Meet the young man connecting the conservatives of Silicon Valley

It's hard to find a state more liberal than California, but the entrepreneurs of Silicon Valley have shown a libertarian streak that drew Glenn's interest. On his TV show Tuesday night, he brought Aaron Ginn, founder of Lincoln Labs, to Dallas to discuss what it's like to be a young conservative in Silicon Valley and what libertarians in one of the most liberal parts of the country expect from the government.

Below is a transcript of the interview:

Glenn: So, I have to introduce you to somebody. Aaron Ginn, he is the cofounder of Lincoln Labs, a Silicon Valley tech organization that wears conservative libertarian views on its sleeve. We were just talking about that I’m surprised and I think most people in the audience would be surprised that there are conservative—I mean, just show what’s on your neck.

Aaron: Oh yeah, my cross my mom gave me.

Glenn: You’re from Silicon Valley, California, Silicon Valley. Most people would say that they don’t think those people exist.

Aaron: Yeah. And we do. That’s why we started Lincoln Labs was that there are. Like most of these people are hiding behind their job titles or their careers, and they don’t want to talk about their beliefs.

Glenn: This is kind of like Friends of Abe in Hollywood.

Aaron: Yeah, exactly. When we started Lincoln Labs, we didn’t know anything about Friends of Abe, which is ironic because we started Lincoln Labs, Friends of Abe, and the main reason why we chose Lincoln Labs was we researched, and we’re like okay, so what president best shows the Silicon Valley attitude? We saw Abraham Lincoln. He was the first one to do tallies on door knocking, like who says yes to me or like maybe. He was the only president to hold a patent. He tried out all the weapons. He went there during the Civil War, he put the telegraph in the White House. He was very innovative. He also was a uniting force for the country. He thought that my goal is to protect liberty. So, when we started Lincoln Labs, the goal was to find more people like us. Over the course of, I guess now we’re going on two years, we found lots of people like us all around the nation.

Glenn: You know what’s really amazing is I spent some time out in Silicon Valley and I thought I would be a pariah out there. To some, I am. To some, I am, but to those who are really—there’s a lot more libertarian out there. The problem is they will see a Republican that will say something stupid like, for instance, the only thing that comes to mind is Ben Carson when he said you can go to prison, and all of a sudden you’re gay, and you’re like come on, man, really? That’s what’s stopping them from—they’ll tend to go to the left because, correct me if I’m wrong, because they’ll see somebody who looks like that doesn’t make any sense to me.

Aaron: Yeah, and our goal is simple, liberty, like we want more liberty, whether you’re blue, purple, or red. And a lot of the engineers, designers, technical people in Silicon Valley, they see stupidity on both sides, and they know.

Glenn: I’m glad to hear that because I didn’t think a lot of them did see the stupidity.

Aaron: It’s my opinion that I think a lot of them begrudgingly vote for people who they know are fundamentally against their values, and it’s because they think that both of them are just so bad. And that’s why we’re simply there to be like hey, the fundamental basis of what technology does is enables people to make their own decisions. That’s why a lot of the Web 1.0 guys are very liberty oriented, like Marc Andreessen or Peter Thiel.

And even if you look at the innovations that are transforming our entire world, like Uber or Airbnb, right, those are very liberty-minded companies. They’re like hey, this random middle-class person in Las Colinas can now become a cab driver for people and just like logs onto the app and becomes a cab driver, right—revolutionary things that before we would need massive amounts of bureaucracy, people doing verifications and checks. Now we can do that all automated, and I think that fundamentally the technology community is very liberty oriented because the goal is to empower consumers to make their own decisions and to effectively—to decrease costs and increase productivity.

Glenn: So, in Silicon Valley, is it as tough to be conservative or religious as it is in Hollywood? Because in Hollywood, they fear for their jobs.

Aaron: I would say it’s similar and a little bit different in a sense that I’ve never been afraid of my own beliefs, both politically and my Christian faith. People also saw like when they met me and started talking to me, they were like, “That guy’s Christian.” So, they sort of like accepted it, and they just moved on with their life; however, my background and my training is a little bit different than the average Christian. I’ve been trained in theology and apologetics, so I can effectively communicate. I read Alvin Plantinga for fun. Not many people do that. And so whenever I get a question, I can articulate my views, but I know several people, whether my church or in Lincoln Labs, that are very scared about expressing their political beliefs or religious beliefs because there is a sense of hostility against these positions.

