Bill Whittle Goes Into the Lion's Den
Conservative warrior recounts his encounter with progressive students at the Freedom Center's West Coast Retreat.
Editor’s note: Below are the video and transcript to Bill Whittle’s key note speech at the David Horowitz Freedom Center’s 2016 West Coast Retreat. The event was held April 8-10 at the Terranea Resort in Palos Verdes, CA.
What I’d like to talk about, actually, for those of you who survived last night – I see a few of us have probably just gone into a hot tub and opened our veins after the two speakers last night. They were terrific, by the way. They were absolutely great. You can’t correct a problem unless you know what the problem is. You can’t adjust your strategy if you don’t know what your objective is and especially the comments we heard about the future of the Republican Party in terms of the ethnic breakdown is really important. That line, “We just need more Republicans,” is the line. It’s the line. So, how do we do that?
Well as it turns out, I got an offer to speak at a Jewish high school two days ago, on my birthday, and it was in Palo Alto. So you’ve got to figure private Jewish high school kids in Palo Alto is going to be a pretty liberal crowd. And sure enough, it was. I had mentioned earlier, many years earlier, in terms of messaging, that we should start thinking about new ways to message this thing, and I’m sure you’ve heard me tell the story that there was a young lady who asked me – she wanted to start a Tea Party group at her school – and she said, what should she call it? And I said, “For God’s sake, don’t call it the Tea Party. That would be a catastrophic mistake. Call it the Rebel Alliance. Don’t tell anybody what it’s about. Call it the Rebel Alliance and see who shows up.“ Well sure enough, these two kids at this high school up in Palo Alto started a group called the Rebel Alliance. And there’s only about five or six conservatives in the whole school, but they called themselves the Rebel Alliance, and they went further than that. They actually went out and raised the money for me to come up there because obviously I don’t speak for free. I get my $100.00 honorarium and $20.00 per diem, which Mike Finch talk me down to $17.50, the miserable cheap son of a – But, it was a really interesting chance to go up there, and so I want to tell you about that trip, because I learned about them and I learned a lot about how we can not only make messaging effective for millenials, but I think you could make the case that this is not a bad way to make messaging effective for the general population.
When it was asked what I wanted to talk about, the Rabbi wanted to talk to me for a while, and I said, “Listen, if I come up and do my regular dog and pony show all of the Progressives in the audience, which is most of them, are just going to roll their eyes and they’re going to snort and they’re going to do their ‘I’m better than you thing and boy, I have so many ways I could destroy you, but I can’t, because you’re talking.’“ So I said, “I’ll tell you what. Let’s just do it this way. I’m just going to go up there. I’ll do five minutes on what I believe. That’s all I’m going to do. Here’s what I believe. These are the things I believe in and then let’s make the whole hour questions and answers. That way I get to be the victim and they get to be the attackers and at least they’re listening, because they’re engaged. They’re throwing the darts, not receiving them, and I’m not afraid of these kids. I’m afraid of circus carnies, but I’m not afraid of these kids.“
And by the way, let me just say one thing about this – this quick aside. For the first five years of doing this I lived in mortal fear, I really genuinely did, that I was going to go out there and not meet the Progressive Goliath; I was really worried I’d meet the Progressive David, and somebody with such an incredible set of liberal arguments that they’d just reduced me to ashes and leave me embarrassed for the team. And I don’t fear that anymore because that guy doesn’t exist. He’s not out there. It’s not a question of how good he is. It’s a question of the fact that he’s got no weapons and he’s got no armor. The ability to flip Progressives is absolutely astonishing how easy it is. If you just sit down with them and get them out of their trenches you can do it in 15 minutes. It’s absolutely incredible, and that’s kind of what I want to be talking about today.
