"So this is how liberty dies... with thunderous applause...".
(Today's episode originally aired in November 2020 and is getting a special re-air with today being May 4th!)
"So this is how liberty dies... with thunderous applause...".
I bet you've heard that phrase used when discussing politics, right? Well, like many other examples, it is just one parallel between the world of "Earthly politics" and the world of "Star Wars politics".
Joining the show to help outline just how much our world and the Star Wars world share is host of "Beltway Banthas" and political commentator Stephen Kent!
Find Stephen and Beltway Banthas: https://www.stephendkent.com/
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Brian Nichols 0:00
Instead of 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.
Brian Nichols 0:32
Happy Friday, folks, that's new, right? Different. Yeah, it's because we're going into a galaxy far, far away. Brian Nichols, you're on The Brian Nichols Show. Welcome. Yes, you said galaxy far, far away on this wild planet on the Outer Rim we called magical planet Earth. Yes, I am your humble host, Brian Nichols. You're on The Brian Nichols Show and a different episode in store for you today. Now, obviously, if you heard yesterday's episode, as if you were thankful for liberty with Joshua Smith, you know that this is a political show. But today we're taking a little bit of a different approach to politics. And that is through the lens of Star Wars. Star Wars is easily one of the top pop culture movies in not just America in the world. It I'd say in history, right? Because it transcends, you know, different nationalities, different ethnicities, different barriers that usually would would, you know, keep people apart but really allows people from all different means of thought to start to look at really different. Sometimes it's tough to discuss topics in a more objective way, because instead of talking about Republicans and Democrats or conservatives and liberals, or libertarians and socialists, we're talking about Jedi Sith, God, the Galactic Empire, the resistance the rebels, we get to really remove ourselves from these conversations and instead focus on politics and really life in a different lens, and hopefully in a more objective manner through the world of Star Wars. So Steven Kent from beltway Banthas a phenomenal podcast joins the show today. Make sure you stick around after the episode you'll be able to hear a segment from one of his amazing episodes talking about America's Deathstar with David French. So with that being said, on the show, Stephen Kent here on The Brian Nichols Show. Very nice to be with you, Brian. Very nice to have you because so we've been friends on I guess social media. So the interwebs for what four years, five years now somewhere there ballpark, I guess, and to where
dreams are made and friendships are forged. And yet,
Brian Nichols 2:29
and yeah, I was not a good friend, because I don't know how the hell I did not realize that you've been doing a podcast for just about three years now. beltway Banthas, a an overtly political Star Wars podcast, which, for longtime listeners of The Brian Nichols Show, they might be surprised to learn that I am a huge, huge Star Wars fan like like Die Hard Star Wars fan. So to all of a sudden discover a brand new world. Steven Kent beltway Banthas is again a politics Star Wars Show. And it's fascinating because as we were talking before we started recording, you're pretty much the only politic show out there that covers Star Wars. So man, how did you end up I guess number one, getting into this politics, Star Wars world and then and in your world starting out your beltway Banthas podcast.
Stephen Kent 3:15
Yeah, so the show has gone through a couple of different transformations in the close to four years that it has been running. So it was originally conceived between me and a friend of mine at church. We were just looking at some some memes from the 2015 presidential debates. And there was this moment where Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio had gone gone out each other in a debate. Marco Rubio had hit jab or something. No, it was it was Marco Rubio it hit jab and then jab hit back over Marco Rubio's attendance record in the Senate and then the next day in the news. There were there were people sharing memes of like Obi Wan and Anakin fighting because you know, Master apprentice those two have have a long interconnected career. And and someone on MSNBC it said, oh, you know, the the apprentice has killed the master or something like that. And we were like, Haha, that's so funny. You know, it'd be so interesting if like, we could talk about this more like the ways in which Star Wars, there are parallels in the real world. And so we started we started about way back as, and we just were looking at the 2016 election unfold, and just doing discussions about the politics of Star Wars, the Senate, how it works, you know, what the, what the politics of Naboo are like, and then doing some reflections on the 2016 campaign, and then my co host changed out eventually I brought on a different friend and it kind of entered like a phase of Hannity and Colmes. My friend was coming from the left and was we would basically just like debate and discuss Star Wars from left right perspectives and disagree on on the different narratives of the franchise, and then try to find middle ground. Now I'm doing it solo. And it's a completely different kind of show. Kind of like the New York Times the daily where I kind of do narrative explorations of Star Wars, and then bring on guests to join me to talk about it.
