The Soviet Union fell in 1991, and with it fell the shadow of global communism. But while Americans breathed a collective sigh of relief at the thought of communism’s demise, a new conspiracy developed at home. Hiding behind a veil of “progressivism,” today’s communists have infiltrated many of the institutions that Americans cherish and use their newfound power to control and regulate the actions of everyday Americans.
Jesse Kelly, host of the nationally syndicated Jesse Kelly Show on iHeartRadio, is the latest guest on The Kevin Roberts Show here to discuss the ways in which the modern Left has manipulated society from behind the scenes. Kelly is also the author of a new book called “The Anti-Communist Manifesto,” which takes a deep dive into how communists operate in today’s America.
Jesse Kelly: The communist is excellent, especially when he is worked his way through all the institutions like he has. He’s excellent at building verbal fences around us. And he doesn’t just build one fence. He’s always closing it in, and closing it in and closing it in. So there are certain things you can’t say. And even if you can say this today, oh, you can’t say it tomorrow because I’ve adjusted the language.
Kevin Roberts: Welcome back to The Kevin Roberts Show. This is a special episode because we’re talking about a really important book. And I really mean that. Just before we sat down to have this conversation with our friend Jesse Kelly, whose show you may know, I finished this book, which is the Anti-Communist Manifesto. I mean when I say it, it’s one of the best books I’ve read in the last several years. And so we have a finite amount of time because Jesse’s a busy guy. He’s got a country to save. And so we’ll cut right to it. First of all, Jesse, you’re a long time friend of Heritage. All of us are fans of yours. Thanks for making time for this.
Kelly: That fanship, if that’s the word, Kevin, goes both ways. I love you guys. So I’m honored. I’m honored to be here and I’m glad you like it. I can’t believe people actually like the book.
Roberts: Yeah, it’s an amazing thing, right? You spend all this time thinking about it, coming up with the concepts, putting pen to paper, and then the editing process, which of course is like purgatory. And then the book comes out and then people say, “Man, it’s really good.” And you probably sit there in disbelief like it’s not even possible, but in fact, it is.
Kelly: Yeah. That part of it’s crazy. I guess the biggest blessing has been how people have told me how useful it is for them, how it has clarified things, clarified where we are. I actually got an email to my show last night. A bunch of firemen listen to my show, and a guy had left copies in several firehouses. He was a fire chief in the area in California. He left copies in a bunch of firehouses and he is like, guys approach him with the book after because they had some downtime sitting around, and the guys that had been relatively just normal guys saying, “I had no idea where we were and what we were facing.” So honestly, that means more to me than any book sale or anything else. I love that. I love that.
Roberts: Man, that’s a great compliment. And in fact, it reminds me of what I think my favorite aspect of the book is, and I’m planning to mention this to my wife and kids at our family dinner tonight, and that is, and we’re going to get into some of the details, but it is that we don’t even realize how bad the anti-communist agenda is, or put in a little bit clearer way, how much progress it’s made into our own thinking, our own speech, the way we behave until I read this book. And so for anyone who’s watching or listening and they’re thinking they themselves need that reminder, or maybe they want to pass it on to a friend, a child, a grandchild, this, and I really do mean it, this is the book that cuts through all of that. You did a really good job.
Kelly: Thank you. They do it to all of us, Kevin.. I’m sure you’re guilty of it because I know I am. And we should be... Because of our profession, we should be the guys that it doesn’t happen to, but we do. The communist is excellent, especially when he’s worked his way through all the institutions like he has. He’s excellent at building verbal fences around us. And he doesn’t just build one fence. He’s always closing it in, and closing it in and closing it in. So there are certain things you can’t say. And even if you can say this today, oh, you can’t say it tomorrow because I’ve adjusted the language. And slowly but surely, he’s closing it in until you find yourself in a tiny little box, unable to say anything, afraid to say anything. I can’t say this. We’re not allowed to talk about that. They do this, and they do this on purpose.
