Episode 30: Coins for Cops and an Update from Blake Masters
Updated: 4 days ago
This week, Chuck and Sam are joined in studio by Rachel L, the founder of Coins for Cops. Later in the show, Republican candidate for Senate, Blake Masters, calls in from the campaign trail. About Coins for Cops: Like many people, Rachel saw the villainization of police officers around our nation by the Main Stream Media and other organizations, and was deeply troubled by this.
She saw that it led to an increased level of disrespect, threats, and violence against the men and women who are tasked with protecting and serving our communities on a daily basis and decided that she wanted to do something to give back. She wanted to let officers know that they were still respected, honored, supported, and appreciated in their communities, and Coins For Cops was born. Her goal is to thank every police officer in the nation for their service and let every officer know that they are appreciated and supported.
With your generous donation, each officer will receive a hand written 'Thank You' card and a beautiful, one-of-a-kind Challenge Coin, specifically designed to let officers know just how thankful we are for their service.
1.) Simply donate, and your money will be used to fund officers in communities Rachel is adopting at the time
2.) Adopt a specific police department. Contact Rachel for further information.
3.) Purchase Challenge Coins and 'Thank you' cards that you can give to whomever you'd like. Contact Rachel for more information. Visit coinsforcops.net to get involved.
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Chuck: Welcome to Breaking Battlegrounds. This is your host, Chuck Warren, with my co-host Sam Stone, who is participating with us from New York. And today we have Rachel L.. She is the founder of Coins for Cops. Rachel, thank you for coming in the studio.
Rachel: Thank you so much for having me.
Chuck: So, Rachel, tell us how you came up with this great idea. Tell us what the mission is of the organization and what sparked your fiery passion for it. How did you get involved?
Rachel: Well, I'll start with the mission first. The mission for coins for cops is to basically thank every police officer in the nation for their service. And when it all started from was about a year, year and a half ago now, I just saw the villainization, demonization of police everywhere.
And I saw the demoralization of police in my area. I have one police officer friend, and I just saw, you know, his demeanor go down. His it was just really sad to see. And then what I noticed is a lot of the police officers that, you know, you would encounter just walking into a coffee shop or whatever, they just looked sad. And so I started it all started with going up to them and just saying, hey, thank you. And I would go out of my way to go up and shake their hand and say thank you. And to see their body language change in just a smile well through a mask. But you can tell when somebody's smiling with a smile emerge. It was amazing. And I said, oh, I got to do more. I got to do more. And so it it slowly progressed into I was going to just start handing out cards myself. And then I was like, well, that's not going to get to enough. Let's make this on a bigger scale. I originally started with coffee cards and then I was like, that just seems so. I just didn't I didn't like it personally. And so I said, well, what else can I do? And so I came up with challenge coins because I used to be a firefighter. My dad was ex military and challenge coins were a very big morale booster. I mean, we change them all the time. Exchange them all the time.
Chuck: Let me stop you there. What is it for our audience? What is a challenge coin?
Rachel: A challenge coin is like it's a morale booster. Basically, it started with the military and a large normally like one and a half to two inch thick coin. And it's something that you can give to your buddies. There was other things were like, if you would go to get drinks, if somebody would slam the coin down, if you were the last one to put it down, you would have to buy the round. I mean, waters, of course, but you hydrate. It's warm out there, folks hydrate. But some, you know, like all military departments have it in oftentimes different units have it. Firefighters will have at different units will have it departments. And actually, what's interesting, I didn't know this was going to happen, but I out of the some of the departments I've given to already, I get their challenge coins. So now it's become this thing. We're all like, ooh, now I want to collect some because they're it's so much it's just a little it's really fun.
Chuck: So Rachel, for our audience, doesn't know it used to be a former schoolteacher, a science teacher, a fireman, fire person. Sorry. We just found out. And now she's a business executive. And you are spired here to do this.Tell me. Let's talk briefly here. I want to talk more about this program. But your friend, who's a cop. How did you see his demeanor change? I mean, is it just I mean, you know, there was a great quote Sam and I were talking about earlier this morning by Malcolm Gladwell, and he was talking on a podcast with Adam Grant that hes for police reform. But the one thing no one ever wants to talk about is being a cop is hard. Yes. He goes it's just he goes it's amazing to him that this is simply ignored in the conversation. Yes. We all want to do things. You know, everything can be refined, right. And things can be better. But he just said the fact that we just don't realize this or talk about it makes this conversation nonsensical. You're which I agree. So what did you see his how did his mood change? What did you see being someone that had this friend who every day goes out, puts his really puts his life on the line? I know people think that sounds dramatic, but the reality is, when you carry a gun for a living, there's a reason you carry a gun.
