Dr. Sebastian Gorka: How the Far-Left Radicalized America’s Institutions

October 26, 2019 Updated: November 8, 2019

How is the ideological basis of the far-left fundamentally at odds with traditional values?

What is the war for America’s soul, as told in Dr. Sebastian Gorka’s new book?

And in the eyes of Dr. Gorka, how did we get to this point? How were American institutions radicalized and America’s youth indoctrinated into sympathizing with socialist ideology?

This is American Thought Leaders 🇺🇸, and I’m Jan Jekielek.

Today we sit down with Dr. Gorka, the nationally syndicated radio host of America First with Sebastian Gorka and former Deputy Assistant to President Donald Trump. We discuss his new book, “The War for America’s Soul: Donald Trump, the Left’s Assault on America, and How We Take Back Our Country.”

Jan Jekielek: Dr. Seb Gorka, wonderful to have you on American Thought Leaders.

Dr. Sebastian Gorka: Thanks for having me, Jan.

Mr. Jekielek: So you have written a book, “The War for America’s Soul,” provocatively titled. What is “America’s soul” that the war is being raged about?

Dr. Gorka: First things first, can I congratulate you and Epoch Times for the work you’re doing, especially with regards to keeping the menace of the communist threat in front of us; secondly, really almost single-handedly doing the work into investigating the corruption of what I call, “Obamagate,” where most of the mainstream media won’t. So first things first, you have an amazing team and more power to you.

This is my third book. My first was, “Defeating Jihad: The Winnable War,” that I think helped me get into the White House. Then last year, I wrote, “Why We Fight: Defeating America’s Enemies – With No Apologies.”

Now here, based upon personal experience, what happened to my family in the White House and afterwards, and then understanding just how radical one of our two parties had become, I wanted to explain how that occurred–the long story for how that occurred–the real explanation.

And the “soul” of America that we are warring over, for me as a legal immigrant to this country, is the collective principles, the first principles, upon which this nation was founded by the Founding Fathers as the only nation in human history that wasn’t the product of a dynasty, a linguistic group, a geographic accident, but based upon the principle of the individual and the God-given rights of the individual, as what Reagan called that “shining city on the hill.”

So the “soul” of America for me is who we were at the founding as a republic and how we get back to that principled place of liberty for all, and fighting those who wish to denude us of our freedoms.

Mr. Jekielek: You know it’s fascinating to me because many of the people that you would say are trying to denude us of our freedoms, they believe they’re creating a better America.

Dr. Gorka: Yeah! That’s no accident. These people come from the left. … It doesn’t matter what the party’s called–whether it’s Conservative, Tory, Republican; whether it’s Democrat, Labor Party, Socialist–it doesn’t matter what the labels are, politics in the modern age is separated. Your identity falls on one question: What is your attitude to humans? Are humans fallen? Are they innately corruptible or are they perfectible? Can you create, can you engineer, human beings into utopia?

I don’t care whether you’re Karl Marx or Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC), the common thread, the connective tissue, between AOC and the founder of communism is this belief that human beings are just malleable, they’re like animals, you can change them, you can engineer them, and you can create perfection on earth.

If you’re a conservative—whatever brand you are—you deny that. And you say, man is fallen, man can never be perfected. All you do is you try to manage as best you can and preserve those things. That’s where conservative comes from. You can serve those things that have been proven over centuries or millennia to work, and you understand that there’s only one paradise, and it’s not on this earth. It’s in the afterlife. It doesn’t matter what the labels are.

At the end of the day, those people who wish to take our freedoms away from us subscribe to this idea, Jan, that man is malleable and shapeable, and can be perfected, which is of course asinine.

Mr. Jekielek: It’s very interesting because it seems like the approach to the “fallen man” model, as you’re describing, is actually empowering the individual, curiously, right?

