episode 130: “Refounding America” with Mercy and Matt Schlapp
This past year has been filled with adversity, but with tough times can come great blessings. In my case, Sarah and I have found a wonderful blessing in our friendship with Mercy and Matt Schlapp and their five daughters. We all found ourselves locked down in our places in Madison and Rappahannock County, Virginia during the pandemic. So what did we do? We formed a “quarantine club” and got together on weekends to talk deeply and at length about what’s going on in America, and what we can do keep it a free country. Since this is my inaugural show on CPAC Now, we thought you might enjoy hearing from Matt and Mercy in a wide ranging conversation that’s very much like our informal get togethers. Of course, Mercy was director of communications strategy for the Trump-Pence reelection campaign, and Matt is Chairman and CEO of the American Conservative Union, sponsor of CPAC. Things have changed so much in society in recent years. As Matt points out, “What’s interesting is we’re all used to having conversations about public policy. Now, we’re just trying to make sure that our family is safe. It’s a really scary time. I think there’s been so much change in society so fast that these esoteric policy conversations are really not a part of what we talk about now.” “We talk about how will you raise kids? How do you talk to them about gender and sex? What are they hearing in school, our schools? There’s complete chaos going on in society. So, for me personally it’s a hard time because people say, “You don’t seem as happy as you usually are.” It’s like you’re not happy when you’re seeing society being ripped apart.” Both Matt and Mercy are charismatic warriors for freedom and faith, and wise about how to stay centered in these tough times. “I think that part of it is that our faith is very important to us,” says Mercy. “It’s central to our lives. It’s the way we deal with the pressure, the abuse, the things changing in your life. If we did not have God in the center of it and faith, we know God will not abandon us because we have to do what God has asked us to do.” “It is our vocation. Our vocation is to ensure that we keep up this fight for America.” Please join me for this powerful and personal conversation with Mercy and Matt Schlapp.
episode 130 transcript
Episode 130 : “Refounding America” with Mercy and Matt Schlapp
Speaker 1: 00:04 Welcome to the Bill Walton Show, featuring conversations with leaders, entrepreneurs, artists and thinkers. Fresh perspectives on money, culture, politics, and human flourishing. Interesting people, interesting things.
Bill Walton: 00:24 Welcome to the Bill Walton Show. I’m Bill Walton. Sometimes adversity can serve up great blessings. In the past 18 months I think we can all agree we’ve suffered some adversity. We’ve had a presidential election that many of us feel was rigged, COVID-19 and the economic and most importantly the human cost of government mandated lockdowns. A President Biden who’s now governing to the left of Bernie Sanders in AOC’s wildest dreams, and major corporations joining the fray and becoming increasingly woke and weighing in on social and political issues on behalf of the Democrat Party. And of course we’re seeing a continuing ramping up of social media censorship of Conservatives, including banning President Trump from both Twitter, and now Facebook reaffirming its ban of Trump just this week.
I could go on but I want to get to the blessings part of my opening. It was just almost two years ago that I first had Matt and Mercy Schlapp here on the show as guests and since then we’ve become great friends, and what a blessing that’s been. Mercy was director of communications strategy for the Trump-Pence reelection campaign, and Matt is chairman and CEO of the American Conservative Union and sponsor of CPAC. Matt, Mercy, welcome.
Matt Schlapp: 02:03 It’s great to be home.
Bill Walton: 02:03 It is great to be together. Of course, we know each other pretty well now. It’s been an interesting two years. We found ourselves locked down in our places in Rappahannock County, Virginia during the pandemic.
Matt Schlapp: 02:16 To be accurate, we’re in Madison.
Mercy Schlapp: 02:17 I was going to say. You’re in Rappahannock, We’re in Madison.
Matt Schlapp: 02:17 We’re in Madison.
Mercy Schlapp: 02:25 I think we’re in the heart of Virginia countryside rather than Rappahannock.
Bill Walton: 02:30 I happen to agree with that. We’re a very complicated county in Rappahannock.
Mercy Schlapp: 02:35 It’s a complicated county but you have a wonderful Catholic church out there, that’s-
Matt Schlapp: 02:39 St. Peters.
Bill Walton: 02:39 Yeah, you guys go to that.
Mercy Schlapp: 02:41 Completely packed from day one since the lockdown.
Bill Walton: 02:43 Well, what did we do during the lockdown? We formed the quarantine club.
Mercy Schlapp: 02:46 We did, we did.
Bill Walton: 02:48 During that time we learned a lot, bonded, and began thinking about lines of action back. Of course our last show we were talking about how we might create a governing majority after Donald Trump. How are we doing?
Matt Schlapp: 03:03 Things have changed so much in society. What’s interesting is we’re all having conversations about public policy. Isn’t that interesting? Policies we would like to implement. Now, it’s like we have a rifle at the front door just trying to make sure that our family is safe. It’s a really scary time. I think there’s been so much change in society so fast that these esoteric conversations are really not a part of what we talk about now. We talk about how will you raise kids? How do you talk to them about gender and sex? What are they hearing in school, our schools? We have the luxury of picking the schools that our kids are I. A lot of people don’t. There’s complete chaos going on in society. So, for me personally it’s a hard time because people say, “You don’t seem as happy as you usually are.” It’s like you’re not happy when you’re seeing society being ripped apart.
Bill Walton: 04:02 Yeah.
Mercy Schlapp: 04:02 A grumpy Bill Walton and a grumpy Matt Schlapp, not a good combination in any way.
Bill Walton: 04:07 No. Well, red wine helps.
Matt Schlapp: 04:08 It did help.
Mercy Schlapp: 04:11 I would agree. But also I would say the fellowship, I think coming together.
Bill Walton: 04:15 It really mattered.
Mercy Schlapp: 04:17 Ava, we celebrated her 10th birthday. Think about it, it’s been a year when Ava went up to Sarah and said, “Can I celebrate my birthday here at your house?”