Chuck: OK. And then all of a sudden you've got a bunch of yahoos just saying you guys are all bad people. Mm hmm. What what did you see? What did you see in him?
Rachel: You know, I'm really glad you brought that up. And before I answer that question, if you don't mind if I elaborate. Yeah, OK, so on. You know what you said about the the danger of the job and people don't know. There's actually a beautiful poem on my website that I really encourage everybody to read it.
Chuck: And what is that website, by the way?
Rachel: It's coin's for cops dot net and it's f-o-r. So coins for cops dot net.
Chuck: Oh, you spelled it the right way.
Rachel: I spelled it the correct way.
Chuck: Oh, no, no. Four on that stupid thing. All right, go ahead.
Rachel: But it's on the home page. Scroll down to the bottom. And it's it's there. And basically it encompasses what you just said. It's it talks about, you know, I entitled I don't know who wrote the poem. I kind of. But it talks about. You don't know. You don't know that I didn't like, you know, pulling over your daughter while she was going to college. You didn't know that I had to pull your son out of a ditch after a car accident. And the list goes on and on. And it's such a beautiful poem. And it really stops and makes you think you don't understand or the majority of people don't understand what police officers go through. It's not just eating donuts and coffee, as the, you know, mainstream media showcases them as the real, you know. And if we didn't have our police officers, I mean, we can already see what's happening in the defunding cities. If we didn't have our police officers, we would just be in chaos. They do so much for us.
Chuck: We have we have real life examples right now.
Rachel: Yeah. I mean, this is not theory anymore, is that right, Sam? This is not theory. You know, you defund police, you take cops off the streets. We're seeing it. It's not a theory anymore.
Sam: You're seeing a direct correlation between violent crime, between murders and the and the defunding of police, whether it is in Minnesota or New York or L.A., L.A., New York.
Chuck: Well, Atlanta, we probably need to have someone from Atlanta, Constitution Journal, Atlanta's example, a of just the number of cops are retiring or leaving. And the murder rate there has gone up. But continue.
Sorry about that, Rachel.
Rachel: Yeah. Oh, no. And and, you know, as a firefighter, I worked I worked with police all the time. And you know what? Police, we joke the firefighters and police always like, you know, pick on each other. But in the reality, the police officers wear our protection and they protected us before we they were always the ones that went in first if there was a dangerous situation. And, you know, I really held them a lot of respect because of that. So on your second question about my friend, you know, at first he tried to play tough, you know, oh, I can handle this. This is OK. The spitting on and the the profanities and all that kind of stuff is not going to get to me. And then slowly or not that slowly, I did see it start to get to him. And he actually did have to take some time off.
Chuck: Get sort of a mental break in.
Rachel: His mental breaks are, you know, and it was just sad. It was really sad to see. And not only that, but there's departments everywhere that they're so overworked because for a multitude of reasons, not only defunding, which obviously loses officers, but officers are retiring and quitting,
Chuck:, which, by the way, is a reason
Sam: no one wants to be a cop.
Rachel: Right. Well, thank you. And recruiting is bad, too.
Chuck: Why? Why do you want to do a job where you say, I'm to protect people, but no one wants me to? I get I get accosted all the time.
Rachel: Yeah, right.
Chuck: I mean, and these retirements, you know, people can say, for example, mayors can say, well, we haven't defunded anything. Well, the fact that you keep talking about this over and over and over and make them the bad guy, they're not retiring for no reason.
Right. They're just like they see sort of the writing on the wall. And you see that City of Phenix.
Sam: Yeah, absolutely. And you can do, too. They they can say we're not defunding the police the way Phenix says, we're not defunding the police. But there's a lot of ways to defund the police that aren't directly taking away salary. You're taking away positions. So like here in Phenix, we simply stop funding for police. We stopped buying them police cars. We stopped rebuilding the stations, the equipment they have to use. And so they're having to cover for that out of their budget, which means fewer officers. And you talked about the strain. It means we have fewer and fewer officers, means more overtime means the cops that are out there are under more and more stress. And Rachel, I wanted to touch on something. How long were you a firefighter?
Rachel: I was to be clear, I was a volunteer firefighter. I was trying to go career with it. But it was in 2010ish when things were going down. So it never happened. But for two years, I was there and I did I did everything the. Paid guys,
Sam: you went on the calls and things like that. Yeah. Yeah. You know, I have a very good friend of mine, really my best friend growing up who became a firefighter about 15, 20 years ago now.