Brian Nichols 5:06
And it's been so much fun, I only got to candidly listen to the most recent episode you had with David for it, I guess it wasn't the most recent episode, but you sent it to me was right around the time that the election was happening. And that was actually kind of discussing one of the topics that I was discussing at that time on my show with a Professor Kevin Valley. And it was the idea of trust, right, and how we can build trust. And you can see a lack of trust right now, especially in the way that not only do we approach politics, but we kind of approach each other. And I think it does go when we look at Star Wars, right, and Star Wars is such a cool world to really bring our politics into it. And to kind of look at it in a microcosm from this imaginary world. Because you can get rid of the you know, the Democrat and Republican name or the libertarian name, now you're talking about the Jedi and the Sith. And it kind of gets rid of the emotion, right? So now you can just talk about these ideas, as they are ideas. So when you're looking, I guess, at Star Wars, and you obviously are coming more from the right, kind of give me your your overall overall Star Wars narrative. Where do you kind of see our political storyline maybe mirroring what we saw in the Star Wars universe?
Oh, that's such a big question. I'm not going to be able to give you a song right off the bat. But, you know, the first thing that I think you could say is that Star Wars is being told objectively, by a center left, you know, Democrat from the hippie days of the 1970s, and 80s, being George Lucas, he's a guy, he's a guy who is telling sort of a 20th century democratic tale or liberal tale about the galaxy. But the thing about art and the artist is that they're not always in alignment. And in many ways, sometimes artists create things that go beyond their intentions, and they go beyond their original interpretations. So there's a huge amount of jockeying going on in Star Wars fandom, and and people who discussed this franchise for 40 years about what these movies really mean, and what they are saying. The you know, the prequels are very on the nose. And it's criticisms of neoliberal economics. I mean, you even have general grievances. capital ship is called the invisible hand. And I had never really thought about it until just a year ago, I was like, so the invisible hand comes crashing down from space into the capital city. And 24 hours later, democracy is dissolved. falls into despotism. You know, it's, these things are not really that hard to interpret. But the thing about George Lucas's movies, and I kind of want to separate them a little bit from Disney's story is that these are movies that are against authoritarianism. They're against bullying, they are against living by your good intentions alone, to form the way in which you're going to shape the world. And you can you can look at Star Wars, liberal politics all day. But the core message of Star Wars is your good intentions are not enough. And it can still turn you into Darth Vader. So if you you can take both things. And you go look, George Lucas said this, but in actuality, like the thing that he said over here about Anakin soul, kind of negates everything. If you take anything too far, you can always fall to the dark
Brian Nichols 8:33
side. Oh, my God, that's so so spot on. And I guess I know, it was, it was a tough question, right? I just say, what's the entire political lens of Star Wars? And how do you summarize in a 30 plus minute or so podcast? But I mean, when you do look at it, we are discussing beforehand, there was a show on YouTube called generation tech, and he actually did a car not series, but it was um, looking at the philosophy of Star Wars. And he did one of the question was, you know, ease Star Wars and overly libertarian philosophy now, to your point, right, George Lucas, he's not exactly a libertarian hero by any stretch. But again, Star Wars does the very least have some some narratives that are strongly in line with the philosophy of libertarianism, or we can go to classically liberal approaches to governance, and we see that especially in the one scene in the prequels, right, I do love how you want to make sure you separate George Lucas's movies from Disney's, because I do think there's a very, very noticeable drop off not just the quality, I'd say, but also the storytelling which that's one of the main things I'd say about the original six movies is that the storytelling the narratives were all so perfectly woven together. And obviously it's because it's George Lucas is mine. It's his baby, right? But going back to the prequels and you hear that one line from from God bless or pad now mythology, this is how democracy dies with thunderous applause. And I think that that narrative is becoming more and more, I guess more more mainstream, we're seeing it not be. So. I don't know, it's so taboo to discuss the idea that democracy because it shows how quickly the idea of a true democracy for good can become the democracy for bad, right? I mean, people forget the Empire was voted on, it was a democratically decided vote. They said, Yes, we're gonna give the chancellor these emergency powers. And with that, Chancellor Palpatine, he turned it into the First Galactic Empire. And, and that right there speaks to Okay, that's great that the intentions that you had, were so pure, right, we were giving the chancellor these emergency powers to be able to protect the galaxy at a time of Oh, my gosh, a time of absolute peril, where the world is ending, like what a 2019 global pandemic that goes into 2020. I mean, COVID-19, it's funny, right? How we're seeing just these little narratives in our own lives, we're seeing right now, people that are quickly abdicating a lot of I'd say, their autonomy to these these, in some cases, governors or bureaucrats, and the you name the three letter organization, and yet we see them still applauding, you know, so enthusiastically. So what is it? Is there something? Is there something innate in all of us that we want this? We want, we have this desire almost to be protected, even though it goes against our better interests? Does that make sense?
