Feb. 23, 2023

688: Why Libertarians Need to Prioritize CULTURE WARS

@BrianMcWilliams joins to discuss the importance of cultural conversations in spreading the Libertarian message and the need to prioritize culture wars over election campaigns.

How can cultural conversations help spread the Libertarian message? Tune into The Brian Nichols Show, where host Brian Nichols and guest Brian McWilliams of the "Mean Age Daydream" podcast discuss the power of cultural conversations in spreading the Libertarian message.

McWilliams argues that Libertarians should take advantage of social media to engage people in conversations about trending topics and add their insight. He emphasizes that culture leads politics and engaging in cultural conversations is essential for political success. Nichols agrees and adds that Libertarians often have fun conversations about culture that can help spread the Libertarian message.

But it's not just about having fun conversations. Nichols and McWilliams discuss the importance of prioritizing culture wars over election campaigns to spread the Libertarian message. They emphasize the need for leaders that people can look up to and emulate, rather than those who are "hot messes." They cite a recent podcast episode about beloved author Roald Dahl as an example of how engaging in cultural conversations can help spread the Libertarian message.

The conversation also touches on how culture is impacting discussions about the COVID-19 pandemic, with McWilliams pointing out how the New York Times published an opinion piece that allowed a discussion of the effectiveness of masks. Culture is being used to discuss how to live our lives, run our businesses, and educate our children, making cultural conversations essential for political success.

Nichols also shares his experience making YouTube shorts that have been successful in engaging people, even if they love or hate the content. He emphasizes the importance of using social media to get people engaged and shares a meme of a woman working out numbers in her head as an example of how people engage with content.

So if you want to learn how to spread the Libertarian message through cultural conversations, tune into The Brian Nichols Show. It's time to prioritize culture wars and engage people on important topics.


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Brian Nichols  0:06  
Hey, libertarians. Yeah, you can't avoid the culture war. Let's talk about that. 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 heard of meet people where they're at on the issues they care about. Welcome to The Brian Nichols Show. Oil Happy Thursday. They're here on The Brian Nichols Show. And thank you for joining us on a fourth episode, I am as always your humble host. Don't you live our Stratus ip Studios here in lovely Eastern Indiana. Don't let cyber attacks or outdated Business Technology put your company at risk? Learn more at the Brian Nichols show.com forward slash Stratus ip well libertarians we've been talking about this for a while and well strap in because not only you're getting Brian Nichols but you're getting another Brian joining us here on the show today. And we're going to talk all things culture in the world of libertarian politics. Joining me from the Lions of liberty network and host of Brain Age daydream, the one the only Brian McWilliams. Welcome back to The Brian Nichols Show,

Brian McWilliams  1:06  
Brain Age daydream.

Brian Nichols  1:08  
And I say meet me daydream. Ryan's squared.

Brian McWilliams  1:15  
I love it. Well, it's it's it's like when I got my acceptance letter from William and Mary College. It literally said congratulations brain and I went well, you're you're out. If you can't spell my name out of the acceptance letter. I know if I want to use you as a higher education, by the way speak of higher education. Or you just printing up like in the background, you've got these wooden certificates and he's printing up your own fake wood input certificates.

Brian Nichols  1:38  
I have a buddy from high school and he does wood, like wood printing, but he uses the I don't know like I like the wood burning that he does. Yeah, so he mocked up there's the one spike Cohen's you are the power. I had that as my my Facebook photo. And then it's my logo. And he sent a couple of those to me in the mail. So I said, I'm gonna put him right behind me my show.

Brian McWilliams  1:57  
Oh, nice. No one says me anything in the mail? It's nothing that's not ticking or leaking some sort of white powder?

Brian Nichols  2:04  
Well, I mean, yeah, you depends. Because we're libertarians. And people are always sending us Fun, fun gifts, right? Which speaks to our question slash conversation for today. And that is libertarians send each other fun things via the culture? I don't know. I'm trying to segue. It didn't work. Right and talk to us, right? You do a lot of stuff not at Brain Age, wherever the hell I said mean, age daydream, you guys switch your show so many times over on lions, I get lost. But talk to us in terms of what you've been focusing on. When we're talking about the culture, right? I mean, this is a cultural conversation. I think I've been seeing us have more frequently in the libertarian circles. But there's still a bunch of folks who are saying we shouldn't be having this conversation.