And when he first got started. I don't I don't know if you've had a similar experience, but he kept calling me very early in the morning when he was on the way home from work and kind of unloading and telling me all these really awful things that he had experienced during his shift.
And and I don't think people understand how wearing that is, I realized after a while it was a
Chuck: No, no,
Sam: it was a mechanism for him to let go of that before he went home to his family.
Chuck: Yeah. You were you were his visit to the bar, basically?
Sam: Yeah, exactly.
Rachel: No, you're right. You're absolutely right on that. And it does become wearing. And I mean, what is the saying? You never call a police officer when you're having a good thing happen, right? They're only called during negative times. And so you have people have to understand that like every call they go to is going to be stressful. And as I'm sure as they're driving up to a call, they're like, oh, God, how am I going to get treated this time? And, you know, it's just got to be very stressful.
Chuck: Well, I remember talking to a gentleman two or three years ago here who was a fireman, and I imagine this story translates to being a law enforcement. And he had done it for 20 years.
And then he just he's he retired. And I said, you know, what was the reason? He just said, well, you know, my back mentioned the back because. But I just couldn't go do one more kid who drowned in the pool in the summer. And, you know, I never even thought about that. I don't think most people think about that with a fireman. But I said, how many did you get? A summer he goes up, you know, get two or three C, he goes, I just it takes a toll on you emotionally. And I think that's the same thing with law enforcement,
Rachel: even more so, because, like I said, they are often the first ones in. Firefighters are often secondary in after the police have cleared a situation.
Chuck: We're with Rachel L here for coins for cops. Dot net, dot net. Remember that? Don't do dot com, Rachel. We're about ready to end this one segment when we come back. But how many since you started this? How many cops and law enforcement have you met? And they will give a coin to
Rachel: so far 270. But on Tuesday, I'm actually adopting the entire surprise Arizona Police Department, which is two hundred and forty five. So and then. Yeah, and then by August 5th, I will have delivered to 900. So in the next week I will be delivering a bunch.Yeah.
Chuck: Oh, that's fantastic. How long they take you to arrange that Adobe
Sam: go on the website because she needs some help with this.
Rachel: I definitely need help. It is cost. So the challenge coins, you know, cost a challenge quite to the challenge. Coins cost. So you can go on the website and buy a challenged coin for fifteen dollars. But for every challenge coin you buy, an officer also gets one. And so, yeah, we
Chuck: this is Breaking Battlegrounds with Rachel and Sam Stone from New York. This is Chuck Warren. And we'll be right back.
Chuck: Welcome back to Breaking Battlegrounds. I am your host, Chuck Warren with my co-host Sam, Sam Stone, Sam, Sam, Sam Stone. And today with this is Rachel L. The founder and the passion behind coins for cops. You can find them for coins. For cops, dot net. Don't be cheap. Go buy a coin. Help out here. We were talking earlier about, Rachel, how many cops you have met, how many you've given coins to. We've just found out you adopted a big family surprise, Arizona. It was it turned 245. Yeah. The price. Yeah.
Rachel: I would love to get Phoenix next. Hey,
Chuck: come on, Sam. Get with it. She's doing she's doing the heavy lifting.
Sam, let's get with it. Coins for cops. We'll make some interest. Rachel, how has the response been from police officers you have met with?
Rachel: I'm I'm really glad you asked that. I was so nervous. So let me start with when I started calling departments to tell them what I was doing. I'm not going to lie. I got. Who are you? Why are you doing this? Sure. Sure. Kind of thing. It was very skeptical, which was kind of sad to knock on them. It's just sad that the whole environment has been, you know, so downplayed that they couldn't believe somebody was actually just wanting to say thank you. So that was the kind of the first thing. And then, I mean, some of the stories that I about I have had, I was actually so nervous because I was like, oh, a little thank you card and a challenge coin. This is nothing. Right. And I literally had I mean, some officers just almost looked like they were going to be in tears. I have actually had a mother of an officer call me in tears, happy tears, not sad tears, happy tears because they were just blown away. People don't realize just a small gesture makes such a big difference. And I've actually befriended an officer right now that I could never have even imagined when we've had a great friendship because of this. And then a really cool story. I ran into an officer I had given to him previously just on the street during a little music thing, and I was like, oh, hey. And he's like, oh, my gosh, you're the coins for cops, lady. He's like, hold on right there. And he undid has his pocket. And he's like, I keep it with me every single day.