Dr. Gorka: Yes. … If you believe in the “perfectibility of man” argument, who’s going to do the “perfecting”? It’s not the individual! It’s the state, yes!? The elite is granted this magic power, the “philosophical power,” to mold society as they deem fit. That’s why the hoary old saying is so true: “Big government, small citizen.” The more you cramp the individual and you remove from them the liberties we believe to be inherited–and not government-given, but God-given–the more power you give to an elite. And unfortunately in many cases, members of that elite aren’t elected.

That’s what we’ve seen in the last three or four years in America, this concept of the “deep state” or the permanent state. These bureaucrats who say, “Well, presidents come and go, but I’ve been working in government for twenty years and I know better that way.” And—this is not an exaggeration—”that way” eventually lies the re-education camps, and eventually the gulag.

Mr. Jekielek: Indeed, yesterday I saw a headline in the New York Times, I don’t know if you saw the same headline, it was an op-ed, basically something along the lines of the deep state is real, but it’s a patriotic–

Dr. Gorka: They’re the patriots! They’re the good guys! Right, the idea is absolutely shocking. I witnessed this when I was in the White House. For the first few weeks, I refuse to use the phrase “Deep State,” I thought it was a little bit outré; a little bit tin foil hatty. Then I saw it in practice with my own eyes.

I’d be at a meeting of the National Security Council closed in a secure facility, classified facility, and you sit there for an hour and a half on some big issue of importance to the president, whether it was how to defeat ISIS, the threat of China, the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood, whatever it was. I sat there in a room with representatives of the administration, and on the outstations, the secure video teleconference screens–you name it, CIA, DIA, Joint Chiefs (of Staff), State Department–and for an hour and a half I sit there as an observer, and nobody mentions the name of the president, let alone what he wishes to achieve in that given issue.

And there I am, the deputy assistant, who after ninety minutes, I’m the guy with the strange accent who goes, “Ladies and gentlemen, can I remind you of what the president said in Riyadh yesterday? Can I remind you what he said in Warsaw with regards to Judeo-Christian civilization, or the threat of China, or how to defeat ISIS?”

And then you realize: they don’t care. The incumbent of the White House is irrelevant to them because they think, “Oh! The will of 63 million people … I’m a GS-15; I’m SIS. I’ve been here for 15-20 years. I’ll be here once he’s gone.”

That rank-arrogance is the antithesis of what our republic was founded on, and it’s the antithesis of the principles that the Founding Fathers built this nation upon.

Mr. Jekielek: In the book, you describe a kind of indoctrination that’s been happening in our school system across the board for decades now. There’s one particular startling example–I think it’s in the preface of the book–you were at your daughter’s graduation. Can you describe this a little bit? I found it stunning. I’d love to hear it from you.

Dr. Gorka: So the prologue–and I’m very indebted to him–was written by my friend, Dennis Prager, my colleague here at Salem Radio. I open the book with this chapter that in part is really one of the reasons I wrote “The War for America’s Soul.” Our eldest graduated this year from college, and she had a rough time in college. There was an accident at her college, she was severely injured along with thirty other of her friends, but she persevered. She was co-captain of her crew team. She had four different jobs working for professors, managing the coffee shop.

And as a result of her persevering, it was all the more important for me that when she graduated, that it be her day. Everybody wants to be there, the family wants to be there, but it’s to celebrate her being summa cum laude, persevering through the tough vicissitudes of the last four years.

So I tried to avoid any kind of issue because I knew this was a liberal college. I knew some of the parents would not exactly be fans of the president or somebody who worked for the president. I basically hid for the duration of the graduation ceremony. I found a big tree to hide under in the quad where I could see the stage, I could see my daughter take a photograph, but I didn’t want to be the focus of any distraction. Nevertheless, halfway through–it was just funny–the police officers from the college came up to me halfway through the sermon. I thought, “Oh, what now?” The reason they wanted to come is to get some selfies and say, “Hey, we know who you are,” which was fun. It all goes down smoothly. Beautiful day. Afterward I decided to rejoin my group, with my daughter and her diploma.

