INTERVIEW WITH THE ULTIMATE WARRIOR - PART 4 OF 4
FLYNN: What do you do to keep physically healthy these days? And as you’ve gotten older has your routine changed?
WARRIOR: My routine has changed some but not much. I still work out very hard, with a lot of intensity right from the start, and I always do the basics. They are harder to do and staying with them keeps me disciplined. All my sets from the first one are to failure. I do though, today, think differently about how my training affects me. In other words, my concerns aren’t fueled primarily by how I look in my underwear, if you will. I’m not running around in trunks every night, under a critical or professional microscope. What drives me more is how healthy I am—mechanically and physiologically healthy I am. My bodyweight is lighter by 25-40 pounds, but I am very lean. The biggest thing for me to keep the higher weight on is eating the quantity of food it takes. And, many won’t get this—the time expended in thinking about what you want to look like that it takes. At a higher level of physique development, thinking about building muscle can be the biggest factor involved. Every time I left, got away from that body goal, being in the ring every night, I would quickly drop pounds simply because the goal was not there driving me. But whenever I knew I was coming back, I could put on 20 pounds the first week, from training and eating of course, but more from thinking about my body getting bigger, thicker.
My goals and my interests are not the same today, and eating those kinds of portions of food, devoting those kinds of energies, etc., would just be a waste of time and effort for me. When I was getting paid for that, I had a reason to devote that kind of time, energy, and effort. But I got other things I not only want to do but have to do to be productive in my life. Spending 8-10 self-absorbed hours just to be the big guy in the gym, keep a tan, have tight shirt-sleeves would be counterproductive, and unfair to my family who depend on me to provide their life security. I tell that to people and I can tell they don’t get what I mean. Like, if you can be the big-guy why wouldn’t you want to always be the big guy? Well, I’ve done the big muscle-guy thing. In gyms all over the world I’ve done it. I don’t need to do it anymore. If I did, I’d say I would be a pretty pathetic human being. There are guys I met 20 years ago at Gold’s Gym still running around in their spandex, groveling for $30-50 bucks an hour training people. Come on, give the world a break. Go get a life.
I remember when Arnold first showed up in the movies with less muscle than others were accustomed to seeing him having. Like his physique was what would always make him, be where his success lied. They couldn’t see that he was becoming not only bigger in other ways but also very wealthy.
Anyway, yes, working out is something I will always do, it is a part of being a conservative to me. And when I meet conservatives who don’t get that, I am apt to think less of the brand of conservatism they espouse. You know, people should take care of their bodies. It goes a long way toward making positive a lot of other things—your health (especially later in life), your relationship with your spouse, and the others you love, being able to be active, your mental frame of mind, your outlook on life.
FLYNN: I noticed when we worked out you stress form big-time, you do a lot of reps, and you take very little rest between reps. Do you ever go heavy these days? When you were weighing 300 pounds or so, what kind of weight were you putting up back then?
WARRIOR: Well, yeah. I mean, I’ve been working out for over 30 years. I’ve switched things up quite a bit over that time span. I go back and forth. I did some powerlifting and very heavy training. You have to build muscle. You can’t just do pansy-ass stuff. You’ve got to get in there and face your fears, handle some iron. When I first got in the business, I could do behind-the-head presses sitting down with over 315 pounds.
FLYNN: How about benching. What were you putting up?
WARRIOR: Over 500 pounds. I think the most I ever benched was like 560. Really heavy squats up around 600 pounds.
But when I got in the business, that wasn’t necessary anymore. I was using the whole body in the ring—twisting and torqueing my body in ways that powerlifting-style training would not have helped me to have the career I did performing the Ultimate Warrior character. Part of my plan to make the character better and better and better was to make him leaner and tighter—more comic book physique like.
FLYNN: When you go into the gym these days, what are the biggest mistakes that you see people making?
WARRIOR: Sleeping on the equipment (laughs). I’m not kidding. When I go into the gym at four o’clock am here there are people sleeping on the equipment. Talking while you do your sets. Man that irritates me to no end to see people yaking while they work out...
