July 5, 2022

538: Beware of Common Good Conservatives! - Why 'Common Good' Conservatism Is a Recipe for Failure

It's not the libertarians who are failing, but rather, the failed policies of the common good conservative.

Common good conservatives argue that America’s economic and cultural problems are rooted in libertarianism. They believe the Republican Party and the conservative movement has failed to address the needs of the American people because they have “outsourced” their economic policy to libertarians.


Today, Charles Sauer (President of The Market Institute) joins the program and makes his case how it's not the libertarians who are failing, but rather, the failed policies of the common good conservatives like Josh Hawley, Tom Cotton, and JD Vance.


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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. Trying to sit here on The Brian Nichols Show and running a ton of course, another fun filled episode. Hi, man as always your vote yes, we're gonna talk about the dangers of common good, conservatism strapping. But before we get there, I want to go ahead and give a shout out to today's sponsor and that is the one the only expat money show. Yes, you know Him and love Him, head over to Brian Nichols show.com. Forward slash expat and you can join our good friend that Teleflora. Why? Because you want to make sure you can protect your money that you worked so hard to earn from those ambulance chasing lawyers, nefarious creditors, and of course those greedy unjust governments. I mentioned him our good friend McHale Thorpe says I help people just like you invest internationally secure second passports and residencies, eliminate your tax bill and take advantage of offshore structures so you can travel the world freely and never have to worry about money again and over at the expat money podcast. Not only are you going to hear from our good friend of California, but he has on hundreds of amazing experts who are talking about yes, the idea of expatriation and this will be a great precursor by the way, folks as you get ready for the expat money summit taking place November 7 through November 11. Five days 30 expert speakers and oh by the way that I tell you it's free so head over to the Brian Nichols show.com forward slash expat get your free tickets today. All right, folks. So we talked about it in the intro. Common Good conservatism? Yes, it is, in fact there to rear its ugly head and a lot of us libertarians out there have been fighting the good fight trying to stand against it for quite a while. But we've seen some newcomers in the political sphere, who are starting to echo more of the common good, conservative approach and talking about that today and maybe staying a little bit against it. Charles Sauer from the Market Institute, welcome The Brian Nichols Show.

Charles Sauer  2:13  
Thanks for having me on.

Brian Nichols  2:14  
Absolutely, Charles. Looking forward to this conversation because you wrote a banger over at Real Clear markets. I'm gonna go ahead and share my screen here for the YouTube watchers. They can go ahead and check it out as well. But it's over like I said over real clear markets JD Vance. His common good. Conservatism is a recipe for disaster. Now, Charles, before we actually dig in to the the meat and potatoes of your article, I think it is something that a lot of our audience is familiar with this idea of the folks like the JD Vance is the Tucker Carlson's the Josh Hall, he's the you go through the list of those more squishy, common good do good, common good conservatism that you've been mentioning here in the article. So this is something we've been talking about here on The Brian Nichols Show quite a bit. So let's talk about this. JD Matz, he's the the up and coming Starlight in Ohio, Trump's endorsed him. Yeah, he's he's fighting for this common good conservatism. Talk to us. What is common good conservatism? And why are you weary about that in a world of what Trump is a Magga, and all that fun stuff taking place?

Charles Sauer  3:16  
Well, I can tell you first off, it's just nice to be talking about it with somebody who understands from the outset, that this is something to be scared of, or something to at least be aware of, and understand the problems that are associated with it. So common good conservatism is really just the newest innovation of big government conservatism. It's conservatives that don't embrace limited government, they embrace a parental government, somebody who wants to tell us what to do. They want to use government to try to influence our lives in what they consider a moral way. And that's how they personally justify the changes. But the fact is, is what they end up endorsing is a big government approach from A to Z. And that's the problem that we see in it. But the issue is, and is the education involved to really turn the tide on this, because it follows populism. So you see something like a big tech or Facebook, they aren't showing you the articles you want to see as often as you want to see them. And so they become the enemies. And so politicians pick up on this, like Holly, as you mentioned, has been fighting Google and Facebook now for years and going after them. And that's because his voters tend to agree with him that they aren't seeing the arguments that they want to see on Facebook, maybe they're not winning enough arguments on Facebook. And so they think government should come in and control Facebook in a way that of course, they should win their arguments because they have the moral side of the fight on their side, and therefore they should be winning these arguments. Well, we all know that that's not the that's not The way it works. We also know that if the market wasn't doing the right thing that an entrepreneur would enter in and help fix it for them. But these common good conservatives don't agree with that. And the reason I went after JD Vance, is because if we peel back the onion and go through time, he's somebody that has poked at common good conservatism throughout his career. And he hasn't done it necessarily, in recent years. But he didn't do it. When it came to the war with Russia with the Ukraine war with Russia, he pointed out that this probably isn't something that we should be putting single mothers on the front line at, and questioned whether we should be dealing with Russia at all, which is a very libertarian talking point. But he just doesn't follow that through the rest of his argument. So I think JD Vance is somebody that we need to watch out for. He understands libertarianism, and he goes the other way, almost on purpose. He wrote