I got a bit separated from my family and this little girl comes up to me–not one of the students, because she didn’t have a gown on. She was maybe nineteen years old, maybe 95 pounds, dripping wet. She walked straight up to me in a crowd of hundreds of people, witnesses, and says, “Are you Sebastian Gorka? Are you the Sebastian Gorka that worked in the White House?”

And I smiled, I reached out my hand and I said, “Yes, that’s me,” to which this girl, this little girl–if you don’t know, if you’ve never met me, I’m 6′ 4″, 260 pounds, played rugby and Judo, I’m not a small guy–she says, “Well, in that case, [expletive] you! You [expletive] Nazi.”

Now, I’ve become used to the political attacks. I get it. I’m associated with the president. I’m conservative. I have a national radio show. But never before, at this level of indoctrination, had a young girl come up to me and did that.

I was a little taken aback. I composed myself and I said, I’m not going to let this slide. So I followed her back to her family grouping. And it looked like her mother was there, perhaps her grandmother.

And I said to her, “Who the hell do you think you are? My parents suffered as children under Nazi occupation. My father as an adult was arrested and tortured by communists and put in prison, and you call me a Nazi. Who the hell do you think you are?”

Now her relatives were shocked. The woman who looked like her mother said, “Did you really say this to this man?”

You know what her response was, Jan? And this is where it gets really, highly disturbing. She had a rictus-like grin, like Joker from the Batman, and just smiled and grinned at me with no shame.

That’s why I wrote “The War for America’s Soul,” to explain how in America, the country that people flee to for their freedom, you have a nineteen-year-old girl with that level of brainwashing behave the way she did in public at my daughter’s graduation. That needs explaining.

Mr. Jekielek: How about you explain a little? Actually, it’s interesting. The book is like a short primer on a number of areas. We talk about Spygate, what you call Obamagate. We talk about this road from Antonio Gramsci into the modern philosophy, education environment. Can you tell us a little bit?

Dr. Gorka: Right. You’re absolutely right. So I start with Dennis and the story at the graduation. I moved to a chapter to really give people all the details on Obamagate–what the last administration did illegally to spy against candidate Trump, and then President Trump. Then I move into a chapter on, what are the antecedents, what’s the real reason. Because I get a lot of questions from conservatives when I travel the country: How did this happen? How do we have a Democrat Party that openly wants to take away our guns? It’s not only fine with third trimester abortions, but infanticide after birth; a party that says we’re going to pay taxpayer-funded medical insurance for illegal aliens. How do we get there?

My answer is, well, guess what? It didn’t happen overnight. It wasn’t a function solely of the eight years of Obama. In large part, we are responsible. The right is responsible because we allowed them to implement a plan which they call “the long march through the institutions.” … I’ll give a quick summary, but people really have to read the details in “The War for America’s Soul.” I was stimulated, I was inspired, by perhaps one of the most important books I’ve read in the last twenty years, which was Andrew Breitbart’s “Righteous Indignation.” In chapter six of his autobiography, Andrew helped explain to me the antecedents, and I went a little bit deeper, I dug little bit deeper, I made more connections, and I put that into my book.

It’s very simple. … AOC, Obama, Hillary, can all be traced back to an Italian communist called Antonio Gramsci writing a book in a prison cell in Italy. That connection goes through the Frankfurt School to Saul Alinsky, to Hillary, to Obama, to AOC. The key thing that these people did—and you can read the names, Adorno, Gramsci, Lukacs, Alinsky—is they had an epiphany: They realized the flaw in Karl Marx’s writings and in Engels’ writings.

The attempt to create a communist nation failed almost exclusively in every single place it was tried, with the exception of countries like Russia or China where there wasn’t a developed middle class, and where the so-called revolution could leverage a peasant class, where there was a quasi-feudal class that was ill-educated and wouldn’t resist the elite revolution. So if you tried communist revolution in robust, healthy Western nations like America, they’d be doomed to failure because of the traditions, the strength of the family, civic society and so forth.