Bill Walton: 04:26 Well, she didn’t quite say it that way. In the first place, let me establish you’ve got the five most beautiful, smart daughters I’ve ever met and I sometimes think they take care of you.
Mercy Schlapp: 04:33 Yes, they do.
Bill Walton: 04:35 It’s a wonderful family, but Ava came to Sarah and you guys have been in the house a little bit, and then she said, “Well, I’m thinking about having a birthday party and I think I want to have it at your house.” We were thrilled.
Matt Schlapp: 04:48 I have a better story. I hope Sarah’s not going to be upset that I say it but Sarah, Bill’s wife, is a wonderfully talented artist as you can see from this room and she has spectacular paintings throughout your house in Rappahannock, the lodge. The kids were talking about which painting they would like to have, and I explained to them that’s not really how it works. They’re Sarah’s paintings. They’re not for sale and you don’t get to take one. Our youngest one said, “I really like that one except for the boobies.”
Bill Walton: 05:19 Well, next time we’ll do it with the painting. What she does is she does her versions of old masters.
Matt Schlapp: 05:25 They’re beautiful.
Bill Walton: 05:27 Tiepolo and Klimt and all that. Yeah, there are a fair number of boobies in those, but it’s all G-rated. It’s all very careful. So how do we work ourselves out of this because you’re right, it used to be we’d have political discussions. Now we’re having… I mean Breitbart tells us famously politic is downstream from culture. We’re really talking about a culture that seems to be toxic.
Mercy Schlapp: 05:51 Well, I think what we’re seeing even in where we are in Madison County. We were just in Kansas, we’ve been in Florida. We’re traveling across the country, Bill. What we’re finding is that Americans are tired and they’re scared and they’re concerned about the direction that this country’s going in because what you’re seeing is a small group of elites, whether it be corporations, whether it be the Democrat Leftist party dictating the terms.
So we’re at a point of survival in our nation and they’re saying, “We’re not going to let this country fall.” And they’re willing to finally, I think, stand up and say the Leftists are going too far and the question will be can we get to the next election? To your point get a governing majority to be able to just push back and make sure the dam doesn’t break.
Matt Schlapp: 06:45 Every authoritarian regime really comes in in a crooked fashion either through propaganda, some emergency that people don’t really understand, it gets mis-characterized by members of the media. So the idea…Think about if you were the Democrats and you know that you had to have thousands and thousands of illegal ballots that you knew once they were cast, put in those boxes, no Republican judge or any other judge would have the guts to scrutinize them. That means there’s more of us than there are of them. They had to do that amount of illegal voting to win. That means they have to do that much more to win again, and in the meantime half the country, roughly half, I think it’s more than half, but roughly half of the country is really upset.
When Obama became president, that was upsetting because he was as radical as any Democrat president we had seen, even though he didn’t run that way. We talked about Obamacare and the fineries in this house. The fineries of this policy or that policy. We are not talking about policy. No one’s talking about public policy. We’re talking about does the family unit exist, does it have any rights? Does public schooling ever open and do they actually educate people or do they push a very dangerous ideology? Will there be any religious freedom? Will the government be able to mandate what chemicals you put into your body, what chemicals you don’t put into your body?
We are talking now very basic ideas of a free society. No longer does any of this have to do with the Constitution or public policy. Everything they are pushing is at odds with that history.
Bill Walton: 08:21 Well, how do you explain… Let me change that around. One thing that upsets me a lot is how readily Americans let themselves get locked down and how the churches didn’t push back and a lot of the other specific organizations which we have supported. We really didn’t get together pushback very effectively. Some of us were outspoken. You were, I was, but we haven’t reopened the doors. Montgomery County, Maryland they’re still making us wear masks to play tennis indoors. It’s crazy.
Matt Schlapp: 08:55 Crazy. By the way, that could probably legitimately kill you. I mean you and I both play tennis, sometimes I’m huffing and puffing.
Mercy Schlapp: 09:03 No honey, you’re huffing and puffing all the time. I don’t know about Bill, but Schlapp…
Bill Walton: 09:03 There’s that question. It’s a matter of degree.
Mercy Schlapp: 09:10 Actually what was so interesting about Matt who played tennis ever since he was a teenager, and everyone is always going, “Can he run fast on the court? He’s really quick on the court, like he can move around.”
Matt Schlapp: 09:21 There’s only so long that that’s going to happen.
Bill Walton: 09:27 I’m trying to look for a line of action here. It’s November 2020, Trump doesn’t win but we think he won. I mean you were in Arizona, was it Nevada where you were doing-
Matt Schlapp: 09:42 We were both in Georgia.
Bill Walton: 09:44 What was your experience, tell us firsthand what was going on in Nevada.
Matt Schlapp: 09:48 I’ll summarize quickly. When you go from whatever percentage the norm was of mailed in ballots, roughly having 50%, almost all these states. There’s a couple of states that were 100% mail in ballots, but you went up to 50% mail in ballots. And at the same time through any kind of scientific norms you had a certain percentage, something between 2% and 5% of ballots that go through the mail get kicked out for one reason or another. People vote who shouldn’t vote. People don’t sign it. Somebody does ballot harvesting so they might vote five or six times. This has always been a part of our elections. There’s election fraud, Bill, in every election, every important election forever.
So when the media told us, “No, no, no, election fraud isn’t a thing,” it’s always been a thing and this time it was worse because if you just take that simple fact alone, mushrooming of mail in ballots up to 50%, sometimes over 50% and no verification, essentially no verification or signature checks.
Now, you’re a person of finance. You can do the math very quickly. When you lose a big state by 11,000, 30,000, 40,000. That alone would change the outcome of the state. There is no way that you could have more of something, in this case mail in ballots, and out of nowhere have 0% that are rendered to be illegitimate. There’s no way those two things are logical. That’s not math, that’s not science.