Brian McWilliams  2:46  
Yeah, I actually don't understand how anybody can say we shouldn't be having a cultural conversation. I mean, if there's one thing that we know for a fact that that libertarians do not engage people on the conversations or topics that they want to be engaged on, I mean, we've been yelling at the wall for years about various topics have been weakened yell and the Fed, we can yield taxation as death or theft. People don't necessarily want to hear from us on topics that they're not thinking about right now, in the in the mainstream in the zeitgeist, and especially in the age of social media, there is such an unbelievable opportunity to jump on trending topics and add our insight into what's going on with the culture. And also, let's not forget that, yes, culture does lead politics. And I don't know about your thoughts on this. But when I look at a lot of what's going on with the Libertarian Party, with state parties and emphasis on supporting candidates over fighting a cultural war, I actually think that we need to be completely reprioritizing, creating content that can be used weaponized to fight a culture war, first and foremost. And if people can run for office and win, great, but as we've seen, that doesn't always happen. In fact, it happens less often than we'd like. Or you can imagine.

Brian Nichols  3:55  
I was so I was on your cohort, John odermatt program recently talking about my brand new book, which is how to win your local election. And he John brought up the the Well, Brian, let me ask you, do you believe in the idea that we should run, you know, a million different libertarians and a million different offices? I'm like, Absolutely not. Because at the end of the day, so many of those folks who end up running, they themselves are hot messes, and we're not focusing on the person first. How can we expect to try and have everybody else emulate and build society, upon what we're representing as our ideas and then trying to live by those values? Like, I'm sorry, and then I'm not trying to be disparaging to anybody in particular, but like, if you're a neckbeard, and you're sitting in your mom's basement and you're morbidly obese, and you're just eatin the seed oils, you're drinking the Mountain Dew, you're playing the video games, that's all your your life is who's gonna follow you and I'm sorry, that's just life. Nobody's going to look to you as someone they're gonna be like, yeah, that person's got their stuff together. And I want to go ahead and listen to what they had to say and and live my life like them because they really seem to have it going on.

Brian McWilliams  4:59  
Right If people look at the leaders, no matter what walk of life it is, you don't want to look at somebody and be like, You know what, I can be that person, if only I stopped working out, didn't go into the sunlight and stop being social. It doesn't work. It just flat out doesn't work. But you know, I mean, to your point now, obviously, we want to stay focused on the cultural warfare topic here. Yeah, we have to engage people in culture. And when you think about, like, I was just talking to the redhead, Libertarian, she was on the show about, you know, tying things into culture. And of course, the Libertarian party in New Hampshire is kind of a poster child for the good and the bad of engaging with cultural topics, but at the same time, whether or not you think that they're doing a good job or bad job, they are without a doubt impacting people, they are getting attention. And libertarians. Our greatest sin is probably the fact that we do not get attention ever for anything. They just had a giant anti war rally, I say giant comparatively but a big anti war reality for us in Washington, DC Guess how much media coverage that got?

Brian Nichols  5:58  
Well, we'll get we did get a little bit of something on MSNBC with Rachel Maddow.

Brian McWilliams  6:03  
Oh, well, I didn't know that. Well, that's very nice, was it?

Brian Nichols  6:07  
Of course not. It was a you know, Rachel Maddow being Rachel Maddow. But I digress,

Brian McWilliams  6:13  
of course. But point being, you know, when he tried to do the the libertarian things in the libertarian way, you typically are met with yawns outright contempt or derision. When if you engage in the culture war, you can actually change your mind. You can be funny, you can showcase that you understand on an emotional level, which is something we're not very good at, or on a humorous level, which is something that we're not nearly known for, and show people different side of what we're talking about more than just again, repeating the same diatribes.

Brian Nichols  6:40  
So you go out and you have a show, not Brain Age, daydream, but mean age daydream, and talk to us when you're having cultural conversations. What are the episodes that people reach out to you in particular that like, you know what, Brian, that wasn't a plus conversation? Where do you see it more folks are, are spending more of their cultural conversations, so we know where to start having it internally ourselves?

