On today's episode, we're going back to January 2021, when I joined Matt Kibbe on his program, Kibbe on Liberty.
On today's episode, we're going back to January 2021, when I joined Matt Kibbe on his program, Kibbe on Liberty.
He and I talked about the biggest issue facing America at the time: how do we sell freedom?
We talked about how the problem of selling freedom has two parts—the first being that people don't know what they want until they see it, and the second being that people think they want freedom but actually want something else (like security or safety).
We also talked about the importance of listening to what people are saying and not just assuming you know what they want. I'm a firm believer in the power of listening—after all, it's how I got my start as a consultant. In fact, I used a lot of the same techniques that Matt and I talk about here to help me learn about my clients' needs.
I hope you enjoy this trip to yesteryear as much as I did!
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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. Show yours truly over on Kibby on liberty for the blaze radio network, right? How's it going? Good man,
Matt Kibbe 0:18
are you doing well? Are you having a good lockdown?
Brian Nichols 0:22
I mean, as good as we can. I mean, what we're allowed to do, I'm in Philadelphia, and we're still kind of like on this indefinite shutdown, despite our mayor, breaking his own rules. But I mean, I guess we're making it work. But we can
Matt Kibbe 0:33
let's pick on the mayor of Philadelphia just for a second so easy. Yeah,
Brian Nichols 0:37
he went up Baltimore, violating his own non dining in orders, because the rules in Baltimore were laxer so it's almost like some of the was with the old Animal Farm quote, some animals are more equal than others. Yeah.
Matt Kibbe 0:50
So is it is it and I asked this a lot. But is that a let them eat cake kind of thing where our overlords feel that as long as they locked the rest of us down, it's safe enough. But I've and I used to think that that's what it was. It was just like arrogance. I'm too essential to follow these rules. But I'm starting to be convinced that they don't actually believe that their own lockdowns work now. Why would you risk your own family like that? Yeah,
Brian Nichols 1:18
I think it's more so to create this, this persona of like, we're in control. And I think we're seeing this more and more as the lockdown goes on. It's it's really a difference between the folks who believe that we can kind of make this work without the government telling you who is essential and who's not. And then those who are trying to create the sense of control to maybe make people feel a little more like they have some sense of idea of what's coming. But then to your point, right, we see, they don't actually believe this stuff. And it's quite obvious. I mean, we see it with Governor Newsom violating his rules in California. Whitmer, with her family, you know, going to their vacation home. Well,
Matt Kibbe 1:59
if you spent over $400 A plate, it's, it's, it's different. Like COVID. forgets Yeah, COVID doesn't.
Brian Nichols 2:05
It's like after 9pm in the bars in New York, they don't know that you're gonna be there. I mean, or no, actually doesn't know that you're gonna be there or unless you order chicken wings, in which case, oh, wait, no chicken wings don't count from Mayor qualm or Governor Cuomo. Right. What is that you have to order like, an actual meal
Matt Kibbe 2:19
I had to play. I had to buy a bag of chips in the Dallas airport, because they were COVID preventing chips.
Brian Nichols 2:26
Isn't that wild? Yeah, it's funny, because, you know, I was saying beforehand, my wife and I we live in, in Philadelphia, but you just go over, you know, one road into a different zip code. And all sudden, COVID doesn't, it doesn't impact indoor dining. It's amazing how that works.
Matt Kibbe 2:40
Yeah, yeah, wild. But let's, let's, let's take a step back. I don't want to go down the COVID thing, because people that watch this show are probably tired of me just can't
Brian Nichols 2:50
honestly, say every day, right like COVID. It's in our mainstream, like non stop.
Matt Kibbe 2:56
But one of the one of the upsides of political stupidity for us at free the people and I was having this conversation with with Eric July, down at the blaze TV studio is like, once you sort of get stuck in this, this locked down thing, it forces you to innovate, because in his case, he was going to take his band on the road, which is how he made his living, right. In our case, like we do lots of public speaking and lots of events and that kind of thing. And in a strange way, the being forced to change your plans, sparks new innovation. And there's a metaphor for what the government should have done with COVID. Like if we actually needed new innovation, perhaps we could have done it from the bottom up. But How about how about you like you just give everybody a little bit of background about your, about your podcast, and we are libertarians and all that stuff? Yeah, absolutely.
Brian Nichols 3:51
So I'm part of the we are libertarians network, which was started by Chris spangle. Back in 2012.
Matt Kibbe 3:57
How'd you come up with a name for your show?
Brian Nichols 3:58
The Brian Nichols Show? How about that? I know it's very creative. But actually, you know, really, one of the things in my sales experience is you try and create some branding, right? So looking at the we're libertarians network and yours truly here, The Brian Nichols Show. One of the things that I've focused on doing and this has been through my political journey as well, is trying to create value, right. And as a sales guy by by trade, one of the things you're always trying to do is be a problem solver, but at the same point in time trying to create value in solving said problems. So with Chris spangle, starting we're libertarians in 2012. It's gone through many different iterations. And and as it's grown, it's opened up the opportunities for other shows like the show I have at The Brian Nichols Show. And for the past three years, one of the main things I've been doing is been having folks on the show to really have conversations about the issues people care about. And this is one of the things I think a lot of libertarians or just folks in the greater liberty movement have not really paid attention to. It's talking to normal people and talking about things that people are actually having conversations with the dinner table. Right. I think too often libertarians have entered into conversations talking about what we think people care about, instead of asking them. And here's the best part about
Matt Kibbe 5:09
when you ask for what we want, we insist that they care about exactly.
