Allie Beth Stuckey is host of the popular CRTV podcast “Relatable” and best known as “The Conservative Millennial.” She spoke to Daily Signal editor-in-chief Rob Bluey and contributor Ginny Montalbano. You can listen to the full audio on The Daily Signal Podcast. An edited transcript of their interview is below.
Rob Bluey: You’ve had a busy day already, appearing on “Fox & Friends” and talking to conservative members of Congress. But before we get to some of those issues, I want to first have you tell your own story to our listeners. How did you get started and what motivates you?
Allie Beth Stuckey: I got started in 2015. That’s when I started speaking on college campuses to sorority girls about the importance of voting in the primaries. It was just kind of an awakening I had one day that, “Wow, this is a real need.”
I wasn’t in college, I just graduated, but my very informed friends and people younger than me are not well informed when it comes to politics. They were not even planning to vote in the primaries. This was not good. This was a big deal.
I created this nonpartisan presentation and started asking sororities at the University of Georgia—I was living in Athens, Georgia, at the time—if I could come and speak pro bono to their sororities about the importance of voting in the primaries. I had no idea and really no intention of this becoming my career. I mean maybe, kind of in the back of my mind, but I wasn’t thinking that at the time.
The presentation did well. I started getting requests from other organizations and sororities and then I started thinking, “OK, maybe I want to do this from a partisan perspective.” So I started the blog, The Conservative Millennial, at the beginning of 2016. And then it was a few months of doing that. I still had a full time job. I was a publicist and a social media strategist and it was a few months of doing that before it really started to take off.
I didn’t have any followers at first. It was just like your normal blog. I mean, you probably all have friends from college who started a blog. They thought that it was going to be this amazing political or fashion blog and it’s like, “Oh my gosh,” it never went anywhere and this person totally abandoned the idea.
A lot of people probably thought it was that. I probably thought it was that at first, but then it ended up taking off after I started doing these videos that became popular, and didn’t have any kind of sponsors or politicians behind me, or organizations or money, funding, anything like that, or even any equipment. I didn’t even have any lights or microphones. It was just me on my phone in my living room. And thankfully that ended up kind of picking up with a young audience.
Then from there we moved to Dallas. My husband’s job took us to Dallas, where I’m actually from originally. I started working at The Blaze through a series of coincidences and the videos that I was doing there did well. And then I started working at CRTV at the beginning of 2018. I speak on college campuses every month. I speak to a Republican organizations, even corporations like Marathon Oil, where I was a few weeks ago just talking about the importance of engaging millennials—how to engage millennials, how to reach out to them, and what it actually takes.
And so that’s kind of what I specialize in and it’s really just become a career for me. I do have the podcast that I do twice a week called “Relatable.” We approach culture, politics in the news from a Christian conservative perspective. And it’s been really fun. I love what I do and I still love that college age, particularly female audience, that’s just figuring everything out. That’s really my niche and it’s been fun to dig into that.
Ginny Montalbano: Allie, clearly you’re having a large impact, and a lot of my friends are big fans.
Stuckey: Oh, good. Thank you.
Montalbano: I wanted to ask you what is it like being so involved in politics but living in Texas outside of the swamp?
Stuckey: Yes, so I like that. I was actually talking to my Uber driver about that yesterday. He was like, “Oh, you know, it’s great that you’re in D.C. There’s so much opportunity here. Are you ever going to move here?” And maybe. Who knows where life could take me? I could move here, but I actually like living outside of New York or D.C., just because I feel like I’m not caught up in the weeds of the swamp, in the weeds of politics.
Politics and the media, they can both be really ugly games. They don’t have to be, but they can be and I’m just glad I’m not in the thick of it. I don’t want to say my life is a slow pace because it’s really not. I’m traveling a lot, but when I’m in Dallas, I’m just separated from all of that.
I live in this little suburb with my husband and my two cats and my dog and we just have a very simple, peaceful life. We go to a small church. I just prefer that pace and I prefer the freedom. And if I want to step out of all of this craziness, all I have to do is put my phone down.
Y’all live in D.C. I’m sure it’s a wonderful, great place in a lot of ways. But people talk about just kind of the nastiness of some of the people that live and work here and are in this industry. You feel like you have to watch your back all the time. I don’t feel like that. I’m just kind of in my own world and yeah it’s nice to have that separation.
Bluey: While in D.C., you’re meeting with members of Congress. What advice do you have for them, particularly when it comes with connecting with millennials?
Stuckey: Relatability is a big thing for millennials. We really care about the person more than we care about the policy or the politician. That is a fault of ours in that we—instead of really thinking about what we believe in, thinking about what kind of policy someone represents and what it means for us—we really are just attracted to personality. And while that is an issue for millennials, it’s not something that’s probably going to change very soon. So I think that’s something that conservative politicians can be mindful of—to up their likability and to up their relatability.
The old way of being a standard politician who speaks in very political terms and even the cadence and how they speak and how they relate to people, I think that way is out. Millennials see through that. We feel like that’s not transparent, that’s not vulnerable, that’s not genuine.
