Meet the entrepreneur who may have just discovered the next way to connect people together

Glenn was in Silicon Valley this week speaking at a number of tech conferences and meeting with some of the biggest dreamers and creators alive today. While at the Launch Festival, Glenn spoke with Nation Builder CEO Jim Gilligan about how his company is connecting people all over world.

Glenn: I want to introduce you to a guy who is one of the people who believes he can change the world or together we can change the world. His name is Jim Gilliam, and he is the founder and CEO of something called Nation Builder. How are you?

Jim Gilligan: Hi, Glenn. Thanks for having me.

You have a fascinating story because of your journey. You have cancer. How are you now?

I’m good. I’ve got a little bit of skin cancer here left, but that’s just my third bout. I had leukemia. I had non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and I’ve been great for about eight years.

Okay, and so you have gone through a fundamental transformation as a human being. A lot of people have seen the video The Internet is My Religion, and if we have time, I want to talk to about it, because I think it’s an interesting, really interesting part of your journey, but I want to talk to you a little bit about Nation Builder and what you’re trying to accomplish and what you think can be done.

I’ve had this just enormous blessing to have this experience of community in my life. It started when I was very young in a big mega-church in the early 80s out in San Jose, and then over my life, like I kind of lost that faith, but I started to sort of find a new faith in sort of the power of a connected humanity and like what’s possible when people come together to help each other. So, I made a bunch of like documentary films in like 2o04 and 2005, and they were the kinds of films that the traditional media, the stories that they weren’t telling, so I was really passionate about getting them out there.

Because I was just an Internet geek, we kind of hacked all the like online stuff to sort of get people to distribute the films and host screenings and do all these things. In that process, the only reason we were able to really do that effectively was because I just happened to have like all of these tech skills so I could like pull together, you know, this donation processing system and this like email newsletter thing and a website and video and all this stuff and make it work. But the average person sort of didn’t have access to be able to do that.

Correct.

So, I would go around, and I would go to like film festivals and be like, “Hey, you can get your documentary out there,” and all this stuff. Folks would be like, “Okay, great, I’m signed up. I want to sign up. I want to do that.” They’d be like, “What do I do?” You know, “What do I do next?” I’d be like, “Well, you have to do this and this.” And then, “Can I hire you?” I was like, “No, not really.” So, that really set me on like what could I contribute to help people sort of tap into this immense power of building community online to accomplish whatever it is that you want to make happen? That led me into politics, because organizing people is about very much politics.

You know, when we started something called the 9/12 Project, years ago, right around the Tea Party time, and the Tea Party was doing similar things, we were focused on principles. They were focused on politics, but almost everybody who got involved were looking for somebody who was 20 that knew something about building a website or how to connect with each other, and a lot of people still don’t know how to do it. I mean, the power is unlimited if you know how to do it, you know? So, who is using it, and what are the results?

So, we’re seeing all kinds of different folks using it. About half of our customers come out of politics or advocacy-oriented efforts. They look at Nation Builder, and they’re like, “Yes, okay, I don’t have to deal with all this muck anymore,” and they know what to do with it. It’s like a toolkit, but there also seems like another half of our customers are smaller folks, like there’s a gelato shop in downtown LA that uses it to sort of organize their community. They have folks like suggesting like what flavors they should try next. Duck Dynasty did a whole campaign like overnight, right, when that whole thing happened. They drove a whole amount of like attention and change around.

They used it for the gay issue?

Yeah, so when the media really started to pick up on that, like overnight they got a site set up on Nation Builder, and they grew a list of people to about 250,000 people. They’re now a whole organization called Faith-Driven Consumer that’s working on a whole host of issues on the area, but there are actually press articles about the fact like how on earth did they get a website up like so quickly and sort of capitalize on that moment?

Right. So, how does it work?

So, you’ll know things like you have a Facebook page, and you have like a YouTube channel or Twitter or whatever, but if you want to sort of take it to the next level, right, where is like you’re building your own database, your own nation, what we would call it, you need to sort of like really up your game. You need to like have your own website. You need to connect into all of those different places like Facebook and YouTube and Twitter and whatnot, sort of pull all those people together and actually own those relationships, know who the people are and start to actually engage them.

So, when you’ve got a lot of folks that really care about what you’re doing, like the next step, right, is you have to find the folks who care the most and then really engage them and say, “Hey, why don’t you take a leadership position, right? Why don’t you sort of go and organize your own group of people around this and give them the tools and empower them to do that?” Because the most effective way to organize is people sharing their stories with each other, and the way that you scale that is when you create the leadership capacity like within your donors, your supporters, or your customer base.