Brian Nichols 5:13
And we'll tell them until we're blue in the face, how much they should care about the project that we think they should care about. But when we actually ask them, What do you care about, they're gonna tell us. And I think part of the problem is that too often, libertarians, just we think we already know what they need to know. So with my show, I've been asking people in my audience, what do you guys want? And they've been wanting to know, how do we sell the ideas or concepts of liberty to people outside of our movement. And at the end of the day, that's kind of why I've taken my show and turned it the way I have more recently is because at the end of the day, everything in life is sales. And this is something we have to get past from not just the liberty movement, but just as a society in general. There's this misconception and we talk about sales, people think you're used car salesman, or they'll think like snake oil salesmen, but at the end of the day, truly, salespeople are problem solvers. So if we're able to, as folks in the liberty movement, enter into conversations that people are already having, in their mind, again, those bedbug problems that people have, that they need help solving, and we're able to build trust, help solve those problems, we are instantly their trusted advisors. And once we're their trusted advisors, now they're gonna come to us and ask us on some, I'm gonna do some stuff that they're a little, a little weary on you, okay, Brian, you know, I know you were you're kind of right about that whole lockdown thing, but like, talk me now about like, student loans, and then I can point them towards somebody like Brad Palumbo, who's been doing great work on student loans. And they might take what I'm saying now, a little bit more consideration versus otherwise. So I can tell them all day long what they need to hear. But until we're able to ask questions, learn from them, and actually know what folks are really concerned about, then we're just falling on deaf ears.
Matt Kibbe 6:50
So you are actually a salesman in your day job. Yes, sales
Brian Nichols 6:53
executive. So I lead a sales team. In Telecom, I have a sales team, my job really is to go out and find qualified opportunities for my company and in telecom. So you know, we're looking voice data, cybersecurity, business continuity, and having conversations with IT directors, CIOs, folks like that. And part of kind of my doing that I realized that this is just take this and apply this model to liberty, like, there. I think we see too often folks trying to constantly reinvent the wheel. Don't need to do that, like the wheel is already there is how do we make it work better. And in this case, the liberty movement, we've just been ignoring that sales, we already have, like what works in sales, but we need to apply it to what we're doing with liberty movement, and what you've been doing it for the people telling stories, having conversations. That's I think what people are looking for, when they're trying to actually engage in these conversations is like, is it going to be something that's got value to it? Is it something that we can get past like the bumper sticker slogans or the quick three minute soundbite on CNN, and they're looking for this new 30 minute hour, Joe Rogan three and a half hour in some cases, conversation, because I think people are at the point now that they don't want to hear the screaming heads, the debates, they want to have these long thought out conversations and really dig into these issues. Because I think we're starting to realize that constantly having this like hyper, hyper partisan, tribal approach to politics and governance, it's destructive, and it's leading people to resent their neighbor. And I've been getting more and more folks, I'm not sure how you, you guys can experience here for the people and it can be on liberty, but like, I've had people reaching out to me, like, can we have more of these conversations? Like, can we have people that you disagree with on the show? Because I want to hear how a real conversation like a real dialogue happens? And too often than not, I mean, you watch a quick five minute segment on CNN, and you're gonna see Team Red versus Team Blue screaming at each other for five minutes. And if you're a member of the audience, what are you walking away from as a value that you can then bring forward from that segment?
Matt Kibbe 9:02
Nothing probably young people don't go there. It's, it's, you get a little bit dumber every time you watch one of those debates and, and unfortunately, in our business, you and I probably have to consume some of that content just so that we know what Fox and MSNBC and whatever the scream fest of the day is, you know, this reminds me of Penn Jillette was on the show last year. Pre lockdown so because we were actually in Las Vegas and any sort of scolded me because I asked him the question like how do we how do we convince people that liberty is a better answer to all these problems? And he's like, that's your problem. Your job is not to convince people. And his his point was he takes a very passive approach to selling liberty and he would object to that phrase, actually, but but he's wanting people to figure it out for themselves and, and I think one of the reasons why I Three hour Joe Rogan job fest is so compelling is that Rogan, he, I mean, he has opinions, but he doesn't really jam his opinions down people's throats. He just asked questions, right? It's like, really? Is that really?