Brian McWilliams  7:05  
Well, so I think, you know, I'll give you a recent example and I just published this episode, so I don't know the feedback yet. So far, it seems to be doing well. But there's a conversation around a beloved author Roald Dahl. Now Roald Dahl, of course, Willy Wonka in the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, Matilda, the witches. These are people that are absolute cultural icons, right. And the more I see people talking about cultural icons, the cancellation of such Chris practically tried to cancel anybody that is a major cultural figure or a beloved character like Roald Dahl, who has impacted pretty much everyone's child unanimously, it's hard to find anybody who hasn't come across Roald Dahl seen a movie read a book. These are the biggest opportunities where you can get in there and talk to people about censorship, about free speech about free thinking about the adjustment that's being made to the way in which we understand the reality that we inhabit. And you'll find that most people are not okay with it. And now by extension into something that everybody is impacted by COVID as well. Now, COVID, you might say, that's more of a political issue, that's more of a medical fascist state issue. It's also majorly cultural, because so many people use it as a cultural identity wearing masks around non stop. Now you've got the New York Times publishing opinion pieces, or allowing an opinion piece to be published without the newsroom going up in arms like they do. And Tom Cotton got a article, allowing the opinion to be discussed that masks haven't done anything. So now you have the opportunity to talk about the culture impact and how people are using the culture to basically be a performative aspect. In regards to your safety, your children's educational future, how we can go about living lives, running businesses, this is all culture, because it's gone beyond the realm of politics. But you can see you can use entertainment, or you can use your everyday lifestyle to talk about culture and to get people either riled up or nodding along in agreement.

Brian Nichols  8:55  
I've been doing YouTube shorts a lot. And folks either love them, or they hate them. And I love it. Because either way, getting people engaged. Right, right, exactly. And what we're seeing is a lot of folks at least responding now and you can see the it's the meme of the lady doing all the math around her head, the numbers in the equations, you can see that in the comments on the videos, and I mean, they're getting like, you know, 2000 views in the first like 2030 minutes. And it is amazing, because but what's happening is you're hitting it right there, Brian, we're actually entering into that the conversations that people are actually having, versus trying to force feed like, Hey, did you read this book on the Fed yet? It's like that's not no, that's not how this works. Nor is it how your average person will enter into a conversation with someone they're not looking to just be good idea to death. They're looking to either have their interest piqued, or in many cases that's done through challenging someone so even if they're not necessarily our target market right now, I know that I'm I'm planting enough seeds just by the nature They're responding. And that speaks to that I must have just irked them enough to challenge them enough that they have to feel that they have to get this out. But now that that they've seen it, they can't unsee it. And I did one snarky video talking about how Ukraine just got $100 billion plus now over the past year, and it's like, wow, I wish that East Palestine, Ohio was named kif. So they could go ahead and get some of that as well. And just the replies are coming you know, that that's the military budget that wouldn't go to East Palestine. And I'm like, my fam, you're, you're missing the point. Or you're seeing the point and you just want to ignore it. That's how you enter into these cultural conversations. You start the conversation by setting the narrative not by trying to enter in explain away your positions, and be the actually guide. That's not how it works.

Brian McWilliams  10:46  
Yeah, the actually guy is the bane of many, many libertarian memes, jokes, and everything else. I did the same thing making a joke. I remember what it was just very recently, a joke online that somebody you know, again, pushed up the glasses, actually, me Oh, my joke was that we maybe we have got a blanking on the name of it. Forget it. I can't remember my own name. So I was about socialism and how socialism hasn't been tried. It hasn't killed off millions of socialist because it always fails. I can't remember the joke. Now. I apologize to your audience. But

Brian Nichols  11:16  
point they don't worry, they heard me mess up your show like, and I failed, what enthusiasm to let's just say that,

Brian McWilliams  11:22  
thank God, it's like nor McDonald, you got to tell the joke fail, then tell the joke again. But to your point, you know, ripping people getting them all fired up, it gets them engaged. But also, I think you hit it on the head with the shorts concept, right? I mean, a lot of what we do, and a lot of libertarian thinking is not a short concept. It's not a punchy thing that you can share, and which people can understand in short format. So many times as you referenced, we're like, go read a book, No, tell people something that's going to cut through the BS and reach them in their place, which is either going to enrage them, or reach them and make them think I don't need truth. A lot of times, when you get somebody mad about something, even if they respond with pure anger, they're gonna go back, it's gonna stay with them, they're gonna think about it, they're gonna come back again. And in truth, they might come to a bigger realization from getting angry, because that anger pierce through the shell of the narrative that was built around them. And you think about so many of these people's reactions is because they've been told one thing and one thing only, and you just shattered that worldview. And once that cracks open, who knows? What's gonna see been? Yeah. Oh,