Mercy Schlapp: 11:15 So just to add to that, and let’s remember that the goal of those in the liberal media is anyone who would even bring up the question of election fraud or voting irregularity. It was all about destroying their reputation, which is the goal that they tried to do I know with you, with Rick Runnels, several others. When we were in Georgia, Bill, we met with the lawyers, very impressive lawyers-
Matt Schlapp: 11:37 With Mike, with Senator Mike Lee.
Mercy Schlapp: 11:37 With Senator Mike Lee and his wife, and they showed us based on independent data analysis that about 18,000 of those ballots were names that when you matched them to an address, that address was a vacant lot. Under election code in Georgia those should have never been counted. They were counted, and if I can recall, Trump lost by about 14,000 votes in Georgia. Yet, we’re not allowed to talk about it.
Bill Walton: 12:06 Well, they’d argue that the vacant lot was for the homeless people that they put there.
Matt Schlapp: 12:10 Right.
Bill Walton: 12:10 But let me try a theory out on you. You were in the campaign and I don’t know how much you can talk about it, but there were a lot of us who felt like you could see the Democrats taking advantage of the COVID lockdown. The fact that we were going to have to have millions, billions of mail in ballots which lends itself to fraud anywhere in any time. And they also had an army of lawyers out in each of these battleground states, Pennsylvania being notable, where they started changing the rules that would favor them.
I remember a year ago, six months before the election, seven, eight months before the election, we met with some of the people in the campaign and said, “Look, guys, we’ve got to lawyer up because they’re hitting the ground now and they’re doing things that we’ve got to be mindful so we’re ready to go when this stuff happens.” And we didn’t have our Jim Baker to quarterback this thing, and I think the campaign really underestimated and kind of dissed us almost to say, “What are you talking about?”
Matt Schlapp: 13:10 And the RNC.
Bill Walton: 13:12 Especially maybe the RNC.
Matt Schlapp: 13:14 The RNC in the very election campaign are like the twin towers of disaster when it came to being legally prepared for this fight which we could all see was coming.
Mercy Schlapp: 13:23 And remember, we also worked during the George W. Bush 2000 reelect. We were both part of the recount and that was the one thing they got right. They were ready with that James Baker moment. They were ready with a strong legal team. They were flying out people early on to make sure that we were ready for these recounts. I have to say when I approached certain members of our campaign leadership about what do you need, because we know these recounts are going to happen. Do you need a comms person, a political person and a legal person? They said, “We have it under control.”
I’ve got to tell you it was disastrous. The moment that night happened at the election, next day it was complete chaos in the campaign. They were not prepared. They ended up shifting people here and there to these different states who were not what I would say top election lawyers in any way. Great talent, not top election lawyers.
And the strategy of the Democrats was very clear. It was a centralized process under the leadership of Marc Elias, that he would appear with his entourage in every single one of these potential hearings or cases and would knock everything down. The judges were scared of them.
Matt Schlapp: 14:30 The expert.
Bill Walton: 14:31 You’re watching the Bill Walton Show. I’m here with Mercy and Matt Schlapp and we’re talking about the ugly truth about the election.
Matt Schlapp: 14:39 We’re talking about your favorite subject, lawyers. You love lawyers. Every businessman loves lawyers, I know.
Bill Walton: 14:45 Actually I don’t.
Matt Schlapp: 14:48 But I know one thing about Bill and Sarah Walton that if you actually had a serious legal issue, you’re not going to go pull some nice lawyer out of the county.
Bill Walton: 14:56 You’ve got to lawyer up.
Mercy Schlapp: 14:57 You’ve got to lawyer up.
Bill Walton: 14:58 You’ve got to spend some real money.
Matt Schlapp: 14:59 Right, so what do the Democrats do? They have a firm, Perkins Coie. It’s the firm that runs all their dirty deals including the Russia dossier and all that stuff about Russian collusion that was all well-lawyered, and it was all done in a sophisticated fashion. Of course it was all lies. Then the same thing happened in these elections. Bill, they argued states rights, they argued the constitution mandates that we do it this way. They took any argument they needed to with the highest priced lawyers in the land and they either changed laws, they worked around laws, and finally what they did which was so brilliant, is they knew that they was such pandemic panic coming from all media quarters that they concocted this idea…
First of all they knew the Left was actually scared, a lot of people actually are scared of dying of Chinese corona, so they knew they wanted to vote by mail and then they knew that if they could just get… This was the fatal mistake that we didn’t do something about which is as soon as they could mail ballots to people who never requested them from lists that were dirty, imperfect, disastrous, really. And do that multiple times which some of these jurisdictions did. And then if the organized Left could then find out where those ballots were mailed, including vacant lots and apartments, and they could fill them in with no consequence, and there was no consequence.
Mercy Schlapp: 16:22 And no verification.
Bill Walton: 16:22 But the bigger thing here is that we’re not allowed to debate this. This has been shutdown. I mean this was shunted from the public square instantly. Really within days of the election all of a sudden you weren’t supposed to… Everybody closed ranks. Oh, well of course it was fine and this kind of discussion was not… You weren’t allowed to talk about it.
Matt Schlapp: 16:42 I kept talking about it just like we did the same thing when it came to the Black Lives Matter protest. When people would say, “Well, it’s strange. There’s all these protests in these cities.” With people labeled in Black Lives Matter gear, but we weren’t allowed to talk about that. That was the first thing in this country we weren’t allowed to talk about.
And the second thing we weren’t allowed to talk about was all these illegal voting schemes that were going on across the country. And now we’re not allowed to say that comparing one protest at the capitol to the protests that have gone around the city… By the way, if you protested in these cities and burned down churches and prevented people from opening up their businesses, you might have been sprung out of jail by our current vice president. There’s no real consequences for these things.
But if you had any involvement in the capitol riot, you’re probably still in jail. Now, they’re both wrong and we should treat the wrongdoers equally. And what’s happening whether you take all of these investigations on the Trump administration, anybody who worked for the Trump administration. We now have very clearly a first amendment for two sets of people. One is allowed to talk, one isn’t.