They control language. I was horribly guilty of using the term fossil fuels and to a listener of my radio show called me out on this a few months ago. Just when I was talking about oil and gas, which I’m a fan of, I’d call them fossil fuels. And then they explain very explicitly that is a term used by the communists to make these sound like evil, ugly things from an ancient time and they’re about to run out. That’s a communist term. You should not use that term. And I didn’t know that we’re all guilty. We just don’t realize it.
Roberts: No, it’s true. In fact, just before I had a couple chapters left in your book and I had an internal meeting about what Heritage is going to do a little bit differently in 2024 that is thinking about the presidential campaign, but more importantly for us, the policies that ought to come out of a successful presidential campaign. And the point was, that I made to my colleagues, guys, we’re doing great on policy, we’re doing great on getting people to events, but the one thing I think we can still be better at is not accepting the messaging, the narrative framing of the other side on our policies. And then I read this. I’m just going to read a short paragraph from your book for the audience.
This is toward the end, and then the headline’s, Taking Back the Language You Write, “The communist has shifted the language to make you accept his political program, and invented new terms to conceal the horrors he wishes to unleash on you and your family. All the while you continue, he is forcing you to adopt the new political correctness using social pressure cancellation, and in some cases, the law. Defeating political correctness begins with changing our own habits.” Just an excellent poignant paragraph I think for everyone in America.
Kelly: And it’s something that it’s hard to fight against unless you’re aware that you’re fighting against it, Kevin, because it’s human nature to... Look, if we’re having a conversation... And I’m a naturally rude person. You’re not, but I’m just a rude person. I don’t mean to be, but I’m very direct. But even I, when I’m in a room with people, I don’t want to offend anybody in the room, whether they’re strangers, whether they’re friends. I don’t go into a room maliciously. And so if you tell me, “Hey Jesse, there’s a word. Don’t use this word. All right. Hey, don’t use this word. Hey, if you use this word, someone in there is going to be offended,” it’s a very human emotion, a very human thing to say, “Okay, well, I just won’t use the word. I certainly don’t want to offend anybody.” Until you understand why they do that, until you understand their motivation behind it, you go along with it. It’s human nature. And really, the truth is we have to totally adjust how we speak because we should seek out using words they don’t want us to use.
It is important, as that fence gets closed in around you, that you break through it. And it’s not just once. You have to constantly break through that fence. And we don’t think like that, because again, we’re human beings. We don’t want to offend other people.
Roberts: And the totalitarians on the left really prey on us in that regard, whether cut from your cloth or someone who maybe like me is from the south and we don’t have a reputation for being rude, although I really like your style. But the point is, Americans, because we are generally pretty kind people... We’re a pluralistic society, so we’re used to people who look different than us have different accents and so on. The point is when they hear any other American say, “Oh man, you shouldn’t say that, that’s really unkind,” our natural default is, “Oh, okay, well I don’t want to say that.” And the totalitarians on the left, the communist, to use your language, preys on that. And so what you’re saying, which I think it’s a clarion call, just to take back our language, is to stop that. And to answer your question, where are we confronted at heritage is, of course, on Capitol Hill and state capitols. We advise members of Congress state legislators not to do that.
But most importantly, I think this is the... I presume the audience you’re really directing your book at is just common people in your neighborhoods, in the firehouses, in your workplaces. Don’t let the left control our language anymore.
Kelly: What I view, everyone has a different view, and I’m not saying my view is the correct one or the only correct, and I’m sure there are many, I view that as being the challenge of our time is normal people waking them up. I call him normy norm, but call him whatever you want. The communist, he always thrives on two things. He needs two things, lies. He will lie about everything possible. He never exposes his true motivation. You can see this across the Democrat party with every single issue. They lie about everything. And two, he needs an apathetic public. He’s never been the majority. He wasn’t the majority in the Bolshevik Revolution. It was 25% of the country maybe. He’s never the majority because his religion is deeply evil. So he has to rely on the public never kind of waking up in time to stop him.