Oh, I think you know, the answer that question, I mean, human nature, the the reason that we entered this thing called society and agreed to this thing called government, if you've read your libertarian, or classical liberal philosophy, is to be delivered from the state of nature in a place where we can be harmed. And we have this contract, this idea that we're going to give up a couple of things in exchange for not being eaten by wolves
Brian Nichols 11:45
in the middle of the night may call it a social contract.
And that's the trade off that we have all made to live in a society. So yes, we do want to be safe. And that is the thing that we have government for, to protect us from Raiders and from the Iranians. I don't know, just coming out of nowhere and dropping bombs on us for fun, like this is this is why we're here. But I think with Star Wars, like the thing that you get with its defense of democracy, or its ideas about how you lose democracy, are really interesting, because the Republic is a really ugly democracy. It's this thing that is not functional that it's been running for exactly 1000 years actually found out the other day, like when when Palpatine said he, he will not let this republic that has stood for 1000 years, you know, fall into this separatist crisis. You actually mean literally, it was 1000 years on the dot. And that was when it fell apart. And you basically have this republic that is falling away to corporatism it has fallen away to bureaucracy, and it's not working for anybody. And Anakin is frustrated by that he's he has that moment in episode two, where he's hanging out with Padma in the field getting this flirtation on. Yeah, and you know, those AI people should get together and they should, they should discuss the issues and decide what's in the best interests of all the people. And then they should take action. She goes, Well, that's what we do. This is this is already what happens if the problem is that everyone doesn't agree. Well, he says, then they should be made to. And frankly, yeah, frankly, this is this is the sentiment of George Lucas, like this is the sentiment of the average person watching politics happen, who believes that you should just be able to get into a room and make things happen and agree, but there is no such thing as the common good. And Anakin wishes that there was, and George Lucas has said over and over and over again, that democracies are not taken, they are given away, and he has discussed how he himself like feels the need, and the inherent good in the idea of the benevolent despot, he gave this interview leading up to the Phantom Menace where he had endorsed the idea of the benevolent dictatorship. And that that points to Anakin like he wrote himself into that character, because that's honestly like, that's all of us. We all kind of wish, wish you had some benevolent leader, but you jobs like we could elect Matt Kibby, the President tomorrow, and then Matt Kibby, would eventually go too far. That's just what always happens. That's what humans do. We love you that. That's that's the point. Right?
Brian Nichols 14:26
Yeah. Well, and I guess that would, that would then lead to another very interesting little tidbit in Star Wars, right. And that is also the conflict not just between the different forms of governance and the bureaucracies that also are there with it. But then you add in this whole other religious element, right now you have the Jedi and the Sith. And I almost see that kind of being like the it's a gross analogy, but like almost like our liberal versus conservative or progressive versus, you know, libertarian or studious versus anarchist mentality or are it is it really is because I think we're seeing people, they're starting to almost abdicate this, this or not abdicate but really replace this this sense of our true religion with their political selves. And you see that when we go to the ballot box, it's no longer you're voting for a particular candidate, you're in some cases voting to protect yourself, you're voting to protect your identity. And you want to make that that comparison to the Jedi, the Jedi were getting to the point where they were so paranoid of making sure that they were protecting the Jedi Order that they became blind to the very state near the very thing they are looking to counter against. And that is the rise of the Sith coming back with in episode one The Phantom Menace you have
heard I actually could actually like push into this, please. Yes, please. Because why is it and this is something that I'm writing, I'm working on this chapter right now in my book. It's called How the force can fix the world. It's going to be coming out next next year from Hachette and Center Street publishing. Oh, nice. And I'm working on this chapter right now about the balance of the force, the Jedi and the Sith. Why is it Brian, that the Jedi thought restoring balance to the force through the chosen one meant the annihilation of the Sith the final destruction of their enemy? Isn't that bizarre? Does that make sense to you?
Brian Nichols 16:22
It's bizarre, because we see that even in today, you have to either own the LIBS Right? Or you have to go against you get to go against the fascists, right? We know. That's why we have Antifa it's because it's no longer I think, a sense of trying to actually create a balance but rather to create dominance, right, because the other sides, they and I think a lot of this comes from Steven, I'd love to hear your perspective on this is we no longer talk to each other. Um, you know, I was actually listening to Dave Smith on part of the problem this morning. And he was he was going through there was um, Hasan piker, he had a overview of Dave, when Dave was on Joe Rogan. And there's one part that Dave said that was actually very, very interesting. And I, I had to rewind it to listen to it. He said, You know, there's one component and that's a lot of libertarians, conservatives. We've done this mental gymnastic game where we've really tried to steal man, the arguments of our philosophical opponents. And if you were to ask, you know, I'd say from some of our friends on the left to say, what is it that I believe they have no idea, no idea whatsoever? And I'd say that's almost due entirely to the fact that we have so isolate ourselves into our little silos. And you want to look no further than the real me physical silo that the Jedi put the Jedi Temple. It was their their bubble, and you watch the Jedi go out into the public. And there was this like, oh, the Jedi like there was this mystique around them. A lot of I think was due to the mysteriousness because people didn't really know who they were. And that's why it was so easy for Palpatine when they execute order 66. To make the Jedi look like the bad guy. These religious zealots tried to overthrow the government.