Chuck: Oh how fantastic
Rachel: so it really does. I want people to know this really, really does mean something to them. It means more than you can can know when you're told bad things on a regular basis. And then all of a sudden somebody takes the effort to write you a card and give you this coin and deliver it to you. It's it's really been amazing. So I've been very I've been very fortunate to see. How happy officers are
Chuck: do you share these stories on your website?
Rachel: I should. I have a gallery on my website.
Chuck: you should share those Those are great stories. Sam, you had a question for.
Sam: Well, first, I want to let our audience know Rachel is her last name is not L, it's something slightly longer. But you know, this current environment is so bad that she has to keep a level of anonymity just to protect herself. And that is a really sad statement. But, you know, when
Chuck: she has it, she has adopted about 500 cops, though, now. So I'm feeling pretty good about her safety and will continue Sam
Sam: It's getting better by the minute. Yeah, it's safer by the minute. Exactly. Absolutely. You know, good as you're going around and talking to these officers, Rachel. I want to thank you as someone who works with the City of Phenix and has seen what's happened to our cops. First, let me just say thank you for what you're doing. And I'm definitely going to introduce you to some folks there that hopefully can get you in there, because I think I think our officers need this. But, you know, I guess my question would be. Beyond just seeing this, what drives you to keep doing this, because this is obviously a big commitment of your time, you've got a lot going on. You know, that's not something that is normal. Frankly, I wish it was, but it's not. And you have made a big commitment to this. And what is it personally that's really driving you to do this?
Rachel: I think that's just a level of of humanity. It's just it's your fellow person, you know, like cops are people. I think when people put uniforms on and give titles to things, they kind of dehumanize them. It takes the humanity out of them. And they're just regular men and women.
Chuck: That is such an amazing insight. I mean, we see what the Olympic athletes as all the couch potatoes say, well, I could have done this, or professional athletes like they're not human. Right. They don't have feelings. And my question for you is, what was the moment you just said, I'm doing this story in the shower singing a song where you're walking the dog? I mean, what's the moment? Just say, you know what? This is a great idea. I'm going to do this.
Rachel: I was at a gas station, actually, and two two police officers came in to, I'm sure, go get a drink or something. And the looks on their faces was horrible. And this was at the height of like and and I couldn't get to them. The distance was too much before they went into the store. And I was like, oh, I have a missed opportunity. I should have done more. I should have done more. And then it just blossomed. And yeah.
Chuck: So were you always. You know, I've noticed in my life as I've gotten older that I drive by certain spots. I remember when I had an epiphany on something. You always remember that spot at that gas station saying, this is where I came up with this idea.
Rachel: Yeah. And then, you know, I have a wonderful coworker that lets me bounce ideas off of her. So I just started bouncing them off. And then I came up with a challenge coin. And it was that was it. And then I literally that night went and designed it, found a coin manufacturer, and that was it.
Chuck: Do you have like a Twitter or Facebook handle?
Rachel: I do have a Facebook, not on Twitter.
Chuck: That's OK. This vitriol, you don't need to be on Twitter, Facebook
Sam: for your sanity,
Chuck: for your soul. What about Facebook? What do you wear? What can they find you on Facebook?
Rachel: Same same thing. Coins for cops at coins for cops on Facebook as well. What do you want people to know? What do you want our audience to know about this program? This is a positive program. Everything about this is just positive. On my website, on the news section of my Web site, it's all stories of heroism. Everything is is, you know, showing the positive side of police officers, which are many and many and many. I mean. And so everything is positive. Everything's putting things in perspective. I do have a facts page on the website as well. I want people to be informed with the facts. So and then I want this to be a community thing, too. So not only do you you can buy coins for yourself or for or whoever you want, but you can also just donate. And then I just happened to choose the department at the time or the other way you can do it is you can actually call me. And I've actually had this happen. We're working on a big one in Las Vegas right now because Las Vegas has 3,200 officers, which is a huge I think they're like ninth or tenth in the nation. And so when the lady first said, hey, I want to adopt the Las Vegas department, and I called back and I was like, well, we might have to start a campaign. And this is another way of like getting your community involved, too, because if you really want to adopt your department, then I can have you you guys can call me or email me and and say, you want to do this and then I can help you through the process of how you can do it in your community to raise some funds to adopt. And it feels so good with you can have community members go in.