He needs an apathetic public. And that’s kind of the purpose of what I tried to do on my show with the book, of slapping people awake, for lack of a more delicate way to put it, to realize what we’re in here. And you’re right, when it comes to language and things like that, the communist has a great advantage. It doesn’t sound like an advantage because it’s not what you want to be, but it is a big advantage. And that he has no morality, at least none that you or I would ever recognize. And he also knows that you do, Kevin does. I do. Even though mine’s obviously much worse than yours. I do. So because of that, he understands he can use my morality against me, and I can never use any kind of morality against him because he doesn’t have any. It’s why our traditional way of attacking them, of pointing out their hypocrisy, it’s completely useless.
It does nothing. It’s never affected him at all. To be a hypocrite is not bad for him. If I accused you right now, “Kevin, you’re a hypocrite,” that’s hurtful. That’s offensive. What? I would not. You would defend yourself. You could accuse him of that all day long. He doesn’t care. Of course he is. He gets to play by rules that you don’t get. And so he uses that against normal people, especially when it comes to language. But really with everything, normal people want to live peacefully, want to get along. The communist wants to burn it all down. And he’s constantly telling you, “Hey, just let me burn the living room. All right? Hey, hey, don’t you want to live in peace? You don’t want to fight, do you? Just let me burn the living room, not the whole house.” And then once he’s done with that, he moves onto the bedroom. And that’s how he gets us. He uses our own values against us.
Roberts: Well, and that metaphor of burning, just getting permission to burn one room at a time, I think is perfect for explaining how the communist has, to use Gramsci’s words, marched through our institutions, universities, schools, heck, rotary clubs, the Boy Scouts of America, et cetera, et cetera. I think your book does a really good job of analyzing that in a really clear common sense way for people. Why don’t you give us a summary of that, for the audience’s sake, about not just how that happened, but how it affects our everyday lives?
Kelly: Well, it’s important that everyone understands, and I’m sure your audience does, that this was done on purpose. If you want to feel better about this bad situation we find ourselves in, don’t think that this was just an oopsie or a mistake, or we got here. The communist was very purposeful about getting to us. First, this unsurprisingly got to our country in the early 1900s. That’s when communism first got here. It ramped up once the Soviet Union had their revolution. Then they were trying to take care of the workers or try to get to the workers the same way they did in the Soviet Union where they really focused on the urban poor. That was really the engine of their revolution. And they tried that here. They tried all kinds of the standard things here. And it never really caught on. It just kept fizzling out no matter where they could go. They’d get a chapter started, and then two chapters. And then it would just kind of die because they realized our workers are too happy.
Remember, communism has nothing to do with nationalizing this or workers that or private property. Communism is just the religion. It’s the religion of the mal content. You have to find the society’s mal contents. That’s why it was the urban poor in the Soviet Union. That’s why it was the rural poor in China. The Soviets were telling Mao and it as boys, “Hey, focus on the urban poor.” And Mao said, “You’re an idiot. We don’t have angry urban poor here. We have angry rural poor here. We have to switch.” That’s why it looked different in Cambodia. Here, what they figured out was you’re never going to get to workers here. Urban or rural, you’re never going to get to them. They have too high of a standard of living.
We had other malcontents, we had black people who were being oppressed in this country, and that was ripe for that. That’s why they went into the civil rights movement. Feminists are always mad about something, so they were primed for it. Eventually, it’s seventies or so. I talk about this in the book, the climate change nutters who are always mad about something. They were good. Now it’s all this LGBTQ stuff. You just find the mal contents and you recruit them and use their anger and bitterness to burn down society and give you power. But they’re very purposeful about it. When people look around now and they say things like, “How could they get to Disney? I love Disney. They’re even in Sesame Street. They’re even in the NFL,” you should understand that the communist took those things over on purpose.
