EPISODE 242: The Surgeon General Now Wants To Cure Your Loneliness: What Could Possibly Go Wrong? with Stella Morabito and Mark Tapscott
In one of our most talked about episodes, Stella Morabito came on the show in May to talk about her book The Weaponization of Loneliness: How Tyrants Stoke Our Fear of Isolation to Silence, Divide, and Conquer.
We talked about the dangerous tyranny of thought creeping into American lives. Government, social media and a new kind of “ruling class” are increasingly working to control speech and behavior and isolate us from one another. This effort is intensifying and spreading throughout society’s institutions.
“Isolation, and how rulers use it to control people, is really the greatest threat to freedom, no matter what type of tyranny it is,” explained Stella.
And now, as if right on cue, the U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy has released an ominous advisory titled “Our Epidemic of Loneliness and Isolation.” It warns that social isolation is a major public health problem and that the federal government should both fund and direct local organizations to “strengthen social infrastructure in local communities.” The Orwellian advisory more or less declares that participation should be mandatory if their plan is to work.
In Murthy’s report you’ll find no admission of the government’s key role in promoting anti-family, anti-faith, and anti-speech policies that drive people into social isolation, nor for its responsibility in brutally enforcing our isolation during its Covid era.
Also jumping into the federal government loneliness business is Democrat Senator Chris Murphy who has introduced a bill – the National Strategy for Social Connection Act – that would “create a federal office to combat the growing epidemic of American loneliness, develop anti-loneliness strategies, and foster best practices to promote social connection.” It would be housed in the Executive Office of the President reporting to Joe Biden.
So the federal government, which just three years ago commanded Americans to “lock yourself up, don’t go to work, school, or church, cover your face, social distance, close your business, stay far away from other people, even your family” is now telling us it can solve the isolation and loneliness problem it created.
We’re living in insane times.
To talk all this through I’m joined on this episode by two wise thinkers and counselors: returning guests Stella Morabito and Mark Tapscott.
Stella Morabito, a senior contributor at The Federalist, writes extensively on the effects of propaganda, group think, censorship, and the cult mindset. Previously she was an analyst at the Central Intelligence Agency specializing in Soviet politics, and communist media and propaganda.
Mark Tapscott is an award-winning veteran investigative journalist who covers Congress for The Epoch Times, and is the founding editor of HillFaith. Mark was admitted to the National Freedom of Information Act Hall of Fame class of 2006, and he was named the Conservative Journalist of the Year in 2008 by CPAC.
There are many ways to combat isolation and cope with the problems of loneliness. As you might guess, we don’t think federal government agencies should be part of the solution. (Unless they simply get out of the way.)
EPISODE 242 TRANSCRIPT
Speaker 1 (00:00:04):
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 (00:00:25):
Welcome to the Bill Walton Show. I’m Bill Walton. Well, we’re back with a topic and a guest, in fact, two guests that have been on the show many times before, but in particular, this one we want to follow up is a book that we talked about, I think it was in May of this year, called The Weaponization of Loneliness, which is subtitled How Tyrants Stoke Our Fear of Isolation to Silence, Divide and Conquer. And Stella Morabito, welcome back, Stella-
Stella Morabito (00:00:56):
Bill Walton (00:00:56):
… Is the author. And then she’s also a senior contributor at The Federalist, where she’s been there since 2014 writing on threats to our freedom from propaganda, groupthink, censorship, and cult mindsets. And as I mentioned, her book has caught fire, and I needed help managing this conversation.
I’ve asked Mark Tapscott to come back on. Mark, as you may recollect, is an amazing writer and thinker and journalist. He covers Congress for the Epoch Times, and was founding editor of Hill Faith, which is a Christian ministry serving congressional aids on Capitol Hill. He’s in the National Freedom of Information Act Hall of Fame, and was CPAC’s Conservative Journalist of the Year Award in 2008. And since then, he’s been being amazing ever since. So yeah, I think, Stella, you struck a nerve with this. I’ve gotten more comments on the show we did on The Weaponization of Loneliness, I think, than anything I can recollect.
Stella Morabito (00:02:04):
Well, that’s wonderful. But I think it resonates. I think my thesis resonates with a lot of people because people are scared to death of being ostracized just for speaking their minds. And so if you’ve got a lot of comments, first of all, that’s fantastic, but second-
Bill Walton (00:02:20):
And hopefully we sold a lot of books.
Stella Morabito (00:02:22):
Well, that would be fantastic too.
Bill Walton (00:02:23):
Wait, we need a book right here. Let me see.
Stella Morabito (00:02:27):
Yeah. And so it resonates, the message resonates. And first of all, I also want to say it’s great to be back here with you, Bill, and wonderful to be here with Mark. I submitted some op-eds for The Examiner back in the day, and it was great, great to go back and forth.
Bill Walton (00:02:50):
You were editorial pages? Yeah, yeah.
Stella Morabito (00:02:51):
He was the executive editor at the time, yeah. So anyway…
Bill Walton (00:02:57):
First did he accept them and did he rewrite them?
Stella Morabito (00:03:00):
Unless they were too long, unless they went over that, what is it, 500 words?
Mark Tapscott (00:03:06):
750, yeah, something like that. I have to say, you get people together in a journalistic setting and there’s usually a lot of compliments being thrown around, but this is absolutely sincere. I have read hundreds and hundreds of new submissions, with Stella’s first. I said to myself then, and I think I said something to you about this, “You’re going to go a long way,” because she has real talent. And this book she has done, as I said in a review a couple of weeks ago, it ranks up there with some real classics in political theory.
Stella Morabito (00:03:47):
Thank you. I’m blushing.
Bill Walton (00:03:48):
Yeah. You compared it to…
Mark Tapscott (00:03:50):
Hannah Arendt’s The Origins of Totalitarianism and especially the Jean-François, I can’t say it, Revel a French guy, The Totalitarian Impulse, which basically is a wonderful explanation of why liberals inevitably end up approaching tyranny.
