An Interview With Jason Mattera, Author Of “Obama Zombies: How the Liberal Machine Brainwashed My Generation.”
Earlier this week, I got together with ambush interviewer extraordinaire, Jason Mattera: the author of Obama Zombies: How the Liberal Machine Brainwashed My Generation.
What follows is the slightly edit transcript of my conversation with Jason. Enjoy!
What do you say to the argument that the GOP really doesn’t have a big problem with younger voters? They just ran a 4,000 year-old candidate against a young man, a guy who was the first black president?
The youth vote has been steadily increasing since 2000. If you look at the trajectory, Bush versus Gore, young voters were about even. If you look at Bush versus Kerry, Kerry won young voters by around 10 points — and then, you look at Obama versus McCain: Obama won by almost 40 points. So there’s been a lack of support with younger voters attracted to the GOP and Obama was able to just juice that support and bring it up on steroids.
That’s one thing Obama Zombies looks at — these tactics and strategies that have been successful, but the GOP has an awful outreach program. It’s just awful. John McCain was an awful candidate all around. I mean, gramps – God bless what he did for our country, but to be real, I mean gramps just looked like death. He did.
One thing that puzzles a lot of people is the support young Americans have for a candidate who’s destroying their future. If you’re 20 years old and the debt and government programs Barack Obama’s putting into place — if they’re not repealed – it’s going to be devastating to you as you get older. What do you think about that? Why are so many people signing on for something that does so much damage to their own future?
Unfortunately, our generation is made up of a bunch of circus animals, spoiled brats who aren’t thinking for themselves — and they’re prime targets to be labotomized by liberalism. We’re able to live clueless lives today because we don’t have to worry about some government death squad rounding us up and axing us to death, as the young people have to look out for in Iran. But when you’re able to live a clueless life, it breeds a lazy logic, which is the hallmark of the Obama zombie. So you’re right. You have all these little minions, these little zombies, cheering for Obama on these health care initiatives, cheering for a government take-over of student loans, for them to take action on supposed climate change. All these things have a heavy cost. It’s a fiscal time bomb for our generation just waiting to happen. I mean we really have a fiscal time bomb. There is already a $53 trillion unfunded liability with Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.
Fifty three trillion: we can’t even fathom that. But yet we’re going to add more of these government programs. It’s a devastating torpedo to our financial futures and young people just aren’t grasping it. They move to the beat of emotion. So what we have to do is jolt them back to reality. One of the primary ways to do it is have a vibrant youth outreach where we’re constantly bombarding them with our message. That’s what Obama does. He does it to young people all the time. He surrounds himself with young people. He’s always campaigning at college campuses. He has Students for Obama chapters throughout the country. He has the resources he puts in, the organizers, the dorm storming…the GOP not so much.
Now, a related question: I was talking to a reporter one time about the tea parties and he asked something like, “Well, you’ve got all these people out there at: : Tea: : Parties largely because they say they’re worried about their children’s future, but they tend to be older crowds. There are not a lot of young people at the: : Tea: : Parties. Why do you think that is?” My basic answer was that the: : Tea: : Parties are important, but they’re not hip, they’re not cool. There’s no Dave Matthews. There’s no Will.I.Am. There are no celebrities there. What would you have told that reporter? What do you think about that? Why are the Tea Parties typically not particularly young crowds?
It would have to go into how young people do not see the relevance of the protests, unfortunately. There still are many young people who are reaching out and have been organizing around these: : Tea: : Party rallies — and buyer’s remorse is setting in to a degree. I mean, you have now even high profile figures like Obama Girl having second thoughts. She said publicly her crush has faded. She’s no longer bouncing around YouTube, half naked, talking about her crush on Barack Obama. You have only 54 percent now of the young that are aligning themselves with Democrats. Forty percent are aligning themselves with Republicans. That’s a huge boost from 2008. So the buyer’s remorse is there.
But conservatives are always going to have a disadvantage on the celebrity front. We just are. Not only does Barack Obama use celebrities to gin up interest, what he did during the campaign was transform that interest into get-out-the-vote tactics.
So he’d have these free concerts with Dave Matthews. They’d have 30,000 to 40,000 people pack these stadiums. They’d register them to vote. They’d get their cell phone numbers. And then in some states, you can register to vote and vote on the same day, absentee.
So they’d bus them then to the polling stations to go vote. All it took for young people was, “Wow, Barack’s hooking me up with Dave Matthews tickets. Sweet, I’ll vote for him.” That’s how it was.
What I think the GOP should be doing is using more smart messaging to get young people interested. I have a battle plan for that in Obama Zombies and one thing with the smart messaging is relaying our bedrock conservative principles in new ways.