He didn’t stumble into that. He knew those things mattered to you. He knew those things were important to your life, and so he focused on those things. And he’s very good at focusing on choke points. Like a lot of what we see in corporate America and with institutions, he’ll find a choke point in a company and he’ll take it over that way. They didn’t take over all of corporate America right away. They didn’t take the boardrooms. They took over the HR department. Just find one angry, nasty feminist and put her in an HR department, and she will filter everything from there, the hiring, the firing, the training. She will slowly let her cancer spread throughout your company. And they do it on purpose. They’re very purposeful about their destruction.
Roberts: And we’re still... All of that is not only spot on, it’s just so distressing. We’re still... Now that we’re in a fairly mature phase of the communists March through America, they’re in positions of governmental power, right? I think about the work that we do at Heritage, what you rail against rightly, that is the American administrative state, both in the nation’s capital, but also in state capitals. Now, these men and women, these communists really, are in positions where they’re dictating, with the power, the authority of law, what other Americans do. And so if you’re an everyday American, like the fireman that you mentioned at the top or any other kind of common person, you kind of feel helpless. And so what advice do you give to people who say, “Jesse, everywhere I turn, this communist nonsense is there. I want to have hope for the future of the country. What can I as a common person do to fight back against it?”
Kelly: Well, I would say this. And this is going to sound dark, and I really don’t mean it this way. Put the country out of your mind. And this is how I mean. Let’s use Mao as an example, because yes, he’s the most murderous human being who ever lived. He was very, very accomplished in what he wanted to accomplish. When Mao started his communist takeover of China... And he wasn’t the original communist leader, as you know. But when the communists took over China, they didn’t go to Shanghai, right? They began rurally. They began in the hinterlands. They began with the farmers. People are angry and upset. They don’t know what to do. And you’re worried about Washington DC. And not that Washington DC doesn’t matter. You’re worried about the presidential election. What’s your school board in your town? What’s your neighborhood? What’s your city council like?
We recently, in my area, they had, it was actually a couple of years ago, a 4th of July parade in my very red area. They were going to have some militant LGBTQ gun grabbing activists head up the 4th of July parade. Everyone looked around and freaked out and said, “How did that happen?” What happened? Because they seized a choke point in the city government, and the city government chose this. And we ended up getting it stopped. But here, we were all... Everyone’s got a Trump flag on and everything else, and we weren’t paying any attention to our city council, to our school boards, the filth that’s being taught in schools in red areas because we have this savior complex on the right where we think if we just win this presidential election, or if the house can do this or the Senate can do that, it’ll make everything right.
You can’t save America. Put America out of your mind. You can save your town. And from your town, you can save your state. You can save your school board. You can save... There’s so much you can save if you step up and get involved, but we still don’t do that yet. We just had a city council election in my area. Less than 2000 people showed up in the vote. Because it’s Texas, the vote was on a Saturday. No one was even working. I showed up at 10:00 AM on a Saturday. It was me and one 9,000 year old man in there voting. Less than 2000 people showed up and we lost the critical election. We watched the news, we get on social media, we yell about Trump and DeSantis and all this other stuff, and we don’t care enough about school boards and city councils. That’s where we win, and that’s where we can win. That’s the soft underbelly of them. If we just get involved, that’s what terrifies them the most, normal people running for school board, running for city council, running for state rep. That’s what we can win. Forget about Washington.
Roberts: No, man. I can’t tell you how emphatically I agree with that. And sometimes when I say that people are a little flummoxed. They say, “The president of the Heritage Foundation headquartered in Washington, on Capitol Hill is saying, ‘Forget about Washington.’“ Yes, because of what you just said. The great opportunities we have for success are at the local and state level. And in fact, that light bulb went off for me living in central Texas when I realized, in our very conservative community outside Austin in Liberty Hill, I aptly named Liberty Hill, the school board was run by a bunch of communists. Not the teachers, certainly not the families. This is like the reddest of red areas in central Texas. But the people who were coming in, the 14 associates superintendents in charge of nonsense and communism were all trained at places that were basically anti-American.