Brian Nichols 10:14
Yeah. Well, that's what you have to do you have to ask those questions. Because if you go in and we see this too often than not with with libertarian politicians, and I'm gonna pick on the Libertarian Party, not because they're fun to pick on, but because that's the group I care the most about and actually enacting policy. Because I think, you know, we look at the end of the day, I'd say libertarian ideas and principles, we can agree that they probably are going to be the the best to actually solve the problems we have, right? So I look at some libertarian candidates, I get a little frustrated, because we have a harder job already. Because we're outside of the mainstream right now. Your average person, they see red team, Blue team, and they, you know, they might see a gold team every now and then. But that's like once in a while, probably in their local elections. And then every four years they
Matt Kibbe 11:01
get Yeah, it's like, it's like three days before the election when they're so desperate, they just watched, they just watched the debate where the libertarian was explicitly kept off the stage, they start Googling who was
Brian Nichols 11:12
the other person? Yeah. And like, we shouldn't make it harder on ourselves being the party, it's already having to face an uphill battle. By approaching messaging for from a completely like, alien perspective. Like, we have to be able, and I mentioned this earlier, we have to be able to enter in to the conversations that people are already having, in their own minds. And I teach this to my sales team, when we're talking about IT directors or you know, CIOs, and we're calling in and I'm like, if you were to call in, and you were to tell the person how wrong they were, or you know how stupid they were for picking the thing they did before, you're gonna get instantly hung up on. And that's what's been happening too often to folks in the liberty movement, we tell people exactly what's wrong. But we do a very woeful job and actually explaining our solutions. So I would love to see
Matt Kibbe 12:01
and if they don't get it, we just raise our voice. Exactly. If we, as if they're deaf,
Brian Nichols 12:06
yes, because if we get louder, they will definitely hear us. And that's the part I think we have to get away from, we have to get away from from lecturing and preaching, and be more so again, your trusted adviser the person that they are going to pick up the phone call and ask a question to because they're like, Hey, listen, I know that you're right on X, Y, and Z helped me on this because this issue, I can't, I can't see the answer from the red team, or the blue team helped me out. And that's where we have to do a better job. But we're not putting ourselves in the position that we're even getting that phone call. Yeah. Right?
Matt Kibbe 12:36
Like, how much is I assume in sales? Because I know this when it comes to nonprofit fundraising, 80% of the process is listening, and actually trying to understand where the customer is coming from. Is that Is that true? In your world?
Brian Nichols 12:52
Absolutely. But also asking questions to uncover those problems. Too often, you'll see, you'll have a salesperson on the phone with somebody. And if you're asking a question, and the second word, is you, the answer to the question is probably a yes or no. And as soon as you're getting a yes or no answer, you've done something wrong. We need to be able to ask open ended questions to allow people to tell the story. I mean, I like to use the analogy, like think if you're, you're you're looking at a court case, right, and you have your prosecution and your defense, the defense, your job at the defense is to ask the open ended questions get the story told, whereas if you're the prosecution, you're trying to get them cornered. For the yes, no, you've finally got the nail, right? Their nail in the coffin, you caught them in the lie. That's what you're trying to do in the prosecution. But from the defense, if you're getting them to tell the story, you have to ask those open ended questions. Otherwise, Objection, you're leading the witness. So I'll joke with my sales team every now and then it'll drive them crazy. I'll bet you're leading the witness. Because you need to be able to ask those questions. Because if you're already approaching the conversation from the mindset of I think this is your problem. You're going to lead with that yes or no? It's like, Hey, Matt, is x your problem? Yes, no, great. If you say no. Well, now what first is Matt, tell me what tell me what's up like, what's what's been the number one thing the past five months, that's really been, you know, the number one issue that stopped you from being the best version of yourself from seeing your company hit whatever metrics, you're looking for success? Or if you're, you know, maybe a mom and pop from actually keeping your doors open, right? And then once we're able to learn, we can say, Hey, listen, I completely empathize. And here's the problem, Red Team Blue teams, they're not going to help you. They're not going to offer you solutions to answer the problems. However, we do have alternatives out there. And in the marketplace, we're always looking for alternatives, right? Because competition breeds not only innovation, but also help lower costs and increase those services. And right now, Libertarians we've done a bad job in trying to present ourselves as a viable, viable that's the key right there. Right a via Well, third, third party,
Matt Kibbe 15:01
then you're talking and you're, of course talking about big L libertarian, as opposed to philosophical libertarianism, which can find itself, I think across the absolutely political spectrum. But the how long, you haven't always been a libertarian big.
Brian Nichols 15:17
I know. Yeah, it's been a bit of a little long. So I guess I officially became big L 2018. I signed up for my membership. Got my official LP card. But I've been questioning my my, I guess I was a former recovering Republican, right. And I've been questioning my political self for quite a while now. I remember the first real, like, seed of doubt, much like as everybody else here was Ron Paul 2008, during the debate against Giuliani, and I was like, that's different. That's not a normal Republican talking point.
Matt Kibbe 15:50
We usually let a candle every time we mentioned, yeah, I'm
Brian Nichols 15:53
sure we'll have no space at this point. But other than that, believe it or not, it was actually in 2012. Not with Ron Paul, surprisingly, presently, but it was actually with Mitt Romney, when he lost, cuz I was the president of the Republican GOP and College Republicans. And I was like, what happened? Because, I mean, I thought he was talking all the right things. And I kind of came to this like realization, I was like, we need to have a fiscally conservative but socially, socially accepting that was my mindset Republican Party. And as I started to, like, you know, do the Google searches or the the Duck Duck goes of what that would be. I kept on coming back to these these libertarian thinkers like, you know, Ron Paul, and then Milton Friedman. And you go down the rabbit hole, right? You go Hi, Rothbart, and then all of a sudden I find myself I'm on a YouTube page and I've been watching videos for about four hours and I found myself realizing that I wasn't actually this big are Republican but more so a little L libertarian and believer and I was actually reading this one book called don't hurt people don't take their stuff and libertarian manifesto that really kind of planted the seed for sure that I was a libertarian here. That's a good book. It's actually a really good book. I read it again. Recently, a guy named Matt Kibby wrote it so it's actually a really good read pretty quick page,
Matt Kibbe 17:08
by the way. That's it actually stole it from Santa Claus.