Bill Walton (00:04:16):
Well, I want to talk a couple big things here. One, if you can recap the thesis of the book and we can talk about that. But I really want to get to lines of action and what people can do about this. But then the other thing is in between the time you and I talked last and today, we now have the US Surgeon General who’s going to solve our loneliness problem, they just put out a big 81-page report called Our Epidemic of Loneliness and Isolation. So we’re now going to have the federal government, which I would think would be one of the main culprits behind isolation and loneliness, but that’s one man’s view. And then we also have Chris Murphy, who’s a democrat Congressman from Connecticut, I think.
Stella Morabito (00:05:08):
Bill Walton (00:05:09):
Senator. Well, he’s introduced the National Strategy for Social Connection Act.
Stella Morabito (00:05:15):
Right on the heels of Murphy’s Advisory, the Surgeon General’s advisory.
Bill Walton (00:05:20):
Mark Tapscott (00:05:21):
It’s coincidental, it’s coincidental.
Bill Walton (00:05:23):
Oh, I think they read Stella’s book and thought there’s a big opportunity. So Stella, recap and then we’ll jump in.
Stella Morabito (00:05:30):
All righty. Well, The Weaponization of Loneliness is basically about isolation, social isolation as a political weapon. How tyrants really, especially in modern history, but from time in memorial, have tried to navigate people into their narrative through that threat of being ostracized if you don’t accept the narrative. So I’ve got about 10 chapters where I examined the conformity impulse as well as the totalitarian impulse and the making of mobs and what I call the machinery of loneliness and how tyrants, whether it’s instinctive or conscious, seem to understand how to push people into their propaganda and their agendas through that fear, cultivating that fear of ostracism. And we can go into how that’s been done even most recently with COVID.
But on the heels of so much of this, including COVID, you have the Surgeon General of the United States coming out with this advisory, which means that it’s a very urgent public health matter to solve the loneliness epidemic and social isolation in this country. And we can go into more detail about how this advisory would basically bureaucratize and regulate human relationships, which is unbelievable that we would get to that point in this country.
But on the heels of that advisory, just recently, the Chris Murphy, the Democrat Senator for Connecticut, comes out with this strategy, his act, it’s supposed to be an act of Congress. He introduced the bill called the Strategy for Social Connection Act, which would install an office, right now it’s proposed in the president’s office, to create these strategies to help us get over our loneliness epidemic, which I believe I agree with you, Bill, the government is the main culprit for the loneliest epidemic. I mean, if you look at all the policies, they’re not dialing back on any of them, whether it has to do with family breakdown, urban blight, addictions, all of that.
Bill Walton (00:07:54):
No, this is the same government that said, “Lock yourself up, don’t talk to anybody. Cover your face. Stay far as far away from other people as you can. Cover your face.” And I forget all the other fun things they had us do. Oh, “Shut your business down, unless you’re Lowe’s or Home Depot or one of the big ones. But if you’re a small business, you got to shut your business down. Restaurant, gyms, churches, let’s shut those down. Churches, we don’t need those. I mean, come on, nobody goes to church.” So that’s what they did. And now three years later, they’re coming along to say, “Well, gee, now we’re going to solve all the problems that we created.”
Mark Tapscott (00:08:40):
That’s what science says-
Stella Morabito (00:08:42):
You cover The Hill, Mark, tell us about Senator Murphy.
Mark Tapscott (00:08:46):
You captured it in that last sentence. “We’re going to solve this problem that we have created.” I’ve been in Washington, DC since 1976 in government working on Capitol Hill, and then for 30 some years as a journalist covering Capitol Hill and national politics. And this is a pattern that you see over and over again. The government identifies what it considers to be a problem and then puts itself forward as the solution. And of course, the solution always magnifies the power, the influence, the cost, and the consequences of government. It’s like Ronald Reagan said, the nine most terrifying words in the English language are, “I’m here from the government and I’m here to help you.” “Well, thanks, but no thanks,” many Americans say, and hopefully more Americans will be saying in the future.
Bill Walton (00:09:49):
So Stella, what kind of reaction have you gotten from just sort of the rest of us, men on the street, men and women on the street? What are people saying? I know Mercedes Schlapp has been singing the praises of the book every time she gives a speech. Mercedes, of course, is with C. Atkins on, I think she’s on…
Mark Tapscott (00:10:07):
She’s Newsmax now all the time.
Bill Walton (00:10:10):
Newsmax all the time, yeah.
Stella Morabito (00:10:11):
Oh yeah, I’m thrilled with Mercedes’ promotion of my book. Well, just in general, people just say, “Wow, yeah, I thought I was all alone.” And to understand how this works is very, very helpful. And to understand that this is something that everybody is dealing with. I think we all know that instinctively where we’re afraid to say something because we’re afraid we’re going to offend or people are going to shun us if we don’t have the right view and we instinctively know that, and that’s why we tend to self-censor. But of course, those decades of self-censorship through political correctness, the bill has come due and lots of really destructive agendas come out of that.
But most people in general are just very, very happy to have it all kind of put in one place. People have read my book and have been dealing with a lot of the social pressures that I discussed in the book. And social pressures have been discussed by a long line of social scientists like Solomon Asch and Stanley Milgram who did those experiments, very famous experiments in the fifties and sixties about social conformity. It’s not like we don’t know about it, but I wrote the book because I thought it was important to have all of that in one place, to go through the history of how these tactics, or what I call the machinery of loneliness, has been used to control whole populations, the war on the private sphere, how political correctness, identity politics, and mobs-
Bill Walton (00:11:54):
Walk through the tactics. Let’s dig into how this really operates.