And they feel so threatened when normal people step up and run for those school board races. But the other thing, and I’m just underscoring this point as I get to the question for you, my wife and I learned in central Texas, this is a live wire issue in Llano about an hour west of Austin, is the importance of public libraries, and for conservatives or just common sense people to run for library boards because these libraries have become, in addition to the schools, the greatest epicenters for communism, for wokeness, for everything but just having normal books in there. And God bless the men and women who are stepping up and saying, “I’m going to forget about what Congress. I’m going to forget about what the US Senate’s doing. I’m going to focus on my community.” That’s where we’re going to take back common sense, and ultimately, I think, take back the country
Kelly: A hundred percent. I’m so glad you brought that up, Kevin, because it’s actually something I rail about a lot. You’ll see some posts on social media or someone will be outraged that there’s going to be a child drag show in their local area or child drag whatever in their local public library. And we’re outraged about it. And that’s gross and it’s perverted and it shouldn’t happen. But again, it’s a choke point. The normal conservative, myself included, I consider myself an anti-communist, but whatever, libertarian, conservative, we will drive by, I will drive by my public library a hundred times in a year and not even look twice at the public library.
I don’t care about the public library because we don’t have this religion of domination that dominates our everyday life. The communist doesn’t think that way. He drives by the public library and he sees an opportunity. He sees an opportunity to control what you read, to go after your children who he wants to steal from you. Now, we don’t have to turn into that, but we have to understand that’s how he thinks. And we do have to get more active in more involved. We will have... How many millions of people next year will have a Trump or DeSantis, whichever one of them wins, sign in their yard? Many, millions, tens of millions, 20 million. How many of those people will run for a spot on the public library? 10
Roberts: Not enough. Yeah.
Kelly: Five. And the Trump DeSantis stuff, okay, it matters. I’m not going to act like it doesn’t matter, but does it matter even a fraction as much as seizing our local communities back? We just have to adjust our way of thinking. And that’s very hard to do. Because when you’ve had a way of thinking ingrained in you for so long, it’s hard to adjust that. We need to complete mentality transplant on the right. And we’re slowly waking up, but that’s really what we need.
Roberts: Yeah, that’s right. And just to hang on that point, and then I really will get to the next question for you, it’s as simple as walking into public libraries. You gave people some great action items, which we love to do on this show, and you do all the time, but it’s as simple as like tomorrow, tonight, walking into your public library. And I guarantee you, you will find a book that shouldn’t be there. In the children’s section, you will find a book that should not be there. It’s basically pornographic. And walk up to the librarian, polite but firm, and say, “I demand that this be taken off the shelves.” This is what the communists have done for decades. And the thing is, the librarian, if they’re smart, will say, “Okay.” But what’s most likely, because of their training, is that they will refuse. And then you create a kerfuffle. And the last thing that they want is a PR nightmare.
This is what our friends in Llano County have done, and they’re winning. That’s the kind of thing. To your point, there are, what, over 3000 counties in the United States? Every county has a library board. We need common sense people, however they describe themselves politically, on those library boards. And like you, I believe that’s the path to reclaiming the country.
Kelly: It is.
Roberts: So couple quick questions before we wrap, Jesse. The next one is, are there examples as you scour the republic of success? We’ve given people a dose of reality. I want to give them a sense that there really is reason for hope if they get more involved.
Kelly: Overwhelming success. And this is the problem, Kevin, is everything’s a national headline, right? If you pull up your favorite website right now, it’s all going to be national this, Joe Biden did this, all this other stuff. We are winning school boards as parents get out, and we’re winning a lot of school boards. We’re taking back State House seats. I actually just talked to a guy in Utah last week who had defeated a 12 year, don’t quote me on that, 12 or 14 year incumbent, one of these worthless Republicans who was pretending to be a Republican. Normal, average Joe, every day citizen got up, knocked on enough doors. Now that Republican’s gone and there’s somebody good in office. We are winning these seats. It’s happening slowly. Not only are we winning them... I want everyone to understand something. It took the communist a long time to get where we’re going.