What Gramsci and especially Alinsky managed to do is these communist thinkers said, “Don’t attack the Judeo-Christian institutions frontally. You’ll never win. You will be destroyed because they’re so healthy. They’ve been developing for thousands of years from the Greeks through the Romans, through Christianity. What you do is you penetrate those institutions, and you change them and you radicalize them from the inside.”

This is where we get Alinsky’s community organizing. You organize inside of existing structures until you can radicalize them wholeheartedly from the inside. And that is exactly what they’ve done in America. If you look at the key elements of our society, whether it’s the press, whether it’s Hollywood, whether it’s the education system, these institutions have been targeted over decades and they have been taken over by radicals.

If you look at the fact that the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation announced on my show yesterday the latest YouGov poll that they do every year: 70 percent of millennials are sympathetic to socialism. 70 percent. How do you get there in America? You only get there when you have a [Howard] Zinn, an avowed America-hater. His textbook “The People’s History of the United States” becoming the mandatory textbook because the teachers unions, the leftists say it has to be the mandatory textbook.

How is it that you can go to an Ivy League college today in America to major in English literature, and for four years not study William Shakespeare, who isn’t [just] the greatest Western author; he is the greatest literary mind of human society, human history. But you don’t study him because he’s white, he’s male, and he’s a heterosexual, and therefore he’s an oppressor. This is what I wanted to explain.

The sad thing is, Jan, it’s all demonstrable. This isn’t a theory, a hypothetical. These are names, dates, plans, and the last thing I do in the book, there’s a bonus chapter which is an interview I did with the president earlier this year. I went back to the White House and interviewed him, but then we found Hillary Clinton’s original dissertation from Wellesley (College) that she wrote on Saul Alinsky when she worked for Saul Alinsky. I reproduce the actual pages of the dissertation in extract to explain how it is that this woman worked for, and wrote on, Saul Alinsky, the man who dedicated “Rules for Radicals”–and please don’t take my word for this, anybody, look it up–dedicated his handbook for the revolutionaries, to the first revolutionary, Lucifer; dedicated his handbook to the devil. She studied under him; she wrote about him.

And the only photograph you can find, again, not an accident, of constitutional law professor Obama teaching, is what? It’s Obama on a chalkboard diagramming out Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals.” This isn’t a hypothetical. This is a plan that’s been gestating for eighty years and that’s how we get to the Democrat Party that is typified by radicals, communists, socialists, gun-grabbers, anti-semites like Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib. And that’s what I wanted to explain in “The War for America’s Soul.”

Mr. Jekielek: You have another personal moment in the book that I’m just reminded of where I think you’re eight years old and you see your father coming out of the ocean. And you noticed some marks on his wrist, and that profoundly impacts you. What was that all about?

Dr. Gorka: I think for many people, it is possible to identify moments in your life where you arrive at a fork, and everything changes because of an event or a decision you make. For me … I can identify it clearly to a matter of minutes, and it was on vacation in the south of France.

My parents escaped communist Hungary. My father literally was liberated from a political prison as an anti-communist. He was liberated. With a 17-year-old daughter of a fellow prison mate, they crawled across a minefield into free Austria and then ended up as refugees, eventually, in the UK, where I was born and raised. And that 17-year-old girl became my father’s wife, and my mother. I was born in liberty–the mother of democracies, the UK. I grew up under Margaret Thatcher. We were blessed.

But one day on vacation, I was on the beach playing in the sand. My father who’s a great figure and an athlete–he’d been on the national crew team for Hungary before he was arrested by the secret police–he loved to swim, he loved to exercise, and he came out of the water one day after a swim out of the ocean. I looked at him and I realized something I hadn’t noticed before. And I saw these white lines on his wrists. I realized he wasn’t old enough to be wrinkled on his wrist, so like a silly little boy, I said, “Hey dad, what’s that?”

Without batting an eyelid with no emotion, with no hesitation, he just looked at me and he said, “Son, that’s where the secret police bound my wrists together with a wire behind my back, so they could hang me from the ceiling of the torture chamber.”