So, Nation Builder was really designed to help you find those people, really connect with them, and empower them with the tools to make this stuff happen.

Old media doesn’t understand this, and old traditional thinking doesn’t understand that you’re so much more effective when you’re not leading the parade all the time, you know? They fight against it. Everybody fights no, no, you know, we’ve got to be leading the parade. How are you getting politicians to use this when politicians generally are I’m going to control the message, I’m going to control all of it? This requires you to let it go.

Yeah, really that is exactly the issue. It’s a toolkit. People can use it how they want to use it, but what we’ve found is like the most effective use of it is when you sort of give up that control. So initially, like a very early version of Nation Builder, I was like okay look, it’s all about giving up like power to like your members and your customers.

Let them do it.

And I went out, and I was preaching this to like everybody, and nobody bought it, nobody. So, I completely flipped it around. I said it’s the exact opposite, about everybody building their own power, which everybody wants to do. I realized that like the sum total of all of that is that then everybody has power, right?

It’s the same theory, just a different way to look at it. One is more altruistic.

It’s a different way into it. There’s also a business model behind it which works for us, which is nice, so we can scale it all up and make it work. But by providing the tools to everybody, right, if you’re in power and you’re not like really engaging folks and helping like other folks do the leadership, somebody else will. That’s the big opportunity.

So, give me some examples of the best uses of it.

Well, oddly enough, Senator Mitch McConnell has used Nation Builder really well.

Oh my gosh.

So, in his last election campaign, he used Nation Builder to do a lot of field organizing, which generally speaking, the Republicans are sort of, you know, generally not the best at, but they really got into it. They had walk sheets, and they were scanning them all in. The senator was like actually there at the trainings, right? He was like really engaged. I was pretty impressed by that.

Wow. So, Nation Builder can be used for good and evil.

We don’t get to decide that.

No, I know. I know. I do. I do.

Let’s talk a little bit about your journey, because you have gone through a lot and have started at a real religious place. You went to Liberty University, a real God-fearing guy, and you’ve ended or at least you’re at this point in a completely different place.

Yeah, I found God somewhere else. You know, in the speech, I said, you know, God is just what happens when humanity is connected, and that community, the power of that community is immense. What I spent a lot of time thinking about is like, you know, there is a God of love, right? There is also a God that can be very vicious and judgmental, and I see so much of that happening, right?

 

I don’t think of that as God, but you’re thinking of God as humanity.

 

But we can see it happening like as we connect more and more, right, sort of the online lynch mob sort of thing that happens sometimes and the way things spread. There’s amazingly wonderful things happen, like, you know, people coming together to save my life, right? So, it’s like there’s incredible, wonderful power in it, but there’s also like we’re in this like adolescence of understanding what that power really is and how we can sort of most effectively channel it. What really makes me excited is that we get to decide that. We get to choose how that plays out, and so I’m really hopeful that people will look more and more to how they can contribute, right, to making this world better, right, making this a God more of love than of vengeance.

 

Has the world ever been in a place like this before?

 

Oh no, no.

 

I don’t think people really understand how profound of a moment we’re at right now.

 

I see it as communities. M. Scott Peck is a psychologist who did a lot of work on understanding how community works, and he identified sort of four stages that lead to community, pseudo-community. Pseudo-community, it’s like the dinner party, right, where like everybody goes, and no one talks about politics or religion, and everyone is sort of nice and cordial to each other. Then, you know, you go home with your spouse afterwards in the car, and you’re like sort of talking dirt about everybody, right? Like that’s pseudo-community.

 

But then the next phase is chaos, and chaos is when people start getting real. It’s when they stop with all of those sort of like niceties, and they start actually talking about the real issues. Then there’s two ways that you can go from there, right? You can organize your way out of that chaos where you create systems and structures and laws and like all of this infrastructure which we have done, like, that is the world, or you can empty, and you can just let go of all of your preconceived ideas of who other people are, right, everything, all the things that you try to do to change somebody else, and you start to accept people for who they are. Out of that can come real, genuine community.

 

So, we see that happening like on small levels. You can see it happening in churches. You can see it happen in school. You can see elements of it happening here and there sometimes, and it’s really special and amazing.

 

That happened today with me.

 

Did it?

 

Yeah, I mean, I walk out on stage with there had to be 20% of the people there that were like, “You’ve got to be kidding.” I’m reading the tweets, and they’re like, “I don’t like this guy. I’m confused. I really liked what he had to say.” It was just a moment of hey, let’s listen to each other for a minute. Let’s just listen to each other and break down the stereotypes. It’s really an amazing…fear is our enemy.

 

Amen.