We have a judicial system for two sets of people. Only Republicans and Conservatives go to jail. The other ones they seem to get book contracts and they sit on corporate boards. And this has to end.
Bill Walton: 17:56 Talk to Josh Hawley about book contracts.
Matt Schlapp: 17:58 Yes, exactly. Although his book is now a bestseller. When Conservatives get a chance to write and talk it’s amazing how popular they are.
Bill Walton: 18:07 Well, I had a show with Jay Richards on COVID. The other thing you’re not allowed to talk about is the science. Just the fact that-
Matt Schlapp: 18:15 I forgot that one, yeah.
Bill Walton: 18:17 That was number three on the list. We were talking about masks. We were talking about distancing. We were talking about the statistics and there’s a lot of facts out there that make you believe that this certainly didn’t warrant the lockdown. It may have been dangerous for some people, but it didn’t warrant the Draconian stuff we did. So we did a show on that and then next thing I know that YouTube’s declared it doesn’t meet community standards.
Mercy Schlapp: 18:43 That’s right.
Bill Walton: 18:43 And you know JJ is a very, he’s a PhD. We were talking science and not really red meat gone and that’s still true. THey’ve got, what is it? Facebook has 40,000 people monitoring content and they’re supposed to be ostensibly monitoring content for pornography, drugs, human trafficking, things that you want them to monitor. But they’ve morphed that thing to something where that kind of offensive behavior is lumped in with political speech.
Matt Schlapp: 19:16 You know the first controversy around these big social medial companies was Facebook’s what they call throttling on their newsfeed of CPAC several years ago.
Mercy Schlapp: 19:27 That’s right.
Matt Schlapp: 19:28 That we found out after the fact that this had happened and then Facebook who has a fair number of Republicans working for them invited me to go have a meeting with Mark Zuckerberg, with Tucker Carlson and a bunch of other people. And we said no at that point because you could see the fix was in. They were going to charm everyone into thinking that this was a safe place for everybody. They just needed a couple more years, Bill, to get to the point where they could get into the censoring business. And they played sweet music and most people kind of went along with it. To me it’s fraudulent to say that this is a safe place for people when really it’s only one side. The most radical Left voices that they want to allow to speak.
Mercy Schlapp: 20:09 Yeah, and James O’Keefe was permanently banned from Twitter because he exposed CNN because he put out these videos. And there’s no logic to it. It’s all about if there’s anything in any way is critical of liberal media, any way critical of COVID, critical of the CDC. Those are the people getting censored. And I think the CDC has a lot of explaining to do. They keep shifting their message and I think it’s caused huge confusion amongst the American people.
Bill Walton: 20:41 Yeah, don’t get me started. One of the things I like about both of you is that you both don’t sit and wring your hands. You develop a lien of action and I like that because as a business guy that’s what I like to do. The network that you’re creating, ACU Network. What’s that about? I guess this show we’re now going to be adding the show to your lineup. We’re going to be offering different aspects of the truth.
Matt Schlapp: 21:07 It’s like a lot of business deals. I don’t know if we’re taking you over or you’re taking us over, but something like that. Maybe we’re just going to work together. Tell them about what we’re doing.
Mercy Schlapp: 21:07 Sure.
Matt Schlapp: 21:17 We tried things out for a year during the quarantine. We’re good.
Mercy Schlapp: 21:20 You all know who’s in charge. It’s me. That’s right.
Bill Walton: 21:24 We’ve established that.
Matt Schlapp: 21:26 La [inaudible 00:21:26] grande.
Bill Walton: 21:27 I may say before we sit down here I’m starting to say, “Well now what do we want to talk about today.” And Mercy says, “Okay, we’re going to talk about this and this and this.”
Mercy Schlapp: 21:34 I can’t help myself.
Bill Walton: 21:35 Okay, I’ve got my hands folded. Go ahead, tell us.
Mercy Schlapp: 21:39 No, no, no. But what we discovered is obviously following the election is a lot of people turned off what you would say traditional media outlets.
Bill Walton: 21:47 I did.
Mercy Schlapp: 21:49 We all did. Tired of the same old boring news and we really felt that there was a hunger for new, fresh content, different news analysis and really bringing in the top news makers and the best guests to talk about the politics of the day, but also talk about the cultural issues. The issues impacting our society and our globe.
And so that’s when we decided to launch CPAC Now. We did America Uncanceled named after our conference. Our very successful conference in February. What we discovered is just alone there was 31 million people who watched CPAC. So we’re going, “Yes, there’s a huge audience.”
Matt Schlapp: 22:28 Okay, let me just interrupt there. 31 million people watched Donald Trump and CPAC, watched the CPAC content. The Academy Awards just got less than 10 million.
Mercy Schlapp: 22:37 Right.
Matt Schlapp: 22:37 The Grammy’s I think got less than eight million. All this coverage about the Grammy’s and the Oscars, the CPAC crowd dominated that. There’s a lot of eyeballs in not just the Conservative community, but in the community of people that believe in these societal norms that make up this beautiful country we call America. They’re not just Conservatives.
Mercy Schlapp: 22:58 And I know, Bill, you were working on… You had launched your show for over a year and we just felt that it would be such a complement to the work that we’re doing. We’re on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays at 7:00 p.m. live, but people catch it all the time when they replay it. They can click on conservative.org and we have a huge audience. We’re reaching about 500,000 people a week and we know that this is only going to grow.
When we talked to you we thought, “He’s got this fabulous product.” Really it’s Evergreen. It’s with brilliant, brilliant individuals on a variety of topics that you really dig into these issues. So, at that point that’s when we thought we want the Bill Walters show on CPAC Now.
Bill Walton: 23:43 We’re all three of us bedrock on the same principles, exactly the same thing. You’ve got to play to your strengths and my strength is as an investment guy I used to get deep into companies investments to figure out what was working and what wasn’t working. I like to do the same thing with other issues. But I also like to get at some fundamentals.
We did a show last week which was fun on the Bard and the bible which was Shakespeare and the bible. You know Shakespeare is banned from a lot of schools now.