And he spent years laying the groundwork for that the whole plot was to not just alienate them, but to turn public opinion against them. If you watch the Clone Wars animated series, there are numerous scenes throughout this animated series featuring protests outside the Jedi Temple where people believe them to be warmongers, and people believe the Jedi to be the ones instigating this war with the separatists. A lot of people living on Corizon, for example, just want the people the separatists to secede and go away like they don't want a war to keep them in the Republic. That's not what they want, but they think the Jedi are forcing it. And earlier on in our conversation, we were talking about that YouTube video where someone is like is Star Wars a libertarian tale? And that goes exactly to what you're saying, which is we all view ourselves as as good guys that we all view ourselves as having good unkind ideas. But if you ask like liberal or progressive really is the word I prefer to use a progressive like what is it Libertarians believe they go oh, well, they want people to die in the streets and they want to kill people. That's that's just not reality. But going back to like the Sith and the Jedi, there's this this prophecy where they want to eliminate the Sith who are the their exact opposites you have like the end of the Yang, right? They they're supposed to go together. They're supposed to be balances of each other light and dark, powerful light, powerful dark, like Luke says in the last Jedi, and they balance each other. So it never really made sense that the Jedi thought that getting rid of the Sith was the ultimate goal of balance. And then in the end, it turns out that the force had a different plan, and it was that the Jedi had become too powerful. The Jedi had created an imbalance in the universe where they were using the force and tying it into their support of the Galactic Republic. And it had gotten out of hand as far as the cosmic forces saw it Palpatine was a balancing force there ended up by the end of Episode Three. And there were some survivors, some struggling Jedi, but two primary Jedi, and two primary Sith, Yoda and Obi Wan, Darth Vader and Palpatine balance. It's amazing how like the ledger is sort of balanced just in the course of one movie. And the force had different plans in the Jedi did, it's important to remember that you're not always the good guy, even if you think you are, and also that you have to create space for your opponents to exist. You said it perfectly domination. Domination is not the goal of the American republic. coexistence is
Brian Nichols 20:38
E Pluribus Unum from one many. Right. And I mean, there is I think there's a problem in the way some people look at that nowadays, right? It's no longer trying to look at the individual differences and to say, hey, you bring value with those differences. It's to say, well, your differences aren't the same as mine, therefore, we need to get rid of those differences or ignore those differences, shut shame, those differences. And I think, you know, there's actually going back to some shows I was listening to actually it was Shapiro today. And we're recording here on the 18th. He was mentioning how there was, there is a mentality, I would say, of this, this domination on the left, that is prevalent in I would say the mainstream culture. And part of it, I think, is it is being manifested in the way you see the left, especially the more as a rabid left base of the progressive movement, that they are taking over the narrative, right? And to see how quickly that that mentality can take over a narrative, right? And we see that with the Jedi, I would say to this mentality of, you know, once the Sith were gone after the initial, you know, the Jedi and Sith Wars back before the formation of the Old Republic days, right, that the Jedi, then they were pretty much the rulers, and that opened up that inevitable chasm that that vacuum almost for that alternative to come in. And we see that alternative it manifests and I'd say what we're seeing right now in the Trump movement, right, that's kind of the the manifestation on the right of this vacuum that was opened up. So let's kind of flip it Stephen to the other side. So you and I'm not comparing obviously the Sith to the Trump's, I can easily hear some folks are gonna go wild and crazy for that. But like if we're gonna look at the way that the pendulum does swing, what if we were to look at like Star Wars, right and make that comparison? Where do you think that that initial vacuum, if you will, opened up in our politics, as it did for the Sith, you know, when eventually they did come back and ultimately take out the Jedi to make that inevitable? Once again?