 

If we can get rid of the fear and let go and say you know, “I may disagree with you on a lot of things, but I recognize that there is more that we have in common than not,” we can really create an amazing world.

 

The Internet is my religion, and I would say the greatest sin is fear. That’s the one thing that holds us back from creating what we are meant to create. It disconnects us from each other, absolutely.

 

What a pleasure. God bless.

 

Thank you.

 

Thank you.

Protests following the fatal police shooting of Walter Wallace Jr quickly devolved into violence, rioting, and looting in Philadelphia, and BlazeTV's Elijah Schaffer was there to document what the mainstream media won't. But while filming the carnage inside a Five Below on Tuesday, Elijah was surrounded and attacked by looters.

Elijah joined Glenn Beck on the radio program Wednesday to detail his experience and to explain why mainstream media efforts to downplay the violence just show that independent media has never been more important.

"Unfortunately, [the attack] escalated from one person to about a dozen very quickly," Elijah explained. "I'm actually really happy to be alive. Because in that same shopping center, right there, there was a 15-year-old girl who was shot, according to reports. And I heard multiple gunshots throughout the night. Another individual is reported to have heard a gunshot as well, so we try to confirm. I watched people get pummeled beyond belief."

Glenn asked Elijah to respond to mainstream media claims that conservatives are exaggerating the looting and violence in Philadelphia.

"It's so funny to hear people that aren't there try to counter what we're reporting," Elijah replied.

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:

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In the final days before the 2020 election, President Donald Trump is gaining among black voters, particularly men, because his record of accomplishments "speaks for itself" and the "façade" that President Trump is a racist "just doesn't ring true," argued sports columnist Jason Whitlock on "The Glenn Beck Radio Program" Tuesday.

Jason, who recently interviewed the president at the White House for OutKick.com, shared his thoughts on why he believes many black Americans — notably celebrities such as Kanye West, Ice Cube, and 50 Cent — are breaking from the "façade" that President Trump is a "flaming racist."

"I really believe the facts are starting to speak for themselves, and that Donald Trump's record of accomplishments, particularly as it relates to African Americans, speaks for itself," Jason told Glenn. "He actually has a record to stand on, unlike even Barack Obama. When [Obama] was president, I don't think he had much of a record to stand on, in terms of, 'Hey, what did he actually deliver for African Americans?' President Trump has things he can stand on and, you know, beyond that I think black people understand when he starts talking about black unemployment rate. And America's unemployment rate. And then, when you add in for black men, the façade we've been putting on [President Trump] … you know, this whole thing that he's some flaming racist, it just doesn't ring true."

Jason suggested that Trump's fearlessness, unabashed masculinity, and record of keeping his promises resonates with men in the black community. He also weighed in on how media and social media's bias plays a huge role in convincing people to hate President Trump while ignoring Antifa and others on the Left.

"I keep explaining to people, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, they're some of the most secular places on earth. And we've reduced everyone to a tweet, that we disagree with," he added.

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:

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Megyn Kelly is not happy about the "disgusting" media coverage of President Donald Trump, specifically pointing to Lesley Stahl's "60 Minutes" interview on CBS Sunday.

On the radio program, Megyn told Glenn Beck the media has become so blinded by the "Trump Derangement Syndrome" that they've lost their own credibility — and now they can't get it back.

"It's disgusting. It's stomach-turning," Megyn said of the media's coverage of the president. "But it's just a continuation of what we've seen over the past couple of years. Their 'Trump Derangement Syndrome' has blinded them to what they're doing to their own credibility. They can't get it back. It's too late. They've already sacrificed it. And now no one is listening to them other than the hard partisans for whom they craft their news."

Megyn also discussed how she would have covered the recent stories about Hunter and Joe Biden's alleged corruption. Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:


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Imagine sometime next year, getting called before HUWAC – the House Un-Woke Activities Committee.

"Are you or have you ever been a member of the un-woke?"

Something like that is not as far-fetched as you might think.

Last week, Robert Reich, the former Secretary of Labor during the Clinton administration, now a UC Berkeley professor, tweeted this:

Since the 1970s, there have been dozens of "Truth Commissions" around the world like the kind Robert Reich wants in America. Most of these have been set up in Africa and Latin America. Usually it happens in countries after a civil war, or where there's been a regime change – a dictator is finally overthrown, and a commission is set up to address atrocities that happened under the dictator. Or, as in the commissions in East Germany and Czechoslovakia, atrocities under communism. Or, in the most famous example, South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation commission addressed the decades of apartheid that ravaged that nation.