Brian Nichols  5:55  
an article in 2019, called Beyond libertarianism. So he absolutely knows what libertarianism is, as a matter of fact, and this is something I think a lot of us folks, I identify myself more on the politically leaning right, if you will, maybe more socially conservative, right. But I myself, at the end of the day, I'm a libertarian, I believe in the ideas of don't hurt people don't take their stuff so long, right, as we're not going ahead and then using the government to go ahead and fringe our views on somebody else. So you look at someone like JD Vance, and we mentioned the others that the Josh hogs of the world really a lot the conservative populace that you mentioned. And you do see that they look at us libertarians, like we have foreheads because we are so consistent in our libertarian economic beliefs and principles. Because at the end of the day, just like the principles that we agree with our friends on the right with regards to free speech, Second Amendment privacy, we hold these principles to be consistent. And that I think, is what really drives those those common good conservatives crazy with us libertarians is because they they can often win the consistency battle, when you're arguing with folks on the left, it's a lot easier to go after the purple hair lady who's screeching on the corner with a you know, a sign saying you scream your abortion versus going against the person making a sound rational, not even an argument just kind of a pitch to your general person saying yeah, maybe we should look at economics the same way and that common sense approach the principled approach that our friends on the right do when they talk about any other issue whether again, going back through free speech, Second Amendment, you name them. We just had a whole conversation about the 10th Amendment here with the issue of Roe v. Wade. So you see, there isn't an appreciation for the principles. Up until a certain point, right, it's almost like I was talking about our friends on the Democratic Left. They love democracy until they don't. So we're seeing this also with a lot of the the common good conservatives, can you dig a little bit more in terms of what you're seeing for that pushback?

Charles Sauer  7:46  
So I love I love pointing out how their solutions to problems that we see how common good conservatives tend to solve problems with more government, just like the left tends to solve problems. So it's this idea that the government can come to save us, which is really wild to me about how far we've moved away from even Reagan, who honestly, if we look back wasn't like the super conservative, but he did tend to always come up with small government solutions or ideas unless it was military. But when it came to government, the way that he talked about it with small government, the government is not here to help you. And these new common good conservatives don't talk about it that way. So as an example, I mentioned this before, but when we talk about Josh Hawley, and Ted Cruz in their attacks on Google and Facebook, they're really looking to use antitrust laws, to not just hurt these companies or not just change the companies for what they want. But they're actually looking at using antitrust laws to hurt the companies themselves. So like, Josh Hawley, and Ted Cruz, believe that Amazon isn't selling some some right propaganda, or that Google is editing search, the search displays in the search, their search engine showing more left leaning ideas in Facebook isn't allowing people on the right to post stories. And so instead of just saying, Look, Facebook or Google, you need to allow all of all of the search queries to show up, which would be an awful idea. But instead of doing that, they're also looking further and and saying, all right, you can't do mergers. You can't sell preference, your products, you can't do these things. You can't provide the products in a way that you want to provide them because people like that. So not only are they going to try to force these companies to show a message that they support, or they think is moral, but they're also trying to use the law just to take a baseball bat to the companies. And look, I don't care what you think about Google. I don't care what you think of Amazon. They're all big companies, they can take care of themselves. doesn't matter. But at the end of the day, if you write regulations that affect the way that big businesses can run their own business, you end up stopping the small guy from becoming the next Google because you put in this level of regulation in there, that just means that investors don't want to invest in you. And they don't want to take you over that hump, because it's expensive. And it's and it has high liability, your chances of failure are high, especially when Google or Amazon or Twitter already has this market share. So what we see are these problems that are introduced by more regulations. And so these guys on the right, are not only trying to solve their own problems, but they're holding a grudge against that. And that's what we see with all big government politicians. And that's why it's really scary from the right and again, JD Vance is just the newest Star. But as you pointed out, Holly's big Ted Cruz, I don't really find as much of a problem because he tends to just go from bad idea to bad idea. So he'll be on to something on the next news cycle. But Josh Hawley isn't the issue. The fact that Grassley is with him from Iowa, and the fact that JD Vance, this new star is with them. And of course, Donald Trump has been there for quite a few years as well.