Yeah, I'm not sure if I can make the perfect analogy. But where my mind was going, as you asked that was to the flashpoint of the filling of initial seats on the Supreme Court. And it started with Gorsuch. And then it really, really, really inflamed in the Kavanaugh hearings, like the Supreme Court has been the place where our politics have gotten the most radical and the most dangerous and possibly anti democratic, where instead of viewing the Supreme Court, as a place where the law is understood, and defended and read as it is, it has become hyper politicized. And it has gotten hyper politicized to the point that a completely good and normal guy like Brett Kavanaugh, like runs into a complete smear campaign against his entire life and reputation, just so that Democrats don't possibly lose their majority on the court and Republicans, like we have to be honest here, debased themselves, with not filling the Merrick Garland denomination, or at least having a hearing on it. I want to be like crystal clear on it here. Not having a hearing on Merrick Garland was a mistake if you want to actually have a democratic republic where we have a system and we have a way of doing things. We call it our democratic norms. Right? When they did that, and said, Well, we're not going to hold a hearing and an election year we need to let the people decide who's going to be president and then we'll do a hearing. Surely we all knew that this was going to eventually come back to haunt them and make them look out. Look to be hypocrites, and here we are in 2020 Amy Amy Coney Barrett, they they build the seat and they pretended like they never, never said that about Merrick Garland or acted like it was different. And that's not good. And that's not good for the reason that you basically are signaling. We're not playing by a set of rules or understandings anymore. This is war. And yes, politics is war. But there's only so long that you can stay in that state of complete armament that things can remain healthy. Eventually it will it will fall into into disorder and chaos. It's just a matter of time. So I think that that's kind of where like the sea change happened in our politics and the SCOTUS wars are the place where we are losing the most balance in our politics. I don't know what we're going to do to be able to de escalate. But David French on my most recent episode of beltway Banthas, where we were talking about balancing the force, we talked about federalism. And we talked about making space for everybody to live in states where they can live out the vision of progressivism, or live out the vision of libertarianism or conservatism in the way that the majority of their people see fit. I think that might be our only way forward.
Brian Nichols 25:36
So what can we look at when we look at Star Wars and kind of predict the future, right? Because we've been able to kind of go back and this is the Nostradamus effect, right? We can say, look, look at all the things that Star Wars predicted. And it's obviously easy to go back, and it's happened now. So I'm going to ask you, Steven, I need you to put your Nostradamus hat on, do we get a Death Star? Does the United States have a Death Star? I mean, we do have a new, I guess, several 1000 nukes that we could use as our death star. But I mean, is there something in Star Wars that we need to be concerned about that we could maybe take for, you know, as a lesson to learn in advance versus unfortunately, as we've been learning, as it happens in a reaction,
there's this thing in the you see it in the original Star Wars movie, and you don't have a name for it until recently, and kind of like the books have filled in the gaps. But Tarkin, Grand Moff Tarkin and the Death Star project was all part of this idea called the Tarkin Doctrine, where you are going to unite the Galaxy through fear of force from a an empire, right? So you are going to keep all the star systems in line by making sure that they were afraid to ever reenact a separatist crisis, like the separate the separatist crisis is what gave you the Empire. And so Tarkin had this idea that we're going to use the Deathstar to make people cower in fear against us and they're going to submit to our rule, and then the new legitimacy of this regime. My question to you and everyone listening is did that happen? Did the Deathstar scare the Galaxy into submission? No, it didn't. It united the rebellion. The rebellion was like this fractious group of just sort of, of radicals who wanted to walk back the Empire returned to the days of the Republic, but they all hated each other. And they also didn't have very much common cause you had this huge rift between the militants like Sagar era, and the more moderates the Hillary Clinton's if you will. I can't believe them calling Hillary Clinton to moderate but we need to be honest, she she kinda was like Mon Mothma. And it united all those factions and was like, Oh, well, we actually don't get serious about fighting the Empire, we will all die. And we do have a thing in our politics, that is a Death Star. And it isn't all your audience knows this. It's the centralized power of Washington DC, to crack down and destroy the livelihoods of everyday Americans. I mean, any president can come in at any time, Joe Biden's about to get started in in January. And he can change the tax rates immediately put an executive orders through the EPA to completely change environmental regulations and destroy the livelihoods of businesses around the country. He can immediately deploy armies around the world for whatever war the Democrats decide that they find to be moral at any given time, and ruin the lives of families abroad and American families. The power of the presidency in Washington DC is out of control. And it is an existential threat to everybody's lives in America to have lives of meaning and purpose that that means something to them in their community. So yeah, like our small government minds here listening on the show, like we all understand that. But the problem is that we're not living it. We all just want control the Deathstar. We all want control the Deathstar to to aim it at our opponents. And we got to blow it up. Like that's what has to happen. And the only way that that can happen is a return to like we said earlier, are truly Federalist system. And that is not a system where the Bill of Rights is negotiable in Georgia and South Carolina and the Jim Crow South. That is a that is a country where we all understand and respect the Bill of Rights and honor, you know, California's right to have crazy open, you know, sanctuary city laws, and we also respect the idea that Arizona can can be pretty stern on immigration themselves, stuff like that.