Chuck: Well, that's fantastic, Sam. We have one minute left here. Do you have a final comment for our guest before she departures for the day?
Sam: I really just want to thank her and I want to tell everyone to go to that website at coins for cops dot net. You know, make make that donation or make the purchase and get, you know, get yourself a coin and give a cop a coin. Because with what I've seen and I deal with our our police officers in person every single day in Phenix, what they've gone through in the last year and a half is just incredible. It's incredibly draining and it is desperately needed. This kind of thing is desperately needed.
Chuck: So, folks, don't be cheap. Get on by a coin. We want to thank Rachel L. She is here, the founder, the visionary for Coins for Cops Dot Net if you see a police officer today thank them for their hard work because it's really a crappy job. This is Chuck Warren, Sam Stone with the famous Rachel L Breaking Battlegrounds. We'll be back.
Chuck: welcome to Breaking Battlegrounds, I am Chuck Warren with my co-host Sam Stone, and today we have with us Republican nominee for U.S. Senate, Blake Masters, who is touring our state. Blake, by the way, how do you like driving around all over Arizona?
Blake: Hey, so far so good. I'm logging lots of miles on the car. I was just up in Yavapai County, Prescott in Prescott Valley, and just absolutely beautiful up there, of course. Great people. So far, I'm having a blast.
Chuck: Oh, that's great. It is wonderful to meet people who have an optimism about the future, isn't it, who want to get things done and they're involved.
Blake: Absolutely. People are really active and I think we're on track to have a great twenty twenty two.
Chuck: So today it was reported that there's billions of rental aid that the federal government's appropriated that's remained unspent and evictions are poised to resume. And in this article they talked about there's forty six billion dollars that the government, federal government, it's allocated to the states and cities, and the money is not getting out to people to help them. The rent, that's the whole purpose of it, which, you know, it's just not the renters. This is also for the landlords that have mortgages, which then affects banking. It's a really horrible trickle effect. Blake, is government ever going to get it right?
Blake: Well, that is the I guess that's the 28 trillion dollar question or whatever national debt is right now seem to be passed through, no doubt. I don't know. You know, it's frustrating to obviously the government has become just so incompetent. Right. It's become a meme for decades now on on the right. You know, Reagan said where what was the line? Right. I'm if you ever hear I'm from the government and I'm here to help you run for your life or something like this. And that's it's funny. But it's also it's also sad. And I don't want to see conservatives just be fatalistic about it and just conclude, you know, because government is incompetent, because we know it doesn't work as well as a private business, that it can never do anything at all and therefore it can't exist. I mean, government does have a role to play. And where it has a role to play, it should be really good. It should be efficient. And we need to remember, you know, 60, 70 years ago when serious people were in charge, before the bureaucracy had been built up, government could actually get things done, you know, like we did the Apollo project, we did the Manhattan Project. We used to be able to get stuff done. Now we can't. And it's kind of interesting to think about why.
Sam: And in this whole thing to Blake and Chuck, there's a level of personal irresponsibility that's coming into play. There you spoke of Memes. It was a great name. I saw this morning with a series of larger and larger dominoes. The first domino was bought PS5 five, instead of paying rent leading to end of moratorium, got evicted then, you know, slowly getting to the point where it takes down the whole economy. And we are facing a really significant economic crisis because of this and potentially an individual crisis. And in government didn't have to do any of this. I mean, we have an eviction moratorium. We had Moneys, we were handing people. We did that effectively right through the the the PPP assistance and all that. Why didn't we just increase that amount a little bit more and leave this entire rental issue aside?
Blake: Right. I mean, well said. It's a it's a it's a huge mess. And, you know, it kind of points back to this huge problem where no one wants to take responsibility anymore. And this is this is not something you can fix with one piece of legislation. But I do think it's a cultural problem. There's the personal responsibility level where people, you know, it just feels retrograde to say, no, you actually are in charge of your life and you're not a victim, even if you've been dealt a bad hand or even if you're literally a victim. In some sense, you can't think that way because you will just expect things to be done for you because things are being done to you. It's just passive. Right. And I think that's a bad cultural shift. Then people in government, you know, and as the civil service and the bureaucracy swells, no one in government, no politicians seem
to actually want to take responsibility. And I think this is one of the biggest things that we've seen. Certainly my generation millennials, this is this is a horrible shift. It's this lack of agency. And I think, you know, people in the past, individuals, business leaders, community leaders, but also politicians and actual, you know, government leaders, they just felt like they were in charge. You know, there were some privileges that came with that power. There was also a sense of responsibility. And I think we've just totally lost that. Or at least it's vanishingly rare today.