They don’t do the exercises properly. You’ve got to learn the form. The strength will come. They do half-ass movements. They don’t really work the body parts that the exercise that they are doing is supposed to be working. They don’t do whole body. They don’t do abs and calves, and they don’t do any legs. They do a lot of upper-body stuff, especially young kids. They never get into the leg room and do any legs. Never. They don’t do the basics, they do the machine stuff—which is a huge mistake. You always want to stick to the basics, except on some of those exercises like when we worked out together in DC—the pull-downs—but otherwise you want to do the basic exercises. Those are the mistakes I see. People don’t know what the hell they are doing. Yet you see them prance around like they and their bodies are God’s flawless gifts... I can only imagine how their whole look falls apart when they get home and take off the tight belts and spandex...
FLYNN: Moving on from sound body to sound mind. We talked a little earlier about there being a change in your life and you starting to view things differently. Did you come under the influence of certain books? How did you start seeing the world differently? Were there any books you read that changed your thinking or any figures who influenced you to become a conservative?
WARRIOR: Well, eventually, the Great Books of the Western World—truly, the writings by mankind’s greatest and original seekers of knowledge. One of the first books I went and bought was How to Read a Book . Of course I knew how to read but wanted to be better at retaining what I read, to turn it into useable knowledge. I picked up that classic book by Mortimer Adler, How to Read a Book, and that turned me on to the Great Books of the Western World. And once I opened those books, I knew that was where I was supposed to be at that time in my life. Like I’ve always believed about my life—all my experiences—from when I was a little boy and how I thought about things, how I fantasized about taking on challenges in my life, creating my own inner-Warrior, so to speak, how I was as a young man coming to the place in my life where I had the bodybuilding experiences that I did, coming to a place in my life where I created this vivid, intense Ultimate Warrior character that will stand the test of time—none of those things are a coincidence to me. These are all experiences, I believe, that are part of my entire life’s destiny that is playing itself out. And when I crossed paths with the Great Books of the Western World, where the purpose of those books and those writers is the pursuit of human excellence, I said: “This is it. This is it for me. This is what I’m supposed to be doing.” It wasn’t a coincidence for me that I was at that crossroads at that moment in my life.
For fifteen or twenty years of my life I had been in the pursuit of what I could do to excel athletically, with my body. And here I was discovering all these ultimate thinkers, if you will. And what is life if it isn’t a body, mind and soul journey— trying to engage each one of those fully as one can. Warrior as an idea means that to me. Here I had this unique male experience as a contemporary sort of super-hero in the wrestling arena. And then vis-à-vis the writings of Western Civilization, Aristotle , and Homer and all the histories and the way they lived, the palestra where they exercised when young—at wrestling no less!—then later how they educated and enlightened themselves to later become statesman. It all just sorta incredibly fit for me. This is just the abbreviated story, but I knew that’s where the rest of my life was going. That’s what I needed to do. I just embraced it entirely. And that’s what I’ve been doing ever since. And that’s what led me to get involved in the conservative movement.
FLYNN: And how have you been involved, primarily speaking? Or what else?
WARRIOR: Through speaking, and I do a lot of writing at my website. I probably have near 500 or so pages of essays on different topics—education, conservatism, this country, cultural issues, my time in the business, people, things, places etc.
FLYNN: What’s your website?
I haven’t been doing what I am doing today for twenty years. But I know how far I’ve come in the last five years. I know how much further I’m going to go in ten years. I know how hard I work at it. Everything I’m doing now is a continual work in progress. I’d like to get some gigs writing columns but my pieces are longer and more personal, and it’d take someone spending the time to mentor me about how to tweak them to get that done. But I do know I have greater passion than other people. And the truth is my experiences give me greater background to talk about mentoring and male role-modeling, make a stronger, longer lasting impression. Not just that I have had those experiences, that wouldn’t be enough. But that I have also spent the time in self-study and have the interest in traditional conservatism and Western Civilization like I do. Too many guys pontificating on how to be a man in its classical sense have never acted like a man in its classical sense. Of course, that we live in gender neutral times hasn’t helped any. But we need to get back to breeding real men in this country, in the ways they think and act.