Brian Nichols 29:41
Well, that means we had to have a Jedi moment right. So for our nerdy Star Wars friends, that's when they they tested the Deathstar on Jeddah and I think maybe the lock downs maybe were the tests on Jetta that are waking some people up to saying Hold on. Maybe we need to like start to scale some things back and especially some of the states that I would say or maybe you think
maybe I mean, I mean, maybe I don't know like the Governor Cuomo has certainly, like lost a lot of his legitimacy with New Yorkers. But the federal government didn't do like that much of a hard crackdown, I think during during the COVID lock downs like it's true, Donald Trump was pretty hands off. And honestly, I think that was good.
Brian Nichols 30:21
When they say, Oh, absolutely good, I guess maybe is more from the trust of the government. So I think more of an I've actually used this on what I'm talking about my progressive friends is, you know, do you want a system where Donald Trump and his FDA are deciding how our American health response is going to be to the COVID-19 crisis, the COVID 20, or as a new movie? songbird, the COVID 23 which looks horrifying, by the way, we haven't seen that trailer yet. My God, like nightmare fuel, but like that is something I think they were suddenly empathetic to they're like, I don't know if I want to have you know, Trump's you know, FDA and Trump's CDC telling us you know, that masks don't don't work, do work do work.
I'm a wake up moment for the left. I absolutely. But the problem is, is short term memory loss, like, like they went through this with George Bush, here. And here we are, again, like George Lucas, like, again, the prequels were a statement against many of the things that you saw happen in the George Bush years the Patriot Act, the war on terror, this entire idea that like you get a desk bot based off a phony war. That's a trading freedom for security. Like we've been here before, but what the left forgets?
Brian Nichols 31:34
Yeah, it's sad when the left forgets Well, I'm hoping that the good stories, right that we see like Star Wars and you know what's funny, and this is I noticed this as my wife and I have been rewatching movies series. We rewatched Harry Potter, and we do we Okay, so we were watching all the Phoenix, right? And I was like, Order of the Phoenix is an overtly pro School Choice Movie. You have, you have government, you have government, Dolores Umbridge come in, as the overseer of this, the private school telling them what they can and cannot teach their kids. And I was like this, this is Oh my god, this is horrifying. But like at the same point in time. It's a perfect. It's a perfect, like representation of our ideas. And I think we need and I'd say as libertarians, conservative Aryans, conservatives, Republicans wherever you want to be, I don't care if you're pro liberty, you're my friend. Like we need to be better storytellers. And we need to be able to not just convey our our messaging in stories, but also to kind of show value, right? We have to be able to sell liberty and sell these ideas to people in ways that are easy for them to take away and understand. I mean, and we brought them up earlier, right? He's not going to be a stiff but Matt Kibby. He's doing amazing work at free the people because he's helping tell stories. Look what he did with Thomas Massie. It doesn't end with this right. Perfect example, I shared the Thomas Massie off the grid documentary with like five of my lefty friends. And they had no idea that Thomas Massie was a Republican. And it was amazing, because they were like, oh, yeah, he's like fighting climate change. Like he did you know, living sustainable life and like, Yeah, and he's a GOP, Libertarian, Republican. How about that? And they're like, what? And that's what we have to do, we have to tell stories and show what, listen, just be like an R next to my name, or an L or a D, I'm still a person, I still have things that make me unique. And actually, I think we're gonna find a lot of the things that we think we disagree on, we actually agree on. And in this case, we can use things like Star Wars to help tell those stories. So I encourage my audience to head over to beltway Banthas. Steven can last word here, if folks wanted to get to learn more about beltway Banthas. And obviously, all the great work that you're doing over there. I mean, we could go on for hours. I really want to and I'm sure we're going to have you on a couple more times just to talk about this in general, because Star Wars is one of my favorite topics. But where can folks go ahead? Obviously, they're smart fellow beltway Banthas. But what can they expect when they go over to the beltway? Banthas? Yeah, well,
we're gonna be doing regular monthly episodes and explorations of the themes of Star Wars that could make the world a better place if we actually applied the virtues of Star Wars to our lives. How the force can fix the world is my upcoming book with Hachette publishing, that's going to be out in 2021. And the podcast for the next year is going to be doing sort of a chapter by chapter exploration of the themes of humility, that matter in Star Wars, the themes of empathy, of leadership of courage, these things that everybody believes in, but if you strip politics and partisan labels out of it, we're able to actually agree and understand. I'm doing this chapter right now on on balance. And just so much of what we've talked about, like Jedi Sith, light side, dark side, it's framing things in camps and in partisan ways that we that we lose sight of who won another arm and the value in each other's ideas, and beltway Banthas is where we actually talk about this. Every episode in an open way. We get nerdy, we get political and we all walk away happy at the end of the day. A and having a good time so you can subscribe to beltway Banthas and follow me at Stephen underscore Kent eight nine to learn more about that
Brian Nichols 35:07
and you know what how about this because I am a huge dude like that the production value you put into the show is I mean I cannot I cannot praise you enough A plus plus plus, I'm going to include the the little segment there from that David French episode because it was absolutely fantastic. So folks Fast Forward well don't fast forward, listen to the listen to my outro but then as you get to the end after we say goodbye, make sure you stick around for a couple of minutes then we're gonna go ahead and play a little excerpt for it from Stephens amazing, amazing podcast beltway Banthas. Steven Ken, thank you so much for joining The Brian Nichols Show.