Conservatives don’t have to abandon our good policies and our logical positions, but we do need to be putting forth likable candidates. And our current politicians can also work on being likable and relatable and genuine and kind of abandoning that old, stiff politician feel. Just talk to people like they’re real people and talk about issues as if they affect real people—not just in political terms, not just in policy terms, not just in statistical terms, but personal terms. Tell me a story.
Allie Beth Stuckey @conservmillen lit up the room this morning at the Conservative Opportunity breakfast. Millennials are reversing divorce rates-the right track for our country. Thanks, Rising Star! pic.twitter.com/ytB5PPfPaL
— Steve King (@SteveKingIA) September 26, 2018
Montalbano: The personal touch is so important. At The Daily Signal, I know we always strive to tell stories about policy through personal stories so that people can feel connected. I want to ask you about something that you discuss frequently: feminism. What are its major flaws, especially when you look at what’s happening in the #MeToo movement?
Stuckey: Feminism, it sounds very righteous and it sounds like a very worthy cause. If you press a feminist or if you say, “Well, I’m not a feminist,” to a feminist, they say, “Oh, you don’t believe in equality? That’s all feminism is. It’s just equality between men and women.”
Well actually, no it’s not and we’re already seeing that. And I actually think parts of the #MeToo movement are good—that some victims are empowered to truly speak up about their trauma. I think that’s great.
A flaw of the #MeToo movement is that it glorifies victimhood rather than just bringing light to real trauma. It glorifies victimhood and it elevates accusers way above the accused to where we have reached the point to where we have to “believe all women unconditionally.”
That represents a flaw, not just in the #MeToo movement, but also in feminism because that is not equality. Believing all women is not equality. You are asking for special treatment. You are saying we’re not supposed to believe men because they’re men, but we’re supposed to believe women because they’re women. And they don’t even really mean that. They really mean we believe women that are useful for our agenda because they don’t believe Ashley Kavanaugh when it comes to her husband. They don’t believe the 65 woman who vouched for Kavanaugh’s character.
That just shows what they really want. What feminism really wants is special treatment, and in particular, special treatment for leftist women. That’s not equality.
It’s also hypocritical because they say that they’re for empowering women. I find that to be very condescending that I need special treatment in comparison to a man. I don’t think so. I think that I can get where I want to go based on my merits and my hard work. I don’t need any handouts from you.
Feminists are constantly in this conundrum of women are simultaneously so strong, so powerful, “We don’t need no man,” and also, “Oh, we’re helpless victims of the patriarchy.”
Bluey: Conservatives have a lot of misconceptions about millennials. As you’re talking to these audiences, what are some of the misconceptions that conservatives have about them?
Stuckey: That we are a hopeless generation, that we cannot be reasoned with, that we cannot be spoken to, that we’re going to be the death of America.
That argument bothers me because first of all, we weren’t raised by wolves. There is a reason why we are the way that we are. We didn’t just teach ourselves.
I have great Baby Boomer parents. I’m not blaming Baby Boomers for all of millennials’ problems. A lot of it is because of our own selfishness and the things that we learned in college and just our own spoiled nature that maybe our parents did not instill in us. However, we did have helicopter parents more than any other generation did. We did have an “everybody gets a trophy” mentality that our parents passed down to us when we were little. We’ve been told our entire lives that we’re so special, that we can do anything that we want to do. No one could tell us any differently and you’re entitled to success.
That has really come back to bite us, especially when we see us asking for things like Medicare for all or free college. We feel like we are entitled to everything. And we also feel like if anything is difficult, it is unjust. That is a true flaw of millennials. But we are not hopeless.
There was a statistic out today that says millennials actually might be turning the tide when it comes to marriage. Right now, I think the divorce rate is 50 percent, which is insanely high. But millennials compared to Generation X, which is the generation between Baby Boomers and millennials, we are actually more likely to reach our five-year anniversary at 35-years-old than Generation X was.
Now, it hasn’t been very long. There are fewer millennials getting married. We are getting married later, but apparently as of right now, we’re staying married longer. So I think what that shows us, and we see this in a lot of different ways, millennials actually have personally very conservative and traditional values. We believe, for the most part, in monogamy. We believe in commitment. And we’re also very capitalistic in how we consume things and how we behave.
We are the No. 1 consumers of Uber, of Amazon, of Netflix, of all of these innovations that would have been impossible without the free market. And I think all that needs to happen is bridging the gap between how millennials behave and the things that we really value and how we vote.
The gap is created by ignorance and it has to be filled with wisdom and knowledge. That’s where this relatability and this information comes in of people like us saying, “OK, millennials, here’s this gap. I’m going to fill it for you with some relatable information.”
Montalbano: As a millennial myself, I find that very hopeful. You were recently on the Ben Shapiro Fox News election special and I want to ask who should conservatives, particularly young conservatives, be looking to as the next generation of leaders within the movement?