Brian Nichols  12:22  
and we're, you know, in the sales world we talked about once you see it, you can't unsee it. So how do you help your customer see something for the first time, and I always find that telling stories is one of the best ways. I mean, I'm not picking on anybody, you know, sales, guys of yesteryear that I've worked with, but I've heard guys, they'll go through and be like, alright, and here's who we are. And here's how we can help. And it's like, just a laundry list of facts and figures versus here's a customer I worked with, they had 11 locations, they got hit with a ransomware attack, here's how much that impacted them on a daily basis. From a number standpoint, you know, they're losing a million dollars in revenue every single day that they're not able to be functioning, here's what we did to help address that, right, tell that story. And then you can make it so the person not only can better understand, but then they can retain it and recite it to other people. I mean, God, one of the hardest things in sales is not getting your champion on board, you can sell it to them all day long, because we're the ones talking to them. But it's the that get them to go internally and sell to leadership, go sell to the finance guy, go sell to the CEO, get that that energy and enthusiasm that we have planted with them and get them to then transfer that energy over. It's tough, right? And when you look at the world of what we're doing in politics, we're doing the same thing. We have to get individual people on board, get them enthusiastic about what we're talking about. But then we have to get them to be able to go out and actually spread this stuff on their own. Because Brian, there's only so many hours in the day. Unfortunately, there's only you and I for this Brian squared here today, can't go out and do everything at all times, in all circumstances. We need people to fill out the voids. And it's you audience member it's you who's listening, that we need to go and actually do this stuff effectively not the throw a book at them and hope that it hits them in guests in some way. We actually have to meet them where they're at on the issues they care about.

Brian McWilliams  14:18  
Yeah, you know, it's funny. So mean age daydream, one of the reasons I rebranded to this name is because I'm working on concepts because a from a sales aspect, the storytelling is very vital. And I think we actually have to achieve a sort of religious philosophical fervor to what we're preaching. The problem is it's so dry, it's hard to understand. And what we preach most often is a negative approach. It's, hey, this thing is broken, right? We this shouldn't be happening, we should tear it all down. But we don't talk about building it up. We don't talk about selling them a dream of what that better future looks like. So what I want to do and work on and I'm taking this topic by topic and basically trying to create a book about it, which is going to be a look at libertarianism and anarchism through the lens of what is possible the pure potential of what we can promise with the philosophy and then try to tell it take that to the next level by combining it with a little bit of a, I guess, a fantasy aspect of sci fi aspect, try to imagine what we can look at 50 years in the future because we look at what we're losing in the culture war, when we look at we're losing to these democrats and the conservatives, mostly the Democrats. So is they pitch a utopia, the GOP pitches, hey, remember how great it used to be right that's their, that's their big selling point, we're

Brian Nichols  15:30  
gonna go back to what it used to be Make America Great Again,

Brian McWilliams  15:33  
make it great back to the 40s Everybody, you're gonna have a stuck to a Stetson or a Studebaker in the driveway. And you know, everybody's gonna have pastel houses, and the Democrats are telling you, you're not going to have to work, we're going to provide your food, you're not going to have to worry about a job ever again, you know, all these, these learn

Brian Nichols  15:48  
to make that shitty resume or you go make that shitty resume.

Brian McWilliams  15:51  
Yeah, you have the freedom to do whatever you want to be, and everybody's going to turn out equal, we have to find a story, we have to find mythology that we generate, that promises, better outcomes and a better brighter future that people are going to look to and go holy moly, that is amazing. And then they're gonna remember that they're going to tell their friends, you won't believe what I just heard this libertarian philosophy, here's what they're telling me is going to be possible in 10 years, 15 years, 20 years. And you know what, it sounds amazing.

Brian Nichols  16:18  
And this goes to, right here at the bottom of screen, why I took us to heart approach at doing the local elections. And I talked about this with John on his on his show, that we It doesn't matter how great our ideas are, unless people see that it makes sense. And it can actually happen. And we can talk about all day long, how great it would be to see a Ron Paul in the White House, right. But the only reason that was even a possibility is because we had Ron Paul in the house. So what we need to do is start building a bench of libertarians locally, who we can then move up to higher levels, start earning people's trust in the electoral pace, when you're going to the local elections versus just saying, Hey, look at these great ideas. And you should vote for me because my ideas are better than the other team that doesn't work, you have to actually go out and build and earn people's trust. And I think right there is where we lose so many folks, as we think just because our ideas are better, that that instantly means we should win. And that's not how it works. It's if you're in the world of sales, you know, it doesn't matter how great your solution is, how great your product is, how wonderful your service is, if you're not able to differentiate to your competition, and show the value that you bring to the table relative to the price or cost you're justifying, good luck, it doesn't matter you because you're going to price yourself out if they don't see that value. So I guess let me go to this question, Brian, as we're going to the end of the episode here. And that is, where can we do better? I know you mentioned doing shorter, more concise content, that we can better get our ideas out there to folks that they don't have time for a book, but where else you see when we were going out and we're having these cultural conversations that we can go and do better overnight.