Stella Morabito (00:12:00):
Okay, well, I reduce it to what I call the machinery of loneliness, and identity politics, which serves to divide us, to categorize us as not individual human beings who are unique or made in the image of God, but just pigeonhole us into a oppressor or victim status. That’s identity politics. Political correctness is meant to induce self-censorship, to make us either shut up or even lie about what we believe in order to gain social approval. And then of course, you’ve got the mob. And mobs come in many different forms, whether it’s a street mob like Antifa or a human relations department in a corporation or social media mob. All of that is meant to enforce identity politics and political correctness, which is meant to divide and separate us and drive us into the kind of isolation that Hannah Arendt talked about, how tyrannical governments always seek to bring about isolation to isolate people against one another, because that’s really the only way you can control them.
Mark Tapscott (00:13:13):
I couldn’t improve upon that. That is exactly the process. And I would just point out that you go back to Genesis 1, God said the reason he made woman is because it’s not good for men to be alone. We are social animals. We need each other, and we need each other especially in the context of understanding who we are, why we’re here, and what our purpose is for being here, which makes it ultimately a spiritual issue. And that’s why tyrants invariably always seek to destroy the private sector because the relationship between me and my God or you and your God is a private relationship. Fundamentally it is a private relationship and you’re accountable to him. They can’t stand that because that puts God between them and what they want, which is control.
Stella Morabito (00:14:19):
And it also gives us inner strength.
Mark Tapscott (00:14:24):
Stella Morabito (00:14:24):
The strength that we need to resist these tyrannies.
Mark Tapscott (00:14:30):
Stella Morabito (00:14:31):
And of course, that’s why the private sector has always come under attack. I would add to that Genesis, I was thinking about how the very first thing that the tyrant, the serpent, Satan, whatever you want to call it, the evil force does when pushing man to his fault is to get Eve isolated. She’s by herself, she can’t consult with her husband. She’s being influenced in isolation. And that’s often the key. That’s how this phenomenon works. It’s why all cult leaders like Jim Jones drive people into isolation first in order to control them. Patty Hearst, when she was kidnapped, she was locked in a closet for six weeks during which time she got these Maoist propaganda sessions drilled into her. And then she came out six weeks later with her new identity that she later told Larry King in an interview that she totally lost her sense of self after that whole episode. But anyway, I’m digressing here, but my whole point, of course, has to do with isolation from the very beginning, from the garden.
Mark Tapscott (00:15:51):
Yeah. It’s not unique to the Christian understanding of the world because Aristotle in the Politics, first line is, “Man is a social animal.” But I think the fundamental distinction that is at stake here, Jesus pointed to it when he said to the Pharisees about render unto Caesar that which is Caesar and that which is God to God. And that said, the state is not the whole. There are certain things that the state, God created to take care of, but there are all these other things, these private separate things from the state that are between us and our God. And that’s why the Declaration of Independence says in the opening, “We have these certain inalienable rights that we were endowed with by our creator.” That is the tyrants’ worst enemy.
Bill Walton (00:17:08):
This is the Bill Walton Show, and I’m here with Stella Morabito, who’s written the topic of discussion today, a book, The Weaponization of Loneliness, and with Mark Tapscott, who’s with the Epoch Times and covers the Congress. I feel sorry for you, Mark.
Mark Tapscott (00:17:30):
So do I.
Bill Walton (00:17:30):
But anyway, somebody’s got to do it. And we’re trying to get to the bottom of this loneliness machine that Stella’s identified. And I’m still asking myself a lot of questions as we talk, which is it different now from what it was 50 years ago? Is it that much more apparent now? I mean, my view is it is. But I would go back to saying, okay, what are the things that make us less lonely? Well, civil society, institutions like the Boy Scouts and Church and the Lions Club and things like that, they keep us feeling like we’re not alone. There’s also this notion of our relationship with God and churches, and we’ve seen church attendance plummet. And then we’ve got the government’s role. I mentioned just three years ago, two years ago, we were all locked down, not allowed to interact with each other. And so it does seem like it’s getting worse. But fill in the details. What else is there that makes it different now from 1973?
Stella Morabito (00:18:35):
Yeah, there’s been a real dive in social trust. I mean, if you look at the General Social Survey that was done in the seventies, and I can’t cite the statistics, but to the question that you can generally trust people, there’s been a huge drop in people who say that you can today versus when that survey was first administered with that question. So social trust is really important for a civil society to exist. I mean, you want to be able to walk down the street without fear of being attacked. You want to be able to smile at a stranger without them thinking you’ve got some ulterior motive. Social trust is like the oil that keeps a good society going.
And yes, I think it’s a whole lot more evident to us today than it was 50 years ago. However, I would say that that’s for us. People who are what I call pro-thought, people who think about these things versus those who have been thoroughly propagandized or indoctrinated with these narratives don’t really get it because they are isolated to a great extent, whether it’s through the propagandizing and the public schools or universities. And people feel drawn to that only because they’re fearful of being rejected if they don’t accept that line. There’s a recent poll that just came out that people are not proud to be American anymore. Well, that’s just the result of decades of propaganda in academia.
Bill Walton (00:20:25):
And polls just sometimes show how susceptible people are to the latest-
Stella Morabito (00:20:33):
Well, they tell you what people say they believe.
Bill Walton (00:20:36):
Let me throw a candidate out here for the biggest villain, which would be the identity politics. And in particular, critical race theory, where it basically says you can’t do anything for the fact that if you’re White, you are racist. And there’s no way to atone for that sin. I mean, Ibram X. Kendi is unlike God, he won’t forgive us for that sin of being White. And then we’ve then sliced and diced not just Black people, but we’ve got every single small category of subgroups, and we have, what do they call it? Intersectionality. So if you’re Black, if you’re female, or also if you’re gay, and we’ve got a press secretary now for the president who fits the intersectionality thing perfectly, she’s Black, she’s gay, and she’s female. She’s the perfect victim.
Mark Tapscott (00:21:31):
The perfect victim.
Stella Morabito (00:21:32):
That’s points, victim points.
Bill Walton (00:21:34):
But it’s got us all, now you’re walking down the street and you just wonder what’s in people’s minds where they’re all deciding, they’re sizing people up and they know you can’t be like each other because you’re in a different category. Is that… You’re the expert.