Brian Nichols 17:10
Oh, yeah. Well, I mean, Santa Claus.
Matt Kibbe 17:12
I don't know if that's bad. But I
Brian Nichols 17:14
know I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing. Because Santa Claus. I mean, so I've heard the argument. He's a socialist.
Matt Kibbe 17:19
That's That's right. He's he's a he's an anarcho capitalist for sure. Oh, for
Brian Nichols 17:23
sure. Absolutely. Yeah. If you watched Klaus yet by the way on Netflix, it came out
Matt Kibbe 17:26
is which one is that I have been binge watching Chris
Brian Nichols 17:29
Klaus came out last year. It's the one with the mailman and he's put to the North Pole.
Matt Kibbe 17:35
Now. Now. It's a good I watched the new Mel Gibson one, which I thought was spectacular Fat Man. Oh, so I haven't seen that one. Yeah, okay. It's kind of a Quentin Tarantino version of Santa Claus.
Brian Nichols 17:45
So lots of blood and guts. Yeah. Oh, well, okay, why not? Santa Claus. One GupS can't can't do that. Anyway, Claus. Yeah. Oh, Jose. So Claus that the movie, it's just one of those really, genuinely feel good movie. But um, no, it's one of those shows. It kind of does, I think approach trying to go after capitalism at one point, but it kind of reels itself back in. But overall, just definitely a good good, good movie to watch. Yeah, worth the season.
Matt Kibbe 18:09
We can't give up Santa Claus. I mean, we gave up everything else like Santa Claus is where I draw a line in the sand. So the you switch to the Libertarian Party. And the this debate goes on every day, watch liberty. Libertarians love to fight about absolutely everything. But the purpose of the Libertarian Party? And I'll, I'll tell you what I think it is. And I sort of learned this from Ron Paul. And he he actually did it as a Republican, not a libertarian. But politics, for me, at least anymore is not really about policy change. It's about using a cultural platform to talk about ideas when people are paying attention. And presidential debates, you know, Ron Paul taking on Rudy Giuliani. That was that was a moment where he just turned on so many people, because they were paying attention and otherwise, like, you know, who's going to tune in to a three hour conversation about about globalism and foreign policy. It is that word because it doesn't. I don't know what it even means. But you know, sort of neoconservative foreign policy and why we're still in Afghanistan after after a lifetime. But that to me is one version of the Libertarian Party. There's another version that says we need to win elections so that we can actually implement policy and then there's, there's a there's a few that have sort of broken through that that ceiling, but not that many, where are you on this spectrum of we have to win or we have to use it as a cultural platform.
Brian Nichols 19:50
So I think we can do both. I know that's kind of a cop out answer, but I do look at the Libertarian Party as a vessel, right? When you look at the oil peat, I think right now the LPS role is to serve number one as a foil to the Red Team Blue team, but also to give people a true alternative, which will hold those other two parties accountable. Now we're seeing this right now, in Georgia, as we're recording, you know, friend of my, my program, Shane Hazel. He was a US Senate candidate in Georgia as a libertarian, and he forced I think it's the Purdue election to go to a runoff. And Shane as a libertarian got, I forget, I think 140,000 votes. And like those 140,000 votes, those people made a conscious decision to vote for a different party, because those two traditional parties weren't meeting the bell. And that's something that it can't be understood the LP is playing a role. However, there is a role for little L libertarians. And I say that being the folks, you know that there are Republicans out there who self identify as libertarians or heck, even some of the Democrats who are more, you know, empathetic with some libertarian leaning ideas. There is absolutely not only a role, but it's it's, I would say it's required for us to even have some credibility, because we can refer to those people and those wins, and show the value of to your point, the policy, and how it impacts real people's lives when we're making those appeals to more of like the culture. Right. So, for example, if we were to look at, let's say Justin Amash, right, the one big L libertarian, that there is in Congress right now, Justin voting for, you know, 40 for the marijuana legalization, Justin, leading the charge on ending qualified immunity. Without Justin being there, as that rolls the big L then I don't know if we're going to have as much as a voice. Take it to the Republican Party. You have someone like Thomas Massie, who really he forced people in Congress to come to the White House or to the Capitol Building to cast a vote on the biggest really the biggest increase in our debt in ever. Right. And that's something that I think we need to make sure we're encouraging people to acknowledge because without Thomas Massie, we may have had this entire bill that was voted for the spending bill during the Coronavirus, without anybody's name attached to it, which I mean, that also would have been horrifying. So I would say there is a very important role for both the big L libertarians and the little libertarians. And I guess I'll finish with this. I want to see a more lively, active Libertarian Party from a local perspective, I think. And this is just in general, we need to start pushing things locally, going back towards like this Federalist approach to governance because I think the most winning argument right now and this is being really exemplified with the pandemic and the lockdowns especially, is that whatever governments are least able to govern the most local, the better, because then you're not having to worry about you know, California setting that the lockdown policy for Texas, or Florida or Michigan or New York, but vice versa. Now we're not having you know, California terrified that they're gonna have to do all the open, you know, open business that that Florida is doing. So there is this very important yin and yang, if you will, but it's entirely necessary with a federal approach. And I think right now, that's where libertarians need to be focusing is focusing on this libertarian Federalist message because that's where I think people are going to be able to really gravitate, whether they're progressive or conservative, or somewhere in between. In the world of wine, there are so many choices, and that's why blood of tyrants, wine has tyrants losing their heads, whether you're looking for a new go to that home, or watching impress your friends at a party. A lot of times wine has you covered. And if you're trying to get rid of some pesky parents in your life, well, if we've got the cover to have the Brian Nichols show.com forward slash wine and get $5 off your order. One more time, Brian Nichols show.com. Forward slash wine freemen don't ask permission. So take a sip. You'll be glad you did.