Brian it was great metaphors to be with you a quick read from our new
Brian Nichols 35:41
sponsor and that is the ex Pat money show now if you are a longtime listener or even a relatively new listener here on The Brian Nichols Show then you remember our good friend McHale thorup from the expat money show. What an episode to learn that just because you were born in one country doesn't mean that you have to pay your taxes there forever to do your banking there and have your investments there. Raise your family there even have your companies were just there learn there get your kids educated there or even live your life there. How about that you can go ahead and live your life wherever it is you see fit because the expat money show which is hosted by our friend McHale Thorpe originally started as a podcast, but it has grown to a worldwide community of entrepreneurs who are living international location independent lifestyles. McHale is focused on helping you live in international life by looking at problems through the lens of Global Solutions. In this day and age. There is no reason you should let borders get in the way of having the best the world has to offer so The Brian Nichols Show audience head over to the expat money show today. Give McKell a subscribe a fantastic show and tell him the Brian Nichols sent you already folks that's gonna wrap up my conversation with Steven Kent as we Yes are returning from hyperspace out of the Karelian system. Yes, it was a great conversation with Steven Kent about Star Wars in about yes how it does pertain to our world here on planet earth a great conversation so do me a favor please if you if you have not yet checked out beltway Banthas make sure you go ahead check it out. And also again stay a little bit after the the outro here we have a nice little segment from that awesome conversation that Stephen has with David French about America's Deathstar. So again, beltway Banthas I'll include the link to beltway Banthas in the show notes so please go ahead support Steven give me a follow over on social media and also go ahead and get his amazing podcast a subscribe and while you're there, go ahead and give us a subscribe over on The Brian Nichols Show Apple podcasts give us a five star rating and review if you'd be so kinda while you're there. Also go ahead take a screenshot of said five star rating and review email me Brian at Brian Nichols show.com Because then you will be entered into our amazing Eagles giveaway for some awesome freeze gel topical freeze gel behind you is fantastic. I say I say topical to make sure you know you can't do what Trump did with the the UV rays you can't you can't eat the Lysol. So no you cannot eat the topical freeze gel. It'd be like eating Biofreeze with CBD not not a good combination. But it is a great combination. If you're looking to alleviate or at the very least manage some of the pain that I know all of us the aches and pains we have through natural life and just old injuries and stuff as they pop up equals Tropical Freeze gel is absolutely the best way to go. So make sure you go ahead send that five star rating review you can be entered into that equals topical freeze gel giveaway. And also if you have not had the chance yet, go ahead just check out evils in general, fantastic company fantastic product makes awesome stocking stuffers, by the way, so use code TBS at checkout, and you'll get a nice little discount applied as well at checkout. So guys, with that being said, if you have not had the chance yet, follow us on social media at V Nichols liberty, twitter, facebook minds.com. And yes, parlor.com we'll be doing more work at parlor because obviously it's apparent. Twitter and Facebook are not going to be really friends for alternative means of thinking going into the future. So if you're looking to support independent media, like here at The Brian Nichols Show where we're libertarians network, make sure you go ahead and support us over on independent social media. So in this case, parlor, mines.com follow me and be Nichols. Liberty. All right, heading into next week, folks, we have of course, three phenomenal episodes airing on Monday is my conversation we're gonna be talking about sales. That's right, it's actually going to be my appearance over on taxation is fifth that is hosted by Dan taxation is theft Berman, and how we make the sale to folks who are outside of our libertarian spheres of influence. They want to hear a different message or maybe they don't want to hear a different message how we go ahead approach sales from a solutions based perspective. So I'll be airing that episode a fantastic conversation with Dan on Monday on Wednesday we're gonna be talking about psychedelics strap in Gaurav Dubay he is joining me he is from micro dose dot buzz he He is the content director and he is going to be helping break down some of the the myths that are out there and dispel some of the misconceptions of the stigma presented when we're discussing various psychedelics and actually, we're going to be discussing how psychedelics have been used to actually help with repairing brain damage due to PTSD and other various mental health issues as well. So it's gonna be it's a fantastic conversation and truly, very enlightening for someone like me. I've never even really dug into that kind of world. So I know for a lot of you folks out there who are like, teach me what it means to discuss psychedelics. This is gonna be a great intro episode there. And then on Friday, yes, we are having our conversation with the oh one and only Cliff Maloney. He is returning to the show. Yes, from Young Americans for Liberty. He has been doing great work over at y'all and discussing some of the wins that Young Americans for Liberty had as they went forward here in the 2020 election and looking ahead to 2022 and beyond. So guys, three fantastic episodes to look forward to as we head into next week. So make sure you hit that subscribe button if you have not yet already. But with that being said, stick around after the episode hear that fantastic segment from beltway Banthas. But with that being said, it's Brian Nichols signing off. You're on The Brian Nichols Show for Steve and Ken. We'll see you next week. Thanks for listening to The Brian Nichols Show. Find more episodes at the Brian Nichols show.com.