Matt Schlapp: 24:15 Being cut.
Bill Walton: 24:16 Now all of us had a hard time reading Shakespeare when we were kids.
Mercy Schlapp: 24:18 No kidding.
Bill Walton: 24:19 I’ll raise my hand. But there’s a lot of good stuff.
Matt Schlapp: 24:22 I got to know this guy, his name was Cliffs Notes and he really helped me out with Shakespeare.
Mercy Schlapp: 24:27 You know what’s shocking is even the kids today don’t even know Cliffs Notes.
Matt Schlapp: 24:30 They have no idea. Their whole life is Cliffs Notes sweetie. They don’t need Cliffs Notes.
Mercy Schlapp: 24:36 Like look up the Cliffs Notes. They’re like, “What’s Cliffs Notes?” I’m like, “How do you not know Cliffs Notes.”
Bill Walton: 24:38 There’s a need for it and then we’ve got some other people we want to bring on with other shows that we’re going to try to put together a mosaic of the different ways to do that. And essentially what I’m trying to do is give people arguments that they can make and also persuadables. I mean there’s so many people if you self-identify as a Conservative they just look like this.
But if you say, “Wait a second.” We looked at this fact or that item or how this policy affects you, and very often they find out that the liberal policies they’re not going to win from that. They’re going to get hurt by it. In fact, I think we’re in the human flourishing business. I think our ideas they’re based on true things, they work, they’re moral and they make people happy.
And if you look at the Left’s ideas they’re not based on true things. I mean if you read, for example, if you read Das Kapital or whatever it is Communist Manifesto, Marx, it’s practically, it’s astonishing how almost funny it is because he doesn’t know anything. So it’s not based on true things and it’s not moral because of the way they want to take from other people.
I sometimes think the less principles are based on the seven deadly sins, envy and… That’ll really get me in trouble. Where’s YouTube now.
Matt Schlapp: 25:55 Wait, let me jump in on this question of morality because it’s very ever present around us. Because we’ve always kind of wanted as Conservatives, as Republicans, as Libertarians, as free market people. It’s like this whole idea of morality and politics has always been this interesting thing. Do we really want to bring too much morality? Is all of it about morality? What we’re dealing with in these terribly chaotic times is what you realize about God’s love for us which is demonstrated through this concept of morality is to find flourishing, is to be joyful, is to be happy. Joyful not like running around and singing and dancing but joyful that you have contentment in your soul.
And what you realize about the socialism that’s gripping America, Marxism to be more accurate, is there’s no happy Marxists. By the way, everyone is fleeing San Francisco and LA and New York and they’re running as fast as they can to go to Texas and to go to Tennessee and to go to Florida.
Bill Walton: 26:57 That’s fine. That’s fine as long as they don’t vote.
Matt Schlapp: 26:59 Well, I think we’re having a great shift. I’m going to be the contrarian on this. I think a lot of people who bought into this idea that the government was going to solve all their problems and everything else, I think if they had any practical existence, some people don’t but most people do. If you have any practical existence you’re in business, you’re raising kids. Whatever that practical thing is, it’s not working in these blue cities. They are broken cities and broken states.
Bill Walton: 27:22 And I think we need to do a better job. Oh, you’re watching the Bill Walton Show. I’m here with Matt and Mercy Schlapp and we’re talking about the absolute necessity to make moral arguments, not just political arguments, and also talk about what makes people happy in their lives as opposed to the next great program and that continues.
Matt Schlapp: 27:41 I mean Donald Trump is the perfect example. Everyone can have their own. It’s a great drinking game for everyone to do the put Donald Trump on the couch and try to psychoanalyze him. But you know what he is? And you know this because you worked with him. He’s a very, very energy filled, joyful, he’s an optimistic guy who’s always going for it. There’s a reason for that.
Mercy Schlapp: 28:01 Yeah, and what’s so interesting is he really did try to make it work with Speaker Nancy Pelosi. I remember when early on-
Matt Schlapp: 28:07 Now that’s optimistic.
Mercy Schlapp: 28:08 But here’s the deal. Remember, he comes from New York. He’s a businessman. He doesn’t deal with the political types. In the sense of it’s not a Democrat, it’s not a Republican. I just want to get the job done.
Matt Schlapp: 28:08 And he was a maxed out donor for her, remember. She cashed all his checks.
Mercy Schlapp: 28:22 And it really pissed him off when Nancy would attack him because he’s like, “Wait a second. We can work on stuff together.” But she had her political hat on. She wasn’t going to budge to help the President. The same with Mitch McConnell. He really tried to build these relationships on both sides of the aisle and many times he got burned. And I think that really, it said a lot to him of how gross the politics is here in DC.
Matt Schlapp: 28:54 Let me just jump in there on Mitt Romney. I remember saying to him at CPAC, this is a confidential conversation and I don’t think he’d be mad at me for saying this but we’re backstage and we’re talking about Mitt Romney one of these years. I said, “Sir, you’ll be sorry that you’ve endorsed Mitt Romney in the senate primary.” And he’s going to bite the hand that feeds him. And he does, “Yeah, but you know what. We’re going to give it a shot.” And it really is his approach on a lot of these things.
Mercy Schlapp: 28:54 It’s his personality, yep.
Matt Schlapp: 29:18 Give it a shot. Maybe it’ll-
Bill Walton: 29:21 Yeah, I love that approach.
Mercy Schlapp: 29:22 If I may, Bill, I think one of the… You were talking about morality, we’re talking about Conservatism. It’s freedom. It’s the freedom, free spirit, the free individual, the free society. The ability to speak freely, the ability to worship freely. That is the fight. That is the ultimate fight in our country.
Bill Walton: 29:41 But on the one hand we have freedom and the other hand we have coercion and independency.
Matt Schlapp: 29:44 That’s right.
Mercy Schlapp: 29:44 And control.
Bill Walton: 29:48 Well coercion. Coercion’s my big word for control.