FLYNN: Do you think you were always a conservative and maybe didn’t know it?
WARRIOR: Philosophically, yes. And, when I go out and talk, I make a distinction between philosophy and politics. I believe if you live by a conservative philosophy then you will want conservative politics. You may not find any today (laughs), but it is what you will want. Government isn’t going to work in the world until people live by the right philosophy.
I define conservatism literally: It’s about preserving those things that have worked throughout time. This begins with the sustaining tradition that people need to think and provide for themselves. People who think make the world work, not those who feel. And I’m not blinded by the irony that the fundamental difference today between conservatism and liberalism is thinking versus feeling, using one over the other to conduct human life and society at large. This country was Founded depending on that. Common sense isn’t “in” anymore and this country was built on common sense. You know, the most impressionable piece of enlightenment I found through my study of American history is that all the Founding Documents—the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, Federalist Papers , and all the ancillary communication between the Founding Fathers—all of it put before the Founders—is that all these writings were written, then, in language that was understood by the common sense of the people. And yet it is uncommon today to find anybody who’s even read them let alone has sense enough able to understand them at all. Traditionally, the question used to be “Who doesn’t get that?” Now, the question is: “Who does?” This is followed up with “Who Cares?”
There just some things I always did that are conservative as I define it. I worked hard, believed in myself, stayed optimistic, and persisted.
FLYNN: Who are some thinkers and some authors that you have read that you have got something out of?
WARRIOR: All kinds. The Iliad and The Odyssey are great stories written beautifully. Young guys always want testosterone driven stories, I tell them to read Homer. The writings exchanged between the Founders are awesome and inspiring. American history is too. History by Plutarch , Thucydides , Gibbon , Herodotus —all that stuff from the Great Books writings is great. Aristotle’s Ethics is a must read. De Tocqueville and Adam Smith too. Russell Kirk, I’ve gotten a lot out of him and also got turned on to many other traditional conservative thinkers through him, especially The Conservative Mind that he authored. Any Rand . I got a lot out of reading Ayn Rand. I part ways with her atheism, and am a little perplexed how someone so in appreciate of creation and existence didn’t ever write on the Greatest One—the world around us. But the philosophy she laid out in detail, Objectivism, is truly the philosophy we all live by to survive on this Earth. I think as corrective for young people with their subjective heads up their butts, her writings are the best to suggest. Of course, all the Founding documents too. So much lies in those documents and the Federalists papers about what was dependent upon the people for our Republic to survive, the virtues and the morals.
WARRIOR: Yeah, many. Albert Jay Nock , Irving Babbitt , Coleridge, Randolph, Fenimore Cooper , George Santayana , Solzhenitsyn , Whittaker Chambers , a little William F. Buckley, Thomas Paine —I don’t think he gets the credit he deserves, I mean he did create “United States of America” and did more to inspire the colonists to revolt than any other...he was vilified because people took his book The Age of Reason (great book itself) and contextually twisted into something it was not. Oh, there are many others.
Contemporarily, I really dig Victor Davis Hanson’s books. He’s a brilliant classicist and eloquent writer who writes about what the serious detrimental effects are of losing our historical and cultural ties to Western Civilization. I don’t read much fiction—some of the great stuff is an exception, like George Orwell. [Friedrich] Hayek. Thomas Sowell. Bill Bennett has done some great anthology books pulling together a lot of the Founder’s literature and correspondence and I always enjoy getting back into them. I read some current stuff but not as much as I stick with the classical, Great Books stuff. I thought your book, Why The Left Hates America, was awesome and filled with great ammo to fight the fight. As are Coulter’s books and many other modern books. There are just so many and only so much time.