Stella Morabito (00:21:48):
Well, it’s insidious. I mean, you’re basically boxing yourself into these identities. And it’s interesting because as it gets narrower and narrower, you think that, oh, you come right down to the individual. But what you come right down to is the atomized individual, the individual who has become even more isolated through all of these box scores or whatever you want to call it, claiming these victim points.
Bill Walton (00:22:18):
No, there’s a victim scorecard.
Stella Morabito (00:22:21):
Well, there is a scorecard. And also for oppressors.
Bill Walton (00:22:22):
Stella Morabito (00:22:24):
Yeah. I mean, if you’re White male and straight and so on and so forth, English speaking, or they have all these different identifiers.
Bill Walton (00:22:33):
Does this come from the government or did it infect the government? Because these ideas came out of academia, and I now think of the federal government as the biggest, along with universities and K-12 and now the military, they’re really pushing these ideas of identity, but it didn’t originate in the government?
Stella Morabito (00:22:54):
No, no. They-
Bill Walton (00:22:55):
So this is unusual totalitarianism.
Stella Morabito (00:22:58):
There were these academics with these theories, whether it is critical race theory or gender theory or queer theory or whatever they want to call it. It came out of academia. We can go back and talk about the Frankfurt School a hundred years ago and the Long March through all the institutions, but one of the main institutions to capture is the government.
Bill Walton (00:23:18):
We’ve covered that a lot here. I love… Anyway, continue.
Stella Morabito (00:23:23):
But the government was basically captured by these theories. I’m not the expert on that, but that is the trend line for all of this. If you look at the Frankfurt School and you look at all of these theories coming out of academia, that’s what you have. I mean, you have them infecting, first of all, academia, and academia because that’s how you get credentialed to go into all the other institutions, whether it’s law or medicine or anything else, then you are in a position to run for office, take over the school boards and so on and so forth. And then of course, that’s the farm team for running for higher office. So it began, I don’t know, go back to that Weaver title, ideas have consequences. Yeah. But anyway-
Mark Tapscott (00:24:26):
Bill Walton (00:24:26):
But… Go ahead, Mark
Mark Tapscott (00:24:26):
You’re taking me back to my youth in a couple of ways.
Bill Walton (00:24:30):
Mark Tapscott (00:24:30):
Because your question about is it different from 50 years ago? My wife and I were talking about this recently, and we both were talking about how much we enjoyed when we were children in the fifties, 7, 8, 9 years old, every kid in the neighborhood had a bicycle. We stayed out until our mothers and dads forced us to come back home and nobody worried about it because neighborhoods were basically safe.
Stella Morabito (00:25:03):
Yeah, and people knew one another.
Mark Tapscott (00:25:04):
That’s not the case now, that’s not the case. The Long March, when I first became interested in political things in 1964 as a result of Ronald Reagan’s, the speech, the first serious book that I read was called The Democrats Dilemma by a man named Phil Crane, who later became a congressman.
Stella Morabito (00:25:29):
I remember him.
Mark Tapscott (00:25:30):
His book documented the growth of the League for Industrial Democracy in Britain, and then in the United States. The League for Industrial Democracy was the Fabian socialist, and their march through the American institutions began with the academic world and then expanded from there. It’s not simply a matter of government, but government is, after academia, the first object of the Long March because it’s the key to influencing every other institution.
Bill Walton (00:26:10):
Can I do my version of that history?
Mark Tapscott (00:26:12):
Sure, it’s your show, Bill.
Bill Walton (00:26:19):
But you’re here as the subject matter expert. Long March, Gramsci, Italian theorist in the twenties, Marxism was basically an economic theory, oppress versus oppressed, the capitalist versus the workers. And that’s the way they proceeded forever. And then Gramsci began to realize, “Well, wait a second. The workers are not really rising up here. We don’t have an economic problem, we’re not solving their economic… They don’t want to be Marxists, they want more refrigerators or consumer goods.”
Mark Tapscott (00:26:54):
Bill Walton (00:26:55):
So it wasn’t working. And so he observed that if it’s not working in economics, it could work in social settings. And he then decided you’ve got to take over the universities, the government, the K-12, the cultural institutions. And that’s the Long March where they’re taking these ideas and they’re infiltrating these institutions. And that’s why when we see it happening in the military, it’s like the culmination of the Long March because that for a long time was the most-
Mark Tapscott (00:27:25):
Bill Walton (00:27:26):
Color, race, sex orientation blind institution in the world.
Mark Tapscott (00:27:33):
Yeah. The United States military became a model of integration for the world to follow and look what they’re doing to it now. The isolation, the loneliness is the inevitable product of alienation. Marxism’s fundamental point is alienation between those who are the rulers and those who are the oppressed. Just change the categories and you’ve got critical race theory. It’s not coincidental that critical race theorist, their roots go back to Marx. And that’s their business, as Stella brilliantly describes it, it’s the weaponization of loneliness because when we’re separated, when we don’t work together, we are controllable. And that’s what it’s about.
Bill Walton (00:28:35):
But how are we supposed to deal with this? Because that’s the question I asked Stella last time is you identify the totalitarian of the past, you identify Cromwell in England, who used his religion as the kind of totalitarian force, and then we had the French, Robespierre, then we fast-forward to Lenin and Stalin, and then we had, I don’t know what category Hitler is in exactly, but certainly you’ve got Mao and things like that. He had an individual who had his cult following that imposed this on a society. Now it seems like we’re talking about everybody in academia or everybody in the military, and it’s these ideas that doesn’t seem to have… You called it hydro-headed?
Stella Morabito (00:29:18):
A hydro-headed beast.
Mark Tapscott (00:29:19):
Stella Morabito (00:29:20):
Yeah, in the corporate world.
Bill Walton (00:29:22):
What’s the nature of this beast? What do we about it?
Stella Morabito (00:29:25):
Yeah. It all kind of comes out of this idea, this globalist push. Well, I think they’ve made it very clear that for them, the enemy is speech is us talking to one another, this conversation. That’s why you see such a hard push for these disinformation governance boards, or you’re going to keep seeing this over and over again, misinformation, disinformation.