These commissions usually conclude with an official final report. These commissions and reports have served as a means of governments trying to close a dark chapter of their country's history, or provide emotional catharsis, as a way to generally move on. Sometimes it kind of works for people, most of the time it leaves people clamoring for more justice.

Here's how one professor described truth commissions in an article in The Conversation last year. He wrote:

The goal of a truth commission… is to hold public hearings to establish the scale and impact of a past injustice, typically involving wide-scale human rights abuses, and make it part of the permanent, unassailable public record. Truth commissions also officially recognize victims and perpetrators in an effort to move beyond the painful past… Some have been used cynically as tools for governments to legitimize themselves by pretending they have dealt with painful history when they have only kicked the can down the road.

See, this is the problem with a lot of "Truth" commissions – they are inherently political. Even if you trust your government and give them all the benefit of the doubt in the world that their Truth commission is trying to do the right thing, it is ALWAYS going to be political. Because these truth commissions are never set up by those who have LOST power in government. They're always established by those who have WON power.

The Deputy Executive Director of the International Center for Transitional Justice says one of the main points in these Truth commissions is that "the victims become protagonists."

A Department of Anti-racism is entirely within the realm of possibility.

So, who are the victims in Robert Reich's America? People like him, members of the far-Left who had to endure the atrocities of four years of a president with different political ideas. What an injustice. I mean, the left's suffering during the Trump administration is almost on the level of apartheid or genocide – so we totally need a Truth commission.

There have been lots of calls for the U.S. to have its own Truth and Reconciliation commission, especially around racial injustice.

This past June, Democratic Congresswoman Barbara Lee of California introduced legislation to establish the " United States Commission on Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation."

Ibram X. Kendi – the high priest of anti-racism, and author of Target's current favorite book " Antiracist Baby" – proposes a Constitutional anti-racism amendment. This amendment would:

establish and permanently fund the Department of Anti-racism (DOA) comprised of formally trained experts on racism and no political appointees. The DOA would be responsible for pre-clearing all local, state and federal public policies to ensure they won't yield racial inequity, monitor those policies, investigate private racist policies when racial inequity surfaces, and monitor public officials for expressions of racist ideas. The DOA would be empowered with disciplinary tools to wield over and against policymakers and public officials who do not voluntarily change their racist policy and ideas.

If you think that is far-fetched, you haven't been paying attention to the Left's growing radicalism. In a Joe Biden-Kamala Harris administration, a Department of Anti-racism is entirely within the realm of possibility. And of course, such a DOA would never stop at policing government.

We're in a dangerous, precarious moment in our history. Given the events of 2020, should Democrats gain the White House, the Senate, and the House, how many commissions will be in our future? They will suddenly have plenty of political capital to drag the nation through years of commission hearings.

And the Left's form of justice is never satisfied. You think it will stop at a T&R commission on race? MSNBC's Chris Hayes tweeted this month about the need for a commission to deal with Americans who are skeptical about wearing masks:

Or what about a Truth commission on religion? I mean, look at those reckless churches spreading Covid this year. Or this would be a big one – a T&R commission on climate change deniers.

The Left is highly selective when it comes to truth. That's why they are the very last group you want in charge of anything with "Truth and Reconciliation" in the title.

This is one of the most incredibly frustrating things about the Left in America today. The Left insists there is no such thing as absolute truth, while simultaneously insisting there are certain approved truths that are undeniable.

So, you can't question "Science" – even though that's pretty much what every great scientist in history did.

You can't question racism as the explanation for all of existence – because, well, just because.

You can't question third-party "Fact-checkers" – because the powers that be, mainly Big Tech right now, have decided they are the Truth referees and you have to trust what they say because they're using certified external fact-checkers. They just forgot to tell you that they actually fund these third-party fact-checkers. It's like if McDonald's told you to trust third-party health inspectors that they were paying for.

The Left thinks it has a monopoly on Truth. They're the enlightened ones, because they've had the correct instruction, they're privy to the actual facts. It's psychotic arrogance. If you don't buy what they're selling, even if you're just skeptical of it, it's because you either don't have the facts, you willingly deny the facts, or you're simply incapable of grasping the truth because you're blinded by your raging racism problem. It's most likely the racism problem.

The Left never learns from its own preaching. For the past 60-plus years they've decried the House Un-American Activities Committee for trying to root out communists, getting people canceled, ruining Hollywood careers, etcetera. But a HUAC-type committee is precisely what Robert Reich is describing and many on the Left want. It's not enough for Trump to be voted out of office. Americans who helped put him there must be punished. They don't want reconciliation, they want retribution. Because the Left doesn't simply loathe Donald Trump, the Left loathes YOU.