very good senator. I'm not really sure as of yet, as I think he's the best option at this point, especially in comparison to David McCormack, who he's running against in the primary, who has been a very much of a neocon foreign policy was very liberally conservative, a very liberal, liberal, old fiscally. And he's very concerning to me. So if anything, I'd be for Dr. Oz, sort of because David McCormack is so bad at it, he wouldn't even if Dr. Oz didn't get the Trump endorsement and didn't win the primary market went up look at his campaign. It's really a blank slate campaign because the dude has always been, you know, donated to Republicans been very involved in the conservative movement in terms of fundraising and giving money to Republican candidates. While he shared some kind of questionable beliefs on television and in public because of him being in Hollywood. Very, I think Trump saw something in him that was very similar to him. So for him to kind of express are these progressively social viewpoints because he was in Hollywood and because he was on television and things like that. But Dr. Oz seems to be running one of the most Liberty Center campaigns, one of the most American first campaigns in the entire country, which is really strange to me in a sort like I said, I moderate state a swing state like Pennsylvania, who is kind of you know, I think they have a Democratic governor. And I know they're gonna do a Democratic senator besides Pat Toomey it's kind of strange, but I think that ours is the best option for that state because of the Canada he's presented himself as now. We could go in and if he wins he go to be the one the worst dinner's gonna be and then or Mitt Romney can be another Susan Collins for all that. I know. I don't know that right now. But right now what he is running on his campaign, at least his campaign or his campaign to the to the voters of Pennsylvania, he seems to be a sort of a Liberty leaning America first conservative I think that's what Pennsylvania needs right now especially to replace sort of a kind of a weak moderate, like Pat Toomey, I think that all of us would be 10 times better than Pat Toomey and he would definitely be better than David Cormac and 100 times better than John Fetterman. So to me, I think Trump made the right endorsement here. In both cases, he also endorsed Walker. The reason that I wrote this article about masculinity, conservatism is for so long, the Democrat Party has basically capitalized on the idea that Hollywood helps them, you know, fundraise Hollywood and TV and celebrities help them promote their party. And now conservatives are starting to get that wing of Hollywood, right? I like what Trump with Herschel Walker with Dr. Oz three the most recognizable names in, in the American public, you're hitting outliers, you're getting reality television, you're hitting primetime television, and you're hearing any American sports, but those three candidates with those three people that are involved in the Republican Party now. So I think we really have to look at how much we can capitalize on Republicans and people who are sort of celebrities, but are kind of ready to come out of their shell, right? Like it is, you know, Hollywood and the left is ostracized celebrities that sort of have these left leaning tendencies, like in people like Kelsey Grammer and others, that the guy like the athlete, athletes, Anthony Somato, or Antonio Sabato, whatever his name is people who have been austere Dean Cain is another one that have been awesome shots for their conservative belief systems. And now you have these two, well, well, very well known, like you said, about Herschel Walker, the Dallas Cowboys, and also they haven't been on primetime America's favorite doctor. Those two people are now running as Republicans with ours next year to name on ballots that are statewide into I guess you would call them swing states, and ones running against incumbent ones run for an open seat. And I think that that idea, and that sort of shift in the Republican Party's direction is a good thing, because you're kind of making people come out the show not ashamed to be with conservatives anymore.