Matt Kibbe 23:55
So should we one of the big debates in the Libertarian Party right now is are we more likely to connect with conservatives are the disaffected Republicans that look at $24 trillion in debt and, and a radical expansion of sort of the power of the presidency under Republicans, Trump and Bush in in recent memory, just radical, the expansion of presidential power. And of course, Barack Obama, after Bush and Joe Biden after Trump will say, Okay, I got it. Yep. I'm running with it. So like, there's lots of reasons to be a disaffected Republican. Absolutely. But there's, I still think that there's tremendous opportunities not to talk so much to progressive politicians, but to talk to young people who think that AOC is cooler than Donald Trump. We should we should be talking to those faces.
Brian Nichols 24:57
Oh my god, we're dropping the ball for not and I was just actually talking about this With um, I think it was Brad. I grabbed coffee with Brad beforehand. And it's like, when you look at AOC What is she doing? She's having these Twitch conversations and stuff with hundreds of 1000s of people. That's like, who's the Republican version of this? Who the libertarian version of this? And I mean, go to Thomas Massie kind of I guess, Justin Amash? Kind of, but are they playing Twitch with hundreds of 1000s of users now? So there is a really big opening for us to have those cultural conversations. But I don't know if we're going to necessarily have the most success using the GOP. And I say that because to your point, there is a really big negative perception from a vast majority of Americans when you instantly mentioned the GOP or the red team and vice versa. I mean, you tell anybody in a rural red area that you're a Democrat and I'm sure they're gonna look at you like you have five heads so there is kind of this this again, going back to the yin and yang between these two different camps. So I think looking at the Libertarians be the big L or little L. We have to kind of go into if you're gonna go to the big L camp, be the the candidate like try to be as open and trying to promote whatever it is that bedbug issue is for your specific locality, right. So, if lockdowns are the biggest thing impacting your area, you go after lockdowns, the war on drugs is the biggest issue you get from the war on drugs, civil asset forfeiture, yada, yada, yada. But then if you're going to use the GOP, or the Democratic Party as a platform, and really is a tool to enact whatever it is you're looking to enact, whether it's trying to get people's attention, like Ron Paul, get policy and an action like Rand Paul's doing, I don't care, right, at the end of the day, just decide we're going to do and then use that party to enact that. So you look at somebody like Rand Paul, Rand Paul, is using the Republican Party to reach people that otherwise he would just absolutely not be able to reach to if he had an L next to his name. That's just a fact. But you can't you can't just look at grandpa and be like, oh, yeah, he would have just as much success. It's like, No, he wouldn't. But to the same point, right? We look at folks like like, Gary Johnson, and Gary Johnson went from being an art to getting an LMS to his name. And instantly, it just drops in support. And that's because Americans don't trust us yet. Why do Americans not trust libertarians? Because we haven't really given them a reason to we've been able to talk a good game, but we haven't been able to show value, especially in those local those local elections. So to kind of take this and put a nice bow on it. What I would say is libertarians out there, if you are looking to run for office, I would 1,000% encourage you run local, like local is the best means to start building up that resume because for better or for worse, Americans looking for the resume, they want to know. Okay, you know, where you dog catcher to city council, city council, the mayor, Mayor to assembly and now assembly to Congress. And then you can use that to actually say,
Matt Kibbe 27:48
that's sort of the Thomas Massie roadmap
Brian Nichols 27:50
thing. Yeah, exactly. And like, that's, that's kind of necessary for your average person to feel comfortable. Like, okay, when I cast my vote for you, it's more than just casting a vote. You're kind of trusting that person to do what they say they're going to do. And that's where we have a responsibility to like, be that that candidate like say, Okay, listen, the lockdowns are our issue, and we're going to take care of it. If you would like this into local office, and you get elected into local office, as a libertarian, you better make sure that you go out and you follow through. And then once you follow through, you build that trust, then as you run for whatever the office is, in the future, they're going to give us a little bit more credence, they're going to listen to us a little more seriously. And that's candidly Matt, that's why people haven't really pay attention to us because we haven't give them a really substantive reason to give us any attention.