So we want to talk about redistribution of wealth and how this whole concept of social justice and egalitarianism is an affront to private property and liberty. Young people don’t get social justice. Young people don’t get redistribution of wealth. Talk about redistribution of grade point averages and they will sure get that. Show them how fair it would be if we gave part of that A or that B+ they worked their tails off to get to help some person who has that C, get that up to a B — and it’s all in the name of fairness as Obama would say. It’s all in the name of making everyone happy. If you want to talk about Cap and Tax, tell them how their iPod and their internet use — anything that expends carbon footprint is energy. Tell them that is now going to be on the chopping block with the rest. I’m not making this stuff up. There was a headline that ran in the Seattle Times about a year ago that said “Charge an iPod, Kill a Polar Bear.” It was just talking about how there’s so much new technology today and energy usage is going through the roof. That carbon footprint is increasing and we’re causing an Al-Gore-size polar melt down.
So we’ve got to tell young people, “Hey, the Left wants to regulate your iPods. They want to regulate your energy use. They want to regulate your internet browsing. Heck, they want to regulate talk radio.”
Do you really want to be in this nanny state environment? If we relate conservative principles in ways they can understand, we’ll always have the celebrity factor that is against us, but I think it could be overcome, if we start now. It isn’t going to happen overnight, but we cannot afford to risk losing a generation of young people.
Speaking of that, the Left has this huge machine that seems to be perfectly attuned to reaching young voters. They give them propaganda in the schools; Hollywood rock stars lean left; you’ve got Colbert and John Stewart and MTV when they come home. How do conservatives undercut the effect in that sort of comprehensive propaganda network — or how do we compete with it?
Yes, you’re right. Young people today become liberals through osmosis. It’s hard for them to miss it. I mean this is crazy, but they are getting the way the world works through John Stewart, a moron — and they’re either watching their MTV or Rock the Vote; they’re on these e-mail lists and hearing their favorite celebrity tell them that they need to vote for their favorite left wing politician. So the deck is currently stacked against us.
That being said, Pew Research did a poll surveying the ideological leanings of young people and 31 percent consider themselves liberal, 30 percent consider themselves conservative, and another 30 percent are independent. That’s not bad.
I mean, the opening is certainly there for us and with this Obama economy where young people, if they’re out of college already, are not able to find a job – young people have the highest unemployment rate. It’s over 30 percent. For young black men, it’s over 50 percent. I mean, the ground is set for someone to step in there and talk about free market ideas. We can talk about why liberalism is mandating unemployment for them. So if the economy is in the crapper, and it certainly is, young people are not going to care so much about Dave Matthews or Will.I.Am. They are going to care about, “Who is going to help me find a job? Who is going to help increase my standard of living?” It isn’t going to be the Left.
It certainly is going to be through our principles, but someone has to communicate it to them. John McCain’s new media strategy consisted of an internet game called Pork Invaders, which looked like Pac-man circa 1980. So we need to be up to speed on rallying people through cell phones, up to speed on contacting people through Facebook, and micro-targeting them. That’s what Obama did. He micro targeted people to join Obama Facebook groups. They looked for commonalities in connections, then put somebody in touch with them who had similar interests, then invited them into the process. So, young people bought into the Obama brand. We need young people to buy into the conservative brand. We need resources expended to campuses. We need resources expended to where young people are at, in order to have a fighting chance.
Let’s say a half dozen GOP big-wigs like Michael Steele, John Cornyn, Tom Cole et cetera brought you in and said, “Jason, how does the GOP do a better job of reaching young voters? What do we need to do to actually put this into practice? What would you tell them?
I would say buy Obama Zombies and read it thoroughly….
…I knew you were going to say that.
…And it would give them a battle plan to do it. But if I had to pick one thing, first of all we’re going to need candidates who can express our ideas with articulation and boldness. Let’s remember that young people don’t hear conservative ideas.
So when they’re heard for the first time, these young and hungry minds are like, “WOW, this is a fresh new perspective. I want to learn more about this.”
We also need to start attracting younger candidates. I mean, Obama’s age and his vitality did have a lot to do with it. The GOP has this process of, “Oh, you’ll get your chance.” It’s sort of a good ol’ boys club and network — and we can’t have that mentality. That’s why it’s encouraging for me to see someone like Marco Rubio moving up the ranks. I mean, he’s someone that can totally excite young people. Not only does he have the eloquence, not only does he have the bedrock conservative principles in taking on an established GOP machine, he has the youth. He has the energy. Somehow, we’ve allowed the Left to manipulate the concept of conservatism and convince people that it’s old, white, and stodgy. That’s not the case. We’re all about individuality. It’s the Left that has the compulsion for uniformity.
So if Michael Steele wanted my advice, I would say establish bases on college campuses, get as many young, vibrant, conservative speakers to hold rallies on these campuses as possible. Start instituting Facebook and cellphone technology campaigns. Get as many as you can get. Get their e-mail addresses. Start dorm storming and micro-targeting. Start doing it right now because we can’t afford to lose a generation of young people to liberal ideas.
Jason, outstanding, I really appreciate your time. Thanks for doing the interview, man.
My brother, I appreciate everything you do. Keep it up. You’re inspiring young conservatives. I know this because I talk to young people all the time who read your site and they love your boldness. They love your freshness. We need more people who are able to speak the truth regardless of the consequences. So I appreciate everything you’re doing and thanks for interviewing me.
I appreciate the kind words; thanks, man.
All right, dude; appreciate it.