Brian Nichols  11:49  
I'm, I'm cautiously optimistic, right? Because I will say, this has this moment of very Tea Party feeling like 2008 2009 feel, when you could just tell that there was a large faction Republicans who were just sick and tired. But it seems that COVID has really made it easy to be pro liberty, like they like I don't mean to make the war analogy, but like the battle lines have been drawn you you're either in favor of all the COVID mandates, the COVID regulations, the lock downs, the masking, the forced Vax, you know, all of that from the beginning, or not necessarily the beginning. But that was the camp that you ended up signing on, or the camp that, hey, this, maybe didn't have to go this way. And it didn't have to be this way, if you saw, you know, South by Southwest, canceling their events before any government mandate comes in, maybe it's showing that the private sector was going to be able to respond to this, and not need that one centralized approach to dealing with COVID. And I think there's another camp right, and it was those pretty much in the beginning who were like red, red flag, there seems to be a lot of things here that are adding up, and we need to be very, very cautious. But going back to my point, now, all of a sudden, you're finding a lot of people kind of in that two thirds camp of people who either a were a little, you know, hey, I'll do what I got to do for the, you know, the two weeks to slow the spread, you know, up until you saw what seemed to be the solution that was the vaccines, and now we're seeing that the vaccines maybe weren't as effective as they were promised or sold to be. And now we're at a point where COVID is pretty much normal, it's going to be part of our society going forward. It's much more transmissible and much, much less deadly than the original variant was back in March 2020. So the fact that we're seeing right now, people being able to kind of identify with one of those two camps primarily, I would say, it makes it a lot easier for folks like Dr. Oz or Herschel Walker. And this is the other part that blew me away. I saw a recent interview, I forget who it was that was being interviewed. But one of the top GOP pollsters out there and of the top candidates right now for 2024. So Trump, obviously Ron DeSantis, obviously, and then the other names that were shocking and kind of catch you off guard, Tim Scott, Dwayne The Rock Johnson, and this right here, Kenny goes to kind of this rise of the celebrity conservatism now, Dwayne The Rock Johnson, he endorsed Biden and Harris back in 2020. Right, Herschel Walker, to your point, endorsed Trump, and does that make somebody necessarily a strong conservative or a strong progressive or a strong squishy moderate centrist? That's not the argument I would say. But more so I guess going back to my original concern, do you see a possible issue here where now because it is sexy right to be able to go and be you know, I'm anti lock downs. I'm pro freedom hack even have the the Democrat Florida gubernatorial candidate who's basically touting that, you know, hey, now it's time to move forward. So yeah, it's over. But is there a concern that some of these celebrity So you're seeing now that this is could be an avenue to go down, can maybe pretend or I don't know, act like they are pro liberty, pro freedom, but once they get into office show their colors to be entirely opposite.

Kenny Cody  15:14  
Yeah, that's absolutely a concern. And I'm waiting to see, I think I was going to be a good example, because I'm not afraid of Walker at all. I'm not afraid to walk. I'm not afraid of Oz either. Somebody who has kind of expressed some things in the past who, you know, has never been, you know, very outspoken about political issues with AWS. I mean, he said some, you know, progressive things on television. You know, Trump tried to get views and try to get guests on his show and stuff like that, and I get it. Trump did the same thing. But I'm interested to see if he wins how he governs. That's absolutely a concern for him right now. For him. Absolutely. Right now, that piece was basically those two Pete that piece was basically an endorsement of Walker and AWS, because I want to see how they govern. And I think they don't do best cans for their states. But I would be very interested to see especially how AWS governs and I hope he I have faith that he will, you know, one thing that the one person also that's, you know, you've kind of see it fail, and it's gonna be interesting to see how the trip endorsement helps or if it helps at all is going to be you know, JD Vance in Ohio, who was who was a sort of a, obviously a minor celebrity, you know, be authoring the book, Hillbilly Elegy, which I despise. Running in Ohio, you know, the only reason he got famous because he, you know, he made millions off the Appalachians back. He's running for the Republican nomination in Ohio. So I'll be really interested to see how much that celebrity succeeds I think Oz and Walker have a much better chance to win their primaries and to win their elections than the advanced does. Vance probably wins against Tim Ryan, if he gets nominated. But it'd be interesting to see if the actual endorsement and his celebrity helps him get through the primary. But I'm gonna I'm gonna have to see how they govern. I can I can never make a definite statement on how anybody's gonna govern. You know, your your question and your somewhat pessimistic view of you know, what might happen if they are just capitalizing to further their own careers is a very, very hot concern. I completely understand it completely. I just think for now, when you have somebody like Fetterman running in Pennsylvania, and then you have Walker running against Warnock, I think either of those options, or you know, oz or a walker are better in those areas, especially if you're McCormick and you are running as a neocon traditionalist conservative campaign, which I'm traditional establishment campaign that I'm traditionally against. I'm for both of those candidates right now. But I've had plenty of disappointments. I've been politicians in my life. You know, I've been politicians, a lot of politicians for a long time. And there's my ideology progresses and my ideology kind of grows. There's been people that I've shut out politicians that I've shut up myself after I've seen them government and seen them take office. So that's a very, very high possibility that they disappoint and I wouldn't be surprised if they disappoint. But for now, I think these two candidates are ideal for their states.