So, the first thing I do, obviously, is I try to loosen people up with a couple of jokes. And I told a couple of my favorite jokes that were especially pertinent to the fact that we were dealing with people who are 15, 16, 17 years old. The first thing I said to these kids was, first of all, it’s great to look out and see so many young faces in the crowd. I do a lot of Republican events and I look out and the average age is deceased. And a corollary to that is a young person asked me once, ”Why are Republicans so old?“ I said, “Well, it takes a while for life to beat the stupid out of you.“ So that actually got a bit of a laugh. I also told them one of the things that I’m most concerned about in this fight is this kind of disregard for the law, these voting irregularities and all these weird voting laws and voter fraud. My dad voted Republican to the day he died and then he started voting Democrat. That got their attention. Now there was one joke that I didn’t get to use, but I just heard a variation of this, so I’ll just try it with you and we’ll get on with the speech. So this guy ends up going to the doctor’s – typical doctor story. He goes to the doctor. He finds out he’s got two weeks to live. He’s got this terminal condition. He’s mortified. He goes around town seeking people who can help him. I’m sorry, there’s nothing we can do, nothing we can do. He finally goes into this guy’s office and he says, “I can help you.“ He writes a prescription out and he hands the prescription to the guy and the guy says, “You want me to go home and do nothing but watch Hillary Clinton speeches? That’s going to help me live longer?“ He said, “No, but it’ll seem longer.”
So let me tell you what I told them. I wanted to tell them who I was and what I believed in, and I want to make it brief. So this is basically what I said in the space of five minutes. “I believe that when it comes to the government or corporations, I’ll take the corporation almost every time. We’re often accused of not wanting any government. That’s ridiculous. I just want a government that fits in the box it originally came in. Pretty simple, really. Limited government. I’ll take the corporations almost every time because it’s a voluntary transaction.“ I told them, “I like the idea of low taxes because I think you have a better idea of how to spend your money than somebody else does. I don’t think somebody else is entitled to spend your money except for the things for this tiny little government.“ I told them that I believe in the free market. The power of people to make an exchange willingly has lifted billions of people out of poverty in the last 10 years. It’s incredibly liberating. It’s the best thing that ever happened to this planet. I told them I believe in gun ownership with no caveats, except to say, “I own two weapons. I own a 45 caliber side arm to kill bad guys at close range and I have an AR-15 to make sure they don’t get into close range.” I believe in private property. I think private property and individual ownership is what separates us from kings. I think America was invented to produce a home for the individual and private property, whether it’s a skyscraper or a hoodie – it’s something that you have that makes you unique. It’s yours.“ I told them I believe in a strong national defense that could beat all the other countries in the world combined, and I also told them I believe in energy – fracking, nuclear power – energy of civilization, and we should have as much of it as we can and it should be as cheap as possible. And I closed by saying, “Listen, labels are different. Labels change all the time. The Republican Party was originally a radical party that freed the slaves, and it’s back and forth and back and forth all through history; the Nazis, were they Socialists? Whatever.” I said, “Look, that really doesn’t matter. There’s really only two philosophies, and they’ve all had different names, but this is one thing you can say consistently through history. There are individualists and there are collectivists. And the individualists are brand new on this planet. But you either believe that you come ahead of the group or you believe the group comes ahead of the individual, and as Progressives, obviously, virtually all of you think that the group need is greater than the individual need. But I’m here to tell you that it’s not, and I’ll tell you why. So, let’s open up the shooting gallery and you guys can take some shots.”
Now, just before I started, as I was sitting down, one of these four Republican kids came up to me and said, “You know we’re so happy to have you here. When we heard that you were coming one of our counselors said it’s like inviting Hitler.“ I said, “Did she really say that?“ He goes, “Yeah.“ “Are you sure? You heard it with your own ears?“ “I heard it with my own ears twice.“ At the same time, they got me a birthday cake. I couldn’t be happier. They were lovely people. They really were. But I mentioned at the beginning that I’d been compared to Hitler and I said, “This is essentially what we have to start from, is this belief that we’re these evil guys. Essentially I’m not different from Adolf Hitler, with the minor exception that I didn’t start a world war or kill 6,000,000 Jews. Otherwise we’re virtually identical.“ And it’s startling the amount of prejudice that’s in the air. Forgive me if you’re a smoker. It’s like being around a smoker. There’s this constant sort of a bias. It’s like an odor that lingers with them and you can’t really shake it. So I told that business about Hitler because that’s going to come back.
So let me just tell you a couple of the questions that they gave. I’ll really tighten this up, but I realize going into this that I could learn a lot about this audience and learn a lot about this millennial age group, not by the answers that I gave them, but by the questions that they asked me. I wanted to know what they wanted to ask me. I thought that was important, and I think what you’re going to find is, is that they asked me the kind of questions that were designed to reinforce their ideas of how evil conservatives are. They didn’t do it mean-spiritedly. They’ll learn how to do that in college in a few years. But they were actually very nice, and they seemed genuinely interested in what a conservative thinks, but every single one of those questions that they asked, which I’m about to read to you was designed, I think, for them to be able to hiss and roll their eyes and they didn’t get a chance to do that. And that’s why I think this is important for the messaging that we might want to be thinking about doing.
