Matt Kibbe and "The Hostile Takeover"

FreedomWorks founder Matt Kibbe joined Glenn on radio today to talk about his new book Hostile Takeover and the upcoming FreedomPac that will be taking place the week of Restoring Love. The FreedomPac event will be a gathering of a global Tea Party and will feature a large number of people from Europe coming to learn more about America's Tea Party and libertarian movement.

A rough transcript of the interview is below:

GLENN: Matt Kibbe is with us. He has a new book called Hostile Takeover: Resisting Centralized Government's Stranglehold on America. Matt is from FreedomWorks.org and a good guy, really, really gets it. You describe yourself more as a libertarian, Matt?

KIBBE: Yeah, I definitely am in the libertarian camp.

GLENN: Okay. Which I think is why I like you because you're not ‑‑ you're against both the Republicans and the Democrats. You'd vote for either of them if they understood small government, but you're trying to work within the system. The point of your book is trying to explain what's going on and how to get out of it. In my book Cowards, I have a chapter on libertarianism where it talks about, "Look, you can't be the crazy libertarian, hey, let's legalize heroin tomorrow." That can't happen tomorrow. You automatically count yourself out. There are steps that you need to take, which is really kind of what you believe, isn't it?

KIBBE: Yeah. Libertarianism is about individual freedom and responsibility, and these are the values that defined our country. But it's a ‑‑ the interesting question today is how do we get from where we are. We all know we're off track. How do we get back to those principles. And it's got to be done through the process that the founders established. It's got to be done frankly between one ‑‑ between one of the two parties. And that's why we've called for a hostile takeover of the Republican Party because we've given up on the Democrats, the progressives have hijacked that party and when you look at what they say at least, I see only one party that's at least talking the talk.

GLENN: Let me play a little bit from Chris Matthews yesterday. He's talking about Mitt Romney. I'll play the whole cut later but listen just a little of about. This is amazing.

MATTHEWS: Let me finish tonight with this Romney character. I don't think Romney cares all that much about the presidency except that he wants it. If he weren't running do you think he would be watching this show or any other show on politics?

PAT: No one watches your show, Chris.

MATTHEWS: Mitt cares about three things: His faith, his family, his business. Right now his business is running for the president. That's why he's interested in the presidency. It's his business to be interested. Let's answer questions, if the interviewer doesn't ask the most obvious thing, something that Mitt's briefers have been over and over with him, he seemed stunned. He doesn't have an answer. Why? Because he never thought of that one. Fact is he hasn't thought about many things outside his zone of interest which again includes his faith, his family, his business. And this is the most dangerous thing about this guy. Since he doesn't have a foreign policy, he buys the foreign policies of the powers that be. So he sings this song of his neocon so‑called advisors. What they really are, of course, are people advocate a point of view: The need for a new war with each new Republican president.

GLENN: Okay. Stop. This is amazing. He's trying to, A, make Romney look like an empty airhead, which he's not, and beholden to people like Grover Norquist. First of all, do you believe that Mitt Romney is beholden to people like Grover Norquist and, B, how do we make sure, if he is or isn't, that he doesn't become beholden to anybody except the Constitution?

KIBBE: Well, I don't think he's necessarily beholden to any particular person. I would love for him beholden to the values and the people that he needs to get elected in this cycle and I think that's the challenge. We've talked a lot about Mitt Romney's weaknesses and whether or not he shares the values that everybody that listens to the show does. I think if we show up, if we do all the things that you've talked about and I talk about in Hostile Takeover, Mitt Romney can be a placeholder for those values. It's not so much whether or not he believes them. It's what he does in office that matters.

GLENN: So tell me, because people will say that you're just playing the game. Here you are, Matt Kibbe, you're just playing the game. You're ‑‑ you know, they always give you two choices, you decide to go with the Republican and ‑‑ I mean, look what ‑‑ look what Rand Paul, who's one of the best libertarians out there, the best thing that's happened to libertarianism in I don't know how long and look what the libertarians are doing to him.

KIBBE: Yeah.

GLENN: Because he's saying "You've got to go with Mitt Romney."

KIBBE: Well, here's the bottom line, and I think we forget this sometimes. We've obsessed so much about who's going to be in charge of the executive branch as if we're looking for a benevolent despot to solve all our problems for us. We don't believe that. We've never believed that. George Washington certainly didn't believe that. It's gotta be bottom‑up accountability. It's got to be our ability as a sustained social movement based on a set of values to constantly hold who's ever in the White House, who's ever in the Senate, who's ever in the house, we have to hold these guys accountable because elections don't matter as much as our ability to sustain a set of opinions. Because politicians will respond to that. I've been arguing in the book that even George Washington was responding to the bottom‑up values of colonial America that insisted on respect for the individual over anybody in power.