It’s not like hostility of like, you know, I think that when people on the right see someone they disagree with, they’re like I just disagree with you, but when people in the left see someone they disagree with, it’s almost like you like killed a kitten in front of them. It’s like a moral hatred, right? I don’t want to be called a bad person. So, I think it’s out of that. They don’t want to hear that they’re like this awful, terrible human being for just thinking that I don’t want to pay as much to the government.

Glenn: Yeah, this is crazy.

Aaron: Yeah, it’s crazy, because I think that’s what I’m seeing now in what’s going on in Silicon Valley is that I think that a lot of the engineers and technical people who used to associate themselves with the left now have seen this rising intolerance that they don’t agree with. They’re like I’m liberal because I’m classically liberal.

Glenn: I’m classic liberal.

Aaron: As I am too, right?

Glenn: I saw today that in my old high school in Bellingham, which is a very, very lefty area of Washington state, that the juniors in both of the high schools now are planning a walkout against Common Core, and I thought to myself my oh my gosh, our viewpoint is starting to be cool. The man is coming down so hard that it’s our side that is starting to be the cool side, and they just don’t realize that’s coming.

Aaron: One of our advisors has called us a countercultural movement in that it’s kind of interesting and cool to be liberty oriented and having these different beliefs, there’s this large swath of I don’t know what to call them, maybe social norm of like in Silicon Valley, it’s cool to be different, right? And Elon Musk is cool because he’s trying to build rockets to the moon and do things that are very different. In that sense, I think a portion of people are seeing us as like a valid alternative now versus when we originally started.

I was going to host an event at one of my previous companies, and I received an email from the CEO being like hey, we can’t host your event. It was basically like we were going to have Rand Paul come speak. Because he received an email from one of the engineering leads, being like one-third of the company has threatened to quit if we host this event, right? And the ironic thing is that the slogan of our company was basically to discover things that we did not know and to be open to new ideas was basically the premise of what our product did.

And so I had to scramble. It was two weeks before the event, and I had to scramble to find another location. That was like the original days. Now, we get invites from a lot of the big tech players to host events with them and to partner with them on issues.

Glenn: So, I have two minutes. I just want you to talk a little bit about the difference that the left, how the left views this fight and how the right views this fight.

Aaron: Like in the sense of—?

Glenn: The right usually says okay, well, the election is coming, so I’ll go out and vote.

Aaron: Yeah. I think what people need to understand, especially the liberty-oriented side within the United States and really all across the world is the left is very motivated to starve for their cause.

Glenn: Literally.

Aaron: Yeah, literally because to them it’s like a religious commitment, versus the people on the right generally have another higher calling to which they want to go after, which is one reason why that they’re right-leaning. The battle is constant.

Glenn: I think that’s what we’re missing, and that’s what kind of was talking about the monologue here. The first was we don’t even know. We’re supposed to serve. It’s not about going to church. It’s about serving. So, that’s making the world a better place, helping people, helping people in need. That’s what the left thinks they’re doing, but they’re crippling people. If we’re actually seen making a difference, some of these people will go, “Oh crap, I’ve got it wrong,” and they’ll come over here because some of them are sincere in their help. Some of them are just doing it for power. You know what I mean? Same on the other side, but those who really want to make a difference, this works, this doesn’t.

Aaron: Yeah, we need to constantly be telling people about the cause. We need to be constantly showing people investing in community, basically caring about people. I think the right has been, and liberty has been so far associated with big corporations and rich people taking home as much money as possible rather than the fact of why we believe in liberty is because we care about people who do not have access to those things. We care about empowering individuals to reach that possibility, and the left is, I think, very sincere. Like you said, they think that they’re doing good work. In reality, they never look at—I like Dennis Prager. He always says as soon as you ask whether or not something works, you start becoming a conservative.

Glenn: That’s right.

Aaron: Because the left is about creating this vision for the world that may or may not come to be, but they don’t care because this is what they’re going after, versus the right’s sort of like let’s be a little bit more rational about it. Let’s think about this a little bit more.

Glenn: I’d like to have you on the radio show and talk a little bit more about how we can help you and how we can get involved with Silicon Valley and the movement there, because I think you’re doing great stuff.