FLYNN: When you go out on college campuses—and obviously kids don’t have a lot of time to read because they’re reading anyway in their classes—if you were to recommend one or two books to a nineteen or twenty-year-old conservative, what would you recommend.
WARRIOR: Distinctly about Conservatism?
WARRIOR: Well, I would start with The Conservative Mind. Goldwater’s Conscience of a Conservative. I would also suggest, to provide a good overview of the cultural degeneration and where we’re at, Slouching Toward Gomorrah by Robert Bork. It’s a great read with a broad but detailed overview. Dinesh D’Sousa’s simply written book Letters to a Young Conservative. The Bennett books I mentioned. And Ayn Rand, some of her non-fiction stuff from Who Needs Philosophy? and The Virtue of Selfishness or The New Intellectual—at the least these books will prep a young kids mind on how to think and where to go next to find more.
FLYNN: When you look at the political landscape. I know there are probably hundreds of people that you could point to that are on your “enemies list,” but when you look at current political office-holders is there anyone out there where you say, “I really admire this person.”
WARRIOR: No. I can’t think of anybody. There is one guy who I know who is more conservative than others, a guy from Texas—Ron Paul. But if you are talking about being in office, I don’t know of any others. Tom Delay throws some follow-through punches once in a while and I like that. I do get some stuff from the Constitution Party and I like where they stand on what government’s role should be. They are strict constitutionalists and I like that. But I don’t like how they, and other like groups as them, spin Jesus and Christianity. Yes, this country was founded with emphasis on a belief in God, a Supreme Being. There’s no doubt about that. Only a damn idiot can’t see that. But through the study I’ve done, I don’t see that belief flowing distinctly out of Jesus or Christianity’s organized religion. It’s just not there, and these groups use the ignorance most people have to mislead. I’m not putting it into the best words perhaps, but, off the top of my head, that’s how I see it. God is huge and all over the idea America, but twisting things into what they are not bothers me.
FLYNN: Firsthand, or secondhand, have you gotten any sort of reaction from any of your old colleagues in wrestling about what you’re doing these days?
WARRIOR: No, well—yes, secondhand. Goes back to what I said earlier. I’m cut from a different mold. Most the guys I worked with are still trying to make a living off the business, in any way they can. They haven’t grown in the ways I have. Of course, they think what I am doing is oddball. Truth is they don’t really know and have never taken the time to find out. Everybody who finds out about what I am doing these days by reading some criticism of me elsewhere, when they take the time to come and find out truly where my head is, they are pleasantly surprised. Many are proud to have been fans of my wrestling career, but even more proud to say they are bigger fans of what I am doing now.
FLYNN: Any chance you’ll ever go back to wrestling?
WARRIOR: I don’t foresee it. There’s no place to go. I can’t split my energies and always have in the back of my mind that I will return. I just keep on keeping on with what I am doing now. I have been able though to use quite advantageously the intellectual property. New dolls are out and they are selling better than all others. I just sold one of my collector’s dolls for more than that has ever been paid for a wrestling figure. And I am in Akklaim’s new “Legends of Wrestling” game. The response about that has been over the top—getting ready to do some promotional appearances for that soon. It’s been, believe it or not, very humbling to see how Ultimate Warrior’s popularity has sustained itself. Of course, I never expected anything less (laughs).
FLYNN: Let’s close with this. I thought it would be fun to throw some names and get a one or two sentence response.
WARRIOR: Couple of sentences is going to be hard for me, but I’m game...
FLYNN: Pat Tillman.
WARRIOR: I wrote a post on him, you should go read it. Incredible man. I think a lot of people had a hard time calling him the best or better, and I wrote pointing that one thing out. I think a real man is okay and comfortable with calling another man, when they are, better than him. That guy was a hero in a true classical Greek sense. I lived in Arizona for over ten years, I would like to have known him, I never had the chance.
FLYNN: George W. Bush.