Matt Kibbe 28:36
You know, it strikes me that the the localism argument, I mean, this is like, Get get to a, a libertarian values sort of based argument. And we believe in local solutions, we believe in people voluntarily getting together and solving problems. And and that's that can, I mean that that should be our strength, that could be a liability, because that's very different than making an empty promise. Like, I'm going to lock down everything until COVID. I think the nothing bad happens ever again. I think the Governor of California actually said until nobody dies. I'm like, wow, lofty, lofty goal zero deaths in society. I don't know where that is, but it's not this world. But you know, it sounds really good Atlantic Federation, we heard about, I will never die if I vote for this guy. But localism in all of its complexity is really hard to put into tweet. Yep. We're gonna figure this out. And that's what it comes down to. But the you know, the, the genius of the American model is, is that thing, but it's more of a lifestyle than it is a policy solution. Because you're basically saying I'm going to respect people enough to not decide to herd all of my recovering senior citizens into nursing homes. Yeah. That seems like an obviously bad decision, but there are all sorts of good sounding decisions that turn out to be tragic as well. It's, it's difficult to do that. And so I, when I see libertarians sort of fighting about like, do we talk to Republicans? Do we talk to Democrats? I mean, I think we talked to everybody, but it's more about what you're saying, like and who you're saying it to. Yeah. And then less about these, these sound like very top down strategies to me. And our whole point is that we're the bottom up guys.
Brian Nichols 30:30
Right? Yeah. And it requires us to to be different. And also, and this is one thing I always I drive my sales teams nuts with, but like, you have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. So like, if you're going out, and you're talking to Democrats, and you're like, Chase, this is tough, good. That means that you need to get better in that certain area, and feel challenged. Because what you're doing when you're talking to that group of people, is you're making them feel uncomfortable. So you have to be comfortable in what it is that you're promoting. But also understand that while you're doing that, you're kind of you're putting people in a very vulnerable position, right? You're kind of making them reconsider their entire worldview. And that's a really big deal. So when you realize like, I gotcha, like when you kind of get them in that that like cognitive dissonance trap, don't call them on it, you just got to take a step back. Because I mean, I know we want the incident is like, I got you. And you want to do that Jordan Peterson. Gotcha, when he was interviewing Kathy Newman, but you can't, you have to be able to let them kind of like realize that on their own at their own time, because really, it's a silly analogy, but we have to be like gardeners of liberty to plant the seeds. So we have to make sure that we're going out there, and we're casting a wide net. But at the same point in time, it's not going to grow overnight. So we had to take our time plays Macy's, we can't have liberty, and slowly watch them as they grow and like look for the areas that we are having success. So on the left, I think we're having a lot of success talking about the war on drugs, criminal justice reform. I mean, you can go down, you can start talking about ending, you know, the overseas wars. I think there is a conversation to be had on the left on the right. lock downs are absolutely the number one thing that the GOP has been going towards, and I would say it's to the LPS detriment. We haven't taken up that argument. But right now lock downs, leave with that lead with taxes.
Matt Kibbe 32:21
The LPS split down the middle on lock downs. The LP has
Brian Nichols 32:25
been split in the middle of messaging about lock downs. I would say like we have not been able to have a cohesive, here's what our statement is without some wishy washy, you know backhanded like, but also make sure you're taking in consideration your fellow Americans like yes, that goes without saying. But can we just boldly say, without question that the lockdowns are inhumane, and they're like causing long term devastation to hundreds of millions of Americans like this is this should not be controversial. And we shouldn't apologize for saying it like it's blatantly true. But we still find ourselves trying to, you know, play footsie with folks who they don't really care about into your point, right, we're talking started this conversation up with some of the mayors and the governors, they don't care. Like they're just trying to create this perception of control in order because once we start to accept, maybe this isn't exactly controlled and orderly, like we thought, then the entire system starts to get these little red flags popping up everywhere. And once people start to really ask questions, then there's gonna have to be some answers and there's no answers to be had. Then I would say the electorate's gonna get a little antsy, even more so than they had been for being under lockdown for like, what, 10 months now.
Matt Kibbe 33:31
Now there's, there's no there's no exit strategy to lock downs because you have to, first of all, we never get to zero does write tragically, we live in a world where people die. Weird what happens? There's, I mean, to get out of lockdowns, you would need the humility of lockdown or saying you know what? That didn't work. Let's try something else. And politics can't do that. But But yeah, that's, uh, my, my sense is that, that lock downs and the human devastation caused by lock downs probably are the window to have this conversation. And it doesn't have to be it's such a partisan issue. Oddly, but I don't think it has to be because we have to shed light on on who gets hurt. I mean, we have a new I mean, let's go full marks. There's haves and have nots. Yes. When locked down. It's essential and non essential. Yeah, there's essential and non essential. There's like if you're of a certain profession, and a certain income, you're probably not feeling the lockdown right now. Honestly, in my business, I'm fine.