Aaron: Thank you.

CNN reporter Jim Acosta was confronted at CPAC by The Federalist reporter David Marcus with a valid question: "When are you guys going to start covering Cuomo?" His answer — or, really, lack of an answer — perfectly demonstrates why he was earlier surrounded by CPAC attendees chanting, "CNN sucks!"

On the "Glenn Beck Radio Program" Tuesday, Glenn and producer Stu Burguiere react to a video clip of the exchange with Acosta, as well as the mainstream media's double standards when it comes to Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Watch the video below:

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

Glenn Beck can't help but wonder, "What is wrong with us?" in light of the Left's latest move — canceling six Dr. Seuss books due to "hurtful and wrong" illustrations — that takes America one step closer to complete insanity. And now, school districts are jumping on board after President Joe Biden seems to have dropped Dr. Seuss from the White House's annual "Read Across America Day" proclamation.

On the radio program Tuesday, Glenn argued that deleting books is the perfect example of fascism, and asked when we as a country will finally realize it.

"They are banning Dr. Seuss books. How much more do you need to see before all of America wakes up? ... This is fascism!" Glenn said. "We don't destroy books. What is wrong with us, America?"

Watch the video below to hear more from Glenn:


Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

Former Democratic presidential candidate and Hawaii representative Tulsi Gabbard and Glenn Beck don't agree much on policy, but they're in lockstep on principles.

On "The Glenn Beck Podcast" this week, Tulsi spoke with Glenn about one of her last acts in Congress, introducing the "Protect Women's Sports Act," which she says would "strengthen, clarify, and uphold the intent of Title IX to provide a level playing field for girls and women in sports." But since then, the Biden administration has gone in the opposite direction, and has supported allowing biological men to compete in women's sports.

Watch the video clip below to hear why Tulsi took a stand for female athletes:


Watch the full interview with Tulsi Gabbard here.

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

Later this week, former President Trump will attend CPAC and give his first major policy appearance since leaving office. Sources close to the President reveal he will focus on "the future of the Republican Party and the conservative movement."

The future of the GOP is a question that demands real discussion before elections in 2022 and 2024. Right now, I can see three possible answers for how you act:

  1. Those in power and senior positions will ignore the reasons behind Donald Trump winning in 2016. They will be vindicated in their minds because they outlasted him, as they view DC as a job for life. These leaders will go back to business as usual and seek forgiveness from the left, hoping for unity and acceptance in the future.
  2. The second outcome is another section of the party that is understandably very angry over the left's Presidents treatment. They still support and believe in Trump. They think it's time to take off the gloves and treat Biden/the left exactly how they treated Trump.
  3. The few policy positions offered in public will be centered solely around opposing the left. They will also make the case how the left suck, are dangerous, and how you need them in power. The next four years are merely a countdown for Trump to run again and right the wrong of 2020.
  4. The third outcome is very similar to the second, but with one key difference. While they appreciate everything Trump accomplished while in office, they feel it's time to unite behind another candidate.
Question

Which of these three positions will work best for the American people? Which helps built a political base for elections in both 2022 and 2024?

If you seek to help save America, it is critical to do some soul searching. Whether you love or hate him, Donald Trump got 75 million votes and made advancements in key demographics. What did he do well that you can develop further? In what areas was he poor, and how can you improve?

I want to raise six principled points everyone on the right should be forced to consider in the run-up to 2024.

1 - Understanding American Exceptionalism

FACT: America is an exceptional nation. If you read enough of world history, you will find ample evidence that America acted in ways that made it unique and significantly different from other countries in the past and modern times. These reasons must be understood and promoted through the culture and body politic.

One of those reasons is the layout of your Declaration of Independence. If you look around politics today, you will see people on all political sides telling you what they hate, why the other side is the enemy, and how they must be defeated.

In the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson also made that case against the English when he listed 27 grievances against the King. So how is the layout key? It took Jefferson 357 words to get to those grievances. Your Declaration is your mission statement: it tells everyone in the world what America aspires to be. It states the belief that all were created equal, all had certain rights that come directly from God, and that it is the government's job to protect rights -- not give people rights.

The left is successfully painting everyone on the right to be a terrorist who enjoyed the Capitol Hill riots. If you ever want to win another election, it will be critical to explain what you stand for to the American people.