Star Wars sort of has a thing with civil war. It's the main feature of not one, not two, but kind of three sets of Star Wars trilogies totaling nine movies where the backdrop is civil discord. Now recent films episode seven and nine. They're a little different nature given the roots of the first order, but we know their political foundations originate within the New Republic centrist party who really longed for the old days of empire, you know, without all the awfulness of it. Clearly there make the Galaxy great again, Vision worked out really well. Rip, Hosni and prime. Now episodes four through six the original trilogy are really about a civil war in the purest sense. You have one united society known as the Galactic Empire, formerly the Republic made up of 1000s of different worlds, and it breaks out into really disorganized conflict, the Rebel Alliance made up of a host of formally powerful and well connected Republic. dignitaries and intellectuals led a massive grassroots movement and insurrectionist campaign against the Empire, the Rebel Alliance or alliance to restore the Republic or the rebellion, whatever you want to call it, was a banner organization for a collective of dissidents, aiming to tear down the Empire and reinstalled democratic government. It would pit brother against brother, fathers against their daughters, mothers against sons and lover against lover Star Wars has given us a lot of House Divided stories between their books and films. Now, based on your politics, your preferences for order, your biases or your financial incentives, participation in the Galactic Civil War, was presented in the Star Wars films as obvious. It wasn't. You could go about your life and mind your own business like Jenner so said about seeing Imperial flags fly,
you can stand to see the imperial flag, rain across the galaxy. It's not a problem if you don't.
Well, maybe Luke Skywalker is hometown buddy big star collider believed that the Empire was going to be coming for everything. I think rightfully so. Every piece of private property every liberty, industry and item of value would be absorbed eventually, for the greater glory of the Empire. Then you had the Death Star, the rallying point for all fence sitters. The Deathstar project changed the stakes to a life or death engagement for everybody. It made the threats to life and liberty plain as day any attack made by the rebels against this station would be a useless gesture, no matter what technical data they've obtained. This station is now the ultimate power in the universe.
I suggest we use it,
don't I want to talk to you today about our American Death Star problem. There's a great new book out right now by David French, formerly the National Review, and now he's senior editor at The despatch fringe served in the armed forces in Iraq, and is also one of the most prolific First Amendment lawyers in the country. He has sued a ton of institutions in the US for abridgement of freedom of speech, religion, association, you name it, and his new book is titled divided we fall America's secession threat and how to restore our nation. It's about the urgency that he feels for American politics, to have its temperature calmed down a little bit to de escalate our national conflicts. He feels that polarization media echo chambers and increasing physical clustering of like minded peoples nationwide. That means living by people who are similar to you and see the world the same way that you do. He feels like this clustering of like minded people nationwide. It has put us on a path toward ruin. And I happen to agree with him. In some ways, it is the logical conclusion of the intense left right divide. That is if it is allowed to continue to intensify, French does not predict civil war, but warns of the very real possibility of new age secessionist movements led by clusters of states who want to go their own way, because states and localities increasingly don't feel free to chart their own destinies and build communities that align with the majority of their people's values. That is true for majorities of Texans and Arizonans. That's true for majorities of Californians in New Yorkers. Federal power, and the pursuit by Republicans and Democrats have the ability to dominate their opponents is making our differences more frighteningly clear. And the danger we feel from our ideological opposites is more pressing all the time. Every year it gets higher and higher. We lack balance, sort of, I think, like how the Jedi in the prequel trilogy they spoke of a prophecy of a chosen one that would bring balance to the Force and destroy the Sith
is to Oh, he is the church. You must see it.
Clouded this boy's future is I've been wondering lately, how the Jedi in their infinite wisdom in their hundreds to 1000s of members right? Came to view the annihilation of their dark side counterparts as quote balance
Brian Nichols 46:40
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