WARRIOR: Disappointed. From a political point of view, the guy is not a conservative. The guy has made the government bigger and bigger and he’s done some things with education and immigration and other entitlement gestures that I’m not happy with as a conservative politically. Some of the PC indulging he’s done offends me—like having a Kwanzaa tribute at the White House. Aside from that, the guy has integrity and that counts for a lot with me. I’d like to see him have a little more of his own common-sense mind and country candor. I get the sense he’s being handled by his inside-the-beltway blowhards and goofs. When he shows the top of his cowboy boots and tells it like it is, I like him better. In general, I’d like to see a president on a more regular basis bring up things about our Founding, and use the Founding Father’s words and this country’s history to defend themselves, and America, on positions—teach Americans while they stand up for what it is right.
FLYNN: Then let’s go to the other George, George Washington.
WARRIOR: I mean, incredible. There are so many things to say about those times and those people, especially him. When you take the time to know about those times, it’s very hard not to believe in a prophetic placement, of sorts. To have had those men with their peculiarly enlightened minds is, well, to me, supernatural almost. As a guy who believes in destiny, I believe its founding was something set in motion to happen since creation. And believe that those men lived to give that epochal time its best shot at happening. That’s what I believe and there is nothing that could make me change my mind. George Washington truly was America’s first heroic role model setting a standard for Americans from there on out to emulate. Whatever his faults, and no human lives without having some, he was a man of incredible integrity and leadership.
FLYNN: Vince McMahon?
WARRIOR: On the whole, I have absolutely no respect or admiration for him. I see him as unmanly. I guess you could break it down, take for example what he’s done with his business, and you could say he’s been successful. He does love the business of wrestling and I remember him being a very persistent, hard worker, devoted to doing whatever it took to get the job done. Even, unfortunately, if that meant maligning or tearing down others. He does have bank and celebrity, etc. But my own life experiences have taught me that defining success just on those terms alone, like many mistakenly do, is superficial and those chasing that kind of success are very, very shallow. People like this also have little trouble at being phonies, liars, and backstabbers. They just see being so as coming with the territory. I’d say Vince has been very good at hiding his, in truth, losing hand. He’s gotten good at that over years. After all, he’s the ringmaster of a “work.” But he still has to face his own disappointment and ugliness each day when he looks in the mirror.
FLYNN: Jesse Ventura.
WARRIOR: You know Jesse is a witty guy, great at sound-bites. That’s why he did, in wrestling, better outside the ring than he did inside it. I think the moniker “The Body” is ill-fit. The guy never had a good physique when he was in the business and when he was in office he was nothing less than a fat, piggish slob. Jeez, did you ever see such a gut (laughs)! I think the disrespect and juvenile irreverence he showed to a governorship of a state was contemptible, and should be, by any decent adult, condemned. I didn’t need to know, again as most decent people agree, that he doesn’t wear underwear as he let the world know. And I was especially offended, as an American citizen and a guy who has taken the time to know and do more than speak from a pot-foggy mind, when he went to Cuba and after smoking some of his cigars comes back to this country singing the dictator’s and Communism’s praises. He really proved himself to be just as absent substance as other airhead, anti-American entertainers. He’s a circus act.
FLYNN: Arnold Schwarzenegger.
WARRIOR: I would not have voted for Arnold in the election. He’s not conservative. But I think they have underestimated Arnold. I think Arnold is going to get some great things done. They don’t understand what kind of discipline the guy has had since his bodybuilding days—that career, what it has done for him, what kind of discipline it has instilled in him throughout everything else that he has done in his life. I know what it’s done for me and there’s nothing like it. I don’t agree with the idea that has been advanced that we should amend the Constitution so he can run for President. I was a huge fan of his for years, for all that he had done. But as I matured myself, I thought he could have used his stroke in entertainment to make better choices about the projects he did, to more positively affect culture instead of just piggybacking on the degenerate stuff already going on. A few of his interviews I read around the same time reflected that he was very puerile in many ways.
FLYNN: The Rock.