So the first question they asked me was how do I feel about the Citizens United decision? You probably know that Progressives are on fire about this because it considers a corporation a person. Citizens United was the idea that corporations can make political contributions. How did I feel about that? I said, “Well, I’m in favor of that with conditions.” ”What do you mean?” I think corporations should be able to give large amounts of money to a campaign because unions do. I mean nobody has a problem with unions giving gigantic sums of money to campaigns. They’ve been doing this since there’ve been unions. Political parties are often wholly owned by a union. And I find it ironic that all of a sudden you’re up in arms that a group of people are contributing a large sum of money. This is fairly recent, when unions have been sending tons and tons off money to Democratic campaigns, and you didn’t raise a finger about that, didn’t bat an eye. How is it different? I said, “Look, I would be willing to consider one thing. The situation is now frankly ridiculous. This idea that we can raise millions of dollars through $2,000.00 bundling and the idea that the campaign and the Super PAC are not allowed to talk to each other. That’s just nuts. Let’s just either open it up or shut it down. Let’s either have completely open spending where anybody can spend whatever they want to, raise as much money as they want to. Either make it one or the other. Right now it’s like NCAA sports. Is this guy an amateur football player or is he a professional? If he’s playing for the Gators as a quarterback, which one is he? Well he’s kind of both. He has benefits of both. Let’s make it one or the other. Either everybody can contribute whatever they want to, which is kind of the free way to do it, but I would at least listen to the argument. I’d listen to the argument for federally funded elections because I could make a case that that would be a legitimate function of the federal government. I think it’s a debate we could have, where everybody gets the same amount of money. I’m for the former option, but I’d be willing to at least hear that case, because to me I’m all about the freedom. I’m all about small government.“
They asked me about gun laws. They said, “So you said you’re a big handgun supporter.“ I said, “Yeah, big gun supporter.“ They said, “Well, are there any gun laws that you would support?“ I said, “Yes, but let me just tell you a story first so we get on the same page here. How many of you out there have seen the videos of the killer whales, the orcas, and sometimes they’ll get right close to shore and they’ll drive the seals right up on the beach, and they can get them on the beach where they can’t escape? This giant thing the size of a bus will just basically shove itself onto the beach. Well, a lot of those kids have seen those videos, and I saw one of those a couple of years ago, and they’re always kind of sad, because I’m always on the seals’ side. And I saw one, no fooling, where the seal came out of the water, this orca was an inch behind it, literally clamped its jaw and missed it. And the seal turned around and bit it on the nose. And I thought that’s the coolest thing I’ve ever seen ever. So why am I telling you this story? Nobody’s going to say that that seal doesn’t have a right to bite that whale on the nose. No one’s going to say that seal doesn’t have a right to fight back against that whale. That’s that whale’s dinner. He should just lie there and be eaten like a normal person would be, like a liberal would want you to be if you find yourself in an alley confronted by people who are bigger than you. In order to satisfy their moral superiority, they’d much rather have you be a chalk outline on the ground and just sit there quietly and be murdered rather than compromise their sophisticated views about gun ownership. I don’t believe that. I believe you have a right to defend yourself. I believe your life is as important as Diane Feinstein’s life is. You don’t have personal bodyguards that are heavily armed. She does. Your life is as important as her is. So if you can’t afford to have somebody else armed protect you, then you should be able to protect yourself. I think you should be the seal in the orca story. It doesn’t seem unreasonable to me.”
“But to answer your question about realistic gun laws, some of this stuff I find myself in disagreement with with many hardcore conservatives, but this is why I’m trying to find a way to make a message that the American people can accept without compromising the principles. If you compromise the principles, you might as well be a progressive, right? I mean, you either believe in something or you don’t. If you believe in raw power you do whatever you want to do, but we have principles and we have to be in line with them.” So she said, “What gun laws do you support?“ I said, “I have to tell you, a lot of people disagree with me, but I do not have a problem with the background check, and the reason I don’t have a problem with the background check is because we know that everyone is entitled to defend themselves. They have a Second Amendment right to gun ownership, but felons are not allowed to possess firearms. That seems reasonable to me. So a background check to make sure that you’re not a felon and that’s the only reason, seems reasonable to me,” and she nodded, and she was satisfied with that, and the idea of being able to defend herself actually sunk into this person.