Brian Nichols  18:03  
Kenny, I'll give you a real life example slash story, right? I remember a young little Brian back in 2012 2011. Somewhere in there. I was at CPAC. And there was a young up and coming Senator, you might know him, Senator Marco Rubio. And I at that point in time, he had just given the State of the Union response to Barack Obama. And in that State of the Union response, he made the infamous he reaches for the water and takes a big sip of water. Right. So playing to that, and obviously a little tongue in cheek at CPAC. He did a giveaway. And the giveaway was a water bottle for Marco Rubio. Well, guess who won? Yours? Really? I know. And I and he signed it and said stay thirsty for liberty, Marco Rubio. And fast forward 10 years now you and I sitting here and you know, me being in the position. I am talking to the 10s of 1000s of listeners. We have The Brian Nichols Show and you obviously leading County GOP and in talking to a lot of the Liberty movers and shakers in the GOP would we both say that Marco Rubio is a strong Liberty ally? No, no. Right. And I guess it's because I've had my heart broken that I I am not necessarily pessimistic. I'll push back on that for a little bit. I am more a little cautious right on on endorsing necessarily, but more so I will I will take the winds and take the the people who are going to be allied with our way of doing things uh definitely I'll take that but then let's kind of turn this because let's go to actually Marco Rubio state right now he is a US senator. We're seeing issues right now in in Florida where you have this so called the don't say gay bill right down in in Florida that was was being pushed there in Florida. And then Disney goes out and based on the push in the market from mostly liberal progressives from cities outside of Florida said you need To get involved, you need to take a stand. And what did they do? They they bent the knee, they took a stand against the bill. And now you're seeing in response, Florida getting rid of a lot of these special privileges that Disney has been taking advantage of for I think from the 60s or So somewhere in there where basically they can serve as their own self autonomous government more or less as a corporation. Now, us in Liberty topia are like, Disney had that and where can we sign up? But then you see right now it's happening with DeSantis. And the Republicans down in Florida, where they're revoking that special privilege. So you can see where there is some non Liberty actions being taken by government officials. In the name of preserving liberty. I think that's the argument. And I guess, I'm a little concerned. I see. I actually talked about this over on Tim Poole. I see why it's important for us to play offense and fight back. But are we playing a dangerous game and we talked about this with Trump and our liberal friends who screech back in 2016? Well, you're upset because Trump has been able to build up the or I'm sorry, Trump is able to use the power built up by Obama. Fast forward to 2020. The same thing happens with Biden now in the actions that were taken under the Trump administration being able to use those. So you see that, you know, okay, let's say that this is something that DeSantis does. And it's an a way that we want to be used, let's say 10 years from now, Florida, all of a sudden flips back to a blue haven for whatever reason, and now all sudden you have a Democratic governor, and they're going to use those same powers. Is that a dangerous precedent for us to be focusing on and possibly set?

Kenny Cody  21:43  
It really depends. It's very strange to me that there is this idea of a corporatist mindset that Leno libertarians disagree with right now. And I think let Disney be an example was it was a good article about ratledge Flurry that I get credit to and in retweeted. It's it's a very complicated issue. And I see the libertarian criticisms, and I also see the reasoning. It's very strange that we, the thing about the Disney Corporation is they worked on behest of the foreign government for a long time. It's the reason that DeSantis got criticized a few months ago for leaving, I forget which Bill it was. I think it may have been like a free speech bill or something like that. And he left he made sure to include or the Florida Legislature to include thing parks and things like that to get left out. So the problem with criticizing the idea of taking the special privileges away is because Disney acted on behalf of the Florida government for a long time, they were basically a branch off the Florida government, even though they were their own their own self autonomous state. They're their own county, they're their own government, things like that. The reason they were given these special privileges because of what they gave back to the federal government and gave back to the state government, right. So at what point are we really is it libertarian, to award a corporation for acting on behalf of the government? Like what there's what reason is there I mean, the tax revenue that they generate for Florida, of course, the tax revenue, the money they get back to the state is great, right? I'm sure that's good for the economy. And it's great for citizens, that's great for the state government and things like that. But we are getting special privileges to a corporation and basically give them their own self government because they're acting as a branch on behalf of the state and the federal government. So how libertarian is it really, to award a corporation for working about the very thing that we want to drink? It's a very it's a strange idea. I mean, I've seen plenty criticisms, and I understand that you know, attacking some private companies and attacking private corporations is something that all libertarians are against and overall I'm against it too. But it's really hard for me to feel sorry for a corporation that's acted on behalf of the government for so long. And now that they had a governor who is saying hey, you know, you're gonna control control my government you're going to try to get you know, when you've acted on behalf of us for so long they're gonna try to fight back or Well, we're gonna take your privileges away this the privileges that this government award you for acting on behalf of us anyway. So at what point are we really gonna say that it's anti libertarian or anti liberty when the corporation itself has basically been a branch of the very thing that mean you as libertarians and me as a Republican libertarian especially thought against every day I fought against the expansion of federal government power every day it's made the branch that Disney created allowed that expansion either of the Florida government or the federal government for so long so now their privileges are being taken away and they're in their grow they're shrinking. So really, in a sort of a sort of vacuum last idea is is shrinking the government from a lot allowing this corporation to act on behalf of the government policies anymore they were trying to do it with Bucky said with a don't say, Gabriel. So now are they try is Florida attempting to treat a branch that they really created the monster that they created themselves? So are we really going to say as anti liberty or anti libertarian when Disney was just a arm of the of the state government as it was already,