WARRIOR: I don’t know. I never met the guy. I don’t go to his movies or know anything about where his head is at. As I do about all the young guys in the business, I don’t criticize them so much. They are young and building their philosophies of life. In their heads they aren’t going to be in the same place I am. Let’s wait and see if they think and act like grown ups when they do grow up. It’s the Hogans and the Pipers and the Flairs and others their age I don’t have any respect for.
FLYNN: Eric Bischoff.
WARRIOR: Hmmm. I don’t know...
FLYNN: You don’t know him enough?
WARRIOR: I know him enough. It’s just that what I have to say as well about him is critical and it sounds like I am always critical of people and I am not, it’s just that I’m very hard on myself as a grown man, so I am on others. Let’s see, Bischoff. He was a nice enough guy, I suppose—seemed, at first, to be anyway. I wasn’t pleased about how things turned out and that they had different plan than the one they said they did to get me to come in. It was initially very disappointing. Ultimate Warrior as a character could have really been used to great benefit. It always turns my stomach to see guys talk tough but not have the moral backbone to back it up. Agian, the truth is those guys hated Vince and used tons of TV time mocking him and lashing out at him. And then later they crawled over there [to WWF] begging for jobs. That’s a whole lot of pride to swallow, man. I think probably to do so, you have to have had plenty of practice over the years to, well, let’s say accommodate that kind of swallowing. I didn’t believe that about those guys, Bischoff and Hogan and the others, before I went over there. Then I saw it happen. It really showed me that they are really tiny, tiny guys with even tinier balls.
WARRIOR: What more can I say than what hundreds of thousands already did this past week. It’s hard to imagine that there will ever be a farewell more awesome. Not in my lifetime anyway. Despicably, we know Clinton will try. At the end of my speeches I always ask those in attendance to ask themselves a question that certainly all of the Founding people did. That question is: “Will I do in my life what will live forever?” Ronald Reagan did. And neither it nor what kind of man he was will ever be forgotten.
FLYNN: How about John Kerry?
WARRIOR: Scary and, to be truthful, traitorous. This country is already in troublesome anti-Americanism up to its eyeballs. If he—or worse, the other Clinton becomes President—there won’t be any boots that go the height to be safe from crap that deep.
FLYNN: The war in Iraq.
WARRIOR: Disappointed and concerned, also proud. I don’t think for a minute that Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld, the entire Bush administration went over there just to have a war to get a revengeful nut off about it all. But it does bother me, living here in a country as great as we do, that the intelligence can be as screwed up as it is and we went over there and did what we did. I would have never have went over there just to free the people of Iraq. I’m upset enough that kids go to bed hungry in our own country. What atrocities there are around the world aren’t at the top of the list for me. I say stay here and take care, first, of our own. I’m more the mind of a [Pat] Buchanan when it comes to what we are and what America is and what we need to do with that power. These damn people over there have been fighting a war since they were born. Not one American’s life has been worth fighting this damn fight with one arm tied behind our backs. Not one. But you know, too, you have to be proud of this country and its military and what acts of honor it has shown around the world—especially the young people. Damn what an example! So contrary to the young smart-alec degenerate punks running on the streets here.
FLYNN: You laid out in the interview that you always had a plan for your life. What’s the plan for the next ten years?
WARRIOR: Did I say that? Huh... That’s a very difficult one for me to answer precisely. Years ago, the guy who’s still my accountant and financial planner today asked me the same type of question. Like how I saw the future playing itself out, when did I want to retire, where did I see myself five, ten, twenty years down the road. I told him then, and still think the same way now, I didn’t really like much setting in stone where I am going to be so many years out.
I do know that I will always be working and being creative. I will never retire form being busy doing that. I have a lot of different interests and could turn any one of them into a full time career. Making money to pay the bills, build a secure financial future is a part of any plan I have of course. But other things rank higher on the list. I want to continue speaking and continue getting better at it. That different level of passion and intensity I have from others, I believe, will make me a standout down the road. It’s just a matter of working at it, getting greater experience.