That’s when my life changed, Jan, because from that moment onward, I knew at a genetic level, at a visceral level, at the level of my soul, that the word evil isn’t reserved for mythical stories of minotaurs and dragons. It’s not about children’s fables from Grimm. Evil is real. Evil lurks in the heart of men, and is done by men onto other men, and evil walks the earth.

That background, my family’s history, that experience shaped everything I do–whether it’s my work in counter-terrorism, understanding the jihadis, helping our military and our intelligence understand the jihadis, or whether it’s facing down the enemies we have today, whether it’s resurgent communist China or the radicals inside our own country, sadly.

Mr. Jekielek: You often describe the left as this kind of block. Maybe you can speak to this. It strikes me that there’s some people, probably a smaller group, that are engineering everything that you’ve been describing here, but most people maybe can’t imagine what it would be like to grow up in communist Hungary or communist Poland where my parents escaped from back in the day. It was extremely difficult for me to understand. How many people in the left are part of this eighty-year plan that you’re describing, and what about the rest?

Dr. Gorka: Let me be very clear here because on the right, we often do ourselves great damage by promoting or being susceptible to conspiracy theories. I love conspiracy theories as entertainment. The reason they’re called theories is because they’re not facts. The idea that Obama is the mastermind sitting in a cave somewhere with a joystick engineering a great left-wing conspiracy is absurd. Number one, he’s a very lazy man, so if there was a mastermind, it wouldn’t be Obama. But there is no need for a super mastermind secret plan. Why? By dint of what left-wing philosophy is.

The right, conservatives are predicated on what? On the individual–on the rugged individual, on the liberties of the man, the woman, who makes decisions for themselves. Well, the left is the opposite.

The left is predicated on what? The collective. The interests of the collective outweigh the interests of the one. Therefore, the left has, by nature of that philosophy, a collectivist mindset. It’s like a hive mentality. If you think of Star Trek, it’s like the Borg.

If you look at the media today, you don’t need a master plan to smear somebody on the right or the president. When the left launches one hit piece–the Huffington Post or Daily Beast lodges a hit piece on you, or the president, or me–what happens? The hive mentality is to pile on. It’s the mob mentality. You don’t need a mastermind; you just need a collectivist mindset.

So number one, it’s more of a cultural aspect that allows them to be so effective collectively than it is some kind of super plan.

Secondly, I think you’re right. I think most Americans are apolitical, in my opinion. If you had to create a taxonomy, if you had to categorize most Americans outside of urban areas, I think they lean more towards conservative–mildly towards conservative. That’s why most elections are about capturing that relatively apolitical middle.

But what we’ve seen with the Democrat Party officially is it’s being captured by the radicals. Today, John F. Kennedy who was very hardcore anti-communist, strong on national security, John F. Kennedy wouldn’t be allowed into a DNC meeting; wouldn’t be allowed to represent the party with his views. … The DNC, Hillary Clinton, is saying everybody and their grandmother is now a Russian asset, from the president to Jill Stein, to a combat war veteran who’s a woman, who’s actually a Democrat member of Congress. You’d be laughed out of the DNC thirty years ago for even mentioning something so McCarthyite.

I’m not going to try and estimate percentages, but what we have now is really a case of the lunatics taking over the asylum. Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, Bernie Sanders have captured the soul of the DNC. And the dangerous thing is, we have no grownups left anymore. You don’t have to like Bill Clinton but at least in the 1990s, there was a pragmatist who would reign in the crazies, pull back on the reigns a little bit, because the crazies have always been there.

Today, who’s reigning back the radicals on the left yard? It’s not Nancy Pelosi–she’s surrendered! She’s given into this insane impeachment against the most successful president since Ronald Reagan, with no crime of being predicated. He had a phone call with the president of the Ukraine about the mutual need to fight corruption, and that’s what you’re going to impeach him for, when in 1999, Bill Clinton signed a treaty with the Ukraine that requires us to help each other fight corruption.