Brian Nichols  11:16  
Yeah, there's a lot behind the scenes that makes this kind of tick. But I mean, unintended consequences. I was surprising, right? That we in the liberty movement, talk about this, literally, everywhere we see issues, almost nine, I say nine times out of 1010 times out of 10, the issue that we're talking about has inevitably been caused by some due good government problem that was a policy rather to solve a problem from yesteryear. And you see, to your point, it takes 10 years, five years, and now with just how fast things are going and how fast technology is advancing. The problems that governments trying to solve, inevitably end up being solved by technology just exponentially faster. But then and this is the part I've noticed, Charles, I'd love to hear if you're seeing this as well. But government's solution to the problem ends up and we're just talking about us here creating more of an issue to those solutions that are being created in the private sector. And to your point that you raised up earlier how it keeps out though. There's the next Amazon, the next Google. But also we are seeing though, with the kind of getting away from this old web to to web three, that a lot of those problems that government was creating now, they're just being completely removed from the government, public sphere, we're saying, you know, what, we're tired of trying to continually solve these problems, and then give it back to governments. They don't break it this time. Okay. And what do they do they break it, of course. So instead, we're saying, you know, what, we're not going to we're not going to rely on you to deal with the monetary policy anymore. We don't trust you anymore to deal with the monetary policy. So what we're gonna do, we're gonna listen Bitcoin in theory and alternatives. You know what we don't trust you in disseminating what is considered truth versus opinion versus complete falsehoods? What is misinformation versus disinformation, the government's deciding that, now we're just gonna go ahead. And we're going to completely remove ourselves from a internet where we could be regulated where we could be restricted. So you're seeing the advancements of technology, answering the questions that we see. But a lot of our friends and family said the left, but it's in more of that do good conservative camp. They see it, but they continue to want to bring these policies to the forefront. Charles, do you see technology? Is it advances solving a lot of these problems just by the fact that they are overtly non government solutions?

Charles Sauer  13:37  
I guess I might say it a little bit differently. I think you're right that government saw or technology solves these problems. But in this case, on this issue, it might be even a little step easier than that or a step more interesting or to this. So as you make libertarian arguments on Capitol Hill or in life, you have the big GOP pushing back on you, in this case, the Heritage Foundation, I live in work in Washington, DC, I spend a lot of time on Capitol Hill, I spend a lot of time walking the halls of Congress wearing out shoe leather, basically having the same message for the past, you know, two decades of saying what we need is less government and they go ah, but in this case, we need more government. And you say no, that's never the case. More government makes it harder to innovate, right. And so in this case, what has been amazing is they wrote this bill and the Republicans jumped on board and they gave their their voice to it. And then we saw the market actually push back on what these big companies were doing. We saw the markets react in take Facebook down 26% in a day, and we've saw Elon Musk come in and buy Twitter. And so while we didn't necessarily see new things taking their place, I mean in Facebook's case, Tik Tok is taking away market share of or other online platforms have been taking away market share. But Elon Musk coming in to take over Twitter is amazing in the way that markets work. And the way that I've been explaining to the Heritage Foundation to the right now, for years, the way that antitrust doesn't need to be applied. And instead, we need to look on the aggressive side and look towards innovating our way out of the problems that they're talking about. So in the end, I agree with you, I just think on this issue, we saw the market work and like just tank, people like Twitter, and allowing Elon Musk to come in and buy it. I think that Facebook went down far enough, because of the decisions they've made, you could see it some sort of a takeover of Facebook, even though their market cap is huge. There's a lot of capital out there in the world to move around. And they have this platform that people could buy if they saw the opportunity to come in and make money, or whether the opportunity is more than starting their own platform and competing for the future market that way.