I also want to write books. I spend a great deal of time writing now, working at getting better at that. On average I am a good writer, but know too that I have written some really great stuff. I have a great story to tell about my experiences in pro wrestling, even more so because of how those unique experiences, and all my other unique male life experiences up to that point, brought me around to thinking about things the way I do—about mentoring and being a male and a father, what it means to be a hero, and about Western Civilization and this country and its Founding.
At the 2003 [Conservative Political Action Conference], I met with [the conservative publishing house] Regnery. I sent them two pumped up book proposals totally almost 300 pages. It was too much and too unrefined to be a proposal and I was ignorant about that. One was for the autobiography, the other a male’s viewpoint on conservative philosophy. They turned me on to the editor who, I think, worked with you on your first book, David Richardson. We hooked up, then he got busy on his new venture of becoming a literary agent and I got busy with speaking and, well, life and all its other great things. I get into the proposals and continuing the writing as much as I can. Spring came and we have property to work here [in New Mexico], so that has kept be busy right now. The books are being worked on in my mind all the time, but for the most part all has been in an on and off holding pattern. By fall, by fall I think...
Watching my daughters grow up here in their first years is important to me and because of my previous successes it’s been a luxury I’ve been able to afford. My 3-year old daughter is already doing phonics and learning Greek and Latin roots to words, so we spend time doing that. These are important years for them, years that my wife and I know we don’t want to miss out on, years we won’t be able to get back once they are gone. When it’s all said and done, there’s nothing greater that I will ever do in my whole life than raise my kids right, mentor them about the things that are truly important, prepare them to be able to handle effectively life’s challenges, the good and the bad. You do that by doing it. And that takes time and effort on our part as parents.
FLYNN: If you could change two or three things about the way things are going these days, what two of three issues would you look at? Or even one.
WARRIOR: We need to get back to a place where we don’t tolerate PC. Too many representing the conservative side in the public debates—the news and writers and other punditry—don’t follow through with their punches. The consequence is that these people are compromising us right out of a country. I don’t believe that about conservatives in general, the ones out there in the real world making their lives and their families lives work. I think they are sitting there thinking the same thing as me—Quit letting the PC and moral relativity slide! Judge something! Fight for what I really believe! But as far as those faces and voices getting the airtime to fight, they are wimpy and too PC themselves.
Conservatives have got to quit tolerating the moral relativity—that there are no right and wrong, no true or false, no good or evil. Moral relativity is the greatest danger we face today. People, today especially, will say that terrorism is the gravest danger we face. I say: not if we can’t even call it the evil that it is. I’ve been hammering this home since my first speech at CPAC 2003. In fact, I took a quote from your book, Why the Left Hates America and some other books that told the same thing: there’s no place to go in a debate if people don’t accept rationality or reason, reality, what the truth is.
Even too many of the conservative kids, too many of them want to go out and make compromises. Stay in the gray and refuse to call things as they are—black and white.
FLYNN: How are you received when you speak at campuses?
WARRIOR: Great. It’s really been just great. I’m getting better each time I go out. That is always a goal for me. I always leave evaluating what impact I’ve made. I’m pleased with what I’ve done thus far. Keep in mind, Ultimate Warrior started out as Dingo Warrior. It took some time to get to the full blown version. I plan to evolve in like fashion as a speaker. I know that I affect people in drastic ways. I have the evidence of that—the proof—through the communication that takes place after going out on a speaking engagement. I do sometimes think that my black and white positions on things rubs young kids, even many of the conservative activists, the wrong way—at first anyway.
Everything is really great working with those who run Young America’s Foundation. Everybody over there is awesome, but many of the young kids, even though ready to debate political ideas inside the beltway, don’t themselves live by a conservative philosophy of life or understand the importance of doing so. And the politics they’re interested in won’t work if the philosophy isn’t happening. I am very traditional, and define conservatism the same way—traditionally, and I think, sometimes the young kids want to hear more about the current news stuff that’s fleeting, here one hour gone the next, rather than the substantive philosophical elements of conservatism, which are vitally more important to building the conservative world they claim they want to live in.