I got one about gay marriage. See how they all are? It’s like Citizens United, guns, gay marriage. What’s your position on gay marriage? I say, “That one’s actually easy. We’re talking about shrinking the federal government. I looked in the Constitution. Nowhere in the Constitution does it say anything about gay marriage. Nowhere in the Constitution does it say anything about straight marriage either. That tells me this has nothing to do with the federal government, nothing at all, zero. It’s none of the government’s business. You should be able to do whatever you want to do. I threw in, because I like to throw in a little hand grenade of information here, that the whole idea of marriage licenses was basically brought about by Democrats in order to prevent black people from marrying white people. That’s why they put it in there. They’re to stop this concatenation. They wanted to have a judge be able to say, ‘No you two people can’t get married.‘ Democrats brought it in. I think it’s a disaster. Get rid of it. It’s a civil service or it’s a religious service or it’s both or it’s neither, but there it is.“ And, I said, “However, while you (I got a little applause for that), while that means that people who find homosexuality a sin have to accept the fact that other gay people can get married because it’s none of their business, the reciprocal of that is also true. If you have a congregation of Christians that believe that it is immoral to do that, and they as a congregation decide that they’re not going to sanction gay marriage, they have the same right to their opinion as you do. They have a right to not marry people the same way that another congregation has the right to marry people. You can’t force people to do things they don’t want to do in this country unless their harming somebody else. It’s all about the freedom.“ And that reaction really seemed to sink in, because it’s consistent and that’s where I was going every day – every moment, every beat was freedom, freedom, freedom, freedom, freedom, freedom, freedom, and they liked freedom.
So there were a few more questions, but one more I’ll get to before I get to the two other ones. Somebody asked me, “What do you think about science? How do you feel about science?“ “I’m in favor of it. But you’re really asking me as a Conservative how do I feel about scientific evidence toward certain political positions. Is that what you’re asking me?“ “Yes.“ “Okay, I think that the evidence for evolution is so staggeringly overwhelmingly there that there can essentially be no question whatsoever that this is the mechanism that life on earth has taken. I think it’s absolutely rock solid. As far as evolution is concerned, I think there’s so many independent pathways and so many independent verifications that I just don’t think there’s any doubt about it. But that’s not why you’re asking me about the question, though, is it? You’re asking me because you want to know what I think about global warming, right?“ “Yes.” That’s the secret message. What do you think about global warming?“ I think it evaporated my water here is what. I just spilled some water on the podium so if it bursts into flames, that’s my exit and I’m going to get out of here. So I told him. I said, “Look, I’m not a scientist, but I play one on TV, and I have worked as a scientist for many years. I worked as an astronomy lab assistant and I worked in a geochronology lab for 4 or 5 years, so I know a little bit about science, and here’s my problem with global warming. Back in 2005 there was a program, I think it was on ABC, and I think it was hosted by Peter Jennings. I may have the network and host wrong, but the program was the same, and it was advertised like you must watch this or else your children are going to burn. This is the crisis of the age. And Peter Jennings was sitting there in front of the Arctic Ocean and he said something very similar to this. He said, ‘The last time that the Arctic Ocean was ice-free in September was 20,000,000 years ago. Global warming is real and it’s a problem.‘
“And apparently unique among the country I thought, well if it was ice-free 20,000,000 years ago, who’s SUV’s caused it to be ice-free 20,000,000 years ago? If you’re telling me that the situation today has not happened for 20,000,000 years and that’s a crisis, you’re going to have to do better than that, because 20,000,000 years sounds like a long time. Well, it is a long time. A thousand million years is longer than that. Four-thousand, five-hundred, six-hundred million years is how old the earth is, so when you look at an earth that’s four-thousand, six-hundred million years old, 20,000,000 years is not such a big number. If you go and stand in Kansas right now, which I don’t particularly recommend, because it’s not terribly interesting, but if you did, if you were to go stand in the middle of a wheat field in Kansas right now, that spot that you’re standing on 10,000 years ago would have been under 1 mile of solid ice, but 100,000,000 years before that it would have been under 200 feet of water and there would have been ferns everywhere and pterodactyls and plesiosaurs and brontosauruses walking through the things. That same spot has had an inland sea when the CO2 levels were 300 times higher than they are now and at the same time that same exact spot has been under a mile of ice. All of this happened before humans had any impact on the environment at all. So if you want me to believe that this is a crisis, you’re going to have to show me why this is unique, and if you really want me to believe it’s a crisis, as Glenn Reynolds says, you’re going to have to start acting like it’s a crisis. I don’t want to hear about how you flew your private jet to raise awareness for global warming. If you really believe global warming you would walk to that conference. And, by the way, that’s when I began to realize that guys like Leonardo DiCaprio, they don’t have the jets so they can go to global warming conferences. They go to global warming conferences so that they can have the jet. That’s really it. They’re so into the progressive idea that wealth is evil that they need something to justify the wealth, and so they find these causes and by going to a global warming conference, it allows them to have the jet. See how it works? All you have to be is a horrible hypocrite and ignorant and life gets real easy.”