Matt Schlapp: 29:50 It’s a better word.
Mercy Schlapp: 29:51 It is. And the Leftists, their approach is threatening. They want to threaten, they want to cause fear, they want to make you feel little. And that is what we have to fight against. And this is why I think we’re seeing parents who were never politically involved speak up. I think we’re seeing Conservatives who were afraid to speak up before saying no more. I’m not going to play with all these diversity games that they’re trying to push us into this corner. And so I think that we are getting woke as well on the Conservative side.
Bill Walton: 30:26 For people that don’t know your background, your family is from Cuba.
Mercy Schlapp: 30:28 That’s right.
Bill Walton: 30:29 And your father went to jail for trying to get rid of Castro.
Mercy Schlapp: 30:32 That is correct, yes. For six years and again, he was someone who had building these successful businesses in Cuba, came from nothing, and then he saw everything being taken away. Full control of the government. No ability to speak, No ability to live your life. And at that point my father said, “I can’t do this. We have to fight against this oppression. We have to fight against this Totalitarian government.”
Bill Walton: 31:02 Talk to anybody who’s lived it or had a relative who lived it, they’re appalled that we think this is something we ought to go towards.
Mercy Schlapp: 31:09 And can I tell you, Bill, I spoke with my dad, just this weekend I was with him and I asked him his opinion and he goes, “It looks dark in America.”
Bill Walton: 31:17 Wow, he said that.
Mercy Schlapp: 31:21 He said that. He said, “It looks dark in America.” We are going through a very difficult time and he’s concerned that we’re too late to save America.
Matt Schlapp: 31:31 But he’s awfully proud of you.
Mercy Schlapp: 31:32 But we have to stay optimistic and hopeful. We can’t give up. This is not the moment to give up. This is the moment to bring about change in your community, in your town, in your city that you speak up and make a difference and fight back against critical race theory. And fight back about all this craziness on gender identity trying to tell children that are seven years old that they need to get hormone treatments. It’s insanity and the Left they’re dominating the narrative and we’ve got to change it.
Bill Walton: 32:03 Let me veer back to something because before we came on air we said we’re going to talk about 53,000 things in no particular order, but we skipped over something that I wanted to get at. You two are both friends with Donald Trump and you’ve been talking with him all along. I mean how do you feel about how he’s feeling right now?
Matt Schlapp: 32:25 I think he’s doing great. I think he wasn’t doing great when he came to CPAC. He probably wouldn’t like me saying that because-
Bill Walton: 32:30 That was what?
Mercy Schlapp: 32:32 February.
Bill Walton: 32:32 February.
Matt Schlapp: 32:33 February in Orlando and we couldn’t have it in the Swamp because Governor Hogan said it would be too unsafe to have it so we went to Florida. We dealt with Governor DeSantis and Donald Trump, of course, agreed to come. And I think it wasn’t the same Donald Trump we were used to seeing. He wasn’t quite as cocky. He wasn’t quite as exuberant. He seemed a little down. I don’t blame him. I’d be very down. I’d probably still be down.
But we’ve had several interactions with him since at Mar-a-Lago and he really seems like his old self. He’s figured out a way to be a former president and unlike our other Republican former presidents who just drift off into the sidelines-
Bill Walton: 33:11 And become Democrats.
Matt Schlapp: 33:12 Fair enough. He is the most important political voice in our politics still today with something called the press release. He had to bring it back because they canceled him. So I think he’s doing pretty well.
Bill Walton: 33:26 Good.
Mercy Schlapp: 33:26 The big question will be, Bill, will he run again in 2024. You hear such mixed responses. Those individuals are like, “Absolutely he should run, he should grab DeSantis, make him his VP.” And then there are other people that are saying, “We need to turn the page and find a new candidate.” And I think that’s going to be… I keep saying before we even talk about 2024, let’s talk about 2022. Win that majority in the House. Win the Senate majority and at least try to stop the Biden madness.
Matt Schlapp: 33:56 I think it’s going to happen.
Mercy Schlapp: 33:57 I think so too.
Matt Schlapp: 33:59 I’ve never seen this kind of turmoil out in a country like I see in our country. We’re traveling a lot.
Bill Walton: 34:04 We’ve got a CPAC in Texas coming up pretty soon.
Matt Schlapp: 34:07 We do. July 9 through 11 in Dallas, Texas and everybody’s welcome to come and they should come.
Bill Walton: 34:12 The thing is, I’m on your board so I know this but other people don’t know. This is not just an American phenomenon. This is a worldwide phenomena. You said you’ve done CPACs in Japan and people show up with red MAGA caps.
Matt Schlapp: 34:25 Yeah, it’s true. We’ve got three CPACs in Tokyo. We’ve actually had more but obviously with being online, but we hope to get back in person, go to these countries. We’ve been to Japan, we’ve been to Brazil, we’ve been to Australia. We protested with the Hong Kong leaders on the streets in Hong Kong. Veronica Birkenstock, one of our board members, went with us. We have something like 25 countries that want CPACs in their country.
We’re going to have our first CPAC Israel. This freedom movement that’s going on around the country is real.
Bill Walton: 34:57 That’s why I’m excited about our network because we need to get the word out. People need to know that other people are feeling the same way.
Matt Schlapp: 35:03 That’s right.
Mercy Schlapp: 35:04 And the rest of the world-
Bill Walton: 35:05 You look at local news and you’re just never going to learn what we’re talking about.
Mercy Schlapp: 35:08 Well, and the rest of the world they’re looking at America because they’re like if America crumbles, what replaces it, Bill? It’s China. Think about it. Think about the Communist controlling the world, the globe. And so they’re looking at us saying they’re self-destructing. I remember that exchange between the Biden administration and the Chinese basically saying, “You are no Democratic system. What are you all doing?”
They know that we are in a very vulnerable state and the Chinese are just salivating waiting for us to implode. I think that’s where we have to unite as Republicans and Conservatives to pushback against Marxists.