Chuck: That's a fantastic point Blake. We're about ready to go here for a quick commercial break. But when we come back, I want to talk about something you tweeted today and something I'm quite aware of about there is a push now to allow non-citizens to vote. This is something Sam and I worked on two years ago and passed some initiatives. And Washington Post, New York Times reporters told us we were crazy to think that this would even be pushed in America. And I think now you have an editorial from The New York Times saying there's no good reason why there's no good reason you should have to be a citizen to vote. This is insane. And I just think this shows really a cultural divide in our country. And so we're with Blake Masters, U.S. Senate candidate and Arizona Republican. And we'll be right back. This is Breaking Battlegrounds.
Chuck: Welcome back to Breaking Battlegrounds. I am your host, Chuck Warren, with my co-host Sam Stone. Today, we are honored to have with this Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Arizona, Blake Masters. You can find him at Blake Masters dot com, also on Twitter and Facebook. We were talking before the break, Blake, a couple of years ago, a good friend of Sam and I, Tim Mooney, started this initiative which passed in Florida. And I forget the Alabama couple other states where it would prevent non-citizens from voting in elections. We saw. I saw something three years ago which I emailed him and said that they are trying to allow him to vote in school, election boards and so forth in San Francisco and some northeast cities. And so when we push this in Florida, they claim to have some right wing conspiracy. I remember Tim being badgered by The New York Times, The Washington Post and others saying you're just making this up. No one's pushing this. Well, now this is a thing, right. So I don't know they're in on it or what. But what are your thoughts about allowing non-citizens to be voters? It just seems does not seem to pass the common sense test.
Blake: It it really doesn't, but this is how it works, right? They put it out here and we all get to sort of laugh at it because it really is crazy. This idea that non-citizens ought to be able to vote in our elections, but don't try to normalize it. This is my prediction here. And I'm not really going out on a limb. What we'll do is we'll see in coming weeks and coming months, this conversation, this idea, this crazy idea will be normalized. We'll see it more and more. And my guess is, in two or three years, this is where the center of the Democratic Party will be on this issue. Hey, there's many stakeholders in society. Citizens are only one of them. Who are you to deny voting rights, voting rights to this visa holder? Well, or the tourist who overstay their visas. This is how they think. There's no real coherent concept of citizenship. It means very little to the left. And unfortunately, I think this crazy idea is going to get normalized.
Chuck: Well, and what they do is they simply do feed the people. We all 20 years ago or 10 years ago said they were nuts, that, you know, there's this one world order and so forth. And when they do these things like this, it makes people believe that. I remember talking to a Washington Post reporter about this issue, and she was just really hammering. Well, you know, look, they work in the community. They pay local taxes and things. And I said, well, based on that nature then and I used Florida's example, there's 300000 people have second homes in Florida. So based on that nature, since they pay property tax and add value community, they should be able to vote in school board and in city council races. Right. Because it affects their ownership. Right. If you're based on that. She could not get around that. She could not even answer that. She just thought, well, that's a snobby. Well, no, you're just tell me you should be able to vote because you have an economic impact. That was their whole. That was their whole line. And then you bring this up based on that, if I have a business here. So let's go and say Blake, all these venture capital companies you've done and they have offices. Well, then the ownership to be able to vote on city elections where they have brick and mortar. Right. Because it affects them based on that logic.
Blake: Based on that logic, I ought to be able to vote in Nigerian elections because I make money, I contribute to world GDP. Nigeria is part of the world, and therefore I have a stake. You know, I mean, it's and it really is funny. I got a smile on my face, but my gosh, this is what they think. No.
Chuck: And they were serious about it
Sam: They're going to normalize this. And you mentioned school boards. That's where they're going to start. Yes. Yes. They're going to start with this on school boards and local elections and normalize it there and then try to move it up the ladder.