So, the two main points here – I don’t want to run too long over time. The two main points they asked me about, the first one was abortion. This is my personal opinion. I said it to them. I’m going to say it to you now. The kid who asked me the question said, “What’s your opinion on abortion?“ I said, “I’ll answer that in a second, but first of all I want to make a point. Whose side were you on in the Civil War?“ And the kid said, “I wasn’t there.“ I said, “That’s a great answer. I wasn’t there either. I’m a veteran of something called World War I. You may have heard of it. That’s where I fought.” But I said, seriously, “Whose side were you on in the Civil War? Were you on the side of the Union or the side of the Confederacy? The Union fought to free the slaves. The Confederates fought to maintain them. Whose side are you on? Raise your hand if you’re for the Union. Most people. Raise your hand if you’re for the Confederacy. Nobody. Okay. Well, here’s the Confederate position. The Confederate position is that the Union, the federal government, has no business coming down to my state on my property and taking my horses. They can’t take my horses. They can’t take my cattle. They can’t take my crops. They can’t take my house, and they can’t take my slaves. This is my property and they have absolutely no right to come down here and confiscate it. None. The Union position was that this isn’t property. These are people. These slaves are people. You don’t get to hold people as property. Since you’re holding them hostage, we are essentially performing a police action. We’re liberating people who are held in bondage and so we are justified for coming down there and burning your farms to the ground since you’re fighting back. So the whole Civil War basically turns on one idea, and that idea is: is a slave a person, yes or no? Because if they’re not a person, then it’s property and if it’s property there’s no reason to fight that Civil War or the Union’s out of line. If it’s a person, on the other hand, the Confederacy has no right to keep those people and they have every right to come down and liberate them, so which is it? What do you think? Do you think black people are property or do you think they’re people?“
Now, that’s a no-brainer, obviously, not just for a Progressive high schooler but for conservatives here. Obviously they’re people and I’d love to do 20 minutes on the Civil War about the idea of how they became people, but my favorite Civil War quote about this issue was from a member of the Confederate Congress, maybe a member of the war cabinet. They were arming Union black men towards the end of the war, and there was a serious discussion, since they were so much out of manpower in the Confederacy, whether they should arm their own slaves. And this man said something I never forgot, actually. He said, “If slaves make good soldiers, then our entire theory of slavery is wrong.“ Isn’t that a beautiful thing to say? Because they did make good soldiers. They made great soldiers. The antidote to prejudice is excellence. And when they saw those guys go in there fighting and dying, as well as white men, they are real people.