If you’d read these details in a fictional novel twenty years ago, you would have said, “The author is just… It’s never going to happen in America.” Yeah, it’s happening right now.

Mr. Jekielek: It’s very interesting, you describe President Trump as the most unlikely president. And I think you’ve talked about it. I hadn’t realized that literally no president has been elected that didn’t have experience in government before.

Dr. Gorka: Since 1776, we’ve never elected a president who wasn’t either a general or a former politician. From Washington to Obama, everyone was a senator, congressman, governor, or a general like Eisenhower. The American people sent a very interesting message to the world when we said, “Okay, we’ve had it with that schlep. We want somebody who has no connections to the swamp.” That was a historic moment that bears repeating.

Mr. Jekielek: Just as you referenced Breitbart’s book, you were also referencing J. D. Vance’s book on the change in middle America, and how it, as you suggest, resulted in President Trump. Can you speak about that a little bit?

Dr. Gorka: I love to read. I’m a collector of books. But I hate autobiographies or biographies. I don’t have patience. I’m not interested in what Eisenhower had for breakfast on February the 12th, 1941. I just have no interest. But I’ve read one autobiography in the last twenty years and it was seminal, and I thank Steve Bannon for telling me that I should read this. I read it in one Thanksgiving weekend, and it’s Hillbilly Elegy by J. D. Vance, who’s not a fan of the president, let’s be clear. J. D. Vance, an international phenomenon with that book, he’s not a Trump supporter, although I think he may change his mind soon given the attacks he’s come under for the truth he’s spoken about what’s happened to America.

And I read this story about a young man who lived as a scion of a hillbilly clan that had moved to the Midwest, and then tried his best to survive in a millieu where these ancient clans were being destroyed by drug addiction, by the closing down of the factories that had provided them with prosperity. He went on to reinvent himself, become a marine, and now a successful author.

What I did with “Hillbilly Elegy” is to step back and look at it from the lens of geo-strategy and politics, not as a personal story, but to understand what the connection is between J. D. Vance and the election of the president. And it’s very clear to me. You read the story … J. D. Vance, age fifteen, loses his mother to a drug rehabilitation clinic, and he’s raised by his seventeen-year-old sister. To make some money, he becomes a cashier at the local grocery. When he tells the story from that vantage point, of the people rolling up to the cashier’s desk with a giant trolley full of canned drink sodas that they buy with their EBT, with their food stamps from the government, and then he watches them as they roll outside the store and sell the food-stamp-acquired-soda for cash so they can buy alcohol, cigarettes and drugs. Then you realize there’s a deeper story, and the story is very simple one.

The left and the right fundamentally betrayed middle America in the last sixty years. The people who talk of a “Uniparty” in D.C.—that’s sound analysis. I said it when I was in the White House as a strategist to the president, (and) I’ve said it since I left the White House: Donald Trump became president despite the GOP; not thanks to the GOP.

Look at just the issue of China–the rise of China to become a near-peer competitor to America, as a communist nation, was facilitated by what? By a Republican president who listened to Henry Kissinger, who said to Nixon, “Oh! You! You are the only man who could go to China,” and then followed by fifty years of what? Let’s give China, Most Favored Nation status; let’s give it WTO membership; let’s treat it as if it’s a “normal” country, and we’ll base all of our policies on this absolutely absurd concept, that if we economically liberalize our relations with a communist dictatorship, then it must become democratic in the end.

What has happened in reality? We facilitated this country rising from the dirt to become one of the most powerful nations in the world that is destroying our economic advantage by exploiting our trade relations with them. So I wanted to use J. D. Vance’s book to illustrate a broader geopolitical point.

Mr. Jekielek: Right. And so this rise of China, very briefly because we have to finish up fairly soon, corresponded with the almost total destruction of the heartland.

Dr. Gorka: Yes. And this surrender by the political elite, on both left and right, to this concept of “managed decline”: that “we’ve surrendered, that other nations will eclipse us, whether it’s the Brits, whether it’s Brazil, whether it’s Russia, whether it’s India or China. The days of the West in ascendance are over, and we’re just going to resign ourselves. We can outsource jobs, nobody needs to make steel in America. Everything we make by Apple can be outsourced to China.” And that’s how generations were destroyed.