Matt Schlapp: 35:54 And Americans. Just Americans.
Mercy Schlapp: 35:56 Just Americans, yes.
Bill Walton: 35:57 The thing that’s troubling is I think in terms of enemy without. We’ve always had foreign policy. We’ve dealt with the Soviet Union, the Evil Empire, et cetera. We’ve had the enemy within. We had early on we had Communist and FDR administration. But that was a tiny little thing. Now we’ve got China which is easily the enemy without and I think we’re all beginning to recognize that, but we’ve also got a much, much, much more dangerous enemy within. And that would be the social media companies, the newly corporations.
Mercy Schlapp: 36:29 Academia.
Bill Walton: 36:30 Academia, K-12, teachers colleges. I mean the teaching critical race theory. You teach that, you teach people that 1619 was the birth of America with the bringing slaves to the country versus 1776 where you’ve got the birth of democracy with the Declaration and the Constitution. Those ideas really matter and I’m worried. I think this is the reason I side with your father a little bit. It looks dark in America because kids are not hearing the right ideas. They’re not hearing the right history.
Matt Schlapp: 37:05 Our nine year old was playing a video game. They start asking her questions about her sexuality to a nine year old. I think that’d pedophile. I think that should be criminal. That’s happening.
Bill Walton: 37:14 Yeah.
Matt Schlapp: 37:15 The way they’re seeping in with this insanity. You sometimes call it annihilism, Bill.
Mercy Schlapp: 37:20 He loves that word.
Matt Schlapp: 37:25 It’s a good word. I wish we didn’t have to use it.
Mercy Schlapp: 37:26 Now my 17 year old uses it all the time.
Bill Walton: 37:28 Can I give a quick definition of annihilism?
Mercy Schlapp: 37:29 Yes.
Bill Walton: 37:30 Somebody who wants to-
Matt Schlapp: 37:31 Somebody that works at Facebook.
Bill Walton: 37:35 I don’t want to get that specific. I’m sure there are-
Matt Schlapp: 37:37 Oh, my god. We’re going to get canceled. I’m so sorry.
Bill Walton: 37:39 You’ve already been canceled.
Mercy Schlapp: 37:40 Just the thing YouTube.
Bill Walton: 37:41 Well no, it’s simply that Marxists have this pretension that they’re going to build something where it’s some heaven on earth. Annihilists just want to rip the thing down.
Mercy Schlapp: 37:52 That’s right.
Bill Walton: 37:53 They don’t have any plan.
Matt Schlapp: 37:54 That’s right.
Bill Walton: 37:55 And what I see too often is people ripping things down. And you ask them, “Well, what do you want?” And they cannot tell you.
Matt Schlapp: 38:03 Well, you know, the thing is what Conservatives do, and I don’t mean that in the political sense, but what people with enduring values do is they build things. What do you want to do? When you leave this earth, this mortal coil, you want to look back and say, “I did these things. I built a family. I built a business. I did something in my community.” But what you realize about annihilists, the Marxists is that it’s all about either destroying it or taking it over. When they take it over they don’t necessarily have a plan on what substitutes.
Mercy Schlapp: 38:34 It’s pure power, Matthew. It’s authoritarian power is what replaces that.
Matt Schlapp: 38:38 Think about everything in society. Everything. Most mainline Protestant churches. The Boy Scouts. All the institutions in society that we just, as I was growing up they were not political. They had a point of view and they weren’t political. They are now almost all infiltrated. We have two battles left. Professional sports. Probably sports in general. And the C-suite. The CEOs in our major public corporations. We have lost all the other battles. Our tactics have stunk.
Bill Walton: 39:10 I think those barbarians are inside the gate.
Matt Schlapp: 39:13 I agree.
Bill Walton: 39:13 You’re talking about boardrooms and CEO suites.
Matt Schlapp: 39:15 But if we lose these two battles still. You know this. I don’t know. Maybe we’re going to have to live in those mountains permanently because I think it’ll be very dark to quote what your dad is saying.
That being said with what we’re seeing happen with the pushback, I saw someone on Twitter this morning. I was reading and literally drinking my coffee. Borrowing our language of ACU, we’re demanding that these CEOs change what they’re saying that’s wrong. That they agree to sit down with us and have a meeting because we’re representing half the country. We’ve already seen changes. I can’t go into a lot of the details but we’re already seeing changes.
Somebody mimicked our exact language. A mom or a dad out there in the country and they went after this institution that was doing something wrong and they said, “We demand that you change what you’re saying which is wrong and that you sit down with us and talk.” And I was like we’re waking up again.
Mercy Schlapp: 40:01 We’re waking up, yes.
Bill Walton: 40:04 You’re watching the Bill Walton Show. I’m here with Mercy and Matt Schlapp and we’re talking about the need to fight back against the relentless dismantling of our institutions. And I’m sitting here with two people who I think are going to make that happen.
Mercy Schlapp: 40:19 Well, we can’t do it alone.
Bill Walton: 40:21 Well, I’ll help. I’m going to do what I can, but the thing I admire about the two of you is you’ve paid a real personal price in this fight. I mean Matt, you had a very successful business advising major corporations about how the world of Washington worked and the Conservative world.
And by you taking the stance you’ve taken, you’ve paid the price with your business.
Matt Schlapp: 40:44 It’s true. No, it’s true. It’s been a little frightening and I sometimes felt like I was being a bad father or a bad provider because you want to provide for your kids and what Conservatives unfortunately, how many Conservatives work for these big companies? A lot and they’re in a terrible position. They’re unhappy. They’re morally conflicted. They’re working for a company that’s now truly engaged in evil and all of us have to decide. I actually think I was more able to speak up than a lot of people are, and I can’t tell you, Bill. You know this. When I walk around and someone walks up to me and says, “Thank god for what you’re saying. You’re saying what I need to say but I can’t.” And I realize that if all of us just insulate ourselves and don’t take the hits, we’re giving up the country. I think we can win the country. Now, I wouldn’t have done this, it would have been a fool’s errand if I thought America was over. I do not think America is over.