Mark Tapscott (00:29:58):
Stella Morabito (00:30:01):
Malinformation. And they’re trying to control speech and censorship is critical to pushing, whether it’s a hydro-headed beast or it’s just a demagogue operating on whether it’s cult following, it’s freedom of speech, having actual conversations that they cannot control that they want to control. But having those conversations and resisting the urge to self-censor is really the only way out.
Bill Walton (00:30:33):
Well, let me amplify that. You mentioned misinformation. What are your three, I’ve forgotten, misinformation and what’s the other two?
Stella Morabito (00:30:41):
Disinformation and malformation. They claim that misinformation-
Bill Walton (00:30:46):
Well, let me do that because this is coming straight from our government. This is straight out of CISA and Ben Weingart, you know Ben?
Stella Morabito (00:30:56):
Oh, yeah, yeah.
Bill Walton (00:30:57):
He did the investigative work on this. And this was a report that just came out and in the Missouri case, I think it was Missouri versus Biden, I think, anyway, they won the case and they’re forcing the government to stop doing what it was doing. And what was happening was CISA, which is run by Jen Easterly, they’d redefined homeland security, which is supposed to protect our infrastructure, they redefine infrastructure to include elections, and they had to protect our elections, or election infrastructure, which meant you’re not allowed to talk about 2020. There’s accepted speech and non-accepted speech. And then she brought in this notion that the American mind is our cognitive infrastructure, and they had a duty to make sure that only certain kinds of thought was allowed, misinformation, disinformation. But the favorite is malformation and malformation, she defined as, “Well, these are true facts, but we don’t agree with the way they’re being interpreted.”
Stella Morabito (00:32:04):
Or the context, right? It’s Orwellian, it’s dystopian.
Bill Walton (00:32:10):
And she was convening social media companies, I mean, all these paranoid fantasies that people thought, “You’re just being conspiracy person.” No, it’s really happening.
Mark Tapscott (00:32:21):
It really is happening.
Bill Walton (00:32:24):
And yeah, this actually, I don’t know how far back you want to go, but if you look at the Frankfurt School professor, academic Herbert Marcuse, he came up with this theory called repressive tolerance, which really meant you really shouldn’t tolerate this idea of free speech, because what that means is that the oppressed don’t really have a voice, or I don’t know, I mean, he had written up this whole theory of repressive tolerance, which was essentially an attack on freedom of speech because he knew darn well that if people were talking to one another, exchanging information, verifying reality with one another, that there was no way they could pull off this, what I would call, this revolution that I would call a self-supremacist revolution.
These guys are not really in it for the… I mean, they may believe their own propaganda about justice, equality and so on, but they’re really in it for themselves, in my view. They’re just self-supremacists is the way I put it. But he knew that free speech was the thorn in the side of their designs, their social engineering designs. So this theory of repressive tolerance took off. And today you see it in campus, like, “Free speech is hate speech,” you’ll see these kinds of slogans that come straight out of that whole theory that Marcuse had to try to shut down free speech.
Mark Tapscott (00:34:05):
One of the ways, one of the many ways, that you see the influence of Marcuse on that particular point is in CRT, the White supremacist cannot but oppress and therefore must be repressed.
Stella Morabito (00:34:25):
That’s right, that’s right. It’s a no-win catch 22 situation that they set you in. Colorblindness, it’s so weird. I mean, in my chapter, I have a chapter on identity politics, and I start off with the Martin Luther King quote about how people should be judged by the content of their character, not by the color of their skin. And then after that, you’ve got… What’s his name? Ibram Kendi saying that colorblindness is just an excuse for racism. I don’t know the exact quote, but that’s basically what he says is in complete contradiction to King’s dream.
Bill Walton (00:35:07):
By the way, I think his real name is something like Brian Smith. Don’t forget the X, Ibram X Kendi.
Stella Morabito (00:35:12):
Mark Tapscott (00:35:12):
Stella Morabito (00:35:14):
- Oh, I don’t know, Elon Musk likes the letter X now. But anyway, I don’t know what what’s going on with that. But yeah, Ibram X Kendi.
Mark Tapscott (00:35:24):
Why did Musk pick the X?
Stella Morabito (00:35:27):
Like Malcolm X? I don’t know. But anyway, and going back to what you were saying before, Mark, about how the revolutions pushed this awareness of the oppressed or whatever. If you go back to Marx, he talked about class consciousness.
Bill Walton (00:35:48):
Stella Morabito (00:35:48):
Okay. So what that means is don’t look at somebody as an individual, as a unique human being. Look at them in terms only of the haves versus the haves nots. What do they have that you don’t? And it’s the same thing with all the rest of this stuff. Critical race theory, you’re only supposed to judge people by their race. And by the way, you can have Black skin, but be considered a White supremacist in critical race theory if you accept any of these so-called White values. And in my chapter, I have a chapter in there where I talk about that exhibit that was up for just a couple days at the Smithsonian.
Mark Tapscott (00:36:34):
I had that.
Stella Morabito (00:36:34):
At the African American Museum.
Mark Tapscott (00:36:35):
Stella Morabito (00:36:36):
Mark Tapscott (00:36:37):
Stella Morabito (00:36:39):
Or signs of White, but these are all universal values that were listed in that infographic. Being on time, punctuality, being nice to people, being polite was considered a “White value”, working hard. All of these things that are universal values, really universal virtues that have nothing to do with your race or ethnicity or pretty much not your religion. But it’s fascinating to me because the target in my view was not “Whiteness” per se. The target was all of those universal values. That is what that infographic and all these theorists are seeking to destroy, the things that hold up civil society that allow us to be friends.
Mark Tapscott (00:37:34):
Stella Morabito (00:37:35):
That allow us to talk to one another.
Mark Tapscott (00:37:36):
Bill Walton (00:37:37):
So Kenny, we’ve got a graphic we could use. It’s the Smithsonian exhibit, I think the exhibit was called White Culture in the United States, and it was in the Black History Museum.