Brian Nichols 34:37
I mean, telecom I'm selling. My company is selling more than ever, like this is how you stay connected. But then I know that there are bartenders out there who are literally just struggling to make a rent payment. And like that's the people that we should be talking to like, and this is the part two like they are so open to this argument right now because they're living through the real pain. But I would say we are No, we're leading with the things that aren't mattering to them on the top of their head. Like if we're gonna go in and we're starting to talk about your name fringe issue here that it's really important to us. Like, okay, great. I'll listen to that. You know what I'm not trying to make sure I can put food on the table for my kids. We have to prioritize and they really rank what is it that is going to catch people's attention with a pique their interest? And then and this is the part two that I think a lot of libertarians It drives me crazy. They try to be the master or was it the skill many some of them many master of none. That's kind of the your average libertarian, we see your average libertarian, they'll be they'll try to be the salesperson, the educator, the recruiter, and you can't necessarily do all of it at once. We have to appreciate that certain people in our movement can do certain things as well. So I Larry Sharpe on my show, Larry Sharpe ran for governor in 2018, New York, love Larry. And Larry is like, Brian, I'm the recruiter, I'm gonna bring in as many libertarians as I can to the movement. And you know what, when they're coming to the movement, I need you to tell people in the LP, that they're not libertarian, because I need you to train them, I need you to help educate them on what it means to be a libertarian, I can get them in and get them interested in Liberty, but I need you guys to help crafting the libertarians. And that's, it's also where we've been dropping the ball out, we see. You know, vote totals and vote totals are one thing to look at, you know, 4 million down to a million or so from the Libertarian Presidential candidate. I'm more concerned though with the the membership that stuck around and we haven't really seen memberships stick around. So my question is to the LP, what are we going to do to build up that base of long term lasting member because in business, who you go after, you don't always spend your time quadrate new customers, you make sure number one that your returning customers are happy. And we haven't really focused on trying to get number one, to get those customers to stick around. But number two to stick around for the long haul. That's the main thing that we've really been dropping the ball on. So I guess I'll ask you that. What are your thoughts? You know, do you think is the host and me coming out? Do you think telling stories is going to be the way that we're gonna be able to captivate a lot of people like you guys been doing it for the people? Or do you think we need to like be more going out, talking to people like face to face? And I asked I mean, I had So Young Americans for Liberty, guys and girls who go out and knock on doors, one out of every nine door that they knock on, they can get a vote from. So that's how it's working. So like, why aren't we doing it? So I guess what, do you have any opinion there on that?
Matt Kibbe 37:25
Well, it's like different things for different people. And I think I mean, the Larry, sharps are the world, to me, are probably the most interesting aspect of, of libertarianism. Because having been a former grassroots organizer, what we're trying to do is very different, right? Like, we're not building a cadre of people that that now read all the same books I did. We could do that. I mean, that's sort of what the Libertarian Party is now. And that's fine. But the goal here is to to have a communication strategy that that turns a bunch of young people on to this idea of just like, we call them liberty curious. And that's very different than being libertarian. It's having a sensibility that says, you know, what, maybe maybe if the government wasn't so involved in that things would work out better. And just having that sort of aha moment, but it was actually reminded me of a an event I did with with Larry sharper, where we talking about this very question. And it struck me that and this goes sort of back to what Penn Jillette was saying, Are we are we recruiting people to the party? Or are we building a community that's actually big enough to tolerate lots of disagreements, particularly, particularly as you're as you're learning and evolving and thinking things through and and it strikes me that if our goal is to convince a majority of Americans to be big libertarians and and to be able to quote Rothbard No, offense Logan, I know he's, you're a fan. But that's not it like it can be it can be very sloppy, messy coalition's on war, like what Ron Paul created, a lot of Ron Paul supporters came from the left because of that issue on criminal justice that cuts you know, it's very attractive to evangelicals on the one hand, and progressives on the other that that want to defund the police. I, I think all of that is fine. And I'm reminded, and I've told this story before, but there's this there's this awesome New York Times article, where all of Bernie's old socialist pals and Burlington are talking shit about him because he's not nearly socialist enough. And he's been such a failure for the socialist movement. And I'm thinking, dude, he just got the entire Democratic Party on board, and now has all of these acolytes like AOC and there's there's some more that came in in this last class and and that sort of bitching and whining about how he's not pure enough reminds me of any sort of ideological movement. You have the purists and and I'm kind of one of those guys myself. But I'm also a grassroots organizer. And if purity is your only goal, you're going to be small. Yep. And we're going through tremendous Growing Pains now.
Brian Nichols 40:20
Yeah. Well, I always say, Do you want to be the king of being right? Or do you actually want to get people to be more free?
Matt Kibbe 40:25
So you can you can? I don't think you have to choose. I'm agreeing with you on this. I don't think we have to choose but we at least have to be welcoming to people that don't agree with this. 100% Yes. So and Tulsi Gabbard is good on war? Exactly. She's not good on everything. No, we all know this. I mean, she she's, uh, at least a former Bernie bro. I don't know if she still is. And she's probably evolving in her thinking as well. But I think it's really interesting that she's, she's a Democrat, but the authoritarian, progressive standard, hate her guts. Like, we should have conversations with her, not so much that that she who has a fully developed set of views is going to change. But all of her young fans are they're searching, they're curious.