After all, ask yourself which makes you the most passionate to vote - removing someone from office or voting for a vision and change you believe in?

2 - The Constitution

Is there a better place to start this vision than the Constitution? Yes, it is mostly ignored today by those in power and is only referenced by politicians and media when it fits a narrative.

The Constitution is a beautiful and complex document but is primarily based on a straightforward principle. The government should be extremely limited in its power, but it should be as close to the people as possible where there is a clear need for government. Who can argue with this principle?

Who wants someone they have never met, dictating how they live their life?

This is why the Constitution grants the President no real power, and gives Congress 18 clauses of power, listed under Article 1, Section 8. Any and every power not mentioned there belongs at the state level.

3 - Finances

The power structure in DC has changed many times over the last twenty years, with both parties having the opportunity to rule the different federal branches. There have been two periods where one party controlled all the power in DC:

  • 2008-2010: Obama / Dem
  • 2016-2018: Trump / GOP

Despite these changes, your government continually grows, you continue to spend money you don't have, and in ten out of the last thirteen years, you have added over $1,000,000,000,000 to your national debt, which now sits just under $28 trillion. Does this seem sustainable to you? Of course not, but sadly your finances only get worse.

America has revenue of over $3.2 trillion every year, yet DC has not passed a budget since 2008. Can you imagine any business running that way? Do you think Apple, Amazon, or Disney have a budget? It is time to get America on a path to financial sustainability, work towards a balanced budget, and explain to the American people how you will achieve it.

4 - Taxes

Do you remember discussing taxes during the Tea Party?

We used to make the simple moral case to the American people: any money you earn is yours, you should use it to plan your life, and the government has no right to take it from you. This was so successful around 2012 that Herman Cain ran for President with one primary policy: the 9-9-9 plan.

If America is to return to prosperity after Covid, lower taxes and a simpler tax code must be a central theme.

5 - Cutting Government

Look at the size of the US government in 2021. Are you happy? Can you name the numerous departments? Is it now the freedom-loving Americans' position that agencies like Education, Energy, EPA, and Commerce are constitutional bodies of government and are well-run?

How about the IRS, which targeted Tea-Party groups under President Obama? Do they deserve support, or is it time to start sharing a vision of the departments that should be abolished?

This principle used to be a big part of the Conservative platform. It played a massive role in 2012 when Rick Perry ran for President. His campaign was destroyed in 45 short seconds when he could not remember the three agencies he would abolish.

Maybe it's time to refresh this debate but change the parameters. How about we discuss the agencies that should be kept?

6 - Bill of Rights

Today, the Bill of Rights is under constant attack. The far-left/woke mob hates free speech, and they seek to cancel anyone with an opposing view. However, the attacks on the Bill of Rights don't always come from the left.

America has a second amendment that guarantees you the right to bear arms. The last time the GOP held both houses of Congress and the Presidency, they banned bump stocks - but who really NEEDS a bump stock?

As the years have passed, some have admitted they are open to red flag laws. Is this still the case?

While the second amendment may be under attack, it is clear the fourth amendment is dead. Regardless of which party holds power in DC, the NSA is given continuous ability to spy on Americans. The simple, principled case from Rand Paul of "get a warrant" always falls on deaf ears.

The Bill of Rights should be a unifying document for most Americans, as the principles are self-evident and a significant part of any freedom platform going forward.

Conclusion

America will face significant challenges over the coming years. As the government continues to grow, the far left get more hostile, and central planners seek a great reset. If you share my concern, then now is the time to forget our tribes and ignore the debate on who should be President in 2024.

It's time to work hard to build a platform by raising a banner of bold colors, not pale pastels. We must share a clear vision to the American people of a bright future where they are free, prosperous, and can pursue their happiness.

When the platform is built and successful, people can identify the best candidate to run in 2024.

"First, you win the argument, and then you win the election." — Margaret Thatcher

Jonathon Dunne is a keynote speaker, weekly podcast host on Blaze Media, and published author on major platforms such as The Blaze, Glenn Beck, Libertarian Republic, Western Journalism, and Constitution. Since 2012, he has reached millions with his message of American exceptionalism.

You can find him on social media – Facebook, Twitter, MeWe