Chuck: It's unbelievable. Blake, as you have toured the state, we're with Blake Masters, Republican candidate for Senate. You can find the Blake Masters dot com. Also follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He's quite proficient on Twitter. And Blake, as you've traveled the state. What is surprised you about issues that are really concerning people or have you not been surprised? Well, I haven't been surprised at many of the issues which are, you know, have people really upset, like critical race theory in schools. Everybody is up in arms about that. In these rooms that I'm in. They want to talk about that. They want to talk about big tech censorship of conservatives. That's all great. Those are super important. What surprises me, though, is still how much people just care about the bread and butter issues. And everybody talks about gas prices. Everybody, you know, whether they're relatively affluent, they're still really annoyed. Maybe they manage a business that has a fleet of trucks. Right. This impacts the bottom line. Or if, you know, just their household budget is really kind of in a precarious spot. You know, when the price of gas goes up 25 or 30 percent, people want to talk about that. People want to talk about inflation. They'll talk to restaurant owners that can't find workers, you know, line cooks and hostesses. And they're trying to pay them 13, 14, 15 bucks an hour. And people still, you know, maybe they're making more in unemployment benefits or something like that. It's it's these economic issues, these kitchen table bread and butter issues that that ultimately I think are going to drive Republicans out to vote in 2022.
Chuck: Well, if you live in rural Arizona, which you've been traveling a lot based on this time of year, you know, when your gas prices go up a dollar plus, that's a real issue. Right. You know, these after
Blake: effects rural people way more than people in the cities. And, of course, the the opinion making apparatus, the journalist class, they all live in cities
Chuck: and they work and they work from home. And by the way, they work from home. I mean, you know, you talk to reporters, they haven't been in the office for a year plus. So, you know, they you know, they they're like in the cheap seats on these issues. Whereas other people have to go out and work. And if, you know, if you're if you're a contractor and you repair air conditioning systems, that price matters a lot. Right. And then at the same time, you really don't want to raise your prices because your competitors not raising them. It's it's a vicious cycle for those who don't have the benefit of being a reporter and just staying at home in front of a laptop and making calls all day.
Blake: Yeah, absolutely it is. But, you know, it's just I think it's a combination of cultural issues. I think the Democrats are just moving way too far and going to crazy places like, hey, non-citizens ought to be able to vote. But also just the economics aren't working. And that's why we need economic policies that help working class and middle class Americans. And until people find a political party that's willing to deliver exactly that. You know, I think people still be really jaded.
Chuck: Blake, what is what's
Blake: certainly not supported by an administration,
Chuck: like what are some economic policies that if you're in the Senate and you could pass it, what are some what are some tax or economic policies you think that just need to be done immediately?
Blake: There's defense and offense. So, you know, when I'm in elected in 2022, I'll be in the Senate in twenty twenty three. You know, we're still going to have a Democratic president then. And I think the Biden Harris regime will still try to push their crazy tax hikes. So sort of step one is to play defense. I think Republicans are OK at playing defense. We're not so good at going on offense, though. And in terms of affirmative economic policies, we ought to pass. I care a lot about onshoring, on bringing back to America, the industrial base, the manufacturing capacity that over the last few decades we sort of pushed abroad mostly to Southeast Asia. One thing that I'm really excited about that I want to do a lot more of, you know, TSMC and Intel. They're bringing semiconductor plants back to Arizona. I think that's extremely good. There's sort of a national security problem with manufacturing all these computer chips in Taiwan, in Southeast Asia. We ought to be able to do that here at home just so that we can, you know, be independent and not be reliant on China. But it's also good. It's high paying manufacturing jobs that we can bring back. And if you imagine the infrastructure that we're going to build around these multibillion dollar plants up in Phoenix, that itself is going to be a huge economic boom and a huge growth opportunity. So I look for. Ways to get more industries back in America, get more people actually making stuff with their brains, but also with their hands. And I think good things happen when we adopt that kind of attitude towards economic policy, not just, hey, where can we make stuff the cheapest and we'll deal with the consequences years down the road.
Chuck: Do we do that with not only a change of tax policy for manufacturing? Do we do it with job training for specific trades? You know, we talk time and again. I mean, all of us here are college graduates, but we would all agree that a college education is not needed for a lot of professions out there now. Right. And, you know, two thirds of Americans do not finish college if they even started. What would be your policy regarding trade in your training for, you know, various manufacturing jobs, trades, piping, things of that nature?
Blake: Yeah, absolutely. We should we should be investing in that. And there's maybe a split here in the Republican Party. You know, some people don't, you know, don't subsidize other people. But no, we we we shouldn't have that attitude. It should absolutely be free or low cost for a young person maybe of college age to go and learn the trades, to go and learn to weld. Right. Maybe we we subsidize some apprentice programs, things of this nature. We got to be thinking a lot more in that direction instead of pretending we need to funnel everybody through this, you know, four year bachelor's degree system where they come out with no skills and actually maybe just indoctrinate it. That makes no sense at all. We pour a lot of resources into that kind of education.