Brian McWilliams  18:05  
You know what I think it's as simple as trying to take a little bit of a better perspective, and not taking that you know what, I just owned this guy mentality. Well, that's attractive, and social media, I think you'll find that you know, and when you talk about sales, you talk about winning people's ideas over if you come at somebody and you simply try to make them feel stupid, look stupid, all the people you're converting are already converted, the people that are gonna cheer you on or the people that are already on your side. And all you're doing is making someone's shields go up their walls thicker, and basically placing a rebound effect where they are less likely to listen to any idea that you say, or anything else in the sphere says. So trying to get a little bit more empathy, which I know is hard for us libertarians a little bit more empathy in the way we communicate and try to engage people on a conversational rather level rather than a I'm going to spike a volleyball on your face level is going to go a long way. That's something that we can do overnight instantaneously without much heavy lifting.

Brian Nichols  18:57  
All right, there's a great call to action. And to make it easy for you folks, if you're joining us here on YouTube, we're going to continue the conversation video will pop up here in the middle, it's going to be a conversation I did teaching empathy. It's actually an exact class I would teach to my sales team, and how to put yourself in other people's shoes. That's so important. And honestly, one of the most underrated guys in the world of sales, but also the world of personal connections in life. And one of only Dale Carnegie if you guys have not had the chance yet go read his I think 100 year old book at this point How to Win Friends and Influence People. It is just all time top book you can possibly read. You just figure out how to have normal conversations with normal people. And to leave it feeling that you're actually making a difference. You're making someone not annoyed with your libertarian ideas. You're not pissing off your friends, you're actually showing that we can have genuine conversations with real people and bring our ideas to the table and make it so it seems like it's their ideas. And you do that by helping them see things that they can't unsee planting seeds. And as we talked about today, Brian, planting the seeds for cultural conversation for the long term. So that's my final thoughts today. What do you have for us for your final thoughts? And of course, where can folks go ahead and continue the conversation not subscribed to brain something daydream, I said, but rather mean age daydream. And also, where can folks go ahead and support the show,

Brian McWilliams  20:18  
so they can support us at Patreon patreon.com forward slash Lions of liberty or Lions of liberty.locals.com, we have different tiers, you get all our bonus content. And yeah, follow us at Lions of liberty at Brian McWilliams is mine of course, you can find my show and John show which Brian was just on very recently, at the Lions of liberty network, we also do a Friday show called meme wars, which is always good fun. Final thought is just that. I know, it's not always easy. When you have limited bandwidth to try to get engaged with culture, I think a lot of libertarians might be a little bit scared of it. Because we tend to be very logic oriented, we tend to be very silo oriented in what we feel comfortable talking about. We know the libertarian space, we know this philosophy, we know the facts, we know the figures, we don't necessarily like to wade into cultural ideas where we might not have a depth of information behind us. But that's the challenge guys is finding a way to apply the philosophy to the cultural conversation. If you can't do that, you might as well just stop trying to influence anybody at all. Apply your knowledge, find better ways to reach people. And that is your homework. So enjoy it. Do it pencils down. And Brian, thank you for having me on the show.

Brian Nichols  21:28  
Brian McWilliams It was a pleasure. And folks if you got some value from today's episode, well do me a favor, go ahead and give it a share. When you do go ahead and tag yours truly at being nickels liberty and give Brian McWilliams a tag as well. And when you go subscribe to his awesome show over on lines of liberty plus all the other great shows over there. Please tell them You heard them over on The Brian Nichols Show. And otherwise, folks, that's not the end of today's episode. Like I said, I will continue today's conversation if you're joining us here on the YouTube right here. Otherwise, if you're listening to us on the podcast version of the show, which I know 99% of you are well hit the artwork in your podcast catcher, it'll bring you over to the Brian Nichols show.com where you can find today's episode the entire transcript for today's episode, all the aforementioned links and oh, by the way, all nearly 690 episodes of The Brian Nichols Show. So that's all we have for you. That being said Brian Nichols signing off. You're on The Brian Nichols Show for the one and only Brian Nichols Williams from the Lions of liberty. We'll see you tomorrow.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Brian McWilliamsProfile Photo

Brian McWilliams

Co-Founder Lions of Liberty

Brian McWilliams is a native Philadelphian currently living in Los Angeles and practicing public relations and stand up comedy with equal aplomb. His passion and concern for liberty was realized during Ron Paul’s 2008 campaign, which shed light on the troubling initiatives our government was embracing that infringed on the tenets that the United States was founded upon. Brian is the host and producer of “Mean Age Daydream,” the Lions of Liberty Network’s weekly Wednesday look at current events, culture and comedy through a liberty lens.

Follow Brian on all his platforms through his Linktree: https://t.co/bCEgbSFOOO