GLENN: What do you ‑‑ are you concerned at all, Matt, about the movement, if Mitt Romney would win, the movement all of a sudden saying, whew, okay, we dodged that bullet, and we kind of go back to sleep. That people don't understand that this is a runaway freight train and you're going to have to go for cuts for yourself, they're going to affect you, and you can't sit down.

KIBBE: Well, this is the challenge of the evolution of the Tea Party movement, the evolution of decentralization and politics. Do people understand that this is not a one‑time event, it's not about getting somebody elected and that November 7th is more important than November 6th because the process of making sure that Mitt Romney keeps the promises he's made on the election trail, that the senators that we elect. This is what our responsibility is as citizens, and if you just elect a new set of bums and then leave them to their own devices, you're going to have the same disappointments you've had in the last cycle.

GLENN: Any comment on Orrin Hatch last week during a debate on radio with Dan Liljenquist? He called Freedom Works sleazy?

KIBBE: He said we were the sleaziest group he had ever seen before. And I couldn't help but think about his good friend, his good self‑proclaimed friend Teddy Kennedy. And I wonder, really? Am I sleazier than Ted Kennedy?

STU: (Laughing.)

KIBBE: I think it's politics. I think he's trying to demonize Freedom Works and all of the activists in Utah that want to hold him accountable. Because he doesn't want to talk about his record.

STU: Not to mention Kennedy worked his entire life for that title. I mean, you couldn't have possibly outpaced him this early in your life.

GLENN: You're still really early on in the game, Matt. I don't know if you know that.

The name of the book is Hostile Takeover: Resisting centralized government's stranglehold on America, a great roadmap out, a great book to really help you understand where we are, where we're going, what we have to do, why we have to do it. Hostile Takeover, available in bookstores ‑‑ it's out today, right?

KIBBE: It's out today.

GLENN: Out today. Go ahead.

KIBBE: And if I say so myself, it's awesome.

STU: (Laughing.)

GLENN: With all the enthusiasm that Matt Kibbe can muster there. Calm down, Matt.

By the way, Matt is going to be with us on July 26th at Free PAC. You can grab your tickets. They're like 15 bucks, here in Dallas. That is the weekend of Restoring Love. That's on the Thursday. A ton of people coming for it. It is really, really cool. I don't know if Rand Paul was supposed to let the cat out of the bag, but he did a couple of days ago that he's coming. Did you know that he did that?

KIBBE: I actually didn't know that he did that.

GLENN: Yeah. Did you know that he's coming?

KIBBE: Well, we were wrestling with the Senate schedule because I know he's desperately interested in coming and, you know, if Harry Reid messes with the schedule, we're going to have to deal with that.

GLENN: Yeah. All right. Well, that is happening. You can find out all the details on that at FreePAC.com. FreePAC.com. Thanks very much, Matt. Talk to you, man.

KIBBE: Thanks, Glenn.

GLENN: Appreciate it. Bye‑bye.

On Wednesday's TV show, Glenn Beck sat down with radio show host, author, political commentator, and film critic, Michael Medved.

Michael had an interesting prediction for the 2020 election outcome: a brokered convention by the DNC will usher in former First Lady Michelle Obama to run against President Donald Trump.

Watch the video below to hear why he's making this surprising forecast:

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On Thursday's "Glenn Beck Radio Program," BlazeTV's White House correspondent Jon Miller described the current situation in Virginia after Gov. Ralph Northam (D) declared a state of emergency and banned people carrying guns at Capitol Square just days before a pro-Second-Amendment rally scheduled on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Jon told Glenn that Gov. Northam and the Virginia Legislature are "trying to deprive the people of their Second Amendment rights" but the citizens of Virginia are "rising up" to defend their constitutional rights.

"I do think this is the flashpoint," Jon said. "They [Virginia lawmakers] are saying, 'You cannot exercise your rights ... and instead of trying to de-escalate the situation, we are putting pressure. We're trying to escalate it and we're trying to enrage the citizenry even more'."

Glenn noted how Gov. Northam initially blamed the threat of violence from Antifa for his decision to ban weapons but quickly changed his narrative to blame "white supremacists" to vilify the people who are standing up for the Second Amendment and the Constitution.

"What he's doing is, he's making all all the law-abiding citizens of Virginia into white supremacists," Glenn said.