Stella Morabito (00:37:56):
For two days.
Bill Walton (00:37:57):
For two days. But I’ve got the PDF of it, but it was the White culture is rugged individualism, whatever, whatever.
Stella Morabito (00:38:09):
Bill Walton (00:38:09):
Family structure, it has a nuclear-
Mark Tapscott (00:38:11):
Scientific method, yeah.
Bill Walton (00:38:13):
Nuclear family, father mother, two to three children is ideal. Emphasis on scientific method. The Protestant work ethic. Future orientation, plan for the future. Delay gratification.
Stella Morabito (00:38:28):
Bill Walton (00:38:30):
Having goals. Time, following rigid time schedules. It gives on and on. But I would look at it a little differently. I’d look at this as colorblind and saying, gee, if you wanted to be successful, what’s the success formula? Get married, go to work, stay married, save some money.
Mark Tapscott (00:38:50):
Bill Walton (00:38:50):
Invest in yourself. These are sort of the things that make people successful. So I don’t know if I was pleased or mortified to know that’s White culture.
Mark Tapscott (00:39:01):
Kamala Harris, our esteemed vice president yesterday was blasting Governor DeSantis in the Florida curriculum on Black studies. And she seized upon one point out of the 191 basic points in the curriculum, that basic point that she seized on was that, in spite of everything, there were individual slaves in the South prior to the Civil War who used the skills that they obtained in slavery to advance themselves. There were actually some Black millionaires in the South prior to the Civil War because of that. And that’s a testimony to the human spirit’s determination, no matter what, if you choose to seek to better yourself in any situation. She ignored the other 190 and blasted DeSantis for that one thing precisely because…
Bill Walton (00:40:12):
I agree, Roxy, he’s saying some really alarming things.
Mark Tapscott (00:40:18):
I mentioned Kamala and Roxy gets upset. She condemned it because it represented a real historical application of those White values that should be an example to the current generations, an inspiration to them.
Bill Walton (00:40:38):
So this is a funny kind of totalitarianism. And frankly-
Mark Tapscott (00:40:42):
In her case.
Bill Walton (00:40:43):
Frankly I don’t get it because it seems very nihilistic. It seems like it’s built on destruction and not on creating anything.
Stella Morabito (00:40:51):
Mark Tapscott (00:40:52):
And that’s a source of hope for us.
Bill Walton (00:40:53):
I do. I mean, I think this is unsustainable. I don’t think something like this can go on forever.
Mark Tapscott (00:40:58):
Stella Morabito (00:41:00):
No. However, I think the goal, of course, is to destroy all of these things, destroy all that’s good, that allows you to succeed.
Bill Walton (00:41:11):
It’s nihilistic, nihilistic. Go ahead.
Stella Morabito (00:41:14):
No, yeah, in order to get that iron grip on power, the question is whether or not we’re all destroyed in the process. But you’re right, it’s not sustainable at all. It can’t be. Revolutions always eat their own anyway.
Mark Tapscott (00:41:32):
Yeah. I’m optimistic for a couple of, I think, very significant reasons. Number one, the Supreme Court’s recent decision on freedom of speech. There seems to be a continuing general consensus in our country among most people, “Yeah, it’s a free country. You should be able to say and think what you want,” and especially when what’s involved is your religious freedom, your religious expression and practice. People get upset when the government tells them, “No, you can’t believe that. You can’t believe that.” And there is a reaction to it. You see the same reaction in this explosive growth of the parent’s movement against the wokeism and CRT in local schools. People, they’re not going to-
Bill Walton (00:42:34):
That is exploding.
Mark Tapscott (00:42:36):
It is. It really is. It’s pretty amazing to watch. And one of the biggest stories that has not been published or covered as it deserves, in my judgment as a journalist, is the sudden in the last two years, six states have adopted genuine school choice. The money follows the child. The child doesn’t go where the state says go, the parents make that decision. That will spread to more and more states, and that will preserve the avenue of maintaining those who understand and appreciate and insist upon the recognition of traditional values, including freedom of speech.
Speaker 2 (00:43:29):
Do you remember which states?
Mark Tapscott (00:43:31):
Oklahoma, which is my home state, by coincidence, was the most recent one. I think Kentucky. I don’t know the others, but this has just happened and it’s happened under the radar. The teacher’s unions, of course, have been watching it and they’re very concerned about it, but the mainstream media hasn’t picked up on it yet. And of course, when they do, they’ll be very critical of it.
Stella Morabito (00:44:00):
Yeah, I think that is a very hopeful sign because what that attests to is what I mentioned in my last chapter, the spread of what I call parallel institutions or what are called parallel institutions, these institutions that pretty much have to take over when the ones run by the government are corrupt, the ones like the education sector, now medicine has been corrupted. And you’re going to need more and more kind of a spread. It should be a mushrooming to make it effective and make it hard to repress of these parallel institutions.
The thing that I think people need to be aware of is that these tyrants are always on a search and destroy mission for any sign of independence that way. Whether it’s institutional, whether it’s, I think at this point, even just a conversation. I mean, one of the purposes of identity politics is to make sure that people, especially youth, are very careful about who they talk to out of fear of being shunned. They don’t want that brush of guilt by association if they are connected with someone who the left has identified as fascist, White supremacist, all the spear words that are used to demonize, bigot, racist, transphobe, it goes on and on. It’s really long list, election denier, anti-vaxxer, all of these things, it’s hard to keep track of.
But a lot of folks, especially, I see a lot of young suburban women very influenced by that. You saw a lot of them out in the Black Lives Matter a couple years ago, those riots and everything. College educated, they are very, very careful about their status and they want to be very certain that they’re not associating with someone who would be classified, as identity politics does, as the oppressor. So you see all of these dynamics in so many different ways. And the purpose of my book is to try to expose a lot of that so that people are more able to speak freely to one another, to understand the strategies that are used against them, as well as develop counter strategies for that suppression of speech to push up against it.