I think we can win this battle. It’s a coin flip. It’s 50-50. We might lose it but we’re not going to lose it because we were too timid to speak of. I told my daughters the other day when we were talking about mass and mandated vaccines and you know our daughters so well. We’ve got a couple of teenagers and the two older ones.
Bill Walton: 41:54 I love your daughters. They’re great.
Matt Schlapp: 41:56 They’re awesome. And they were getting after me a little bit as daughters do with fathers. And I turned to them and I said, “I will not live my life fearing death.” I just won’t do it. I never understood that as a younger person like how do you have the bravery to run into war and like what your father did. Put your life on the line.
I’m not saying that’s what I’m doing, but what I’m saying is you reach a point in life where if the alternative to bondage, right. And what was the word you used. You said coercion.
Bill Walton: 42:23 Yeah.
Matt Schlapp: 42:24 To be a victim of that is simply unacceptable and I won’t be a victim of that. At least I’m going to go down kicking and screaming.
Mercy Schlapp: 42:30 Well, as Bill knows, the girls could probably start a musical group and maybe they could provide for our retirement, but I do have to say I think that part of it is our faith is very important to us. It’s central to our lives. It’s the way we deal with the pressure, the abuse, the things changing in your life. If we did not have God in the center of it and faith, we know God will not abandon us because we have to do what God has asked us to do.
It is our vocation. Our vocation is to ensure that we keep up this fight for America. I promised that to my father. I know from my dad what he had to give up and sacrifice for us so that I could have a great life here in the U.S. Fulfill my potential, be happy and come from nothing really to build a life here and raise my kids.
Matt Schlapp: 43:27 But this wasn’t supposed to be our life. Our life was supposed to be cushy, well connected.
Mercy Schlapp: 43:32 But that was my father’s life. It should have been-
Matt Schlapp: 43:33 It was all supposed to be perfect.
Mercy Schlapp: 43:35 My father was supposed to be business is going great and things, what you realize is that our society can quickly fall apart. We are at a point right now at the critical junction that unless we pushback, unless we start using these tactics of saying, “You know corporations, we’re half the country. We’re customers. We’re employees. Knock it off. This is not your role.” They believe it’s social responsibility. We’re saying you’re not listening to all sides of the party. You’ve got to be involved in this fight.
Matt Schlapp: 44:09 And it’s working.
Mercy Schlapp: 44:09 From the local levels and winning these local elections. We just saw in Dallas that you had two of these school board members win and they were opponents of critical race theory. Why? Because parents and Americans are waking up and saying, “No more.” And if they cave in to CNN and the Left and social media all the time they will be… We will be in miserable society.
Matt Schlapp: 44:32 Let me say one other thing. You said we’ve done this at great personal cost and I will admit to you that it has been jolting to me as a human being. I probably haven’t handled it as well as I should have. It’s been-
Bill Walton: 44:32 I think you’ve handled it beautifully.
Mercy Schlapp: 44:32 You have handled it well.
Matt Schlapp: 44:49 Money shouldn’t matter as much as maybe it did to me. But do you know what I feel now? Can I be honest with you? I feel glorious. I feel like despite having gone through all this I feel like we’re in the right fight. You know when you’re doing what God wants you to do. You just know it. It’s just something that kicks in. It’s kicked in.
And so if it means that we have a less nice house or an older car, who cares. Do you know what? Fighting what’s going on in this society, that’s what we need to do. That’s what you believe in. That’s what you believe in. And I think that there’s enough people of good will to refound America. We’re going to have to refound American because somewhere along the line we lost her.
Bill Walton: 45:27 I can’t think of any better way to conclude this conversation.
Matt Schlapp: 45:31 Well, that was kind of perfect.
Bill Walton: 45:31 That was perfect.
Matt Schlapp: 45:31 I didn’t really mean for that to happen.
Bill Walton: 45:36 You nailed it. We’re not going to do a second take here. That was beautiful. See if you can top him because this was, and we’re going to wrap it up. We’re out of time. We’ve obviously got a lot to be continued because we only touched about one-tenth.
Matt Schlapp: 45:51 We did this sober. There wasn’t an ounce of wine involved in this conversation and that is very unusual for the quarantine club.
Mercy Schlapp: 46:00 You know for the viewers this is a quarantine club. This is what we would talk about. You just got an insight to our conversations. This is what we would always try to solve these very difficult, complex problems in our society and what we can do to make a difference.
Matt Schlapp: 46:14 And then we’d go shooting.
Mercy Schlapp: 46:15 Yeah, and then we’d go shooting. But I do say start your own quarantine club.
Matt Schlapp: 46:21 That’s a great idea.
Mercy Schlapp: 46:21 Quarantines are over but start your own quarantine club. Find your like-minded people in your community. Build it. Talk about these issues that matter. Read about, read the classics. Read from our Founding Fathers. Learn about what could happen to America, how we can quickly lose America, but how we can also make sure that we protect it and save it and defend the Constitution. That’s what we have to work on I think in all of our communities across the, not only in the U.S. but across the globe. And so we are honored and thrilled, Bill Walton, that you are joining CPAC now on Mondays at 7:00 p.m. Eastern. Please, please, please watch Bill Walton and you’re going to love it. You’re going to be smarter because of it, I tell you.
Matt Schlapp: 47:04 I agree with that.
Mercy Schlapp: 47:05 And we’re only going to keep growing this great channel to reach Conservatives not only here in America but across the globe.
Bill Walton: 47:11 Mercy Schlapp, Matt Schlapp, okay. We’re in.
Matt Schlapp: 47:16 Let’s go, Bill.
Bill Walton: 47:16 Let’s go.
Mercy Schlapp: 47:16 Let’s do it.
Bill Walton: 47:17 Thanks for watching. Thanks for listening and I’m sure all three of us will be seeing you again soon. Thanks. Bye.
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