"Sadly, that's exactly right," Jon replied. "And I think he knows exactly what he's doing."

Watch the video to catch more of the conversation below:

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Ryan: Trump Louisiana Finale

Photo by Jim Dale

Part One. Part Two. Part Three.

At the end of Trump rallies, I would throw on my Carhartt jacket, sneak out of the press area, then blend in with everyone as they left, filing out through swinging doors.

Often, someone held the door open for me. Just 30 minutes earlier, the same person had most likely had most likely hissed at me for being a journalist. And now they were Sunday smiles and "Oh, yes, thank you, sir" like some redneck concierge.

People flooded out of the arena with the stupidity of a fire drill mishap, desperate to survive.

The air smacked you as soon as you crossed the threshold, back into Louisiana. And the lawn was a wasteland of camping chairs and coolers and shopping bags and to-go containers and soda cans and articles of clothing and even a few tents.

In Monroe, in the dark, the Trump supporters bobbled over mounds of waste like elephants trying to tiptoe. And the trash was as neutral to them as concrete or grass. They plodded over it because it, an object, had somehow gotten in their way.

It did not matter that they were responsible for this wreckage.Out in the sharp-edged moonlight, rally-goers hooted and yapped and boogied and danced, and the bbq food truck was all smoke and paper plates.

They were even more pumped than they had been before the rally, like 6,000 eight year olds who'd been chugging Mountain Dew for hours. Which made Donald Trump the father, the trooper, God of the Underworld, Mr. Elite, Sheriff on high horse, the AR-15 sticker of the family.

Ritualistic mayhem, all at once. And, there in Louisiana, Trump's supporters had gotten a taste of it. They were all so happy. It bordered on rage.

Still, I could not imagine their view of America. Worse, after a day of strange hostilities, I did not care.

My highest priority, my job as a reporter, was to care. To understand them and the world that they inhabit. But I did not give a damn and I never wanted to come back.

Worst of all, I would be back. In less than a week.

Was this how dogs felt on the 4th of July? Hunched in a corner while everyone else gets drunk and launches wailing light into the sky? configurations of blue and red and white.

It was 10:00 p.m. and we'd been traveling since 11:00 a.m., and we still had 5 hours to go and all I wanted was a home, my home, any home, just not here, in the cold sweat of this nowhere. Grey-mangled sky. No evidence of planes or satellites or any proof of modern-day. Just century-old bridges that trains shuffled over one clack at a time.

And casinos, all spangles and neon like the 1960s in Las Vegas. Kitchy and dumb, too tacky for lighthearted gambling. And only in the nicer cities, like Shreveport, which is not nice at all.

And swamp. Black water that rarely shimmered. Inhabited by gadflies and leeches and not one single fish that was pretty.

Full of alligators, and other killing types. The storks gnawing on frogs, the vultures never hungry. The coyotes with nobody to stop them and so much land to themselves. The roaches in the wild, like tiny wildebeests.

Then, the occasional deer carcass on the side of the road, eyes splayed as if distracted, tongue out, relaxed but empty. The diseased willows like skeletons in hairnets. The owls that never quit staring. A million facets of wilderness that would outlive us all.

Because Nature has poise. It thrives and is original.

Because silence is impossible. Even in an anechoic chamber, perfectly soundproofed, you can hear your own heartbeat, steady as a drum. A never-ending war.

I put "Headache" by Grouper on repeat as we glided west. We were deadlocked to asphalt, rubber over tarface.

And I thought about lines from a Rita Dove poem titled "I have been a stranger in a strange land"

He was off cataloging the universe, probably,
pretending he could organize
what was clearly someone else's chaos.

Wasn't that exactly what I was doing? Looking for an impossible answer, examining every single accident, eager for meaning? telling myself, "If it happens and matters the next year, in America, I want to be there, or to know what it means. I owe it to whoever cares to listen."

Humans are collectors and I had gone overboard.

Because maybe this wasn't even my home. These landmarks, what did they mean? Was I obvious here? When I smiled, did I trick them into believing that I felt some vague sense of approval? Or did my expressions betray me?

Out in all that garbage-streaked emptiness — despite the occasional burst of passing halogen — I couldn't tell if everything we encountered was haunted or just old, derelict, broken, useless. One never-ending landfill.

Around those parts, they'd made everything into junk. Homes. Roads. Glass. Nature. Life itself, they made into junk.

I cringed as we passed yet another deer carcass mounded on the side of the road.

As written in Job 35:11,

Who teaches us more than the beasts of the earth and makes us wiser than the birds in the sky?