Bill Walton (00:46:54):
Well, it seems to me one of the strategies would be getting together with people face-to-face in social settings and sharing what you believe is true and feeling free to speak. And I don’t know that I should say this on camera, but when we had the lockdowns, and I’m going to chat with the camera here, I’m sure somebody’s listening, we formed a quarantine club and we decided that maybe we ought to stick together and visit with people face to face so we didn’t feel so lonely and we didn’t feel so isolated. And if we had questions about what was happening, we could talk with other people about the questions to figure out what was true. That seems to me to be a very healthy human thing to do.
Stella Morabito (00:47:39):
Mark Tapscott (00:47:40):
Bill Walton (00:47:40):
And I think one of the strategies has got to be, and maybe the school choice is part of that, but one of the strategies got to be we have to have alternate many institutions where people can get together and do just that.
Mark Tapscott (00:47:52):
And that’s what church does.
Bill Walton (00:47:54):
Yeah. Well, that was a softball.
Mark Tapscott (00:47:58):
Thank you. One of the real heroes unrecognized to this point that I think he will be at some point of the pandemic resistance, if you will, us Pastor John MacArthur out in California. He resolved at the outset when then Gavin Newsom said the churches can’t meet, they continued meeting and they’ve had lots of litigation and so far they are winning. The reason they’re winning is because the Supreme Court Justice Alito in the decision involving the New York Catholic Church that was challenging the shutdown, Alito said, in his opinion, “We meant what we said about the First Amendment.” And even the ninth Circuit is getting that message, the ninth Circuit being the California one so liberal. Churches, they’re based on a relationship, the relationship between the individual and Jesus Christ as their savior and the fellowship that they have with other believers. And that grows out of the family. That is resistance central to the state and it always will be.
Bill Walton (00:49:20):
Well, you’re in the belly of the beast with your ministry on Capitol Hill.
Mark Tapscott (00:49:25):
Capitol Hill, you would think, there are about 20,000 congressional aides, mostly young men and women, average age, about 27, tend to be from the best schools, very highly educated, tend to be very liberal as a result and radical. But there is about a third of them who come from the south or the West who maintain traditional orientations. It’s a hostile missionary field, if you will.
Stella Morabito (00:50:01):
Yeah, I would think.
Mark Tapscott (00:50:03):
And it didn’t really dawn on me, the Lord called me to begin this ministry Hill faith three years ago. It really didn’t dawn on me until about a year into it, “My gosh, this is not the jungle, but it’s a hostile missionary field.” And one of the reasons is because so many of these very intelligent, very dedicated young men and women come with these predispositions against spirituality, simply against spirituality because they come from a materialist understanding of the world, which is exactly what tyrants want them to think.
But when I challenge them with questions such as, for example, “How do you explain the empty tomb of Christ? Did his friends get his body? Did they steal his body? Did the enemies of Christ steal his body?” They don’t know the answer to that. And then I explained to them, “Well, it wasn’t their friends. It wasn’t his friends because they were all a bunch of cowards. They scattered when Christ was arrested. And beyond that, the Roman guard that was guarding the tomb, there’s no way the disciples would’ve been able to overcome those guys, steal the body, hide it, and go away. The disciples were proclaiming the resurrection a couple of weeks later. If his enemies had stole the body, they would’ve rolled it down Main Street, Jerusalem and that would’ve been the end of Christianity.” And when these young people realize, “I don’t have an answer to that,” it opens the door once again to the possibility, “Well, maybe there is more to this spiritual stuff than I’ve been told.” And it takes time but they do respond.
Stella Morabito (00:52:06):
That’s a really interesting illustration. I think it speaks to a couple of things, one of which is the extreme ignorance of the scriptures and they generally don’t-
Mark Tapscott (00:52:20):
Stella Morabito (00:52:21):
Study that step at all. And so the questions never even occur to them. And yet also they’ve got this worldview that’s been imprinted on them, whether it’s through the schools or propaganda or whatever, that’s very anti-religious or anti-faith. And a lot of that I think is dictated by, again, that fear of being tainted.
Mark Tapscott (00:52:48):
Stella Morabito (00:52:49):
With guilt by association, to associate with someone who’s considered faithful spiritual, unless it’s spiritual, not religious. They’ve got these new age things to try to fill that vacuum. But it’s really interesting. It’s a great illustration.
Mark Tapscott (00:53:10):
One of the things that you notice when you’re talking with people on the Hill about spiritual matter, the idea that, “No, I don’t want to be involved with that. I don’t want to be associated with it. Those people are religious nuts.” But then when they realize, “I need to think about this, I need to really take this seriously and determine, what do I really think about this?” Sometimes there’s this turn, “Oh yeah, well, I’m going to be a real rebel. I’m going to think for myself.”
Stella Morabito (00:53:49):
Right, that’s where it begins.
Bill Walton (00:53:51):
This is where Stella’s pro-thought…
Mark Tapscott (00:53:53):
Stella Morabito (00:53:54):
Yeah. That’s why I was saying that before that there are really only two political camps left. And I call them pro-thought and anti-thought. Ignorance is very isolating in itself.
Bill Walton (00:54:06):
But if you had a bunch of progressives sitting around this table, they would say the same thing. They would say, “We’re pro-thought. And those other people-“
Stella Morabito (00:54:14):
Sure they would.
Bill Walton (00:54:15):
Are deplorable and troglodytes.
Stella Morabito (00:54:18):
Sure they would. But then why are they censoring anything?
Bill Walton (00:54:21):
Mark Tapscott (00:54:22):
That’s the answer. That’s the answer. Why can’t you hear what somebody else is saying?
Stella Morabito (00:54:25):
When don’t they engage or why do they cover their, “I can’t hear you,” basically? This sort of arrested development where they don’t want to even hear. And I think part of that, and I get that, I see that with a lot of youth where they don’t even want to engage. They don’t even want to hear another point of view.