Brian Nichols  25:07  
there you go, well and Kenny, that's exactly why I want you to kind of give this perspective because this is the ultimate, the ultimate outcome of this corporatist approach to governance that we've had over the past. I think it really has reared its ugly head over the past 7080 years really since the end of 1945. World War Two where the military industrial complex really blew up and it opened the doors for a lot of this in bed with the government. Now granted, have we seen this throughout history, of course, Big Oil, I mean, that you go through the the different, the barons in the different cities and stuff who basically would run their, their own little, pseudo governments outside, using their their threat of force, which inevitably, the government will ultimately use at the end of the day as well. But this is going to be the debate and the conversation, I think we're gonna see moving forward from the economic relationship between state and Corporation. And then that we've asked the question to Kenny, how much are these organizations, truly private companies, and this conversation has been happening a lot with Twitter right now. Right, you see, who's one of the controlling interests, and one of the largest stakes at Twitter? It's a Saudi prince, right, hold on, timeout. What? And now all of a sudden, if we're seeing this be the conversation, well, Twitter is a private company, owned by governments. That's not That's not how this work. That's, it's the old GEICO commercial. It's not how this works. That's not how any of this works. But I think right now, Kenny, you know, this is definitely going to be the conversation we're going to see happening across the board. It's important for us to continue having this conversation. And I also think it's important for us to make sure we're just being cautious, right, both in terms of who we're bringing in as representative of our ideas and our principles, but also when we get into office, what are we doing with the power that has been there before? And are we going to be careful and make sure it's not used against us in the future once we set new precedents is so just things to keep in mind folks. But with that being said, Kenny, we are unfortunately already hard pressed for time. So we want folks to go ahead and make sure if they want to keep the conversation going they can easily do so. So folks where can they go ahead and find you Kenny on social media and also check out your awesome work you've been writing

Unknown Speaker  27:19  
recently? Yeah, y'all

Kenny Cody  27:21  
can follow me at Katie Cody teen on Twitter, Katie Katie on Facebook login to add me and I'll post some articles there Instagram same way I arrived at town hall and Newsmax for right now. Chairman of the recovering Republican Party you often just find me I think I've got a mug mug crack one of those kind of article archives or whatever you can go back and look at any piece that I've pretty much ever written. You know, I'm not sure I can find any of my pieces and I encourage you all to keep asking for new stuff coming

Brian Nichols  27:48  
Awesome. All right, folks. Well there's your call to action for today if you enjoy today's episode, I'll give you another call to action why not? Please go ahead and give it a share when you do please give yours truly a tag at be Nichols Liberty also by the way did you know that our shop over at proud libertarian, we're gonna get rid of a few items there and you're gonna go into the vault for the foreseeable future, including our don't nuke me, bro. Joe Biden t shirt. Make sure you grab yours before it's gone. But with that being said, it's Brian Nichols signing off. You're on The Brian Nichols Show

Unknown Speaker  28:16  
for Kenny Cody. We'll see you next week. For listening to The Brian Nichols Show. Find more episodes at the Brian Nichols show.com

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Kenny CodyProfile Photo

Kenny Cody


Chairman of the
Cocke County GOP.

Columnist for
Newsmax.com and Townhall.com.

Representative-at- Large for The Tea Party Project.

Economics & English Teacher @ Cosby High School