Anyway, my primary goal is to mentor, and I know that without question. It is not to, first, make friends. It’s my role as a grown man and as conservative activist who’s concerned about the world his kids will be growing up in. I’m going to stick with it. It’s different from what everybody else is doing and I know it will take me where I need to go in the movement.
FLYNN: Are you optimistic for the future of conservative ideas? What’s your forecast?
WARRIOR: Well, you know, being involved, paying attention to it all is relatively new to me. As I said earlier, I haven’t paid attention my whole life. Truth is, America is so powerful you can have a great, prosperous, and secure life without ever paying attention. America stands that tall. A few weeks ago I was at the Club 100 retreat YAF has and I was speaking to Bay Buchanan. We were talking about the state of things. And I said that I didn’t believe there was an immediate cure to bring things back around to the way of traditional conservatism as her and I and others like us define it, by continuing to work at doing so as if we can just drop into the middle of the mess in Washington and begin there.
People talk about government...and this gets back a little to what I just mentioned, that conservatives have a tendency to pay more attention to topical stuff instead of the slow and steady ways they need to conduct their own lives. They discuss political ideas like they can be solved in a vacuum. Like solutions don’t depend on first looking at how people conduct their own lives, and what effects—negative or positive, constructive or destructive. And it just doesn’t work that way. Like I say “Government won’t work unless people do. Not work like 9-5, but work as the ‘beings’ they are, as in the sense that they operate their lives by an effective philosophy of life.
Bay [Buchanan] said to me, “I don’t know if we have that kind of time.” True, she may be right about that and it made me chuckle. But any traditional conservative worth their weight knows, life is long range, it’s not quick-fix or cutting corners. To get back to the conservative world I want my kids to grow up in, there’s going to have to an entire regeneration. Parents who think like I do are going have to rebuild this kind of existence through their own kids. Teach them and America the difference between right and wrong. That’s a very simple answer, but we must begin that simply. And then, more seriously than facetiously, I tell the young activists that when the time comes to chose a mate, they need to forgo all the superficial and corporeal factors and chose a philosophical soulmate willing to fight for the brand of conservatism they believe in, then mate and breed like rabbits. Have large families and don’t fall down on raising your kids as conservatives and Americans in its true sense. When they get to be the age where they are going out into the world, go to choose a mate, they won’t make stupid choices and from there we just keep multiplying. Sounds funny, and I always get a good laugh out of it. But think about it, it’s the truth about what needs to be done.
Young kids are at a time in their life right now that they need to build some habits that will stick with them throughout their life. Like, for instance, reading. I asked the kids at the [Young America’s Foundation] Club 100 retreat: “Who has read the Founding documents? Out of forty kids one or two hands went up. Nobody raised their hand when I asked who had read [Russell] Kirk’s Conservative Mind. That blows me away and, well, I don’t know, you tell me, you’ve been at this longer than I have: What does that say about where we are?
Another thing they don’t understand, that I certainly do at 45, is that at any moment along the time line of your life you are the sum total of all your life experiences, your choices, and your actions. The way we are so morally out of whack today is causing even some really good kids with their heads screwed on straight to make some horrible decisions that will most certainly cause them regret later in their life. All the promiscuity and openness to unconditional physical contact and openness and compromise to silly ideas is just “dumbing,” as Patrick Moynihan said, “deviancy down.” And the more it’s tolerated, the lower the expectations become. You know when you are a little kid you learn the difference between pain and pleasure by reaching out to touch that hot stove? When you grow up the difference is measured not physically but psychologically. The more wrong choices and acts you make at moral crossroads when you are young add up to more regret and anxiety and frustration as you get older. I wish I’d had someone take me behind the tool shed more and get that straight in my head. And as a guy who desires to mentor young people properly, I wish there was a way to have them get this as clearly as I want them to. Hey, my name is Warrior, I’ll just keep at it.
FLYNN: I appreciate it Warrior. This was great.
WARRIOR: You are welcome. I’m expecting great things out of you. Keep up the good fight. Keep the books coming.
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