Brian Nichols  16:01  
So Charles, this this might be a little bit off topic, but I'm curious, right? Because I see this we've we in the liberty movement have been having this conversation at least since 2016. In terms of what Uh, where's the GOP going ahead when Donald Trump was president because he pretty much was Bo moose in china shop in terms of being the nominee in 2016. And with that, he really changed the direction a lot of the folks in the party were going you had folks who were gravitating more towards the Rand Paul's Heck, I actually think I remember was a Time Magazine who did a piece back in 2015, the Libertarian moment in America, and they had Rand Paul of all people as the person on the cover of their magazine because there was a poll that was done prior to Trump entering the race for Rand Paul was the leading nominee for the Republican Party. So there was an overtly overtly libertarian bent in the GOP. And now you see, fast forward to 2020 to the GOP, we had this big split, right, you have to your point, the Libertarians in the GOP who are the small l libertarians, and then you have a lot of these common good conservatives. And then I'd say more of the establishment folks, right. So you have three real data, I say feuding, generally feuding, just kind of pulling the proverbial tug of war rope right three different directions for the control the GOP. Meanwhile, Democratic Party, they're a hot mess. They got you know, senile old man as president, they cannot figure out who's going to be taking over next they have a terrible VP, they have who waiting in the wings to be the next person leading the Democratic Party AOC. Good luck there. And then we have the Libertarian Party who has unfortunately been relegated to the little kids table for the past 40 years. Now, over the past few months, they've really had a big change over at the Libertarian Party national headquarters where you've seen the the Mises caucus take over the the messaging the Party influence. And now we're hopefully going to see a little bit more of what we're talking about here, the pro Liberty messaging towards folks, but a lot of questions that still have to be asked in terms of there's chaos in three of the three leading political parties in America. So I say all that, Charles, where does this leave us, right? We have the GOP that's fighting, the Democrats are fighting libertarians have been fighting continue to fight and probably will still be fighting fast forward to 2022 election and beyond. So where are we headed, right is is there a party out there who's actually standing by the pro Liberty message and standing as a foil to the JD Lance is the hall. He's the common good conservatives.

Charles Sauer  18:27  
I think that one of the right things to do here is to kind of ignore the noise and ignore the chaos, and keep pushing forward with good ideas and good policy. Because at the end of the day, that's going what's going to win out. And while the public seems to have kind of a short memory on those things, I think the more times that we get it, right, the more times that the public will start figuring out the right side to be on. And that does tend to be on at least the right of center libertarian side. But it's always going to be on the limited government side of these debates. And so as long as we keep the message going, I think that the other people will will figure it out. So kind of that mainstream GOP that you're talking about, they're always looking for the good policy solutions. I think you've got the AOC that's burning bright right now. And she's going to move the party in one direction. I think that that's kind of like the JD Vance's in the trump of our side, they're going to move the party, but there's really a pie that's kind of can grow wherever it wants to people can grab it, but the winner is always in the long run going to be the people with the right policy choices. So if we ignore the noise and continue on, we will keep making the right decisions and at the very least, we will be helping move the policy decisions in the right place. Look the the the intellectual side of The Libertarian movement is really as strong as it's ever been. We have my sitting in my office every every day is one of my good friends. And the guy that works with me is norm Singleton. He was Ron Paul's kind of legislative brain for like two decades or more. And so we're currently having fun knowing where things are, and knowing that there's this opportunity with these big government, conservatives kind of losing their fights and being proven so openly that they were wrong, that we know that there's room for us to come in and step in now that we're being proven correct. But look, their message is, it's just easy or it's small, it's populist, and they keep it very short and concise, and they just keep repeating it. So they have kind of this messaging piece to their side, we have what's right on their side. And as you pointed out, the left is currently lost, but the biggest things on their ticket were sponsored by President Biden and enforced by Kamala Harris. And so they have no idea what they're doing right now on the left. So we do have time on the right and in the middle to figure out what's going on and figure out a good direction. And I think that that's going to be a more libertarian direction, even if that's just more towards mainstream conservatism instead of the common good conservatism.

Brian Nichols  21:29  
Charles, you said a few things there, I wrote down because man, does it ring true to what we've done entirely in terms of changing the direction of the show over the past two years. So for those of you playing along in the home game, we've been doing this show now since 2018. And we started out overtly your traditional libertarian podcast with libertarians on the show when we talk about libertarian things, how great it was, and then around like, 2020 or so I said, Yeah, this this, this isn't getting us anywhere. Because yeah, we're right. Our ideas make sense. And we win when you take our ideas, and you put them into the battle place of ideas. But then in the battle place of winning hearts and minds, why are we having such trouble? And I as a sales professional and sales coach, I said, You know what, it's because we're not effectively messaging, we're not effectively selling our solutions. And to your point that you raised up earlier, what what are we competing against? We're competing against messages that are very easy. They're short and concise, they keep on repeating them ad nauseam. Guess what? That's that's marketing, right? They're staying top of mind, making it easy for people to not only understand what it is that you're presenting as your solution as your service, but then attach the meaning to it. What does it mean? Why does it mean something to me, and that's where we've been failing, we've been failing so badly is attaching the meaning of our libertarian values, to the problems that people see right now, and how we can actually solve those problems and what it means for them. So to the Libertarians out there to you folks who are like, yeah, what can we do? Do what we just heard or that our competitors are doing, let's start making things a little bit easier to understand. We should talk about our issues in more simple language and more concise language. And also, when it's issues that are the most important things that people were speaking about speaking to, let's lead with those issues. Some may even say, meet people, where they where they're at on the issues they care about, who will say that, I don't know. But maybe just maybe if we took that approach, versus trying to good idea, people to death will actually find that we can win more people over not by our good ideas, but by the fact that we're showing our ideas make sense, they're easy to understand. And oh, by the way, they can actually be implemented. And we can see they can they can actually bring us from where we are to bring us to where we want to be in a tangible timeline instead of well, this would be really nice to have one day. So I'm gonna take a step off my soapbox here, Charles, I apologize for that. But this has been, I mean, what a great way to kind of summarize why we do what we do here at The Brian Nichols Show in terms of what the issues we're talking about and where we're lacking. And you guys are doing great stuff over the Market Institute, obviously, helping bring these ideas making them simple, whether it's talking about funding students, not systems like our good friend over Cordy Angeles, zip code shouldn't determine education too. Don't hurt people don't take their stuff, easy things that we can go ahead and implement here. You're doing that from an economic standpoint, talk to us the Market Institute what can folks go ahead and come to expect and learn as they go ahead and check you guys out? And also Charles, where can folks go ahead and find you they want continue the conversation.