So, why do I bring all this up in the abortion issue? Well, you start with conception, you end with birth. There’s nothing that happens between these two things. There’s no point where something changes conception to birth, it’s just a simple spectrum and it’s essentially the same procedure. So, is this a person or is it not? If it’s not a person, then abortion is simply a choice, like what color nail polish you want to wear that day. If it is a person then other people have a right to get involved in this argument in the same way that the Union has a right to get involved with whether or not Confederates are keeping people as slaves. Which one is it? Do you have a right to abort a baby that’s 5 minutes short of being delivered? I don’t think any of you believe that. On the other hand if you have a morning-after pill, nobody has a particularly terrible ethical problem with that either. So it’s a spectrum and basically it becomes more of a person every day. Now, I think it’s a person. I thinks it’s a person from the beginning, but I do have a set of principles and I am right on the fence on this one, but my overriding sense of principles is that nobody, especially the government, should tell you how to live your life and so, remarkably, I am slightly on balance of choice, as long as it happens early, as early as possible. This is my personal decision on this. I know a lot of people have a problem with it. I think it’s a moral argument, but I don’t want the government telling me what to do. It’s my entire case. Right now, with that said, I just want to say one thing, ladies. You know, you say to these kids, “Well, this is my body. It’s not your body.” If you’re going to have the argument, let’s be clear. It’s not your body. It’s in your body, but it’s not your body. It has different DNA. We could take any one of the cells in your body and type you and we could take a cell from that embryo or that zygote and it would be a completely different person. It is not your body and you didn’t make it by yourself either. You may have practiced an awful lot, but you didn’t make that baby by yourself. So, let’s just put the terms on the table and have this argument morally. Let’s have a moral argument and not make it a political argument because I don’t personally believe the government has the right to tell me how do to those kind of things.
The final one was about Socialism. I’m about out of time so I’ll just run this real quick. Everybody was actually being converted – not converted, but you could see they were hearing things that they never heard before ever in a way that they’d never heard them before, and the real magic I was working there was not convincing them about our philosophical principles. The actual effect that I had on these kids was convincing them that first of all I’m an actual human being and secondly I’m not filled with rage and hatred for people who are different than me, that I’m trying to solve problems in a different way than they are, but that I’m very concerned about these things. We talked about property and all that. I don’t have time for that.
But I want to talk about the fact that there was one kid there in a Bernie shirt, and this was a true believer. I mean he was a Bernie campaign guy. He had all the talking points and so on. We were talking about the 97 percent tax rate and I said, “It’s 97 percent? That’s everything. That’s all. What moral right does he have to take everything?“ And the kid said, “No, no, no. It’s only 90 percent above $400,000.00. The first $400,000.00 you could tax at the normal rate of 50 percent. We’ll give you half. It’s like $413,000.00, some weird number like that. All of a sudden the tax rate goes up to 97 percent.“ “That’s the federal tax rate,” I said to this kid. Forget about the state tax rate. When you add 9 percent to that, you’re looking at 101 percent, and all these other excise taxes and property taxes, you are actually working to keep nothing to pay for other people. Not only is that immoral and wrong, it’s stupid. Who’s going to do it? Who’s going to do it? Who’s going to work a penny beyond $399,999.00? Nobody is. I’m not going to. I’m not going to do some work that they’re going to take $0.97 on every dollar to some ancient Communist lunatic to hand me $0.03 back on the dollar so he can go impress people with how virtuous he is. No. It’s my money. We need to give some money to limited things. I’m not going to do it. And no one else is going to do it either.“
And this kid couldn’t understand it. He couldn’t understand it, and I finally said, “Listen. Socialism and Bernie Sanders is based on the politics of envy.” And I have come up with – most of the work is so derivative. Mostly it’s just regurgitating things that Dr. Hansen says over there and trying to find a way to elaborate on it like it’s actually my stuff, but this particular analogy I came up with on my own, because I wanted to demonstrate to these kids the power of envy. And how, if you understand the power of envy, you understand what drives the socialist impulse throughout history. I started out by talking about socialism by saying you’ve got 150,000,000 dead people you’ve got to account for and you’re not going to let them go unsaid. Bernie guy goes, “Well that wasn’t real.” ”The National Socialists?“ “The Nazis were right-wingers. They weren’t Socialists.” ”I didn’t name them. I didn’t name them. The National Socialist German Workers’ party. They did.” ”Yeah, but they weren’t real Socialists.” ”Well, okay, but they called themselves Socialists for a reason and I also didn’t name the Union of Soviet Social Republics either.” ”Oh, they were Communists. They weren’t Socialists either.” Okay, so you’ve got what, 6,000,000, 8,000,000, 10,000,000 dead in National Socialist Germany, you’ve got 30,000,000 dead in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, you’ve got 7,000,000 dead in Socialist Vietnam, you’ve got 3,000,000 dead in Socialist Cambodia, you’ve got unknown hundreds of thousands or millions dead in Socialist South American Cuba and so on. If it were me after I killed a few hundred million people, I’d start to think maybe this is not such a good idea.