Brian Nichols 41:11
I had a guy on my show. So, man, I'm so glad you brought this up. I had a guy on my show, he was running for New York State Assembly in 2018. And he was running as a self avowed democratic socialist. So I did an entire show, it was called Ask a Democratic socialist. And, and with that show, I knew that I was never gonna change his mind. I didn't watch his mind. But I knew for a fact that he was going to share that show. And there was going to be folks that were his followers that were listening. And this is the first time that they're ever going to hear a libertarian perspective. And that that for me, just for them to hear a different perspective, versus they probably have been in their echo chambers for years. And they haven't heard any other ideas besides democratic socialism like that right there. That, for me, was more value than, you know, trying to convince him that free market economics is better than democratic socialism, because at the end of the day, he's not going to change his mind. But if I just planted that seed in like five people's minds that were his followers, I think I've done my job for that day.
Matt Kibbe 42:05
Yeah. And that's, that, to me, is a really interesting opportunity. And something that we worry about a lot at free to people, we have a our next video coming out, is called let's talk about democratic socialism. And it's a it's a new series we've done where I've spent a lot of time listening to what democratic socialists think they're saying when they talk about democratic socialism, as opposed to my knee jerk reaction. Well, that's a contradiction in terms. Socialism is top down. Democratic in the best sense is bottom up, right. And I'm, I happen to be pro democracy, by the way, and that upset some libertarians, but my version of democracy is where people make choices. And it's not the vulgar 51% of the public gets to do whatever the hell they want to do the 49% who lost, right? That's, that's a very dangerous idea. But But democratic might mean, your ability, ability to listen to Taylor Swift if you really need to go to help help your soul. Whereas I'm going to, I'm going to be streaming dead shows from the 70s. And and somehow or another, we're both better off and to me that's that's a thing but it like I wanted to understand and there's there's a huge literature on democratic socialism, they they've been arguing even before Marx, about what they mean by this, and Marx came in with a with a very authoritarian version, a very dangerous version, obviously, that kind of stamped everything else, because the whole purpose of that exercise is to talk to young people who are probably more attracted to the word democratic than socialist, and they're hoping that it means and AOC at her best actually describes the very bottom up process of communities cooperating solving problems. Well, of course, you and I know that that socialism every single time was always the best of intentions. 343 45 times we've tried this. It never turns out that way, even in places like Venezuela, which were legitimately democratic socialists, but then they just naturally devolved into a brutal authoritarian regime. Yeah. So like, I think there's, there's an opportunity, but it goes kind of goes back to where we started. Are we listening to the people who disagree with us enough to sort of respect them? Like, do you respect that they're actually trying to figure out how the world works as well? And I'm sure there are there are disingenuous and even evil people promoting ideas across the political spectrum. But when it comes to our fellow Americans, they're just they're just trying to figure stuff out. Yeah. And
Brian Nichols 44:50
I think it's important for us as small l Big L libertarians or just lovers of liberty to remember that not everybody is ever going to win. 100% agree with us and that's okay. I don't I don't think I want 100% of people to agree with me. That'd be a little weird. And I'm not sure you can have the Mandalorian but yeah, okay, so I just watched the gallery it was called is a roundtable of all the directors, and Jon Favreau, who is the creative director for the Mandalorian. He brought in like I think like six or seven different directors and you have to keep Tico YTD you have Dave Filoni, Deborah Chow, Bryce Dallas, Howard few up and then like to go through and listen to each of these people at the table. They have completely different ideas of how to film a Star Wars Show. But they brought all them together at the table, because with all their different perspectives, they were able to create, in my opinion, the best Star Wars content that we've seen since what the original trilogy probably. And like for me, that shows that what the answer is going to be going forward is not just libertarians, just socialist, just progressives, just Republicans, just Democrats, it's going to be a society where we all have different perspectives in our different localities, and we're allowed to live free, and you're allowed to live your life, so long as you don't hurt people. You don't take their stuff.
Matt Kibbe 46:15
I feel like we should end right there. But let's let's end with you, telling us where we subscribe to The Brian Nichols Show. And and just what you got coming up,
Brian Nichols 46:28
for sure. So as you aptly said, The Brian Nichols Show, it can be found Brian Nichols show.com, doing three Shows a week, Monday, Wednesday, Friday. And really the goal of my program, not only is to show folks how to approach these issues from a solutions based perspective, but also we're trying to have conversations with people about the issues that people genuinely care about, because I want my audience to walk away from every episode feeling they are educated, enlightened, and informed. And if I'm able to have my audience leave each episode feeling like that. I know I've done my part to help at least get somebody in a better position to maybe wake somebody up. That's going to be I think the main thing is we need to be really the alarm clocks of liberty. Get folks out there interested in what we have to say. And we have to make Liberty sexy like stop trying to hide behind you know, the the dogma and get out there show the value of what's going to do for people in their real lives. You want to talk about like getting people free, right? Talk about ending the lockdown. It's about getting more money in people's bank accounts, because that's not being taken away. That's what we're doing at The Brian Nichols Show. I'm having guests on. I mean, I've had CEOs, politicians. I've had level C level executives on my show, I had the chief marketing officer from Tiger fitness.com on my show, so really, it's I mean, heck, Matt, you've been on my show multiple times. We have folks from all over and really the end of the day. What we're trying to do is have conversations that people are going to be able to actually walk away with and make some
Matt Kibbe 47:55
real difference and I want you to land baby Yoda as a guest. I would love to do nothing. No one's been able to do that
Brian Nichols 48:00
roku. Little, little grow goo. We'll get him on here.
Unknown Speaker 48:03
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Brian Nichols 48:10
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