Mark Tapscott (00:54:47):
They don’t know how to engage.
Stella Morabito (00:54:48):
And I think there is a fear that the natural curiosity might kick in and they will want to engage. And they don’t want that because that will get them tainted in the eyes of their reference group or their peer group or whatever.
Bill Walton (00:55:07):
I’d like to talk for another couple days, but unfortunately we probably need to circle in for a bit of a landing and we will reconvene. But I’ve got this notepad here and I’ve got four quadrants in, and I used it to design all these shows, “We’ll do this, this, and this.” Well, that went away a long time ago because you can’t do that. But I do get down to this lower right quadrant here, and it’s sort of what I think our solution might be. And I think the solution’s spiritual. I’ve got a good friend, Tony Perkins, who runs Family Research Council who we worked together at Council for National Policy, and he wrote a book called Fear No Man. And what you’re talking about, Stella, it’s real, is that people live in fear of the approval or disapproval of other people. And until you can get away from that, if you can’t get away from that, you’re going to be forever imprisoned.
Mark Tapscott (00:56:00):
Stella Morabito (00:56:01):
That’s exactly right.
Bill Walton (00:56:02):
And you need to think spiritually, you need to believe in order, whether it’s Christian or whatever, you’ve got to have that spiritual strength.
Stella Morabito (00:56:12):
That’s right. And the less you’re able to do that, the more susceptible you are to all of these punishments that will be visited upon you if you don’t get with the program. I mean, I think one of the reasons medicine is so corrupt is that these physicians, they go to school, they go pre-med and then they go to school four more years and they have the residency and they’ve got in big debt, but they’ve got these goals, material goals that are all tied up in status and money. And I know that there are good physicians out there, but by and large before you know it, the American Medical Association is saying, “Oh yeah, we have to do gender-affirming care for kids,” or the Academy of Pediatrics or whatever. I mean, how does that happen?
Well, it happens through that kind of corruptible process where if you are so invested in the material and your status, and of course that means what other people are thinking of you, then yes, the fear of having your livelihood taken from you as what happened during COVID, if you didn’t get the injection you’d be fired from your job or it went on and on, or shunned or have your relatives… There was a point there at which people were being encouraged to snitch on their friends or loved ones or relatives.
Mark Tapscott (00:57:47):
Yeah, officially encouraged.
Stella Morabito (00:57:47):
All plays into this war on the private sphere of life. But you’re exactly right, if you don’t have that spiritual grounding where you understand that all the rest of this really draws to the end, then you’re going to catch it.
Bill Walton (00:58:05):
If you have that, you’ve got the strength to deal with all this.
Stella Morabito (00:58:08):
You have the strength to resist it. And that’s exactly what the tyrant doesn’t want.
Mark Tapscott (00:58:11):
May I quickly point out too-
Bill Walton (00:58:13):
So we need your ministry to be very successful, Mark.
Mark Tapscott (00:58:17):
Praise Lord. Lord.
Bill Walton (00:58:18):
Anyway, sorry, continue.
Mark Tapscott (00:58:20):
There are two things happening right now that I just find tremendously encouraging. If you’ve not seen the movie The Sound of Freedom, you’ve got to go see that.
Bill Walton (00:58:31):
About human trafficking, yeah.
Mark Tapscott (00:58:33):
Yes, yes. The response to that movie has been phenomenal and under-reported. That is significant. The other is the Epoch Times, and I’m going to sound self-serving with this, because I work there. The Epoch Times in the last several years has exploded in terms of its readership. And I am convinced that the reason for that, fundamentally, the reason for that is the Epoch Times does not adhere to the mainstream media conformity. We report things the way we see them, and people are yearning for independent authority that they can trust.
Stella Morabito (00:59:17):
Mark Tapscott (00:59:19):
And that is the formula for success.
Bill Walton (00:59:27):
Last words, Mark, thank you. Stella, thank you.
Stella Morabito (00:59:31):
Bill Walton (00:59:31):
We will have to reconvene. Maybe it’s not quite the last word. We’re going to agree that Chris Murphy’s bill on National Strategy for Social Connection, don’t vote for it.
Mark Tapscott (00:59:43):
Stella Morabito (00:59:43):
No, hard no.
Bill Walton (00:59:45):
And also, no, we’re not exactly certain that the US Surgeon General ought to be in the business of solving the things we’re talking about unless he’s willing to start a ministry, which actually I don’t think I’d like his ministry. So anyway, thanks guys.
Mark Tapscott (00:59:58):
Bill Walton (00:59:58):
And Stella, thanks for this beautiful book and giving us a chance to have this conversation.
Stella Morabito (01:00:02):
Bill Walton (01:00:04):
And I might add Stella’s joined the quarantine club. And Mark, you’re soon to join as well. So thanks for joining the Bill Walton show. I hope you enjoyed this conversation and others like it. I think you see, we’re trying to get into what’s true and what’s right and what’s next. And in particular, we’re trying to get at truth and freedom and I think we’re zeroing in on that. And anyway, I hope you’ll join us for future episodes. You can find us on all the major podcast platforms. We’re on Substack, we’re on CPAC now on Monday night. And you can also find us obviously in thebillwaltonshow.com website. Please give us your comments. And also if you get a chance on your platforms to give us a rating, we’d very much like a five star rating and it helps us advance the show. So Stella, Mark, thanks, and I’ll see you guys both again.
Stella Morabito (01:01:00):
Bill Walton (01:01:00):
Mark Tapscott (01:01:00):
Thank you very much.
Bill Walton (01:01:01):
Speaker 3 (01:01:04):
I hope you enjoyed the conversation. Want more? Click the subscribe button or head over to thebillwaltonshow.com to choose from over a hundred episodes. You can also learn more about our guests on our Interesting People page. And send us your comments. We read everyone and your thoughts help us guide the show. If it’s easier for you to listen, check out our podcast page and subscribe there. In return, we’ll keep you informed about what’s true, what’s right, and what’s next. Thanks for joining.
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