Along comes a man, a billionaire from Manhattan who says, “I am going to stand up for the forgotten men and women,” and he connected with them, and that’s how we elected the first non-politician, non-general, to the highest office in the land.

Mr. Jekielek: So one thing that struck me—and this is I think I really great place to finish up—you mentioned that the right, so to speak, is fueled by love. I think most of the attacks on the right are you’re a bigot, you hate race, all this kind of stuff, but you’re postulating the exact opposite. Can you expand on that a little bit?

Dr. Gorka: Yeah. It’s kind of my call sign or the way I end my radio show every day. I say there is a massive difference between right and left today. They are fueled by hate, hatred of this nation, hatred of their fellow man, hatred of you if you have a different skin color, a different sexual preference.

We conservatives are fueled by love. Love of what? Love of our nation. Love of liberty. I’ve seen it in Donald Trump. Donald Trump wants you to be safe, wants you to prosper, irrespective of your skin color, irrespective of where you came from, irrespective of your socioeconomic class. He wants you to be safe and to prosper even if you didn’t vote for him. That’s the conservative ideal E pluribus Unum. …

When you have identity politics on the left drive your agenda, what are you going to do? You’re going to look at everybody around you to define them. You’re a man. You’re a woman. You’re homosexual. You’re not homosexual. You’re white. You’re brown. You’re black. That’s un-American. And that’s why eventually we will win.

Look at the footage of the president’s rallies. Look at Minneapolis. … Dallas, 20,000 people inside capacity crowd, 30,000 outside wearing red MAGA hats. I loved the photographs of everybody beaming. There was one guy closest to the camera, clearly Hispanic, smiling in his Trump hat and everybody there was happy. I’ve seen it at Trump rallies. I doubt you would see the same at a Beto O’Rourke [rally or] at a Bernie Sanders rally. There it’s about beating your oppressors. It’s about anger. It’s about who is the biggest victim. Americans, Jan, don’t believe in victims.

Mr. Jekielek: So how can someone reach out to the folks that you are postulating are fueled hate, but I don’t think imagine themselves to be.

Dr. Gorka: No, and they think that we are the evil ones. They dehumanize us. When you look at the language of the left, it is an attempt to dehumanize us. And that is very, very dangerous. Think of the word Nazi. I’ve been called a Nazi every day on social media. When you call somebody—whose parents suffered under fascists, under Nazi occupation—a Nazi, what have you done to the content of that work? When everybody you disagree with is a fascist or Nazi, you’ve denuded that word of any content.

How do we respond to them? My little tip is a very easy one. We have to do what Reagan did. We have to have the facts behind us, but we have to connect at an emotional level. We have to speak to the soul, to the heart, as well as have the good argument. Another policy paper on the Laffer curve doesn’t bring people over to your side. …

For example, on the wall: the wall is deemed to be racist. And I say you want to talk to a liberal about the wall? Ask them: do you know how many women, how many children are raped as they’re smuggled across the border by the coyotes? Do you know that mothers in Mexico are renting out their two-year-old children at the cost of $400 a day to coyotes to pretend that when they bring people across the border, it’s a family unit, and that child is then smuggled back to be rented out again? Do you know that 60 to 80 percent of young women are sexually abused or raped? And I say to them, talk to a liberal and ask them, do you want to protect children? You want to stop women being raped, don’t you? Well, you know how to do that. Join us in building the wall.

So you have to have the substance. You have to have the commitment to the objective truth. But politics today is really based upon making that emotive connection. And that’s what I think in many cases the GOP has forgotten, but not the president.

Mr. Jekielek: Seb Gorka, a powerful place to end.

Dr. Gorka: Thank you, and please check out “The War for America’s Soul” and my radio show, America First, at sebgorka.com.

This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.

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