But, no, they keep insisting they’re not doing it right, so he said, “Sweden. We want Sweden.“ Well, okay, fine, you can have Sweden, but Sweden’s about to collapse. Norway passed a law a few weeks ago saying, “We need extraordinary powers for when the fact that Sweden comes down, which could be any day now, we need to be able to turn people away from the borders of Norway, when millions of Swedes come over here, that are extra powers granted to us by the European Union.“ Norway is preparing for the collapse of Sweden. They passed legislation for it. I said the second reason that Sweden exists as your little Socialist paradise with cradle-to-grave benefits is because they don’t have to pay for defense. You know why they don’t have to pay for defense, Bernie Sanders kid? Because I’m paying for the Swedish defense. That’s why. Because the United States of America is providing for the defense of Sweden and Denmark and Finland and Great Britain and Germany, all of it. We’re paying for their defense. Well Sweden has an army, yeah. They’ve got an army of probably 30,000 people. They’ve got seven tanks and four fighter planes, but you’ve got Russia just a few miles away and that is not a defense against Russia. They can afford their social programs because they don’t have to pay for defense and we pay for it for them and we get blamed for it. We’re the evil guys. I said, “The main reason Socialism doesn’t work is because it’s a pyramid scheme.“ I pointed to four kids. I said, “You and you and you can each have – I can take a quarter of your total work away, a quarter of yours away, a quarter of yours away and a quarter of your away – leave you with three quarters and take those four quarters and make sure I never have to do anything, and I get cradle-to-grave benefits, and as long as the bottom is wider than the top, you can continue this Ponzi scheme. But it has to keep growing from the bottom.
We can agree that four of you can work hard enough to pay for me, but we can also certainly agree that you cannot pay for four of us, right? It’s obviously impossible. Now Sweden’s birth rate is 1.3, 1.4. It’s collapsing. It’s getting to be fewer and fewer Swedes ever year. So rather than give up their benefits and actually work harder and longer, they try to import new Swedes from North Africa and the Middle East. And the first generation of immigrants pretty much fit in. But the second generation got handouts and the third generation got handouts, and now they’re angry, and now they’re raping women, and now they’re just tearing the country apart. It’s about to collapse. Do you want to guess what the rape rate is in Oslo, Norway, the total number of rapes as a percentage committed by Islamic immigrants in Norway over a 5-year period? Does anybody want to guess what the percentage is? It’s 100 percent, 100 percent. And every single rape that occurred in Oslo over 5 years was committed by immigrants from the Middle East or North Africa, Muslim immigrants.
And I said, “Fine, let’s get to the envy thing,” because this is the point I wanted to make. Here’s my example that I came up with. I think it’s a really good example. I’m going to show you the power of envy and I’m going to demonstrate it in your own heart. You’re not going to have to look at it from the outside. You get to feel it from the inside. Here it goes. Ready? Let’s say that you worked in an insurance company for 25 years and you’re up on the eighth floor and you’re just one person in a cube of 100 cubicles and you’ve been doing this slog for 25 years. And at the end of the day on a Friday, the boss and the CFO come up to you and they say, “Bill, I just want to have a minute with you.“ And you think, “Oh, God, what have I done?” And he turns to you and he says, “Bill, we’ve been watching you for 25 years now. You’ve worked your tail off for this company. You’ve done nothing but work hard. You’ve never complained. You’ve gone above and beyond the call of duty. Everything you’ve done has been wonderful and to reward you for your hard work over a lifetime, I talked with our CFO here, and we want to present you with this check for $100,000.00. Taxes have already been paid on it. Thank you very much for everything you’ve done for us.“ And off they go. Well, what’s your reaction to this? Slightly more tony crowd than some of the crowds I’ve talked to, but $100,000.00 is $100,000.00 that you didn’t have a minute ago and you did not expect that you were going to have. You suddenly find yourself with a check for $100,000.00. What do you do? Well, you’re elated, and you’re elated because all of a sudden you have options you didn’t have before. Oh, my God. Now I can pay for my kids’ college education, or I can take that trip around the world, or I can buy that jet ski I always wanted. And you’re filled with joy and you’re filled with hope and you’re filled with possibility and you’re filled with excitement. You think about all the things that you can do, and you’re as happy as you can be, so you get up, not wanting to be too much of a jerk about it, but you get up and you call everybody else. “You guys, you won’t believe it.