I know it seems like it took him five minutes. Just yesterday, Oreos were normal and now they’re all gay. And I know that’s hard. We all woke up one day and it seemed like this happened. It took the communist a hundred years to march through your institutions. It will take us a hundred years to take them back. Don’t think that this is all going to change with this election or next year, but we are already starting to wake up and take back school boards, take back state house seats, take back city council seats. As people are starting to get a taste, just the taste of what these people really want for this country, it is waking people up. We are winning a lot. You may not see it nationally. You probably won’t see it nationally, but we have great things happening in this country.
Roberts: No, I’m so glad that you said that because sometimes people say, “Okay, I can get really focused.” We think in terms of election cycles, right? I can get really focused on all the things that are important to do right now, registering people to vote, being an election official in your precinct, whatever conservative tribe on, the Trump train or the DeSantis train, or someone else, whoever gets the nomination, being focused on helping them. All that’s important. Running for school board’s important, library board. But the last question for you is one that I guess is most relevant for us in kind of our daily lives at home, if we have kids at home, or maybe it’s for a niece or a nephew, or a grandchild. How do we inoculate the next generation from what the communist has done? Because it seems as if we really can’t trust many, if any institutions to help us do that. What’s your advice for people who have young people in their lives, and we want to make sure that the communist doesn’t capture the next generation?
Kelly: Best advice I can give is to know you should. That’s step one. Know that you should. I used to be... Speaking of me, I used to be in this realm, even when I started doing TV and radios five years ago or so. Right when I started doing that, I used to be of that mindset. My wife was of the agreement, “Hey, I want to get political with the kids. Hey, let’s try to keep that stuff at work. I don’t want to deal with that.” And about four years ago, we realized that is a mistake that’s dead wrong. Because right now, your children are surrounded culturally. They can’t go to Boy Scouts, they can’t turn on Nickelodeon Jr., they can’t watch the new Avengers movie, they can’t do anything without having this cultural Marxist filth piped into their minds. The Marxist is after your children. If you’re going to raise them apolitical and just don’t worry about that, you’re going to lose because the communist is going to get to them before you can get to them.
As long as you understand, you have to be purposeful about teaching them right, wrong, that’s evil, that’s wrong, government should be small, men should be free, no, the nuclear family is really, really important, values do matter, you should secure a border. You can talk to your eight year old about why you should secure a border. That’s not something that has to be out of bounds. I promise you your kids’ lesbian kindergarten teacher’s going to talk to them about the border. Are you going to let her take over everything? No, of course you’re not. We have to be much more focused on that with our children than our parents had to be with us. Because I could watch Sesame Street when I was a kid. My kids cannot. So because they have taken over more and gotten more aggressive, we have to do more. And look, I could honestly do a great sell for my book on something like that.
I did write it so kids can read it. I have my sons reading it. My sons have both read it. There’s an audio version for them to listen to it. It’s totally appropriate for kids. But set mine aside, there are wonderful value filled kids books out there now that are being produced on the right. So if your children are very small, there are resources available to you. Just understand that you have to do it. You cannot be just live and let live. You can’t let them go. Well, we’ll check in with them when they’re 15. Oh, by the time they’re 15, you’ve lost them if you’ve let them go. Get after them early, they’re your kids. The communists are after them. They’re very purposeful about that. You better protect them. You better guard them as much as the communist wants them.
Roberts: Now, that exhortation is something that anyone with kids really takes to heart. So I can tell you, and I was already going to do this before you said that, this book is coming home with me tonight. All the Roberts kids, who you might guess appropriately, we don’t believe are apolitical, we’re preparing them for the next generation because of what we’ve seen. But all of that to say, Jesse Kelly, from all of us at Heritage, you are a great patriot. Thanks for the book, thanks for everything you do, and thanks for making time for this conversation.
Kelly: Thank you, Kevin. I love you guys, man. Keep doing what you do.
Roberts: Thanks. Well, for all of you in the audience, hope you enjoy that conversation. It’s been a fun conversation with Jesse. Thanks for making possible. The Kevin Roberts Show. We will see you next time. Take care.