Charles Sauer  24:25  
So we have our website, of course at market institute.org You can follow me on Twitter at Charles Sauer sau er and coming out we have some really good stuff. So we like kind of doing the fun stuff or taking the mark Rober type of ideas and putting those out for policy. So we have a great video on YouTube that shows how regulation slows down the patient doctor relationship. We have a game up on on both the Apple Store and on the Android store that shows how it's called flappy business that shows how government regulations make it impossible to grow to the size of these large companies if we have more regulations. So we try to have fun and do good stuff, we're getting ready to come out with a paper too, that you should keep your eyes out for, that shows kind of the history of antitrust legislation in the conservative movement. And not to spoil it, but they really have never supported attacking big businesses like they are doing today. So I think it's an interesting paper, but follow that on market. institute.org.

Brian Nichols  25:33  
Perfect. All right, folks, well, how about this, we'll make it easy for you. We'll include all those links over at Brian Nichols show.com. And for you audio listener will will make it even easier for you. All you gotta do is go to your podcast catcher, click the artwork for The Brian Nichols Show, it'll bring you right to Brian Nichols, show.com, where yes, you can find today's episode, you can find all those aforementioned links, but also you can find the entire transcript of today's episode. And oh, by the way, we have a YouTube version of the program. So while you're over at Brian Nichols, show.com, you can see the YouTube version of the show right there, make sure you head over to YouTube, hit that subscribe button, of course. And while you're there, make sure you that little notification bell. So you're not missing a single time we have an episode, go live like we have here today on Wednesday. And other than that being said, Folks, thank you, as always for joining us on the program. I always get such value out of these conversations, especially when we're seeing that this is currently the tenor of the conversation, not just in the libertarian Libertarian Party, but also in the GOP. And frankly, in the Democratic Party. Where where are we heading and we seen this? I mean, again to go back on my soapbox, Charles, but we've seen this time and again, over the past few years, people are starting to wake up. They're saying this doesn't make sense what's happening, and they're looking for alternatives. It's on us now to actually meet them with these alternatives. Make it real, make it simple, and of course, make it tangible and meaningful for them. So with that being said, Folks, thank you for joining us on today's episode, by the way, did you check out our awesome episode we had yesterday, we had Daniel Miller from the Texas National Movement, Texas, it's right around the corner. Texas is one vote away. Charles Did you know that one vote away from actually becoming an independent nation, the GOP just went ahead and adopted Texas secession to their platform. You all go ahead and check out that awesome conversation. I'll include that right here below in the video. Make sure you click that it'll bring you right to yesterday's episode, and I'll make sure I see you there. But with that being said, it's Brian Nichols signing off for Charles Sauer from the Market Institute. We'll see you tomorrow

Unknown Speaker  27:23  
for listening to The Brian Nichols Show. Find more episodes at the Brian Nichols show.com

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Charles SauerProfile Photo

Charles Sauer

Founder and President

Common good conservatives believe that America’s economic and cultural problems are rooted in libertarianism. They believe the Republican Party and the conservative movement has failed to address the needs of the American people because they have “outsourced” their economic policy to libertarians.

Vance laid out his case against Libertarianism in his 2019 article “Beyond Libertarianism.” Published in First Things Quarterly, and adopted from Vance’s speech at the 2019 Conservative Conference, Vance creates a straw man argument early in his piece when he when he defines libertarianism as “the view that so long as public outcomes and social goods are produced by free individual choices, we shouldn't be too concerned about what those goods ultimately produce.”