“The left is weak. It may not feel like that when you’re being censored on Facebook … but those actions actually evince weakness. When you have to censor people, it means they’re afraid,” says Sebastian Gorka, host of “America First” on the Salem Radio Network and author of “The War for America’s Soul.”
“We have a republic to save. And guess what? With you, we can do it.”
Gorka joins “The Daily Signal Podcast” to discuss how the radical left is trying to destroy the country, and how conservatives can fight back effectively.
We also are joined by Morgan Zegers, founder and CEO of Young Americans Against Socialism, who discusses why socialism is so popular among young people and what can be done to push back against its rising popularity.
We also discuss these stories:
- U.S. Capitol Police are ordered to arrest visitors and congressional staff who refuse to wear a mask on the Capitol grounds.
- The Biden administration will not renew a federal moratorium on evicting Americans who have fallen behind on rent payments because of COVID-19, but asks Congress to extend it.
- The Senate votes to move forward with a trillion-dollar infrastructure deal.
- Over 200 Republican lawmakers ask the Supreme Court to overturn its Roe v. Wade decision, which legalized abortion across America.
Listen to this episode of “The Daily Signal Podcast” or read the lightly edited transcript below.
Doug Blair: We are joined today on “The Daily Signal Podcast” by Dr. Sebastian Gorka, the host of “America First” on the Salem Radio Network and author of numerous books, the newest being “The War for America’s Soul.” Dr. Gorka, thank you so much for being with us.
Sebastian Gorka: My pleasure. Always fun to be with anyone from [The Heritage Foundation].
Blair: Well, we appreciate your being here. So, I wanted to start out first by talking a little bit about your radio show “America First.” I’m curious to kind of get an impression of what is your goal with the show? What is the audience you’re trying to reach? And sort of, what do you want them to take from your program?
Gorka: That’s a fabulous question, and it’s one of the first things I sat down with my production team and I asked them, and we just kind of brainstormed about it when we launched two and a half years ago.
Our mission is tied to what [former national security adviser] Mike Flynn called the “peaceful revolution” in politics that occurred in 2016. The fact that for the first time in the history of our republic, the American people chose a non-politician, not a retired general, but a complete outsider to become the president of the United States. A man who I had the honor of working for in the White House.
People forget it. And I find it amusing that an immigrant to America like myself has to remind my fellow Americans that from George Washington to Barack Obama, every single president we’ve ever had has either been a former senator, congressman, governor, or a retired general like [Dwight D.] Eisenhower.
For the first time ever, the American people said, “No, the system is broken on both left and right. And we need somebody who’s not tarnished, who’s not burdened by the special interests of the swamp to come in and try and fix things.”
And that for me is why you’ll notice my radio show, my new TV show on Newsmax, I haven’t gone the traditional route and called them “The Sebastian Gorka Show.” It’s not about me. It’s about a mission. My radio show is called “America First.” My new Newsmax TV show is called “The Gorka Reality Check.”
Our mission really is to try and ride that wave of political renewal, peaceful reform, whereby we said, “America first is the way forward. Politics as a way of life has to change.” And that’s our mission, to bring us back really to … that beautiful line from the Bible that [President] Ronald Reagan leveraged for us almost 40 years ago, to become once more that shining city on a hill.
Blair: Absolutely. And I think that that’s so fascinating that you mentioned it’s to bring us back to those values. Now, one of the things that you mentioned in your book a lot is that there’s this war on the soul of America from the left. And we need warriors to [fight] it. And you’ve described yourself multiple times as a warrior, specifically, a culture warrior. What to you is the importance of fighting for our culture, and then secondly, what does a good culture warrior look like to you?
Gorka: I’ve never described myself as a warrior, but I have called for the warrior spirit, because we are in a spiritual battle for the survival of the republic as our Founding Fathers envisioned it. So let me be very clear. …
I travel the world. I’ve traveled the United States. I give speeches to various audiences here. We’re going to have thousands of kids from across America, but it could be military audiences, could be more senior audiences. And sooner or later somebody asks me the same question: “How did we get here?”