“ The rest of the staff comes around. You say, “You won’t believe it. The President was just here. He thanked me for 25 years of hard work and he gave me a check for $100,000.00,” and everybody else in the crowd says, “He came to our desk and he gave us a check for $250,000.00.“ Hold onto that thought. Hold onto that thought right there. That’s the flaw in the human heart. That’s envy. Because if everybody else on the floor got $250,000.00 and you got $100,000.00, you’re not $100,000.00 richer anymore. You’re $150,000.00 poorer. That absolute total complete net gain that had given you so many opportunities and so much joy that was nothing but gain, nothing but good for you, that $100,000.00 bonus is now a source of pain for you because other people got more. And you don’t think about what you could do with $100,000.00. You think about what you could have done with $250,000.00 and then the thing really starts. Then you start saying, “Susie got $250,000.00. She’s late every day. I do half of her work for God’s sake. John is an alcoholic. I mean I’m correcting his work. He gets $250,000.00 and I get a measly $100,000.00. What kind of a cheap organization is this anyway?“
And it flips your perspective and it’s powerful, because when I said that business about everybody else getting a check, you could hear a groan go through the room. I don’t care what other people make. I care what I make. What they make has no impact on me, and the reason it hurts in this example is because it’s a gift. Somebody gifted you $100,000.00, but they gifted you $250,000.00, so that person thinks more of you than they do of you. But if it turned out that they gave it to Susie because she worked from 6:00 in the morning to 10:00 at night for 25 years and she’d been there on weekends and everything and she got $250,000.00 and you only got $100,000.00 you’d be okay with that because it would be based on merit. So when you’re handing out free stuff that’s taken from other people by coercion, you’re driven by the sense of envy. They’ve got more than I do. I should have some. It’s theft and you can make a case, and I believe it, that you could find a group of people who would say, if you took an entire group of employees at the insurance company and you said that everybody has to accept the check or nobody gets the check, you would find people, I’m telling you, who would turn down $100,000.00 tax-free because the idea of everybody else getting $250,000.00 is intolerable to them. We call these people Democrats and there’s something wrong with them. There’s something wrong with them. They’re busy thinking about other peoples’ lives because they don’t feel like they have any control over their own. We want everybody to be free. We want everybody to be masters of their own destiny. We believe in the individuals. We believe if you protect the group, then that group can be protected and other groups are not. But if you protect an individual, everybody’s protected. If you protect the individual – the first Jewish businessman in the beginning of the Nazi onslaught. If you have legal protections around the individual, the first time somebody tries to tell John Rabinowitz that he can’t practice law, he says, “No, no, no, no, no, no, no. You don’t get to do this to me. I have inviolate personal freedoms and you can’t touch me.” And then you don’t get the Holocaust. When you protect groups, and you support other groups, now you have a target for your envy. Is it the Jews? Is it the Kulaks? Is it the intellectuals? Is it the one-percenters? You’ve got to have somebody you can get ginned up and hate about. Got to have somebody you can envy. You’ve got to have somebody you can steal from and you’ve got to make sure that those people are perceived as having stolen their wealth, because if they earned their wealth, you taking it is stealing. But if they stole their wealth, you taking it is justice. That’s how it works.
It’s all stealing, and the kids loved it and they told the guy – I got an email from them the next day saying the school’s on fire. That’s all they’re talking about. We have a speaker every week. You’re the best speaker we ever had – duh – and they want you to come and do a day, and then he said parenthetically, “We record all of these things, but the Rabbi has deleted your video.“ “He did what, now?“ “He deleted your video because you made an off-color remark about the school.“ “What remark about the school?“ “The business about somebody here calling you Hitler.“ “Well, he did call me Hitler. Why would I invent that?“ He used that as justification to erase the video. He didn’t sequester the video. He didn’t put the video on hold and not drop it and release it until they found out the truth of it. He deleted the video and he deleted the video because I was effective and I had an impact on those kids. And if we take this kind of message to the American people, we will make more Republicans. We just have to have the brains to do it. I’m way overtime this morning. Thank you so much for having me and it’s great to be here.