Stuckey: Ben. I’m a Ben Shapiro apologist, and so maybe I’m a little bit biased here. …
You have your own thought, you have your own idea, you formulate your own opinion or reaction toward something, but then you’ll go to Ben, and you’ll be like, “OK, what did Ben say? OK. OK. OK. Yes, I’m on the right track. That’s what I thought, too. Great.”
There have been times where I’ve disagreed with him, but he is a very good indicator of, “OK, am I on the right track?” Because he calls balls and strikes. He’s very fair about President Trump, about conservatives. He’s willing to call out his own side. So you know in listening to him that you’re not just getting this biased, anti-intellectual take. He’s not just a partisan.
He really is seeking truth and there seems to be so few people that actually do that. That’s what I appreciate about him and that’s how I try to be as well.
Of course, I’m not on the same level as Ben. He’s also been doing it for a lot longer than me and his brain is just a lot bigger than mine, a lot smarter than mine, but he is someone that I emulate in a lot of how I seek facts and how I seek truth and the way that I try to present truth.
I just think that he’s a good model for young conservatives. Doesn’t mean that you have to be exactly like him. I am certainly not. I think that we’re very different people. We have different faiths, different styles and all of that. And not every young conservative needs to be like him, but just in the way of integrity and character and honesty and fairness. I think that he’s a good person to look up to.
Bluey: We’re certainly big fans of Ben as well, so I appreciate that endorsement. You’ve talked about the importance of relatability, and the name of your podcast is “Relatable.” What it is you try to accomplish on the podcast? Why should people listen?
Stuckey: I’ll tell you what I try to do and the reason why I think that it has been successful. It’s new, but we’ve gotten so much good feedback and it’s just been a very positive response and received well.
The people that I want to be listening are listening and that I see as a success. One of the reasons is because I don’t have a production crew. I don’t have a producer of my podcast. I don’t have a researcher, writer or anything like that. I just have a guy who helps me with my camera. So we don’t have anything like that to offer. It’s not that.
Whenever I’m writing my podcast, whenever I’m thinking about my podcast, whenever I’m speaking and choosing my language and choosing my words, I’m always thinking about one person. I think sometimes when we create content, we think, “OK, how do we want this to reach as many people as possible? How can I appeal to a wide audience?” Some people do that well, that’s not ever my goal.
My goal is, “OK, I have one kind of person in mind. I want to talk to her. I want to talk to the girl who doesn’t know what’s going on in the news, who doesn’t know how to fit it into her worldview, who is not sure how to comprehend all of this political stuff and fit it into her faith. How am I supposed to approach all of this from a Christian perspective, for moral perspective? How does this actually affect my life? Will someone just fit this into the context?”
That’s what I try to do. It’s not a news podcast of just telling you what’s going on. There are plenty of great ones that do that. It’s, “Here are the big things that are going on right now, or here’s a trend that I’m seeing. Here’s how I’m trying to analyze it. Here’s what I still don’t know. Here’s what I’m trying to figure it out. And here’s what the Bible has to say about it. Here’s what logic has to say about it. Here’s what morality has to say about it.”
I really think about that one 20-something girl that’s trying to figure it out. But we’ve also caught people in other demographics unintentionally, which is kind of what happens.
You get the 32-year-old mom who doesn’t have time to sit down and watch Fox News all day. You get the 55-year-old dad who’s like, “Oh, I just love this podcast for my daughters. It helps me talk to my liberal daughter who’s in college.” You get the 15-year-old. I spoke to a high school yesterday and I had four 15-year-olds come up to me and say, “I love your podcast,” which is so funny because I don’t think about them when I’m recording it. But you’ll inadvertently catch these people who relate to you.
It’s important to know your audience and to zero in on the kind of person that you want to talk to, appeal to them. I want them to finish my podcast thinking, “Wow. I actually feel smarter than when I started. I actually feel like I understand this now.”
I hope that it spurs their own analysis and their own thoughts that might be better, deeper, different than what mine are. But I want it to be a building block for people to actually feel smarter about politics and smarter about culture and actually feel equipped, not just angry and not just, “Oh, I can spout these talking points,” but, “OK, that gave me an interesting perspective.”
I also want them to feel like, “Oh, that’s someone I would want to be friends with. That’s someone I would want to sit down and have coffee with.” Not someone like, “Oh, Allie’s kind of scary. She was really intense.”
One of the best compliments I ever got was from someone who emailed me or maybe she commented or sent me a message. I forget which medium it was, but she said, “I’m liberal. My whole family is liberal, but all of us listen to your podcast and they call you the smart blonde girl.” I was like, OK, I’ll take that.
And they said, “We just like you,” and that is the biggest compliment that you could ever pay me. You might hate what I have to say, but you’re willing to listen to me. That’s what I want. I want it to be conversational in that way.
Anyone who is out there who’s thinking about starting a blog or starting a podcast, you can totally do it. Just think about that one audience member. Think about the gap that you specifically can fill and then do it.
— Ginny Montalbano (@GinnyMontalbano) October 1, 2018
Ginny: Allie, thank you so much for joining us.
Stuckey: Thank you so much for having me. It was fun.