Sam: You know, Blake and Chuck, one of the things that I learned working in Oklahoma a few years ago, which obviously is kind of the center of the oil industry, the pipeline industry, you have a lot of shipping and manufacturing. Oklahoma has invested a lot of resources in a in a very extensive series of technical training centers in a whole variety of areas, from welding to pipe fitting and everything in between to technical, technical manufacturing, all that kind of thing. You want to look at a state with one of the consistent lowest unemployment rates in the country. It's right there.
Blake: Yeah, we have these experiments that work really well. I don't know why there's not more political will to to learn from them and implement them. Other places where we just thought
Chuck: we've sold we have sold the lie that you need a college degree to have a successful career. And look, I want people to I want people to obtain as much education as possible. But that doesn't mean you need to go to a public or private university to do that. Right. And maybe if we go and start pushing more this type of training, this alternative, maybe we'll see college prices start leveling out or maybe decreasing, because right now it's basically a scam and a lot of ways how much tuition increases and how much they spend on things.
Blake: It is. And if you look at like software engineering, right. Like who pays to educate Facebook and Google's employees? Well, often these kids are going to say, UC Cal Berkeley? Well, the taxpayers are paying for their computer science education and Facebook and Google, who, you know, could afford to pay for it themselves. They get a free ride, but it's like who pays for the education for like an HVAC contractors company, his employees or a welder or a plumber, electrician, the trades. Those companies actually have to pay for that. Right. You have to take on someone. And the employees are inefficient while they learn the ropes. So why can't we even it out a little bit?
Sam: Well, I think a couple years we ought to make colleges and universities be the ones that secure their loans. And then you're going to look real hard and return on investment if you're those universities. I mean, you're not going to charge 300 grand for an English degree.
Chuck: Well, that's a great point. You can almost use the ROTC model, you know, Facebook, if you want an engineer and someone, you know, after the first year or so, you find out they have the capacity to do it. You pay for it right now for that and return. They have to work for you for four years so they can go do something else. But maybe we need to start having some of these industries sort of take the ROTC model. We're going to help pay for your undergrad or whatever the case may be in return. You you are committing X years. I mean, that's your investment in us. We're investing in you. And, maybe that is something we need to push more.
Blake: Yeah both those examples are good. And I definitely agree with putting colleges on the hook for the debt that they're that their students take out, you know, in the United States, I think, thanks to Joe Biden. Student debt is not dischargeable in bankruptcy. You cannot get rid of it. It will follow you. And so if you are unwise and look, we asked 18 and 19 year olds to make these decisions, you know, like we won't let them do plenty of stuff until they're 21. But at 18 or 19, apparently you're allowed to go and get into two hundred thousand dollars debt.
Chuck: You can't even get a house and subsidized subsidize most of these. Most can't get a house. They can apply for a mortgage. We're staying here because we're going to sign you up. You're going to commit to two or three hundred thousand dollars at 18 and you.
Blake: Can't just charge it, and so I think, you know, if if that happens, no, you ought to be able to suspend the college, the bill. You know, when the kid defaults and you can't pay it. And Sam, you're so right, those colleges would immediately start reforming their predatory student loan practices.
Chuck: We’re with Blake Masters, we have one minute left here. You can find Blake at Blake Masters dot com. He's running for U.S. Senate as a Republican candidate. Blake, is there anything you want, a message you want to leave with our audience before we end here?
Blake: Well, gosh, you could go in any number of direction. You know, I'm I mean, just just reading the CDC, you know the news about the CDC this morning. Right. Which apparently they based this new mask mandate in the sort of new I think we're going to see a push to lock things down again on don’t want to, say, fake science. Exactly. But on on very problematic science. Right on on a on a paper from India that didn't even pass peer review. That seems to be the case. And it's just that it really is that, you know, the CDC has a long record of getting things wrong. I really think people deserve to live in a country where, OK, you don't blindly trust the government, but you have some sort of faith.
Blake: in the Integrity of our institutions. And unfortunately, we just don't have it. So, you know, I'll try to figure out every which way to to reverse course and make it make the government actually work again.
Chuck: Well, thank you.
Sam: You actually had Slate, an op ed in Slate yesterday that it praised Fauci and the CDC for lying because it benefits it.
Chuck: Well, Blake
Blake: thinks it's dangerous logic. The greater possible logic.
Chuck: Blake, thanks a million for joining us today. This is Breaking Battlegrounds. We appreciate it. Have a great weekend, folks. Will be back with you soon. Thanks. This guy.