How did we get here to a point where the recent YouGov poll found that 60% of millennials would prefer to live in a socialist or communist America? How do we get to a point where schools are teaching critical race theory and ideology, which states that certain skin colors are always going to be oppressors, other skin colors are always going to be victims?
And whenever I’m asked that question, I always answer this the same way: “You don’t want to know the answer to that question because the real answer is lying in the mirror.”
The conservative movement writ large allowed a small minority of radicals to take over the Democrat Party and also to radicalize every aspect of our culture, except one. The only thing that belongs to conservatives today is talk radio. Everything else—Hollywood, the media, the schools, academe—has been radicalized.
So what I am calling for is truly an understanding that this is a cultural project. It’s been going for at least 80 years. If you want to understand how the left achieved what they achieved, you can read my books. But a life-changing book that I recommend to everyone is Andrew Breitbart’s “Righteous Indignation.”
His Chapter 6 is the best explication in just a few pages of the long march through the institutions: Antonio Gramsci; the relevance of Saul Alinsky; how the Democrat Party, which was a reasonable party at one point in our history—[President John F. Kennedy] was a great patriot. He was a national security hawk. JFK wouldn’t be allowed in the Democrat Party today.
So Andrew Breitbart’s book explains how the left was radicalized, and it really is that clarion call for how we need to take back the culture and understand that every single person listening to this podcast, every single member of Heritage, everybody who votes, I don’t care whether you live in California or Massachusetts, you have a role to play in that culture war.
And you don’t have to be aggressive. You don’t have to be beating a drum. You just have to cleave to the truth. When you have this radical transgender agenda, you just have to say, “Sorry, guys, a man is a man and a woman is a woman, because chromosomes are nonnegotiable. And if you deny that, you’re the science-denier.”
So we are in a culture war, and everybody has a role to play.
Blair: I think that’s a fantastic point. And I’m really glad that you mentioned Andrew Breitbart’s book, because that was actually one of the most influential books when I was kind of going into my political philosophy. So one of the quotes that I remember very specifically from that is, “I was a liberal of convenience.”
Gorka: Yes. I mean, this is amazing. To be honest, I don’t have time or patience for biographies. These massive 900-page books on what Eisenhower had for breakfast on February the 12th, I’m not interested. But I’ve read two that changed my life on the recommendations of people I trust. One was Andrew Breitbart’s and the second was “Hillbilly Elegy” by J.D. Vance, who’s been a regular guest on my radio show “America First.”
But to your point, Breitbart’s book is so—God rest his soul. He left us far too soon. Breitbart’s story is so powerful because he’s utterly candid in the beginnings of the book where he says, “I went to Tulane University. I was a drunk, alcoholic liberal, and I thought what the mainstream media told me was the truth.” Then there’s that Damascene moment where the scales fall from his eyes.
As in a hungover stupor, he’s watching the Clarence Thomas hearings, and he sees this righteous black conservative judge who’s been nominated to the Supreme Court, who looks absolutely perfect for the nomination, being lambasted in this “high-tech lynching” with fabricated accusations of sexual impropriety.
That’s when Andrew realized, “If they’re lying to me about this, a Supreme Court justice nomination, what else could they be lying to me about?” And that’s where his rebirth began, and he became a crusader for the truth, and a man who fought the bullies and the propagandists.
So guys, J.D. Vance’s “Hillbilly Elegy” and Andrew Breitbart’s “Righteous Indignation.” Those are life-changing books.
Blair: Totally agree with you. And it actually leads me to my next question of, we are here at a youth-directed conference, if the vast majority of Americans who are young are maybe just liberals of convenience, what is it up to us then to sort of pass this message along?
Gorka: Wow, that’s fabulous. So, every single one of us has a specific role to play. Mine [is] with my radio show “America First,” with my TV show “The Gorka Reality Check.” I think I’ve arrived at a place where I’m at peace with my mission, which is not to try and convince the indoctrinated. I think our side, those who already understand the import of the values upon which our republic were founded, need to have their spirits lifted, need to have somebody help maintain their momentum. That’s my job.