Nobody. Look at nature and you feel something powerful. Look at an animal, in all of its untamable majesty, and you capture a deep love, all swept up in the power of creation. But, here, all I saw were poor creatures who people had slammed into and kept driving. Driving to where? For what reason? What exactly was so important that they left a trail of dead animals behind them?

So I crossed myself dolorously and said an "Our Father" and recited a stanza from Charles Bukowski's "The Laughing Heart"

you can't beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.

Out here, nothing but darkness. Needing some light, by God. Give me something better than a Moon that hides like an underfed coward.

Jade told me about some of the more traumatic things she'd seen while working at the State Fair.

"Bro, they pull roaches out of the iced lemonade jugs and act like nothing happened."

"All right but what about the corn dogs?"

"You do not want to know, little bro."

She looked around in the quiet. "Back in the day, the Louisiana Congress refused to raise the drinking age from 18 to 21," she said. "They didn't want to lose all that drunk gambler money. So the federal government cut off funding to highways."

We glided through moon-pale landscape for an hour before I realized what she had meant. That there weren't any light poles or billboards along the road. Nothing to guide us or distract us. Just us, alone. And it felt like outer space had collapsed, swallowed us like jellybeans.

Like two teenagers playing a prank on the universe.

In the cozy Subaru Crosstrek, in the old wild night, brimming with the uncertainty of life and the nonchalance of failure, we paraded ourselves back to Dallas. Alive in the river silence that follows us everywhere.

New installments come Mondays and Thursdays. Next, the Iowa caucuses. Check out my Twitter. Email me at kryan@blazemedia.com

The Iowa primary is just around the corner, and concerns of election interference from the last presidential election still loom. Back in 2016, The Associated Press found that a majority of U.S. elections systems still use Windows 7 as an operating system, making them highly susceptible to bugs and errors. And last year, a Mississippi voter tried multiple times to vote for the candidate of his choice, but the system continuously switched his vote to the other candidate. It's pretty clear: America's voting systems desperately need an update.

That's where blockchain voting comes in.

Blockchain voting is a record-keeping system that's 100% verifiable and nearly impossible to hack. Blockchain, the newest innovation in cybersecurity, is set to grow into a $20 billion industry by 2025. Its genius is in its decentralized nature, distributing information throughout a network of computers, requiring would-be hackers to infiltrate a much larger system. Infiltrating multiple access points spread across many computers requires a significant amount of computing power, which often costs more than hackers expect to get in return.

Blockchain voting wouldn't allow for many weak spots. For instance, Voatz, arguably the leading mobile voting platform, requires a person to take a picture of their government-issued ID and a picture of themselves before voting (a feature, of course, not present in vote-by-mail, where the only form of identity verification is a handwritten signature, which is easily forgeable). Voters select their choices and hit submit. They then receive an immediate receipt of their choices via email, another security feature not present in vote-by-mail, or even in-person voting. And because the system operates on blockchain technology, it's nearly impossible to tamper with.

Votes are then tabulated, and the election results are published, providing a paper trail, which is a top priority for elections security experts.

The benefits of blockchain voting can't be dismissed. Folks can cast their vote from the comfort of their homes, offices, etc., vastly increasing the number of people who can participate in the electoral process. Two to three-hour lines at polling places, which often deter voters, would become significantly diminished.

Even outside of the voting increase, the upsides are manifold. Thanks to the photo identification requirements, voter fraud—whether real or merely suspected—would be eliminated. The environment would win, too, since we'd no longer be wasting paper on mail-in ballots. Moreover, the financial burden on election offices would be alleviated, because there's decreased staff time spent on the election, saving the taxpayer money.

From Oregon to West Virginia, elections offices have already implemented blockchain voting, and the results have been highly positive. For example, the city of Denver utilized mobile voting for overseas voters in their 2019 municipal elections. The system was secure and free of technical errors, and participants reported that it was very user-friendly. Utah County used the same system for their 2019 primary and general elections. An independent audit revealed that every vote that was cast on the app was counted and counted correctly. These successful test cases are laying the groundwork for even larger expansions of the program in 2020.

With this vital switch, our elections become significantly more secure, accurate, and efficient. But right now, our election infrastructure is a sitting duck for manipulation. Our current lack of election integrity undermines the results of both local and national elections, fans the flames of partisanship, and zaps voter confidence in the democratic system. While there's never a silver bullet or quick fix to those kinds of things, blockchain voting would push us much closer to a solution than anything else.

Chris Harelson is the Executive Director at Prosperity Council and a Young Voices contributor.