But for others, let me put it thusly. My amazing colleague, I call him my rabbi, even though I’m a Catholic, that is [Dennis] Prager on Salem Radio, he has this line—he has many fabulous lines. There’s this one line where he says, “The world is made up of three types of individual. There are the fighters. There are those who help the fighters. And there are those who do nothing and just stand by.” All you need to do is to make sure you’re not in the third category.
Lord knows we need more fighters, and if you have the wherewithal, if you have the spiritual fortitude, become one of those cultural warriors. But at the very least, if you can’t, if you don’t want to run for office or local school board member, then help somebody who is. Become someone who supports those who pick up the banner of “America first” and fight to make America great again. And the best thing you can do—how about this? If you’ll permit me a personal request to all of your listeners.
Gorka: Never, ever allow yourself to be in a position where you censor your beliefs. In today’s rabid, vituperative cancel culture, one of the most soul-destroying things an American can do is to acquiesce to political correctness, which is really just another word for censorship. By censoring yourself—can I give you one story to illustrate this?
Gorka: So recently, my wife and I, Katie, who also works at Heritage, we were invited to address a fabulous group of conservatives in Virginia. And the event was at the beautiful Trump golf course there, which I’d never been to, and if you haven’t, check it out. I’m not a golfer, but a beautiful, beautiful golf course.
I arrived to the ballroom. The room was filled with people in tuxedos and ball gowns. And as soon as I walked in, this woman came up to me and just said, “Dr. Gorka, Dr. Gorka, I’m a big fan. Can I take a selfie?” Of course. What does it cost me? So we stopped. She took a selfie.
And I said to her what I always say, “Don’t forget to tag me when you post it on Facebook or Instagram or whatever.” Then suddenly her face just froze. She said, “Oh, I can’t do that. I mean, things are so politicized where I live and my husband is self-employed, and he has a company.”
When she said that, something inside me died. … And actually, without using her name, I brought her up in the speech I gave 40 minutes later to the assembled hundreds of people. I said, “If you’re not prepared to put your name and your face to the values you believe in, what is your relationship to those values?” And this phrase just burst in my mind: “If you’re not prepared to fight, you don’t deserve to win.”
That’s an example of self-censorship. She’s excited about what I represent. She’s excited about the values she thinks she shares with me, but she’s not prepared to publicly embrace those values on social media. Well, then, what’s her future? What’s her children’s future? What’s the future of her grandchildren? Live your values is perhaps the greatest thing any American patriot can do right now.
Blair: I think that’s a fantastic story too. Well, Dr. Gorka, that was a phenomenal story. And unfortunately, we are running a little low on time.
Gorka: Well, you’ve got a lot of people to interview. It’s a target-rich environment.
Blair: This is a fantastic place to be. But my last question for you would be, I always like to leave the last note to the speaker to sort of discuss what they think is the most important thing for our listeners to take from this interview. So what do you believe? If our listeners took one thing from this, what should they take away and why?
Gorka: Well, very clearly, America remains the greatest nation the world has ever seen. It is up to us to maintain it as such. And I would just say the following: We are living in exciting times for two reasons. No. 1, the left is weak. It may not feel like that when you’re being censored on Facebook. When a man with, what was it, 91 million followers is being deleted on Twitter, a sitting president, it may not feel like it, but those actions actually evince weakness. When you have to censor people, it means they’re afraid.
So No. 1, the left has built this facade, this Potemkin village. … And secondly, America is waking up.
I cannot tell you every single day, there’s another video, there’s another viral post of not just parents, but teachers pushing back on critical race theory, on the bigotry of school board members. So guys, now more than ever, take a stand, be loyal to the truth, get engaged, join The Heritage Foundation, because we have a republic to save. And guess what? With you, we can do it.
Blair: Dr. Gorka, fantastic. Thank you so much. That was Dr. Sebastian Gorka for “The Daily Signal Podcast.”
Gorka: Check us out at sebgorka.com. All the information, that’s sebgorka.com.
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